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Guide to TV antenna installation

Can't get WESH NBC 2.1 with antenna

Reception problems with WESH 2.1 NBC. The likely reason you can't get WESH channel 2.1 the NBC affiliate in Orlando is the fault of the antenna not the TV station. It's not the transmitting signal strength of the station. Everyday someone ask me, why can I get all of the channels from Orlando except WESH 2.1 NBC? The answer is simple, you're using the wrong antenna. Most people contacting me assume WESH transmits a weak signal compared to all of the other channels in Orlando and this isn't true. The coverage area of the WESH signal is pretty much the same as all other Orlando channels.

Here are the facts:

WESH transmits a VHF signal while all other Orlando stations transmit UHF signals.

(Channels 6 WKMG and channel 9 WFTV both were analog VHF stations but moved their transmitting signal to the UHF signal band at the time of the digital transition. They will still display as channel 6.1 and 9.1 on your TV but that is the virtual channel number not the real broadcast channel frequency. This can be confirmed at the FCC website

Most antennas are designed primarily for UHF signal reception (even though they may claim VHF and UHF reception).

Most areas of the U.S. have VHF TV stations why would anyone designed an antenna that performs poorly on VHF signals? The answer is physics and aesthetics.

The physics are pretty simple. The VHF signal wave length of Wesh is much larger and farther apart than the UHF signal waves of the other Orlando TV stations. The size of the antenna must be proportionate to the size of the signal wave being received or it will perform poorly. This is called "tuning the antenna". To properly receive the VHF signal of WESH the antenna must be larger both in length and width to match the wave length of the transmitted signal. If the antenna in use is designed and tuned for UHF reception the majority of the VHF signal is not captured and it goes right past the antenna.

The aesthetics are probably clear by now. If the antenna must be longer and wider to receive the VHF signal of WESH it will be less appealing to the eye. In fact most people refer to antennas that will perform equally well for both VHF and UHF signal as "ugly" or "old fashion". It's no secret that people prefer smaller out of sight antennas so antenna designers are disregarding performance in favor of aesthetics. It's all about sales and not so much performance.

There are still a few antennas on the market that perform equally well for both VHF and UHF signal reception but the majority are designed primarily for UHF signals.

Here's a partial list of antennas that are designed properly and perform equally well for VHF and UHF signals.

EZ HD antenna

HD Stacker antenna

Channel Master Advantage and Masterpiece antennas.

Winegard HD 7694P-HD 7698P-HD8200U.

Below is a list of the Orlando area TV stations. The virtual channel indicates the old analog broadcast channel number prior to 2009. The real broadcast channel indicates the current channel in use to broadcast the current digital signal. As you can see WESH is the only VHF channel in the Orlando market. See: Real vs. Virtual channels

Source: FCC

Call Sign Virtual Channel Real Broadcast Channel
WKCF 18 UHF 17
WUCF 24 UHF 23
WOFL 35 UHF 22
WRBW 65 UHF 41
WDSC 15 UHF 33
WEFS 68 UHF 30
WHLV 52 UHF 51
WACX 55 UHF 40
WVEN 43 UHF 43
WRDQ 27 UHF 27
WOPX 56 UHF 48
WOTF 26 UHF 49

VHF and UHF TV antenna