La Crosse
34° F

Having trouble receiving WKBT-TV over-the-air?

Published On: Dec 27 2013 03:39:04 PM CST   Updated On: Dec 27 2013 02:02:00 PM CST

We sometimes get questions from News 8 viewers who have issues tuning in our signal with their over-the-air antenna. Here's some information we hope will help.

Our Digital TV signal is on RF Channel 8, (virtual channel 8.1) which is VHF. Make sure your antenna is capable of receiving VHF.

The best option to receive our over-the-air signal is by using a rooftop antenna, but that it isn't possible at every location. If you can't put up a rooftop or attic antenna, an amplified indoor antenna is highly recommended.

Our tower is located near Galesville, Wisconsin so be sure your rooftop antenna is pointed in that direction. Indoor antennas should be oriented so they are facing that direction too. Placing the antenna near windows and as high as possible is best.

The best advice we have is to:

  • Get a higher quality indoor antenna that is amplified and clearly states it can receive VHF. We have had the most success with Terk antennas.
    • Recommended Terk models:
      • Terk TV4
      • Terk TV2
      • HDTV A (amplified)
      • OmniTV (amplified)
  • Be sure to save your receipt to return your new antenna if it doesn't work! Our La Crosse Radio Shack tells us a model called Antenna Craft has been very helpful in picking up Channel 8. (Model # 1500433 $79)
  • Get a longer length of coaxial cable (20+ feet) that connects to either your converter box or the antenna input on the back of your digital TV. This allows you to move your indoor antenna more freely throughout the room to determine where it works best.
  • When deciding where to place antenna, higher in the room is generally better.
  • If the antenna has rabbit ears, it can help to extend the rabbit ears to only 2/3 length.
  • Consider an outdoor rotor antenna if you have exhausted all options with indoor antenna. A rotor antenna allows you to point the antenna at our broadcast tower in Galesville, WI.

When you try out a new antenna, you may have to perform a re-scan on your converter box or TV.

As you already have experienced, antenna reception is not a perfect science. There are many things that can interfere with a broadcast signal making it hard to tune in. And yes, there are homes in our viewing area where over-the-air reception of WKBT is not possible due to interference, the bluffs and the distance from our broadcasting tower.

Here's a website we recommend as great resource for people purchasing HDTV antennas:

Here's a website that allows you to enter your location and it will show you which direction your antenna should be pointed to receive local channels in your area:

Other options for watching News 8's newscasts and individual news stories:

WKBT-TV on Roku (A set-top box that you can use to access video on-demand from a variety of channels)
WKBT-TV Mobile (Apps for iOS, Android)
Live-Streaming News 8 newscasts (The video player will play the newscasts when they air.)
WKBT-TV News 8 on YouTube (You can find nearly all of our locally-produced stories on our YouTube channel.)
Social Media (We're on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+)
Subscribe to RSS Feeds (RSS feeds are an easy way to add news headlines from our website to your personal blog, newsreader or website.)