Troubleshooting

On July 1st, WQED began broadcasting on a new digital television frequency (low VHF channel 4, 66-72 MHz). Because of this change, viewers will need to re-scan their televisions or converter boxes (see these instructions) and may need to replace their existing antennas to continue receiving WQED’s signal.

If a re-scan fails to find the WQED channels, the next step is to determine if the antenna is capable of and positioned correctly to receive signals in the low VHF band. Unfortunately, most antennas being sold today are designed primarily to receive signals in the UHF band with some capability to receive signals in the high VHF band only. Manufacturers’ claims of antenna performance are usually wildly exaggerated, so to simplify things, the WQED engineering staff recommends a set of rabbit ears similar to the ones pictured below.

Antenna with two straight poles and one central circle.

For best results, the rabbit ears should be

  • at least 36” long and be fully extended
  • spread apart as wide as possible
  • placed as high possible in the room

The long rabbit ears are not sold everywhere, but Ace Hardware carries the Monster Digital Indoor TV Antenna (Model 140062-00) for approximately $13. These can also be found at many online retailers. Because the coaxial cable included with the antenna is only 4’ long, to position it higher in the room you may also need to purchase an extension cable (RG-6) and connector (F-Series female adapter) as shown below. These items are available at Home Depot, Lowes and Best Buy or online as well. Before purchasing an antenna, check the store's return policy to confirm you can get a refund in the event of the item not working.

RG-6 six-foot cable  RG-6 female to female adapter

Once the antenna is connected and positioned in the room, you will need to re-scan your television or converter box (instructions). Rabbit ears will not work for everyone (viewers more than 20-30 miles from the WQED tower may need larger attic- or roof-mounted antennas, for example) but our testing has shown that rabbit ears are better at receiving WQED’s signal than other indoor antennas.

If you have any questions about these instructions or are still unable to receive our signal, please reach out to us at viewerservices@wqed.org.