How to Find TV Towers

By Brent Watkins

As of June 2009, all television broadcasters were required to transmit television signals in the new digital standard. In order to receive these broadcasts, some television viewers need to point a directional antenna directly toward the television transmission tower to receive the best signal reception. You may be among those who have upgraded your antenna to a model designed to pull in more-distant tower locations. Now you need to know where to point the antenna.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • Internet connection
  • Compass with heading display

Step 1

Go to antennaweb.org. This website was established by the National Association of Broadcasters and the Consumer Electronics Association to provide you with specific information on where to point your antenna and how to locate the transmission towers of local TV stations in your area.

Step 2

Use your computer mouse to click on the button labeled “Choose an antenna.” Even though you may already have purchased your antenna, following the steps will guide you on how to find the direction to your television station’s transmission tower.

Step 3

Enter complete address information into the form that appears. Even though the form requires only a ZIP code, finding the exact location of the television tower from your home requires entering your precise street address, including your house number. The direction to the TV tower depends on knowing your exact location.

Step 4

The page that appears will show you a list of available broadcasts from television stations in your area. Note the column that is identified by “Compass Heading” and “Miles From.” This is where the information is listed to locate TV transmission towers transmitting HDTV signals.

Step 5

Use a compass to determine the specific direction to point your outdoor antenna. Orient the compass by lining up the zero-degree directional heading to true north. Look directly down on the compass while keeping the zero-degree mark properly aligned. Find the compass heading for the degrees shown on the antennaweb.org website for the television station you want to receive. The direction shown on the degree heading is the direction of the TV tower. Point your antenna precisely in this direction. Depending on the accuracy of your compass, if you walked in a perfect line maintaining that compass heading, you would encounter the TV tower at the distance shown in the “Miles From” column.

Tips & Warnings

  • To more accurately locate the TV tower direction, have someone view the television reception for that station as you gradually point your TV antenna toward the tower using the compass heading provided. The person watching the TV should let you know when the best reception has been achieved.