What Local Channels Can You Get With an Antenna?


Quick Answer

A digital television antenna receives local VHF and UHF television channels' digital transmissions. VHF channels typically include the local affiliates for the ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and CW television networks. Examples of local UHF channels are Univision, Telemundo and PBS. Which specific channels one receives depends on the signal strength of the local stations, the geographic location in relation to the broadcast tower, the type of antenna and antenna placement.

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Full Answer

Use the Federal Communications Commission DTV reception map on the FCC website at Transition.fcc.gov/mb/engineering/dtvmaps to check for the channel signals available at a given location. Signal strength calculations assume an outdoor antenna 30 feet above ground level. Indoor antenna reception may vary significantly.

One local network may have enough signal bandwidth to offer multiple channels. For example, a local PBS affiliate may offer a main channel, a British programming channel and a children's channel.

To maximize the number of channels, experiment with different types of antennas. Outdoor antennas typically receive the greatest number of channels and are good choices outside of major metropolitan areas, but they involve roof mounting and can detract from the outside appearance of a home. Indoor antennas are available in flat and "rabbit ear" models. Experiment with placing the antenna in different locations in the home to receive the most channels.

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