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Is a fancy amplified antenna necessary for the DTV conversion? We currently have cable but would like to try without and was told I needed to buy a 50$ antenna to make it work. I live in Shakopee. Any thoughts??

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Go to the antennaweb dot org (substitute dot for the real thing). You put in your address, and it calculates how far away the various transmission towers are. It also tells you which type of antenna you will need.

I live in Ramsey and am about 19 miles from the main towers in Shoreview (or is it arden hills?). Anyway I got a $26 directional, non-amplified antenna from Menards. It's huge and ugly, but I mounted it above the drywall ceiling in our garage attic so it's hidden. I eventually added a cheap line amplifier because I've teed off from the main line 4 or 5 times to go to various parts of the house.

To my knowledge, I pick up all of the stations available using one antenna: CBS, Fox (2x), NBC (2x), ABC (2x), 23 (2x), 45, 2 (4x), and 41 (3x).

This way I get free O.T.A. TV in the garage and upstairs with the old smaller TV's. And I use the satellite for the big screen downstairs, but don't have to pay for the locals package. Saves me about $15 a month in extra receiver and locals fees.

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I use one of those cheap, Radio Shack type of antennas. It's got a small, square base about the size of a CD with two rabbit ears. It works well with the digital converter box.

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