The Big Switch: Why can't you get Channel 11 In HD? - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

The Big Switch: Why can't you get Channel 11 In HD?

By John Matarese

Posted by Nick Dutton - email

(WTOL) - Hundreds of viewers have been contacting us to say they cannot pick up Channel 11's Digital Signal with their new Converter Box, or new HDTV, even though they always received WTOL fine on their old analog TV's. Or they suddenly can't find us or another digital channel they had a week ago just fine.


Based on the calls to our DTV Hotline, we are finding two things you can do that may quickly and easily solve your problems.

If your picture is breaking up into little boxes, and freezing, move the TV near a window, then put your Rabbit Ears antenna in the window, or on the window sill.  Ideally, use a window that faces downtown, where the TV towers are located. This makes a huge difference. We are finding in many cases, it clears up the breakup problem, as walls (especially brick walls) will block DTV signals.

If you can't find a station you had been receiving on your DTV or Converter Box a few days ago, get out your Remote, enter the Menu, and "rescan" for channels.  This is also known as "autoprogramming."  This will find any channels that have moved, or were too weak before to pick up.

Still don't get Channel 11 well enough to watch?

  • CH 11 is on the VHF band (Ch 2- 13). Other Toledo stations are on the UHF band in Digital/HD (Ch 14 and up).   This could affect your reception.


You may have a UHF only antenna, in which case you probably will never get Ch 11's digital signal. You need a VHF-UHF antenna.

If it says "UHF ANTENNA" on the box, return it, and explain to the store why they don't know what they are selling (that their UHF antennas will NEVER pick up Channel 11)

Or your TV may not be Auto programming for VHF. Try manually punching in "11.1" with your Remote. This often works.

VHF does not travel through walls as well as UHF. You may want to try moving the antenna around. In a worst case scenario, you may need a roof or attic antenna (see below).


Before you say "why would Channel 11 do such a dumb thing as to be on the VHF band?" I will answer that question:

In MOST cities, most Digital HD stations are VHF, like Ch 11. For some strange reason, most Digital Cincinnati stations, except for 11 and 13, are on UHF.

VHF --which we use -- is the national standard. If a VHF antenna and manually programming 11.1 won't work, you may need a stronger antenna.


A rooftop or attic or outdoor antenna should receive WTOL's digital signal in all parts of the Toledo market.  Many older homes already have one on the roof from the 1960s:  see if you can find the antenna line from that in the attic, and hook it up.

If you don't have one, then you may need to purchase one if you don't want to sign up for cable or Satellite.

The WTOL Engineering Dept. says they have had the most success with the TERK HDTV antenna. There is an amplified and unamplified version. Try the unamplified, if you can find it.


Some amplified antennas (that you plug into the wall) will actually make Channel 11's signal harder to receive. They are pulling in too much interference, so you get nothing. Try using the antenna with the gain turned "down" or unplugged.

Still nothing?  We don't want to lose any viewers: email or call us at 419-248-1132 and WTOL will try to help.

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