How to Estimate TV Reception in Your Area

Before purchasing a TV antenna, there are a lot of questions asked by my readers.

Which is the best antenna to buy?

What type of antenna would be suitable for watching broadcast television?

How many channels would I be able to receive?

These and many more such questions might be hovering in the mind of a cord cutter. Thus to ensure that you make the right decision, we have explained in detail certain factors that would be affecting your TV reception. This would help in making the right estimates when it comes to the actual number of channels that you can receive on your TV.

The TV signals mostly radiate in a circle moving outward from its actual source. Similar to the ripples of water in a pond. The signal strength basically would depend on how far your antenna is from the transmitter. Note that in an actual world it is not all that straight and simple. There are so many obstructions and interferences such as terrains, hills, buildings, valleys etc. These obstructions have a huge impact on the signal strength that your antenna would be receiving from the TV station.

When you check on websites such as or then it would provide you with a colour pattern. These colour patterns indicate the strength of signal. The colours can range from white, red, blue, green and purple. The map would show up the details with regards to how much of the terrain is affecting the signal strength in your area. Even when one is close to the transmitter but surrounded by mountains and hills then they can still receive weak signals.

For people who live in a flat area that has no mountains, valleys or hills can receive strong signal even when they are far from the TV station. But still this information in the map cannot be considered to be completely correct. Since they do not take into account trees, buildings or other interferences.

Hence it becomes difficult to predict exactly how many channels you can receive with your TV antenna. In certain cases, individuals who are 60miles away from the transmission tower would receive a better signal reception than those staying within a range of 20miles. This issue can occur due to the terrain or any other object present in between the tower and antenna.

What type of antenna is suitable for me? The colours present in the map would be able to help in identifying the type of antenna that would be suitable for you. White is said to be strongest followed by red, orange, yellow, green, blue and lastly purple.

For those who reside in stronger regions can receive signal with a good indoor antenna such as Highline TV or Mohu Leaf. On the other hand, individuals who reside in blue region should be able to receive signal with an outdoor antenna or an attic antenna. Further than this would mean that only an outdoor antenna with a good coverage range would be helpful.