How to find local channels in your city or town
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How to find local channels in your city or town


This is a discussion on How to find local channels in your city or town within the DTV | HDTV Reception and Antenna Discussion forums, part of the Over-the-Air (Antenna TV) category.

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  1. #1
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    How to find local channels in your city or town

    Looking for a DTV channel list?

    Two websites that are often recommended for finding local channels are:

    www.rabbitears.info
    For rabbitears.info, enter your zip code and click the "search" button.

    www.tvfool.com

    For tvfool.com, just enter is your zip code (and ignore the rest of the information unless you want more comprehensive detail) and then click on the, "Find Local Channels" button.

    Both websites do a great job of tracking and keeping up with channel and frequency changes so be sure to check your station listings again if you've suddenly lost a channel or two.

  2. #2
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    Getting Started - Transmitter Locaters

    Jay,

    You couldn’t have mentioned any better, or more diverse Locaters, than those two !
    If I may, I’d like to go into some detail about each, where a Member will have more information about which one would be better for her/his use.

    The Rabbitears Transmitter Locater:
    This is one of the most straight forward no nonsense Locators around ! Clear, concise, and gets the important information to the less technical Member, up front. Let me point out some of the outstanding features.

    The Channel Numbers:
    Starts with the first Column you see. These are the actual numbers that a Viewer needs to tune in what’s available to him.
    The Chart is set up by Direction:
    How convenient ! Where the Viewer can clearly see what (Magnetic) direction to point his Antenna, or, what group within the available channels, applies to his specific viewing needs and antenna.
    A Setting for Distance:
    This feature is really nice. One can set this in accordance with the range of his Antenna, which will eliminate a LOT of channels which are peripheral, and focus on what the User can get in a concise manner.
    What a well thought out arrangement, kudos to the Rabbitears Webmaster for constructing this user friendly facility !


    The TVFool Transmitter Locater:
    A literal Dictionary for the most important information for the Users specific Location ! Just about every technical issue related to the selection of an Antenna, or diagnosis by an Advisor, is found in this informative calculator. This one is a must have/post, when you are trying to set up a system, or having a problem with reception.
    Here are some of the great features:

    Channels listed in the REAL Column:
    Most do not know that these are the actual channels an Antenna must receive, are then Re-Mapped to the numbers which one enters in the Tuner/Remote to view the channel. A MUST know, to select an Antenna. Additionally the preponderance of Channels listed, allows an Advisor to set up a system according to more specific needs of the Viewer.
    Signal in NM:
    A necessary calculation to analyze reception, and a starting point to evaluate the signal loss, and with the consideration of distance, relates to the selection of an Amplifier if needed. A very important feature, when additional gain is necessary in the System.
    Signal Path:
    A direct indicator as to the Line of Sight for reception, and enables the Advisor to evaluate minimum height necessary of the system.
    If you don’t know how to acquire the TVFool Chart, here is a link to a more detailed description for...
    LookUp & Posting Instructions for your TVFool Chart.


    Now, in all fairness, there are other Calculators available. Though it’s hard not to play favorites here, those should be mentioned too.

    The AntennaWeb Transmitter Locater:
    Click on “More Options”, to enter GPS and or Antenna Height. A very complete list.

    The AntennaPoint Transmitter Locater:
    A reasonably complete list, with the Stations listed by Direction.

    The 2150.com Locater
    I like this one too. Maps, lots of info, but, you have to have your GPS, Range and make other selections.

    The DTV.gov Locater
    I don’t know what to think about this one, they don’t give you much more than just a channel list based on the antenna being 30’ in the air.


    Antenna Recommendations:
    To round out this list, there are two other sites one can visit, and in that, may receive a specific recommendation for the selection of an Antenna. So, if one wishes a second opinion on his requirements, check the links below.

    The Winegard Antenna Selector:
    Scroll down and click on “Antenna Selector”. They will refer you to AntennaWeb, then return, and make the entry’s on their form. Somewhat tedious. Understand that this is a Manufacturer, and they will only recommend a Winegard product.

    Solid Signal Antenna Recommendation:
    This site provides one with an Antenna recommendation only, without any mention of direction, distance or quantity of channels which may be received. Antennas will be selected from their product lines only, and other items which they would like to sell you, may be included. A very abbreviated report.


    Now !...
    If you find other sources for the above information, please come back and post it for us.
    And !...
    We’d like to hear what you think of the sites listed above. Like um, Don’t like um, let us know !

    Have a good Day !
    S.W.
    Last edited by SWHouston; 01-07-2010 at 12:25 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWHouston View Post
    The AntennaWeb Transmitter Locater:
    Click on “More Options”, to enter GPS and or Antenna Height. A very complete list.
    Competely innaccurate. Says I have no channels in my area and I'm not sure why they need my name and e-mail to tell me what stations are located at. Not sure why people and the government actually recommend this website.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCF68 View Post
    Competely innaccurate. Says I have no channels in my area and I'm not sure why they need my name and e-mail to tell me what stations are located at. Not sure why people and the government actually recommend this website.
    uh, probably because it's sponsored by the National Association of Broadcasters and Consumer Electronics Association. I've seen people complain about tvfool being inaccurate for them too though it is nice that Andy from TVFool listens to feedback and adjusts.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron62 View Post
    uh, probably because it's sponsored by the National Association of Broadcasters and Consumer Electronics Association.
    CEA? Gee they wouldn't have an incentive to get people to buy bigger more expensive antennas, not to mention pre-amps etc etc?

  6. #6
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    BCF68,

    I checked the AntennaWeb out, and it brought up all the appropriate channels for a 25-30 mile radius.

    One only is "required" to enter his ZipCode, then maybe adjust the Map on the second page. He wouldn't have to do that with an accurate address.

    You can UN-check the box's for the Emailouts, I always do.
    I have no idea what may have happened, but, someone else, please check it out for us, and post your findings.

    AntennaWeb has been a Transmitter Locater since the dark ages ! Winegard, ChannelMaster, AntennaCraft suggest it on their Websites. It has a relatively good FAQ and resources pages, and if someone was new to TV, he could read (completely) the reference material thereon, and have a better conception of the Industry than most.

    The only thing I can say about it from a modestly negative viewpoint is, that it looks like it was written using WordStar 1 as the text editor.

    Have a good Day !
    S.W.

  7. #7
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    Could I add to this list of resources TitanTV.com. In reality, it is designed to provide your TV listings. Though it can't tell you WHERE to point your antenna, it can help you find what channels are in your area (be sure to select " broadcast tv" in the provider drop-down). It can tell you what stations you can get in your market, and fill in some "missing pieces" from other sources such as network affiliation and such.

    Not always the best to start with, but it can be "massaged" to provide your complete listings by adding station listings from other markets, to the point where its almost perfect. Better than PSIP, better than TVGOS, and it integrates with several tuner cards for your computer (unfortunatly, not compatible with mine!) to provide a channel guide equal to- or better - than that that of pay TV services guides.

    (If you are using Windows Media Center, it also has an on screen guide built in, although I haven't tried it yet)
    Last edited by MrPogi; 08-31-2010 at 05:58 AM.

  8. #8
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    Hi, I just bought an Access portable LCD TV and I've scanned for channels every way but loose but the silly thing can't locate any. According to an above link, I have a tower just 14 miles from here. Granted, I'm only using the rabbit ears but shouldn't the TV at least lock into one?

    Thanks for any and all help.

  9. #9
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    Granted, I'm only using the rabbit ears but shouldn't the TV at least lock into one?
    Not usually. You really need a decent antenna. If you're using the one that came with the TV, you will be disappointed. I have two 7" portables and only one will get anything with the antenna that came with it. You might get something if you try it outside, though.

    Go to TV Fool, enter your address, copy and post the link generated (IN BOLD TYPE at the top of the radar plot page) back here, and we'll help you out.

  10. #10
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    mn shutterbug,
    maybe you could try to cable it up to watch a DVD/VCR, just to make sure it's working.

  11. #11
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    I do know it works. I plugged my security camera into it and that works good on the monitor. That is actually the reason I bought it - for my security camera. With this TV, I can make adjustments and watch the results at the same time. Otherwise, I'd have to make an adjustment and run into the house and look at it on my large TV and then run back outside and make another adjustment etc. But, it would be nice if I could actually use the TV as a TV.

    Here is the link - TV Fool

    Thanks guys.

  12. #12
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    shutterbug,

    Thanks for the Link to your Chart. It's not the best one I've ever seen,
    but you should be able to get something fairly well.

    One good thing is, that stronger Stations around you are all UHF.
    The two strongest being at an azimuth of 76°.
    Then there's quite a few at 18°.
    With anything else shown, you're going to have a problem with distance
    or Line of Sight.

    Additionally, the separation in the directions of the stations, is quite large.
    That meaning that you're probably going to be forced to direct your antenna
    toward one group, or another, or, be able to manually change the direction,
    unless you would consider getting a Rotator.

    However, given that you have your Chart Antenna Height at 10', I'm not sure
    if you're thinking about an Inside/Table Top Antenna, or, a Rooftop ?
    That choice will definitely effect your reception, with a Rooftop unit affording
    a lot better then one inside.

    We'll need to know that, before we can continue with a recommendation.

  13. #13
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    To my knowledge, that large group of translators is not yet on the air, nor do I know what will be on all of them. RabbitEars.Info

    - Trip
    N4MJC

    Comments are my own and not that of the FCC (my employer) or anyone else.

    RabbitEars

    "Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand..." - Rush "Witch Hunt"

  14. #14
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    Hmmm, for a 7" portable he may not want to invest in a rooftop antenna. I'm suprised it doesn't pick up KRWF. That maybe just a matter of location in the building, etc.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkreichen1968 View Post
    Hmmm, for a 7" portable he may not want to invest in a rooftop antenna. .
    You've got that right. I did just hook it up to my inhouse cable and it found 84 channels. I assume when trying to find a channel via the antenna, I choose "antenna" and then "catv" and not "air". I've attempted both and it didn't make any difference, but if I attempt it elsewhere, it would be nice to know if I'm doing things right.

    Do these things really work?
    Last edited by mn shutterbug; 04-15-2011 at 07:06 AM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trip View Post
    To my knowledge, that large group of translators is not yet on the air, nor do I know what will be on all of them. RabbitEars.Info

    - Trip
    I just checked out that site and it shows the first one in the list as channel 4. Every time I turn this TV on, it shows I'm on channel 4 and I can't change it. I'm assuming now that, even though it's telling me that there are no channels found, it knows this one is the closest.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mn shutterbug View Post
    You've got that right. I did just hook it up to my inhouse cable and it found 84 channels. I assume when trying to find a channel via the antenna, I choose "antenna" and then "catv" and not "air". I've attempted both and it didn't make any difference, but if I attempt it elsewhere, it would be nice to know if I'm doing things right.
    CATV is for cable. Air is for antenna.

    Quote Originally Posted by mn shutterbug View Post
    I just checked out that site and it shows the first one in the list as channel 4. Every time I turn this TV on, it shows I'm on channel 4 and I can't change it. I'm assuming now that, even though it's telling me that there are no channels found, it knows this one is the closest.
    Observe that the channel 4 signal is off the air. Anything highlighted in that pinkish color is not currently operating, to my knowledge. It's probably just defaulting to channel 4.

    - Trip
    N4MJC

    Comments are my own and not that of the FCC (my employer) or anyone else.

    RabbitEars

    "Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand..." - Rush "Witch Hunt"

  18. #18
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    When I first got it and before scanning for channels, it started at 22-4 and I could find 5 more channels listed. However, this is a used unit so maybe that's the channels that the last owner was able to access from his location.

  19. #19
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    By the way, there is no way this thing does what it says it does. It's just a loop di-pole combo with a big amp. (Can you say internet scam?)

    Amplified Indoor Antenna AX-912 Antenna Pros
    Fringe Reception likes this.

  20. #20
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    I'm inclined to think that maybe the antenna is the problem. This TV has just a single antenna. Would actual rabbit ears work better than a single antenna? A person can pick these up for $6.50 on Ebay.

 
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