How to Get Our Signal Over the Air - FOX 54 WZDX – Huntsville News, Weather and Sports

How to Get Our Signal Over the Air

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Dear Dish Subscribers!!

REMEMBER! You CAN watch Fox 54 over-the-air for FREE!

You can find FOX 54 on the digital dial at: 54.1

You may need additional equipment to get our signals. You can purchase equipment at local stores such as Wal-Mart, Lowes, The Home Depot and Target. Please see below for additional helpful information.

Receiving television "over the air" with an antenna is always a great option to receive your local television stations with no recurring monthly costs. All local broadcasters spend a great deal of time and effort to broadcast their product for free from high-power transmitters in your area. Receiving these free signals will require a one-time investment in the proper antenna and wiring, but once your reception system is properly configured you can enjoy all your local channels for FREE!

To get started, here is a list of items you will need to receive local broadcast television:

1.            A digital television or DTV converter box

2.            An antenna

3.            The proper cable to connect the antenna to the television

Digital television or converter box:  If you already own an HDTV (a newer model "flat panel" television), it likely already has the required digital tuner (often called an ATSC tuner). The FCC set mandates on television manufacturers requiring that digital tuners be installed on all TVs manufactured after March 2007, and some more stringent requirements on large screen televisions produced before this date.  Here are the mandates set forth by the FCC:

•             By July 1, 2005, all televisions with screen sizes over 36 inches (91 cm) must include a built-in ATSC DTV tuner.

•             By March 1, 2006, all televisions with screen sizes over 25 inches (64 cm) must include a built-in ATSC DTV tuner.

•             By March 1, 2007, all televisions regardless of screen size, and all interface devices that include a tuner (VCR, DVD player/recorder, DVR), must include a built-in ATSC DTV tuner.

In the event you are using an older TV set that does not have a digital (ATSC) antenna, a DTV converter box will be needed. A DTV converter box will receive the broadcast and convert it to the analog video format that is compatible with older televisions. Digital converter boxes are available at local electronics retailers and typically cost around $60. A digital converter box IS NOT REQUIRED for newer HD television sets, only older SD sets.

Antennas: Choosing the proper over the air antenna is necessary to ensure reliable reception without digital breakup or interference. Here are some general guidelines that my help you choose the antenna that best fits your needs.

1.            Indoor or outdoor antenna? Indoor antennas are convenient, easy to install, and work well under the proper conditions. Their compact size, reasonable cost, and included accessories make them a good choice for viewers that reside in a strong signal location or for viewers who cannot install outdoor antennas. Outdoor antennas are larger, slightly more difficult to install, and typically cost more, but will, in almost every scenario, outperform indoor antennas. Outdoor antennas are the only option for viewers who live in fringe reception areas far away from the station's transmitter facilities. 

a.            Indoor antenna information: Most modern indoor antennas are significantly different than the old "rabbit ears" that many viewers remember from the golden days of television. Modern indoor antennas are often very compact, include an internal signal amplifier, and have a sleek look. Most indoor antennas are packaged with everything you need to connect to one television without the need for accessories or additional cables. In the event you need to feed multiple televisions, it is often advised that a separate antenna be purchased for each television. It is possible to split signal from one indoor antenna, but in many cases you will experience substandard performance when doing so. Keep in mind that the overall performance of indoor antennas can be greatly impacted by aluminum siding, foil back insulation that may be used in modern construction, or brick/concrete walls. Placing an indoor antenna in front of a window will often increase the performance – especially if your home is built using materials that block radio waves.

b.            Outdoor antenna information: Outdoor antennas will typically outperform indoor models in almost every environment. Outdoor antennas eliminate features of your home that may block radio waves and cause indoor antennas to perform poorly. Outdoor antennas can usually be mounted higher in the air to clear other obstructions that may degrade TV reception, and outdoor antennas are better suited to feed multiple TV sets. If you live far away from the source of the signal or have a home with aluminum siding, an outdoor antenna may be your only option. Outdoor antennas require more work to install, but the benefit of a properly installed outdoor antenna is reliable free television for years to come. Unlike indoor antennas that typically include everything needed for installation, outdoor antennas are sold alongside a variety of accessories to fit the needs of each individual installation. For most installations you will need the following items – typically sold separately:

i.              Outdoor antenna

ii.             Mounting pole

iii.            RG6 Coaxial wire and connectors (pre-made kits are available)

iv.           Splitter(s) if feeding multiple TVs

v.            In some cases a signal amplifier or distribution amplifier (if feeding multiple sets)

vi.           Cable ties or wire management hardware (to safely secure wire to building)

vii.          Grounding block

2.            After choosing your antenna, you will need to install and connect it to your television or converter box and properly aim the antenna. All antennas come with installation instructions. The antenna should be pointed toward the transmission site for best quality reception.

3.            You will need to scan for digital channels. The process for scanning for channels differs for each television set/ converter box manufacturer, but typically requires you to push the "Menu" button, choose "Channel" or "Air" menu, and then choose auto scan. Please reference your television's instruction manual for exact steps. Most TV and converter boxes also offer information on their website or offer a toll free number for assistance. 

Where to purchase television antenna products:

Home Depot



Radio Shack

Local TV/appliance stores

Local TV repair shops

For additional information on how to aim your antenna and to help with indoor/outdoor antenna choices, a fantastic website is . On this site, click on the "check your address for free TV" link, enter your home address, and within a few seconds the site will return a color-coded table of local stations as well as a circular map showing the best direction to point your antenna.

If you have additional questions, please contact your local television station's engineering department.

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