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Enjoy Free Over-The-Air TV in HD: Tips for Using an Antenna to Watch Digital TV
Channels: For a list of broadcast channels available in your area, go to the FCC's channel lookup site or industry sponsored AntennaWeb and put in your ZIP Code. The channels available in your immediate area will be color-coded according to signal strength.
Antennas: There are a variety of sizes and configurations; finding the right antenna may involve some trial and error. Also, to give your signal a boost, consider buying an "amplified" antenna that plugs into an electrical socket.
Placement: As in the old days, the higher your antenna is placed and the fewer obstacles blocking the signal, the more channels you'll receive. Roof-mounted antennas generally get the best results, although smaller indoor antennas can still pick up most channels.
Converter box: Older television sets may require a converter box to receive the new digital broadcast signals. If your television is not listed under "Is your TV a DTV?" at www.dtvtransition.org, you may have to buy a converter box. The boxes cost $30 to $50 and are available at most electronics stores and online.
Improve HDTV Signal Strength: Your DTV reception can be affected by terrain, trees, buildings, the weather, damaged equipment, as well as antenna type, location, and orientation. It can be improved just by changing the location of the antenna you’re using now. Moving your antenna away from other objects and structures, or placing it higher, can often improve reception. The performance of outdoor antennas can degrade over time due to exposure to the weather. Also, you may consider installing a signal booster, which should improve reception. If you are having trouble receiving a broadcast:
The FCC Consumer Facts sheet “Troubleshooting Guide For Digital-to-Analog Converter Boxes and Digital Televisions” at http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/troubleshootguide.html should help you diagnose and correct your problem.
If you are having trouble receiving TV stations broadcasting on channels 2 through 13, see the DTV Reception Tipsheet.
To find DTV signals that are available at your location, go to DTV Reception Maps.
For more information on antennas, see the Antenna Guide.