OTA Transmit Number vs Channel Number


SatelliteGuys Family
Original poster
Aug 3, 2004
1) I have a vip 622. I can receive most of my local channels (except Channel 12, the local [Richmond, VA] NBC affiliate) using a "Stealth" OTA antenna left over from my VOOM days. (Richmond, VA is not on the list for the "free" OTA antenna supplied by E*)

2) From the LOCAL CHANNELS menu screen, I had to use the ADD LOCALS button and manually scroll through all the transmit numbers, pausing about 2 seconds on each one to see if I had a signal. The SCAN LOCALS button does not find any channels at all, probably because it spends less than 0.5 second looking at each transmit number. Anyone else observe this behavior with SCAN LOCALS?

3) I can find no hint of Channel 12 on any of the transmit numbers. Any way to find out how the transmit numbers are mapped to the local channels? If I knew where Channel 12 was, perhaps I could watch that transmit number and tweak the antenna until I got a signal.

4) Wednesday night during a rainstorm I was trying to watch "Lost" on the local ABC channel OTA in HD. I was getting a 66 signal strength but could not get a lock even though I was able to easily lock on another local channel with a 64 signal strength. Do factors other than signal strength affect the ability to get a lock? Also, this is the first time I remember rain affecting an OTA signal to the point where it would prevent a signal lock. Anybody else seen this behavior?
www.antennaweb.org is an invaluable resource. Give it your address and it will tell you what channels you can receive, in the case of digitals their "real" transmit frequency vs "channel number", how big an antenna you need and what direction to point it.
Thanks for tip. I checked Channel 12 and found it is assigned transmit number 54. When I checked 54, I had no signal. I will check compass orientation tomorrow to see where I am.
Using a generic zip code of 23219, channel 12's tower is located at 248'. All of the other channels are at 268' and 270'. Odds are you're pointed much more towards the 268'/270' direction.
Without knowing your exact location, I can tell you that WWBT-DT (RF54, 12-1) has their DTV antenna at a different local than WRIC-DT (RF22, 8-1), WTVR-DT (RF25, 6-1), WRLH-DT (RF26, 35-1), WCVE-DT (RF42, 23-1), and WCVW-DT (RF44, 57-1). Check out the FCC TV Database for area DTV Channels.

There are numerous factors affecting DTV reception, but I have no problem receiving Richmond DTV at 53+ miles out, Charlottesville DTV at 51+ miles, and DC DTV at 55+ miles. I had VOOM for a year and a half and I consider their "Stealth" antenna to be less than stellar.

Although NBC12 has the highest power DTV antenna in the Richmond area, their DTV antenna is also more than 200ft. lower than ABC and CBS. Lot's of people on the "fringe" have problems with NBC12 because of the low antenna height. I would suggest visiting the AVSForum Richmond HDTV thread and perhaps replacing your Stealth antenna.
Thanks for the excellent and helpful info. I logged onto the AVS Forum as you suggested and found that WRIC 8-1 (local ABC affiliate) had a hardware problem Wednesday night (Nov 8) which explains why I couldn't receive "Lost" - nothing to do with the heavy rain we were experiencing at the time. Also, I checked my "Stealth" antenna orientation. Sure enough, it's pointed at 19 deg magnetic which is where ABC, CBS , and FOX have their transmitters vs my location (Southern Chesterfield County, VA). NBC is at 37 deg. So you are correct. I can choose from:
1) Trying to find a compromise orientation for the Stealth which will bring in NBC without losing the channels at 19 deg.
2) Spring for a better antenna
3) Wait for E* to add locals in HD (probably a very long wait)
4) Do nothing and be content with NBC in SD

Don't yet know how I will proceed.
Unfortunately, even a "better" antenna may not improve reception due to a variety of issues...especially with WWBT-DT being at a 20 degree offset. Hopefully, it's not too difficult for you to simply adjust your stealth antenna and see if you can find a "sweet-spot" that receives all your local stations.

As much as I like the SatGuys forums, your best is to repost your problem in the Richmond HDTV thread. Be specific (post your general location by city or zip code) and find out what works for your neighbors. As much as I don't like the stealth, I know a great many people, living closer to the towers, who have been using it for years with very few problems.

BTW, I have out there every now and then under the same username.