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.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


Burlington, IA based TV and satellite dish maker Winegard Company has finally added a feature to their Web site that was a long time coming. The company who has been a manufacturer of quality TV antennas for over 50 years is finally selling their products on an online site - www.winegarddirect.com - which I feel is to keep up with St. Louis based antenna seller Terrestrial Digital (www.antennasdirect.com), who has been selling and marketing their products online for only a few years, but getting significant attention.

On Winegard's site, there is a link to their OTA Antenna Selector (ota.winegarddirect.com), which just gets rid of the oftentimes confusing color map used by the CEA for www.antennaweb.org and just does what it should. You simply enter your address, and the site uses Google Maps to post your location AND the location of the TV broadcast towers. Additionally, instead of showing a numerical degrees direction, the Winegard Direct results tell you a straight direction, N, SE, W, whichever direction the signals come in from.

The best thing about the Winegard Direct site is that it lists the amount of predicted rooftop signal strength in dBu (decibels above 1 microwatt), and at the bottom of the TV station list, the site recommends the minimum Winegard antenna that, provided it is mounted outside on the roof, will likely receive all the stations listed when pointed in the right direction. This is an antenna recommend site that is much easier to use and gives more straight and useful information than Antennaweb.org.

The only complaint I have with the Winegard Direct selector is while it does mention the digital channels used by the broadcaster, it does not yet mention the final DTV channel that will used by the broadcasters after February 17, 2009, but that is probably because they still need the transmit power of the final facilities to provide that information. So, I would still use Antennaweb.org and look for the DTV channels with a "Post-transition (February 17, 2009)" Live Date entry to see the final DTV channel which may be the station's current analog channel. If the predicted Winegard antenna can receive the analog channel to be used as a final DTV channel, then the chances are good that the recommended antenna will receive all the stations after the transition completes, and the customer will just need to rescan their digital TV tuner.

So I am excited to see that Winegard is finally making steps to make a useful antenna web site that is easier to use than their site's previous versions in the past. And of course, they still have a toll-free technical support line for customers to call and optimize their install.


Blogger Cymon said...

Hello Derek,
I purchased my Zenith converter box last week and installed it. I have an outdoor antenna and very impressed with DTV reception. The picture is much better than the analog reception. There is no multipath didtortion and no 60 cycle powerline interference. And of course have many new channels. Our local PBS station (KQED) has 5 channels including the HD channel. But that channel is not on all day, just 5PM to 6AM. I have addressed the conversion to DTV on my blog, check it out.
Good luck,

5:14 PM  
Blogger Cymon said...

I added your Blog to my 'Blogs of Note'.

5:27 PM  
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7:48 PM  

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