Reception Problems - FOX Carolina 21

Reception Problems

We're sorry you are having trouble receiving our signal and would like give you suggestions that may help with your reception.  

Antenna Reception
CBS5 maintains a steady broadcast power level from South Mountain of one million watts, day and night.    Even though your television labels us as channel 5, we broadcast our signal on UHF channel 17, so your antenna must be able to receive a UHF signal.  The CBS5 digital "over the air" signal can provide an excellent picture that surpasses the old analog signals of years ago. However, the conditions for receiving the signal are less forgiving than in the past.   If CBS5 has totally disappeared from your channel line-up, the first thing you should do is rescan your TV to see if our channel comes back.  Sometimes a receiver will lose a channel because of reception problems.  Note that it is possible to pick up all stations except for one, be it channel 5 or another, due to reception problems.  

For good TV reception, there shouldn't be any obstacles between your antenna and our South Mountain transmission facility.   Mountains, hills and buildings can cause signal blockage.

Indoor antennas may work for you, but placement of the antenna in the room can affect how your picture is received.  The picture may go from being perfect to a pixilated, blocky look (which means that you are at the point of losing your signal) and then to a frozen picture or blank screen which indicates a very weak signal or no signal.  Something is interfering with the signal. The reception quality of an indoor antenna really depends on what type of building material surrounds you and what obstructions may be between you and South Mountain.  It can even depend on items in your room, including you.  Try moving your antenna a few feet and see if that makes a difference.  Placement of the indoor antenna is very critical to good reception.  If you must use an indoor antenna, there are several different units available.  Some have built-in amplifiers that might help your situation.  Check with your local electronics retailer for product and advice.


An outdoor antenna is really the best device for picking up our "over the air" signal.  Once again, there shouldn't be any obstructions between your antenna and South Mountain.  As previously stated, your antenna must be able to receive a UHF signal.  

Make sure that the antenna is pointed correctly toward South Mountain.  A strong wind could have possibly moved your antenna and pointed it in the wrong direction.  Here is how to tell if your antenna is pointed correctly.  


The longer elements (or metal rods) on most outdoor antennas are toward the back of the unit and the shorter elements are toward the front.  If the longer elements form a "V" shape, then the "point" of that "V" should face away from South Mountain.  If your antenna has been on the roof for a long time, please make sure that your connections to it are solid.  It may help to loosen and retighten all connections in the cable path to improve your signal.  Changes in signal quality between day and night (from hotter to cooler temperatures) can be caused by poor connections.

Also, we have found that the location on the roof can make a difference in signal quality.  Moving your antenna just a few feet in one direction or another can make a difference in reception.  


There are things such signal bounces or reflections off of near building surfaces that can affect your reception.  These tend to degrade the signal quality that reaches your receiver.  This would be more prevalent in an area where there are many high rise buildings.  We obviously have no control over those situations.

Please check those areas where your system may be deficient.  If you decide to do your own antenna work, always take the appropriate safety precautions or have the work done by a qualified technician.

Secondary Provider
If you receive us from a secondary provider such as Cox or other cable companies, Direct TV or Dish Network and are having a problem, please call them first.  Hopefully they will be able to help you with your problem.  We monitor our signal from these companies at out studio and note if we see a problem; however, signal quality can vary from reception site to reception site and we might not see the problem in our area.  

Translator Reception
CBS 5 owns and operates four translators in Arizona. We are now digital on all translators. We transmit from Mt. Elden in Flagstaff, Mt. Francis in Prescott, Mingus Mt. in the Verde Valley/Cottonwood area and Medera Peak in the Globe area.  Other entities rebroadcast our signal throughout the state, however we have no control over their reliability and quality. If you receive CBS 5 from a translator, please note that there are many variables that can affect your reception. Translator sites are prone to storm interruptions or damage and also power failures. During the winter months, weather may influence the timeliness of a needed repair. Translators inherently output a lower signal power level, so your signal quality may not be as good as if you were in the city where the signal originates. It is always better to have an outside antenna when trying to receive a translator signal.  Also, your signal reception is affected by the path from our translator to your antenna. For the best signal reception, your antenna should be able to "see" the point of transmission or at least not have a large blockage (such as a hill, mountain or building) between the two. Please check the signal path if you have trouble receiving one of our translators.  There are problems inherent with digital that didn't exist in the analog world.  If you feel that you meet all criteria for getting a good signal and you are still having a problem, email CBS 5 Engineering and we will try to help you.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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