In Sunday's article about how to save money by cutting the cable or satellite cord, Mike Ness of Ness Electronics in Burnsville discussed some of the benefits of getting rid of cable or satellite and taking advantage of the free digital and high-definition channels over the airwaves.

Several readers online commented that despite savings of more than $1,000 per year by eliminating satellite or cable, they still have issues with getting KARE 11, weather affecting reception, and other problems with spotty reception.

If you're a cable cutter who installed your own antenna and you're still having the problems above, consider hiring a professional antenna installer. John Brillhart of Cable Alternatives, who specializes in helping cord cutters with antennas and streaming, said, "We've done hundreds of installs in the Twin Cities and KARE 11 has never been a station we've struggled with." He said he's done antenna installs as far north as Sartell, Minn. with no KARE issues.

If you're experiencing signal issues during rain, snow or high winds, it's time to reposition or get a new antenna, Brillhart said. "Weather events can downgrade signal, no doubt, but in the metro area, the signal is strong enough to overcome your run of the mill snowstorm or thunderstorm with a good antenna install," he said.

If you hire an antenna specialist, consider one who uses a meter to measure signal strength and quality. Ask about a signal guarantee. Cable Alternatives charges $75 for a service call and about $350 if you need an outdoor antenna.   

In the Twin Cities, there are installers to help with antenna installs and trouble shooting such as Cable Alternatives (763-571-1037), Mr. HDTV Man (651-592-3907) or Enhanced Home Technology (763-262-0202, serving western and northwestern suburbs).In the St. Cloud area, it’s Minnesota Electronics (320-251-2951) and in the Hutchinson area, it’s Electronic Servicing (320-327-2742).

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