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How to Read the Signal Analysis
Estimated signal strength
An indoor "set-top" antenna is probably sufficient to pick up these channels
An attic-mounted antenna is probably needed to pick up channels at this level and above
A roof-mounted antenna is probably needed to pick up channels at this level and above
These channels are very weak and will most likely require extreme measures to try and pick them up
What is a Radar Plot report?
These are compact summary reports about your local TV stations that can be download, printed, or shared. If you want to ask others for advice regarding antenna setup or reception issues, this is a great way to share information about your TV environment so that everyone can see what your dealing with.
The report contains vital information about every tranmitter in your area, including things like signal strength, distance, direction, broadcast channel, callsign, network affiliation, and more. There's enough information here to address questions like what kind of antenna do you need (small, medium, or large), which frequency bands you need (VHF, UHF), and whether or not you'll need to detect stations coming from multiple directions. Printed copies of the reports can come in handy when picking a location to install your antenna or when aiming your antenna.
If you're seeking help, these reports can be posted to most online forums or sent via email. There are many helpful people online that can help interpret these reports. Your exact location will be obscured in the reports so that you can share this information without giving away your privacy.
What does all the information in the table mean?
These are the call letters that the FCC uses to uniquely identify broadcasters.
This is the broadcast channel for the station. For most digital channels, two channel numbers are listed. In the world of digital TV, the broadcast channel is usually aliased to a different channel to match a corresponding analog channel (e.g., a broadcast on channel 30 might appear as channel 4.1 to the user). However, since antenna selection really depends on the broadcast channel, it is more important to pay attention to the first number.
This indicates the network affiliation of each broadcaster. The network names have been abbreviated as follows:
PBS: Public Broadcasting Service ABC: American Broadcasting Company NBC: NBC Universal CBS: CBS Broadcasting, Inc. Fox: Fox Broadcasting Company CW: The CW Television Network MyN: MyNetworkTV Uni: Univision Tel: TeleFutura TEL: Telemundo Azt: Azteca America i: ION Television Ind: Independent
This is the predicted Noise Margin (NM) of each channel "in the air" at your location, specified in dB. You must add/subtract any gains/losses you get from your antenna, building penetration, amps, cables, splitters, and other factors present in your situation. Hypothetically speaking, you need to end up with an NM value above 0 in order to pick up a station.
This is the predicted signal power of each channel at your location, specified in dBm. Note that the relationship between NM and Pwr depends on the type of signal being detected. Analog stations require more power than an equivalent digital station to achieve the same level of NM.
This indicates the path travelled by the signal to get from the transmitter to your location.
Distance from your location to the transmitter, specified in statute miles.
Azimuth direction for the transmitter (0=North), relative to true north. The numbers have been color coded according to the transmitter direction for easier identification of channel clusters. Transmitters coming from approximately the same direction will have similar colors, matching the colors in the outer ring of the radar plot.
Magnetic north readings are also provided for easy compass pointing. When using a compass for orientation, the "North" end of the needle should point to the red colored "N" on the radar plot. You can use the magnetic north azimuth values (in parentheses) to aim your antenna via compass.
These predictions are based on a terrain-sensitive propagation model resembling but not identical to the propagation model used when calculating service and interference contours for licensed broadcast television stations. Actual signal strength may vary based on a variety of factors, including, but not limited to, building construction, neighboring buildings and trees, weather, and specific reception hardware. Your signal strength may be significantly lower in extremely hilly areas. Click on a callsign for details about that station's digital upgrade plans.