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Guide to TV antenna installation

WBBM Channel 2 CBS Chicago Reception Problems


Having trouble receiving channel 2 CBS in Chicago? Your not alone? It's not the stations fault it's likely the result of the antenna in use. Many of the today's antennas are designed to ignore the broadcast channel frequency of WBBM 2.1 CBS. Most TV station broadcast ultra high frequency (UHF) TV signals. However, nearly every TV market has at least one very high frequency (VHF) broadcast station. The Chicago CBS channel 2.1 is a VHF signal broadcast TV station. In fact WBBM CBS is the only VHF signal station in Chicago.

Here's the problem. Small antennas look better than big antennas. The ease and simplicity of indoor antennas over outdoor antennas is appealing. However, antennas too small won't work for CBS 2.1 VHF signal reception. Most indoor antennas and tiny outdoor antennas won't receive VHF signal nearly as good as they will UHF signals.

If your TV antenna doesn't receive the CBS 2.1 WBBM signal
but it receives most all other Chicago stations you likely have the wrong antenna.

Many of today's antennas are designed to ignore the reception of VHF signals and focus primarily on the reception of UHF signals. Antennas that ignore VHF signal reception can be smaller, cheaper, more appealing and in some cases be used indoors.

If the antenna you are using for CBS channel 2 reception is located inside you'll probably need to get an outdoor antenna. If the outdoor antenna is smaller than the EZ HD antenna it probably won't work well for CBS. If the antenna location is more than 40 miles from the transmitters you may need an even larger antenna such the HD Stacker. 

Get educated before you buy that antenna. Just because an antenna claims VHF and UHF reception capabilities doesn't mean the VHF and UHF reception of the antenna is equally good. The EZ HD antenna and the HD Stacker antennas are designed for the reception of both VHF and UHF TV signals. Unfortunately they're not flat, in a small plastic box or razor thin. They're kind of ugly in comparison but they work to receive CBS 2.1.  


EZ HD TV antenna

HD Stacker TV antenna. CBS 2.1 Chicago

The EZ HD TV antenna
Short to medium range
More details here

The HD Stacker antenna
Medium to long range
More details here


The EZ HD and the HD Stacker antennas are guaranteed to work as advertised.

Both antennas are in stock and ready for same day shipping.

Shipping time to the Chicago area is 1 to 2 business days.


Below is a list of the Chicago 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 WBBM is the only VHF channel in the Chicago market. See: Real vs.Virtual channels

Source: FCC


Call Sign Virtual Channel Real Broadcast Channels
WLS 7.1 Plus sub channels UHF 22
WGN 9.1 Plus sub channels UHF 19
WTTW 11.1 Plus sub channels UHF 33
WMAQ 5.1 Plus sub channels UHF 33
WCPX 38.1 Plus sub channels UHF 34
WGBO 66.1 Plus sub channels UHF 35
WBBM 2.1 Plus sub channels VHF 12
WFLD 32.1 Plus sub channels UHF 24
WCIU 26.1 Plus sub channels UHF 23
WMEU UHF 18
WWME UHF 20
WPWR 50.1 Plus sub channels UHF 24
WPVN UHF 26
WYCC 20.1 Plus sub channels UHF 25