Rocky Mount Broadcast Television

Information especially for broadcast television viewers in or near Rocky Mount, North Carolina.

What Is Broadcast TV?

The term "broadcast tv" refers to television channels that are free to watch. You need no cable or satellite service, because these channels are transmitted into the air like the stations on FM radio. You do need an antenna and a tv tuner, but they need not be expensive, and many televisions include built-in tuners. You might not need to buy anything. For more information, see the section about equipment.

Channel Lineup

5.1 NBC
5.2 Cozi
5.3 StartTV
7.1 NBC
7.2 MyNetworkTV
7.3 MeTV
7.4 Start TV
7.5 Heroes & Icons
9.1 CBS
9.2 CW+
9.3 GetTV
9.4 Escape
11.1 ABC
11.2 Live Well Network
11.3 Laff
14.1 Fox
14.2 Bounce TV
14.3 Charge!
14.4 Stadium
17.1 CBS
17.3 Grit
17.4 Escape
21.1 Local/Yootoo
22.1 CW
22.2 Stadium
22.3 TBD
22.4 Antenna TV
25.1 PBS-TV
25.2 PBS-Kids Rootle
25.3 PBS-Ex Explorer
25.4 PBS-NC North Carolina
28.1 MyNetworkTV
28.2 Charge!
28.3 Comet
47.1 Ion
47.2 Qubo
47.3 Ion Shop
47.5 QVC
47.6 HSN
30.1 TCT
31.1 Local
50.1 Fox
50.2 MeTV

Stations

Ch.NetworkCityRF Ch.Freq.Networks
5WRALAuburn48677NBC, Cozi, Start TV
7WITNGrifton34581NBC, MyNetworkTV, MeTV, Heroes & Icons, Start TV
9WNCTGrifton10195CBS, CW+, GetTV, Escape
11WTVDAuburn11201ABC, LWN, Laff
14WYDOTrenton47671Fox, Bounce TV, Charge!, Stadium
17WNCNAuburn17491CBS, Grit, Escape
21WNCRTarboro41635Local, Yootoo
22WLFLAuburn27551CW, Stadium, TBD, Antenna TV
25WUNKGreenville23527PBS
28WRDCAuburn28557MyNetworkTV, Charge!, Comet
30WRAYChapel Hill25569TCT
31WHIGWashington31575Local
36WUNPRoanoke Rapids36605PBS
47WRPXLouisburg32479Ion TV, Qubo, Ion Shop, QVC, HSN
50WRAZAuburn49683Fox, MeTV

Reception Tips

Glossary

Band

A "band" in radio terminology means a range of frequencies such as UHF or VHF bands, or the FM band, which is in the VHF band.

UHF

UHF (Ultra High Frequency) is a band, or range, of frequencies. Most broadcast tv stations are in the UHF band.

VHF

VHF (Very High Frequency) is a band or range of frequencies. Some channels are still on VHF frequencies, which are lower than UHF and require a larger antenna.

Tuner

A tv tuner is a device for receiving tv signals.

Equipment

Antenna

A tv antenna could be as simple as a length of wire or coathanger, or as complex as a yagi antenna, which is probably the best design for tv. The rabbit ears can work well for VHF if you get them right, while a loop antenna often works great for UHF. There is no such thing as a digital antenna or HD antenna. "Digital" and "HD" are features of TVs and tuners and are not relevant to antenna or cable design, and an antenna or cable doesn't care what type of modulation is used in the electromagnetic waves. An antenna that worked for analog tv will work just as well for digital high definition tv. The only conceivable benefit of buying a new antenna besides it not being corroded is that the new antenna designs can probably focus on working better over a smaller range of frequencies because upper UHF has been reallocated and VHF may be falling into disuse.

TV

To watch television, you'll probably need to have a television. The cheapest option is a mini projector at under $40, but you'll need to be in the dark, and the picture might be grainy, but you can shine it on your wall or ceiling or whatever. A portable TV is another option, with a screen like a mini laptop, but it will cost maybe $60. You could even use an old analog CRT TV if you use an external tuner box (a.k.a. converter) to pick up digital tv. You could probably watch HDTV on an old computer monitor if you get an HDMI to VGA adapter for several bucks. Not all channels are being broadcast in HD.

TV Tuner

If your tv has a good digital built-in tuner, you don't need an external tuner box, but a tuner might allow you to do additional things such as record shows. Choose carefully, because some tv tuners are full of annoying bugs, even tuners sold at supposedly reputable retailers. I've seen tuners that forget channels regularly, are very slow to respond, show the wrong channel, can only find any channels with autoscan some of the time, don't allow changing your time zone, etc.

Audio/Video Cable or HDMI Cable

If you use a tuner, you need a way for the video signal too get from the tuner to the tv. On older TVs we often used a short coaxial cable and tuned the TV to channel 3 or 4, but the picture was never as clear as when using A/V cable. More modern TVs and tuners have HDMI connectors.

Coaxial Cable

Use a good quality 75 ohm coaxial cable between your antenna and tuner.

Splitter

If you want to be able to watch multiple TVs off of the same antenna, you need a splitter.

Signal Amplifier

If there is a significant length of cable between the antenna and the tuner or if there is a splitter involved in your setup, I would consider using a signal amplifier. Otherwise, I don't think it is useful. You might think something with a name like "signal amplifier" would improve reception, but it technically can't improve the signal-to-noise ratio except in situations where the signal will be degraded downstream by something such as long cable or a splitter, otherwise most tuners already provide sufficient signal amplification to receive all possible signals.

USB drive

Most modern tuners allow you to record onto a USB thumb drive. I only recently realized that my tv tuner can display most pictures and videos copied from a computer. There have been times when my computer wasn't working that I could have used that capability if I had known it existed. You can also use a micro SD card in a USB card reader instead of an actual USB drive. Recording HD video uses more space, but for most channels, 8 GB provides space for many hours of video.

The Cost of Cable

If you pay $50 per month for cable or satellite, that's $600 per year. Is it really worth that much? You could buy a lot of things with $600. What on tv is worth that much? Maybe if any tv shows were actually interesting, but why pay for a bunch of obnoxious and disgusting commercials, reruns, and insulting propaganda? You can get all of that for free! If you enjoy being exposed to shameless advertisements about diarrhea, constipation, death, and tampons while you're eating or relaxing after a hard day's work, you can get that for free.

Democrats complain about Fox News, but they don't seem to mind supporting the channel, and Republicans complain about CNN, but they don't mind paying for it monthly. Propaganda is a powerful tool. Why are you paying for someone else's propaganda? If you're going to pay for propaganda, pay for some propaganda that actually helps you.

Shop

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Thank You

This document was produced by Ron Spain in April-July 2019 near Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Thank you for using.
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©2019 Ron Spain