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.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


If you just found this page looking for information on how to get solid DTV reception over the air, browse through the links in the left frame, some of these posts are from a couple years ago, but have relevant information. I would go back to the earliest post and work your way up.

For those who did receive all their off-the-air DTV channels with a new digital TV or converter box, well, unfortunately you're not quite set yet. After June 12th passes into Saturday, you will need to rescan your tuner as some of the channels have switched to their final FCC approved DTV frequency. Check your owner's manual for details on how to do this. If after rescanning a couple times, if not all your channels are back yet, you may need to adjust or possibly even upgrade your current antenna. If you have used a UHF only antenna for DTV reception, chances are that you will need to go with a VHF/UHF combo to get all your channels back. You may want to contact the antenna manufacturer tech support line although I would be very patient to get through.

There are also some DTV help centers in your area, which could be at your local library or nearest electronics store. Check the newspaper or its Web site, or search "DTV Help Center" and your town to locate one near you for some good face-to-face help. Before you go, visit http://www.antennaweb.org/ or http://www.tvfool.com/ to get the final post-transition channel list for your area, and how strong an antenna you would need to consistently receive all your favorite channels.

Also keep in mind that not all analog channels will cease; you may be able to receive a low-power station; these stations are NOT required to be all digital just yet, only the major full-power stations in the US.


Milwaukee's CBS affiliate WDJT channel 58, owned by Weigel Broadcasting, has two lower power sister stations, channel 63, which was formerly the Telemundo affiliate for Milwaukee, now all digital on 48.4, and WMLW-CA 41. -CA means a "Class A" station, which is not a full power station, and at 9PM has a newscast from CBS 58. While the other major affiliates will have their news be available only on their all-digital broadcasts, CBS 58 is use their low power stations to continue broadcasting to the about 2% of market households, allowing them to continue to get local news and information on the DTV transition.

This is a marketing tool as clever as cable providers offering limited time low-cost basic cable services to help those who waited too long for the all-digital switch. Using their legal low-power broadcasts may hook new regular viewers.