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.
7.4 Start TV
7.5 Heroes & Icons
11.2 Live Well Network
14.2 Bounce TV
22.4 Antenna TV
25.2 PBS-Kids Rootle
25.3 PBS-Ex Explorer
25.4 PBS-NC North Carolina
47.3 Ion Shop
|5||WRAL||Auburn||48||677||NBC, Cozi, Start TV|
|7||WITN||Grifton||34||581||NBC, MyNetworkTV, MeTV, Heroes & Icons, Start TV|
|9||WNCT||Grifton||10||195||CBS, CW+, GetTV, Escape|
|11||WTVD||Auburn||11||201||ABC, LWN, Laff|
|14||WYDO||Trenton||47||671||Fox, Bounce TV, Charge!, Stadium|
|17||WNCN||Auburn||17||491||CBS, Grit, Escape|
|22||WLFL||Auburn||27||551||CW, Stadium, TBD, Antenna TV|
|28||WRDC||Auburn||28||557||MyNetworkTV, Charge!, Comet|
|47||WRPX||Louisburg||32||479||Ion TV, Qubo, Ion Shop, QVC, HSN|
- Try changing the physical orientation of the antenna. Most outdoor antennas can be rotated to face a different direction. If you're using an indoor antenna, you could try rotating it similarly to face a different direction.
- A higher location is usually better for an antenna because it helps the path between the transmitting tower and the antenna to be closer to a line-of-sight, with fewer obstacles. Hence an antenna is often mounted on the roof or in the attic. Mounting higher can require guy wires for stability and safety.
- Repositioning an antenna a few feet to the left or right could help improve reception due to different radio reflections or obstacles.
- Keep the antenna and cables away from metal objects. Metal objects change the characteristics of an antenna, and magnetic metals could probably cause hysteresis loss in cable.
- Corrosion and oxidation of your antenna and cables can degrade reception due to the skin effect.
- Try using a different antenna. It can be difficult for a single antenna to pick up all frequencies, and sometimes one antenna can pick up channels that another can't.
- In a metal structure, you generally have worse reception than you would elsewhere, but you could benefit by placing your antenna near a window or by using an external antenna.
- Consider moving any unrelated electronics away from your tv tuner and antenna, or unplugging them when not in use. Even most phone chargers contain switching power supplies that often create some radio interference.
- If you're an extremist, consider putting ferrite beads on the power cords of nearby electronics.
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 (Ultra High Frequency) is a band, or range, of frequencies. Most broadcast tv stations are in the UHF band.
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.
A tv tuner is a device for receiving tv signals.
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.
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.
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.
Use a good quality 75 ohm coaxial cable between your antenna and tuner.
If you want to be able to watch multiple TVs off of the same antenna, you need a splitter.
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.
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.
Insert TV-related products here.
This document was produced by Ron Spain in April-July 2019 near Rocky Mount, North Carolina.
Thank you for using.
©2019 Ron Spain