Digital Antenna Help

Print
Email
|

by Web Producer

wfaa.com

Posted on July 29, 2010 at 4:04 PM

Q: I'd like to know why your signal keeps going south. I don’t have Cable or a dish; I use a digital antenna outside on a pole. I can get 4, 5, 11, 13, 21 and 27 with no problem.

A: Here is some standard information we pass along to viewers, many whom have told us it has been helpful.

With the proper equipment, the vast majority of viewers in the grade A and B signal areas should able to receive WFAA. We have found that the most effective way to receive digital signals is with a quality rooftop, or in attic antenna. Unfortunately, “rabbit ear” antennas are probably the least effective way to receive a digital signal, however in some situations are may be a viewer’s only option. If rabbit ears are the only option, those with a built in RF amplifier to boost the DTV signal would be preferable.

WFAA was the first VHF digital television signal in the Dallas-Fort Worth market signing on in 1998, and one of several operating today. Thus, viewers must have an antenna capable of receiving both VHF and UHF to receive all of the DTV stations. DTV can be finicky technology, thus little things like this can sometimes result significant problems on the lower DTV channels in the VHF band (WFAA is on VHF channel 8 with its DTV signal. The other stations are in the UHF band). If you have an outside antenna it’s a good idea to check and make certain the coax cable from the antenna is in good shape and protected from the rain.

WFAA is currently at full licensed power broadcasting on Channel 8. After the transition from analog to digital on June 12, 2009, WFAA returned to Channel 8 from our digital position on Channel 9 (we began broadcast digitally in February 1998, and were America’s first station to broadcast HDTV on a VHF signal), and increased power from 19kw (kilowatts) to 45kw, then later to 53kw. We are also now using a circular polarized transmit antenna to enhance "rabbit ear" reception.
Viewers having difficulty receiving certain television channels following the June 12 transition to digital television may consider two tips for better reception: “double rescanning,” and double-checking and relocating their antennas. 

Double Rescanning

Many viewers already know about the need to run the “scan” function on their digital converter boxes or digital television sets periodically following the June 12 digital TV transition.  Scanning searches for and “remembers” the available digital broadcast channels. However, in some cases where stations moved their digital frequencies, simple scanning may not be enough.  There is a procedure known as “double re-scanning” that can clear a converter box’s memory of saved channels. These earlier scans may have saved channel information that is now incorrect.

There are 5 simple steps to a double re-scan for a converter box or digital TV, which are as follows:

Disconnect the antenna from the box or digital television set
Re-scan the box or digital television set without the antenna connected.  As with any scan, follow the on-screen instructions (or owner’s manual for your device)
Unplug the box or digital television set from the electrical outlet for at least one minute
Reconnect the antenna to the converter box or digital televisions set, and then plug the unit into the electrical outlet.
Rescan the box or digital television set one more time.

Double Check & Relocate Your Antenna

You must have a “VHF/UHF antenna to receive all the digital station in the market.

“Rabbit ears,” rods, or other elements are needed to pick up channels 2-13 (VHF), and a circle, bow tie, or other element is needed to pick up channels 14-51 (UHF).  Some antennas marketed as HDTV antennas don’t perform well on VHF channels; some antennas are VHF or UHF-only. For the best reception of channels 2-6, extend the rods all the way out.  For the best reception of channels 7-13, reduce the length of the rods to12-18 inches.

Roof top or in attic antennas provide the best reception for digital television.

Location, Location, Location

If you cannot use a rooftop or in attic antenna and must rely on an indoor antenna location is key.  And one of the most popular spots for indoor antennas – on top of the TV – may not be the best. Consumers having trouble with digital TV reception should try moving their antennas to one of these locations:

Near a window
As high as possible
Away from other electronic equipment, including computers, VCRs, DVD players, converter boxes, and the television itself
Change the direction the antenna is facing
Rooftop antennas may be needed in some instances
 
Consumers may need to run the “scan” function again on their converter boxes after moving the antenna
Thank you again for writing – let us know if this information is useful. If you would like to speak with a WFAA engineer, we would be happy to oblige.

Print
Email
|