Antennas(?) in Trees

I’ve noticed something odd (to me anyway) that maybe someone here can identify. While driving around town (Atlanta) I’ve noticed several of what seems to be some sort of antenna sticking out the top of a tree. Every one I’ve seen is a fairly long pole with a square or diamond shaped object on the top. I’m assuming this is an antenna or reflector of some kind. Most of them seem to be in someone’s back yard, but I have also seen one beside the interstate and one behind a shopping mall.

I didn’t think much of it when I saw the first one, but now I’ve seen about 5 or 6 of them and am wondering what they are. Any ideas?

Those are digital receivers for Bell South’s Americast service - kind of a cable/dish hybrid. It delivers digital picture and sound and has an on screen programming guide like satellite. The signal is broadcast via line-of-sight microwaves from atop Stone Mountain, which accounts for the receivers being mounted in the top of tall trees. From the receiver the signal is delivered via coax to the converter box. There is also a telephone hookup for pay-per-view orders.

Good picture, good sound, good service, reasonable price, so naturally they’re shutting down the service in the near future. ::sigh::

There are a lot of cell phone antennas made up to look like trees so they don’t disturb the appearance of the community. I’ve seen several of these here in CA, usually near freeways. To handle all those people in the car on their phones, I suppose. I’ve seen a lot of them near the freeways because in traffic you have to drive by rrrreeeeaaal sllllllllooooooooow.

On the other hand, what I’ve seen doesn’t sound like what you describe… the ones I’ve seen usually have flat panels sticking out of the ‘trunk’ near the top of the ‘tree’ in six directions. Maybe there are different designs? Maybe different types of antennae?