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Frequently Asked Questions
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Antenna Installation DIY
Before you buy a digital antenna you should check to see if your location is able to pick up any stations.
TV Antenna Recommendations
You can find free over the air channels in your area by using the FCC tool in the window below.
1. Enter your address or zip code and click Go!
2. Check to see what station signals you can receive
If you do not see any stations due to a lack of tower or the geography of your location, an antenna would not help
Distance from tower
If you do see a list of station:
1. Click on the station to see where the broadcast tower is located relative to your location.
2. Click on the image of the tower to see the tower distance from you.
GREEN/strong signal 0-15 Miles: Regular indoor Antenna
GREEN/strong signal l0-25 Miles: Powerful Indoor/Outdoor short-range antenna
Yellow/moderate signal 20-55 Miles: Outdoor medium-range antenna
Orange/Weak signal 50-70+ Miles: Outdoor long-range antenna
Red/No signal: No antennas would be suitable.
Direction of towers
Click on each of the channels to see which direction the towers are to you. If they are in different directions you will need a multi-directional antenna. Los Angeles, New York and Chicago all broadcast in one direction. You will only need a uni-directional antenna if you live in those cities.
Once you enter your address or zip code and click on Go! the tool will display the digital tv channels at your location.
If you do not have any stations around you then you would not be able to pick up any stations no matter which antenna you get because of the geography around you or the lack of towers in your area. If you do have a list of stations displayed, you can click on the station to see where the broadcast tower is located relative to your location. You can also click on the image of the tower to see the tower distance from you. Once you have a good idea where the towers are located and what channels you can receive, you can begin to select the right antenna for you.
After the digital conversion in 2010, most of the stations have substations such as 4.1 or 4.2 for additional programming such as weather.
You can use the following TV Guide tool to see all of the subchannels available in your area.
- Start by entering your zipcode
- Click [Next] and select ANTENNA as your service type
- Now select the broadcast service provider
- You will also need to select None of the Above for premium channels since you will not be able to subscribe to them.
Use the FCC tool above to see the distance the antenna towers are from your location. Once you know your distance decide if an indoor or outdoor antenna would be best for your location. Generally, you will want an outdoor antenna for best reception but if you can not use an outdoor antenna then an indoor antenna is good for people who live within 50 miles. Here are our antenna recommendations for the following distances from the broadcast towers.
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