OTA HDTV Reception Q&A

Updates on the DTV transition and how to receive over-the-air digital television for free.

Location: Richmond, IL, United States

Hello there! I created this blog to share the information about over-the-air HDTV reception you have been wearily searching the Web or calling technical lines for, whether you have decided for less expensive means to get your favorite TV shows, or still adjusting from the over the air broadcast DTV transition that occurred on June 12, 2009. After working for a leading antenna manufacturer for almost 5 years, during which time I've shared my expertise with those who asked on the phone and by email at work, I decided to do the same in the Blogosphere! Confused about getting your local HD channels? Just click through the archives, some of the most useful information is in the early posts from 2005-06. If you want to get in touch with me with antenna related questions, just leave a comment anywhere on this site.

Monday, October 23, 2006


On Friday October 20th, 2006, the FCC made public its proposed final table of DTV allotments for the over the air broadcast stations in the United States. The information will now indicate the channels where your local over the air broadcasts will be after February 17, 2009. The reports are available for free public download at http://www.fcc.gov/dtv in the 10/20/06 public report field of the page.

Appendix B, available in both Excel and PDF formats, lists the proposed table of allotments, organized by city and state of operation. The NTSC Chan column lists the current analog channel in use, and the adjacent channel lists the approved final DTV channel elected by the broadcaster using that NTSC channel. In order to get off-air availability for ALL channels in your area, use http://www.antennaweb.org/, and in the results area, use the analog stations only radio button to see your current analog channels and their operating cities, which should be coordinated with the FCC list. Then, note the final DTV channels that will be used by each station. The rest of the entries in each row will list the final DTV channel broadcast power in kW, the transmitter antenna height, and the GPS location of the permanent DTV transmitter. On antennaweb.org, the "show digital stations only" will list the CURRENT channels being used for DTV over-the-air broadcasts, but not all of them will be the final DTV channel after February 17, 2009; some broadcasts will revert back to their original analog NTSC channel. Currently, only the FCC reports will indicate what the final channels are; hopefully antennaweb.org will make this information available in the near future.

If all the final DTV channels are 14-51, then a UHF only antenna will suffice to receive all local channels digitally when the analog broadcasts end. However, many markets will require an antenna receiving VHF high band and UHF (7-51) to receive all local broadcasts over the air with a digital television for free. Some markets will require the common VHF/UHF combo to receive channels 2-51.

NOTE: this post is the promised update to my post from October 9, 2006, on improving the performance of an HDTV antenna.