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We were told that you won’t be able to receive DTV channels more than 50 miles away from the broadcast tower, is this true?

Joy recently posted a question:

Someone told us that with the converter boxes you wouldn’t be able to get channels more than 50 miles away, is this true or will we be able to get what we’re getting now?
Should we get the smart antenna or is our regular antenna going to work?  We don’t want to keep spending money and then none of it work

Hello Joy, great question,
You’ll want to first try using your existing tv antenna. If you currently receive good reception on analog broadcast waves, the odds are slightly tipped in your favor to receive digital television (DTV) signals, with the same antenna.

Connect your existing antenna digital-to-analog converter box connected to an analog TV. Be sure to perform a “channel scan,” the first time you use your converter box, this will allow the converter box to automatically check to see which stations it can receive and save them to memory.

Improving Reception
TV reception can be affected by trees, buildings, and weather so you may want to check the location of your antenna for such obstructions.

Often, a small adjustment in the direction that the antenna is facing will make a huge difference in DTV reception. It’ll most likely be a trial and error the first time you connect your digital converter box to your tv.

Worst case scenario, you may want to have an antenna technician come out ($50/hour) to troubleshoot for you. In most instances, it shouldn’t take more than an hour or two to diagnose and modify your setup to be optimized for DTV.  I’ve recommend this before, but it’s definitely not the cheapest altenative.

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