"I can get Channel 3, 5, 10, and 13 OK, but none of the other channels."
This is usually caused by a set attached to an antenna, but programmed to receive cable channels. In the channel numbering scheme, channels 2 - 13 are the same, whether over the air or on cable. Channels 14 and up don't correspond. If you aren't on cable, check the menu settings on your TV to make sure it is set to AIR or ANT rather than CABLE. Depending on the set, if power is interrupted, it will revert to the CABLE setting.
"I can't pick up your station on channel 24, but I do receive it on channel 75."
Check the antenna setting on the menu of your television to make sure it is set to receive over-the-air reception and not CATV or cable. The frequency for UHF channel 24 is very close to cable channel 75 and you may receive a somewhat distorted but unsatisfactory reception of UHF channel 24.
"I live in Memphis and have poor reception. I don't have cable."
Just about every TV set made needs something connected to it for reception, either cable TV or an antenna for over-the-air reception. If you live in Memphis, the antenna may be as simple as a set of "rabbit ears" that sit on top of the set. However, reception with this type of antenna is often affected by nearby objects, even people walking nearby. A good rule of thumb is to put the antenna as high in the air as possible. If the antenna can be placed high in the room, say at the top of a bookshelf, you should get better results.
The best type of reception can be obtained using a combination VHF-UHF antenna mounted on the roof or on a tower. This may not be possible, or for some people, not aesthetically pleasing. A compromise is to mount a TV antenna in the attic. This will usually give good results unless the building has aluminum siding or other metal obstructions. You will need to determine which direction to aim the antenna for best reception. Almost all of the Memphis television stations' towers are located along I-40 from I40/I240 interchange to Highway 64. WPTY CH24 and WLMT CH30 transmits from Brunswick, TN just northeast of the Wolfchase Galleria Mall.
"I just bought a satellite dish, but the satellite company says they won't let me get ABC unless WPTY allows me to. Why?"
The Satellite Home Viewer Act only allows viewers who are not served by local TV stations to have the right to receive network service via satellite. A home receiving a signal less than "Grade B" standards at rooftop level from WPTY is eligible to receive a distant ABC signal.
"Sometimes I can't watch your channel because there are dark horizontal lines going through the picture."
This problem is experienced more often by viewers on the fringe of our coverage area rather than close to Memphis. Horizontal or diagonal lines through the picture usually indicate interference from another signal. Often this interference can be generated by a nearby antenna booster that has begun to oscillate (turning into a mini-transmitter). This interference is usually very localized and limited to several hundred yards. In this case, you may have to ask your neighbors if they are also experiencing this interference. Viewers closest to the source of interference often have totally blank screens if the interfering signal is stronger than the TV station. If the interference is intermittent, it may be caused by a nearby two-way radio transmitter which is overloading your TV set. In some cases, two strong radio signals can mix together and produce new signals on different frequencies which affect your reception. This type of interference is difficult to locate. Try contacting a local TV antenna installation firm for help.
"Sometimes it looks like there's another station coming in on your channel."
UHF signals normally travel in nearly a straight line and coverage is limited to 40 - 50 miles due to terrain and the curvature of the earth. However, when weather conditions are right, signals can follow the earth's curvature and travel out hundreds of miles. When this happens it is possible for distant stations on channel 24 to be received at the same time as ABC CH24.
Weather conditions such as temperature inversions usually cause this type of signal enhancement. It typically occurs when the air is fairly calm. Early mornings and late evenings in the summer are optimum times for this, but it can happen any time of the year. A good explanation of this phenomenon can be seen at the Worldwide TV-FM DX Association's web site. http://www.anarc.org/wtfda/
"My Home Owners Association or apartment complex will not allow installation of outdoor antennas."
As directed by Congress in Section 207 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the Federal Communications Commission adopted the Over-the-Air Reception Devices Rule concerning governmental and nongovernmental restrictions on viewers' ability to receive video programming signals from direct broadcast satellites ("DBS"), multichannel multipoint distribution (wireless cable) providers ("MMDS"), and television broadcast stations ("TVBS") Click this link for the full text http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html .