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The Broadcast TV Station Finder

By Brian Shim | Updated 
11/04/2021

The Station Finder is my name for the FCC tool that tells you which TV stations you can potentially get in your area. The channels you actually get will depend on your exact location, type of antenna, height of your antenna, and other factors.

Press the button below and enter your zip code. Wait a few seconds, and it will show you how many potential free TV channels are available in your area.

You should be able to get most of the green and yellow channels using a good indoor antenna. Click on the station’s call letters to see what direction the signal is coming from on the map to help you orient your antenna.

THE RESULTS OF THE STATION FINDER ARE BASED ON THE FCC DATABASE AND DO NOT GUARANTEE THAT YOU WILL BE ABLE TO RECEIVE ALL OF THE CHANNELS LISTED.

Note: if the link above doesn’t work (sometimes the FCC Site goes down), enter your zip code into the Transmitter Locator by Antennas Direct. You should be able to get stations within the first circle using an indoor antenna:

How to Interpret the Station Finder Results

In general, you should be able to receive most of the green channels using a good antenna and some experimentation.

  1. If you got a lot of green stations, congratulations you’re in good shape! You should do well with a Mohu Leaf antenna with RG6 cable if you want to get better reception of VHF (the Hi-V) channels. More info here.
  2. If you got just a few green and some yellow channels, an outdoor antenna is best, but you will get some channels with an indoor antenna. I would recommend the Mohu Leaf 50 with RG6 cable. More info here.
  3. If you go all yellow and orange channels, you’ll need an outdoor antenna
  4. If you got all orange or red channels, or no channels, you should try to get free TV over the Internet

Disclosure: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. I test or research each product or service before endorsing. This site is not owned by any retailer or manufacturer. I own this site and the opinions expressed here are mine. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

How to See Which Direction to Point Your Antenna

To see which direction the TV signal is coming from, click on the station's call letters on the left side of the map. The map will then show the TV transmitter towers with a black line to your location.

The FCC's Station Finder
The FCC's Station Finder

My Recommended Indoor Antennas

I recommend the Mohu Leaf and the HD Frequency Cable Cutter Aerowave antennas:

For More Information

Click here if you want to do a quick test to see if your TV can pick up any stations. No antenna is needed for this test.

If you’d like to get more channels and better reception with your indoor antenna, read my tips and tricks for indoor antennas article.

Did You Like This Article?

Brian Shim, DisableMyCable.com
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Check out my other site, thefrugalnoodle.com, with ideas on saving money and living simply.

Ask a Question or Tell Me Your Story

If you have a question about this article, leave a comment below. I personally read and answer each one. If you want advice on TV reception, leave your zip code. 

When you comment, you'll automatically receive replies by email. Your email address will not be displayed.

I'd also love to hear how you're saving money on TV. Tell me your story!  Thanks! - Brian
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Maria Siebertz
Maria Siebertz
1 day ago

I recently got cable for internet but watch antenna tv as much as possible. I just tried rescanning and found everything to be changed, asking for closed captioning series of codes which I don't understand, hence I no longer can access any antenna tv. I disconnected and reconnected both tv and antenna to no avail. Help!

Candace, Curtis Hinkle Hinkle
Candace, Curtis Hinkle Hinkle
7 days ago

thanks for the info, what is your professional opinion on channel master antennas, they have been around forever. curt

Andrew Loebig
Andrew Loebig
1 month ago

I'm in Las Vegas. Channel 33.1 was always the CW Las Vegas. I came home last week and it was the same as what is on channel 33.5. I'm wondering how this happened and how can it be fixed

Brian
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Loebig

Hi Andrew,

You can email the station directly to ask about that:
https://cwlasvegas.com/station/contact

I've done that with other stations and they've been responsive. However, I don't think it can be "fixed" by you. It's probably a change on their end.

Best,
Brian

Chris
Chris
1 year ago

I just started getting NBC as a new channel though it works off and on every time. Could it be that they could be fixing something? Cause I know its not me. I remember it happened to ABC when I first got the channel.

Brian
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris

Hi Chris,

There are a lot of factors that could cause you to lose that channel intermittently including atmospheric effects and local electronic interference. Here is an article with more details:
https://www.disablemycable.com/blog/broadcast-tv-channels-disappear/

Here are some tips to improve reception:
https://www.disablemycable.com/blog/antenna-tips/

Best,
Brian

jackbarrett
jackbarrett
2 years ago

My antenna works perfectly when my Firestick is not inserted. When I insert the Firestick, all channels on the antenna are broken up along with the voice. I never move the antenna

Brian
2 years ago
Reply to  jackbarrett

Hi Jackbarrett,

This is interesting. I did some research and other folks have experienced this as well:
https://www.amazon.com/ask/questions/Tx27QTDNJ84338S/1

There are a few things you can try:
- If you are using the HDMI extender cable, try plugging the Stick directly into your TV.
- If you are not using the HDMI extender cable, try using it and moving your Stick around until the interference disappears.
- Try wrapping the stick in aluminum foil - this worked for some folks in the Amazon thread.
- Try using a long HDMI cable (like 10 feet) to get the Stick as far away from your antenna as possible.
- Try plugging the Stick into a different power plug than your TV is plugged in.
- Put your Fire Stick to sleep by holding the home button for 5 seconds when you're done using it (this is a pain so only as a last resort).

Let me know if any of these work!!

Thanks,
Brian

jackbarrett
jackbarrett
2 years ago
Reply to  Brian

I will try it all and let you know what worked.

Thank you

jackbarrett
jackbarrett
2 years ago
Reply to  Brian

The aluminum foil worked!!!! Could there be any electrical problem with the foil near the power?
Thanks a lot

Jack

Beach Girl
Beach Girl
2 years ago

I’ve had my Mohu leaf now for 18months. First year I had 45+ channels and even some radio only. All clear as a bell. For past several months the channels are glitchy. I can see them from the “guide” but when I go to watch half the time I stare at nothing as tv says no signal. I’m within 10-14 miles of major towers so this shouldn’t be an issue. I did a rescan and got only 5 channels and none of them come in clear. I got a new Mohu. Same glitchy problem. The tv isn’t even 2 years old, but could it be tv?

Brian
2 years ago
Reply to  Beach Girl

Hi,

The problem is probably not your TV or antenna.

The FCC is in the process of re-arranging TV station frequencies right now. So, some stations that used to be strong might become weak and vice versa. More on it here:
https://www.disablemycable.com/blog/broadcast-tv-channels-disappear/

Here are some things you can try with your antenna to get more channels:
https://www.disablemycable.com/blog/antenna-tips/

Best,
Brian

Jim Decker
Jim Decker
2 years ago

Sedalia Missouri how do I position my outdoor antenna

Brian
2 years ago
Reply to  Jim Decker

Hi Jim,

This is a tough situation because you have stations to the west (slightly northwest), due east, and due south.

Try rotating your antenna a little bit at a time between due east clockwise, testing your TV reception along the way (by doing scans) until you hit a little north of west. Take detailed notes along the way. Unfortunately, I don't think there's one direction that will let you get all channels (assuming this is a directional antenna).

You could get a rotator, i.e., a motor that rotates your antenna based on channel. Or, put up another antenna pointed in a different direction and switch between them.

Best,
Brian

Jack Gibson
Jack Gibson
2 years ago

could i set up two indoor antennas, and join them together with a cable joiner of some kind? Positioned somewhere like a corner room with two windows.

Brian
2 years ago
Reply to  Jack Gibson

Hi Jack,

Yes, absolutely! Check out tip #16 in this article:
https://www.disablemycable.com/blog/antenna-tips/

Best,
Brian

Elizabeth Davis
Elizabeth Davis
2 years ago

I did the search and they all came up in orange no channels except fox and that was weak. I live about 80 miles south west of chicago where I get my channels. I have a smart tv and a 4k firestick. I've been subscribing to directv, but I want to cut out that cost. Can I just use my smart tv and get an indoor antenna? I have tried that in the past and it was touch and go. One day I got a couple channels it was an indoor hd antenna that I got off wish for $1. Are there any good indoor antennas out there better than the wish one or do I need to get an outdoor antenna? I live in an apartment building in a small town of 4000 like I said about 80 miles south west of chicago. We don't watch too many shows and I have an amazon prime account usually just rewatch same shows using the internet for netflix or amazon vudu etc, but we do follow the cardinals and up here they you can't get their games without satellite and paying extra for the sports package. I'd like to get away from the $60 a month for satellite.

Brian
2 years ago

Hi Elizabeth,

Regarding an antenna, the only way to know what kind will work for sure is through experimentation or by asking other folks near you who are using an antenna.

An outdoor antenna will get you the most channels but no guarantee they'll be the one you want. Ask a neighbor with an antenna on their roof what channels they are getting.

If you want to try an indoor antenna, I recommend these, which will probably do better than your $1 antenna:
https://www.disablemycable.com/antennas/

Here are some tips to get the most channels with an indoor antenna:
https://www.disablemycable.com/blog/antenna-tips/

Best,
Brian

Judy Colangelo
Judy Colangelo
2 years ago

I live in Windsor, Ontario which is just south of Detroit. How do I position my outdoor antenna to receive the best reception?

Brian
2 years ago
Reply to  Judy Colangelo

Hi Judy,

The majority of your stations are to the northwest. There are also some to the northeast and southwest. I would try aiming my antenna due north in your case.

Best,
Brian

comment image

Judy Colangelo
Judy Colangelo
2 years ago
Reply to  Brian

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Clyde Lettsome, PhD, PE
Clyde Lettsome, PhD, PE
2 years ago

I have been looking for a way to get better tv antenna reception for a long time. One thing I learned is that directing my antenna to the direction of the desired transmitter antenna direction improved my reception most of the times. Unfortunately constantly changing antenna direction became a problem so I designed a digital TV antenna-direction finder that I can control remotely from the comfort of my chair. I am making the DIY plans and direction for free to anyone to create it themself:
https://clydelettsome.com/blog/2019/05/14/motorized-digital-tv-antenna-mount-aka-digital-tv-antenna-pointer/

Brian
2 years ago

Hi Clyde,

Love it, very cool!! Thanks for sharing!!!

Best,
Brian

Patricia Carter
Patricia Carter
2 years ago

Hi,
I don't watch much TV but my husband watches some. How can I get basic channels and NFL Games?

Brian
2 years ago

Hi Patricia,

Click the Station Finder link on this page and enter your zip code to see what channels you can get using an antenna. This works on most modern TVs (with a built-in digital tuner). NFL games are on CBS, Fox, and NBC.

If you are not in an area with good TV signals, there are streaming services that offer the networks:
https://www.disablemycable.com/streaming-services/

Make sure to pick one that gives you the channels you want.

Best,
Brian

Kathy
Kathy
2 years ago

What is your opinion on the new antenna that plugs into an electrical outlet making the whole building an antenna?

Brian
2 years ago
Reply to  Kathy

Hi Kathy,

Can you send a link to that antenna? I'd love to try it out and review it.

Best,
Brian

seamonsters
seamonsters
3 years ago

Hi.

We have virtually no reception in our little canyon. I
recall that several decades ago, the FCC required that, where local
channels were not receivable by broadcast, the cable company had to
provide those local channels for free (along with whatever paid premium
programming). Is that law still in effect with respect to Satellite TV?
And if so, does that mean that we've been unnecessarily charged by Dish
Network an additional $12/mo for the past 15 years? What evidence would I
provide to Dish Network to prove that we don't have broadcast
reception? Do you recall the name of that FCC law, regulation or code
section, so that I could quote it to Dish?

FWIW, when I enter our
address in the Station Finder, three stations show Orange, while the
many remaining stations in Southern California show Red. That comports
with our experience: no reception, even with a rooftop antenna. (If you
enter just our ZIP CODE, 90265, you see a mix of Orange and Red).

Cheers,
Hoagie

Brian
3 years ago
Reply to  seamonsters

Hi Hoagie,

Ah, unfortunately the reception there looks pretty bad. A lot of signals are blocked by the mountains, and your strongest ones are VHF, which are more difficult to receive...

Regarding your question, I looked around and couldn't exactly find the law you're talking about. I did find some info about clearQAM, namely, that cable companies had to provide broadcast channels unencrypted over their cables:
https://avc.com/2012/02/clearqam-what-it-is-and-why-it-matters/
However, that doesn't mean they'll happily come to your home and connect their cable to your house for you. And, I'm not sure if this is still the case today.

Furthermore, I really doubt it applies to satellite, as that requires a receiver.

Best,
Brian

Blkanakonda
Blkanakonda
3 years ago

I noticed all the channels are yellow and the bottom 3 are red I live further than 30 miles from the closest one so I'm not sure what antenna to get. Plus I noticed my new smart TV doesn't have a coax cable hook up so then I'll need a box to take the place of it. Any help would be great.

Brian
3 years ago
Reply to  Blkanakonda

Hi,

Yes, unfortunately it sounds like your TV does not have a tuner, so you'd need to get a converter box:
https://www.disablemycable.com/converter-boxes/

The signals in your area are somewhat weak. Before buying anything though, I would suggest talking to your neighbors in the area to see what kind of reception they are getting, and what kinds of antennas they are using. An outdoor rooftop antenna might be best in your case.

Best,
Brian

Huey Rumney
Huey Rumney
3 years ago

My Camper's antena won't pull in local "Green" stations from your finder. Is there an in-line booster that will actually help?

Brian
3 years ago
Reply to  Huey Rumney

Hi Huey,

Before buying anything, try these tips:
https://www.disablemycable.com/blog/antenna-tips/

Amplifiers don't always help, so just want to save you money by trying other options before going with the booster.
https://www.disablemycable.com/blog/are-amplified-indoor-antennas-better/

Best,
Brian

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As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This site is not owned by any retailer or manufacturer. This is an independent review site that receives compensation from the retailer or manufacturer (at no extra cost to you) when you purchase through the affiliate links on this site. I personally test and/or research each product or service before endorsing it.

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