You’re watching your favorite TV show, and just as you sit down to relax, the screen goes black. You know what this means: The signal got weak so you adjust your antenna, but still no luck. Then it dawns on you – the network moved to a different frequency!
Once upon a time, there were only five channels – ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS and Fox – available to watch using an antenna. That was back in the 1980s when people started using antennas again after the digital switch happened.
Then began a decade of change for broadcast television as more networks launched their own terrestrial broadcasts that offered high-definition programming. These days,… well technically speaking these days would be yesterday since it’s 2018 now… In recent years, however, several networks have begun to broadcast different frequencies. If you live in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota and Wisconsin for example, this means you’ll need a VHF antenna to watch CBS, NBC and Fox channels.
VHF stands for very high frequency while UHF stands for ultra-high frequency. In broad terms, both these frequencies are used by antennas that can be installed on top of or behind your TV set or they can be mounted outdoors if you want better signal strength. VHF is stronger at sending signals but it also has a limited ability to pass through walls and windows. UHF on the other hand is less powerful but has greater penetration capability compared with its counterpart.
Can’t watch CBS on your Antenna? Here are the solutions:
If your antenna was installed a long time ago and it’s still the VHF variety, you might need to start shopping for a new antenna or TV set. Alternatively, if your antenna is UHF capable but you don’t want to replace your current TV just yet, there are other options available:
Use an RF modulator:
Just as its name suggests, these devices convert the VHF/UHF broadcast signals into a format that can be read by your TV. The catch? Most of them only work with older models so they won’t do any good if you own a LED LCD or plasma screen TV.
Contact the broadcasting network directly:
This works by accessing their website and checking which frequency they’re currently using. However, you might need VHF if you live in an area where the network is still broadcasting at a frequency that’s not compatible with your current antenna.
Get a digital converter:
This way, you can move all your older analog TVs to one room and use them as secondary TVs while keeping your main TV or set-top box unaltered.
This is why many people call this process an “upgrade” since it’s better to have more choices… It’s also called “moving on” because it means saying goodbye (a little bit) to the old stuff we’ve grown accustomed to. Technically speaking, however, it may be just a change of address for some channels so they’re closer home!
Have you upgraded? Is there a difference in the signal strength of your local channels? Let us know what you think in the comments section.