Park City Over the Air TV Reception

Thank you, thank you!

Our family has never been much for watching TV – we’ve seemed to get by ok with watching movies on a laptop, and now that Netflix streams directly, well… But I am a fan of the NFL so it was time to get this TV thing figured out.

Note: This post definitely breaks the 300 word rule. Skip down to the TV Fool Goods for the meat of the matter: Where to mount an antenna and which way to point it.

8/20/2012 Update – It’s been nearly two years now since writing this and I recently got an email request asking what channels we get, and if they come in clear. Here’s a list of the channels, what I think they are, the definition, an clarity:

Channel Description Definition Clarity
2.1 CBS 1080i Clear
4.1 ABC 720p Clear
4.2 MeTV (I think) 480i Clear
4.30 KUCW 480i Clear
5.1 NBC 1080i Clear
5.2 KSL-LWN (Not sure what this is) 480i Clear
5.3 KSL Weather 480i Clear
7.1 PBS (KUED) 1080i Clear
7.2 KUED World 480i Clear
7.3 KUED vMe (Espanol) 480i Clear
13.1 FOX (KSTU) 720p Clear
13.2 KSTU-ANT 480i Clear
14.1 KUZZ 720p Clear
30.1 KUCW 720p Clear
30.2 KUCW 480i Clear
45.0 PCTV NTSC Fuzzy

Cable or Satellite would have been the easy way to go, but we still don’t watch enough to warrant the monthly cost – so it was over the air broadcast for us. Luckily the nation went all digital last year so the picture quality and sound should be just as good as cable or satellite (or not, I really don’t know how they all compare – for my level of sophistication anything that isn’t coming in as half static will be acceptable).

Rabbit Ears and Tin Foil!

Ok so I know better than to think that a set of rabbit ears will get me anywhere these days, especially here in Park City. I assumed I’d be required to get an antenna that could pull a signal from Salt Lake, over the Wasatch range. Ha! Ha! Ha hahh aa hahahaha h ahaha! Yeah. Right. So I went and bought a digital antenna that had a range of 50 miles or so, just to cover my bases. Actually here’s the full rig I purchased:

  1. Antenna
  2. Preamp
  3. Mounting pole

The mounting pole figured to be a better option than just tossing it up onto the roof.

When everything arrived the air in the house buzzed with excitement. We were going to have TV! Weeks later, the equipment sat in their original boxes in the garage – I really had no idea how to set it all up. Where should the antenna go? On the roof? In the attic? Did I need to get an 80 ft mast installed? Where do I aim the dang thing?

There seemed to be such a lack of information – was of no real use – The FCC Map Page was of similar use. AntennaWeb came the closest to giving me the answer, but it only showed one station, and recommended getting a ‘directional’ antenna.


Finally I somehow came across – and the heavens opened and a bright light shown and there was much glorious singing.

The site itself isn’t much to look at, but with the information that’s available you won’t miss the polished edges. Just browse over to the TV Signal Locator page and you’ll have found your glory. The image above is a directional map of all the stations I can pick up from my location. The site will also give you a ton of information on each station – how far it is away, what direction, if the transmission tower is in Line of Sight or not – and a bunch of other signal items that I never quite figured out.

The biggest thing the site told me was that there’s a major broadcast station located on Quarry Mountain, that hill on the east side of Highway 224 between Kimball Jct and Park City proper. I’d always wondered what those towers were up there, and now I know. And now my antenna is pointed in that direction – 147 degrees from my location, exactly. It’s nice to have a compass on hand for such occasions.

Attic Mount

The best bit of info TV Fool gave was the fact that I could mount the antenna in the attic! Glory be! The attic, where access to 120v power was already available. A coax cable could be run through pre-exisiting access to the basement. No hole would have to be drilled in the side of the house and I wouldn’t have to climb up on the roof. None of these things would have been a deal killer, but it’s nice when easier becomes sufficient.

Preamp Necessary

If the antenna was mounted on the roof and had a clear path to the Quarry Mtn towers a preamp might not be necessary. Without it on we get crappy reception however, so it’s a good thing we have it. I keep it on a main floor switch so it isn’t using juice when we’re not watching.

Hope this helps someone. Good luck.

16 thoughts on “Park City Over the Air TV Reception

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  2. Thanks Bryan,
    You pretty much answered all the questions we had about cutting the cord with cable or satellite companies! back to good ol\’ over the air and digital streaming for us!


  3. This info was great. I live in Pinebrook though and wonder if we can pick up the signals from Quarry Mountain. The signals would have to go over the Canyons/9990.

  4. Hey Steve,

    I\’m not sure you\’ll have much luck. Here\’s a link to what says about the reception at my studio in Quarry Village:

    All the good channels are in gray, which is apparently \”These channels are very weak and will most likely require extreme measures to try and pick them up.\”

    Good luck.

    1. Maybe I\’m reading it wrong, but aren\’t there a bunch of yellow stations at the top of your analysis (channels 15, 35, 25, 27, etc.)? The Mustang Loop analysis looks to be the same as yours, 8 channels in yellow and one in green.

      All channels are red or worse on Springshire (1 mile away), and that I believe from past experience.

  5. I just rechecked what tvfool says about the reception from my house in Spring Creek and it\’s pretty much the same as what I got in Quarry Village. So maybe you will have luck. I\’d think that the hills between you and Quarry Mtn would be in the way but perhaps it doesn\’t work like that.

    I don\’t get the channels that are in yellow. My antenna is pointed south so maybe that\’s why.

  6. OK, I should be able to give it a try in a few days and will update this thread then. I appreciate your comments and help.

  7. I couldn\’t get a ghost of an analog channel 15 years ago from my house in Pinebrook, but today I\’m happy to say that I\’m getting the 16 over-the-air digital channels below in good quality. I\’m missing one or two of the green/yellow channels from the TV Fool analysis, but am getting a bunch of others. I was sure I\’d be returning the equipment, but am happy to have public TV (through TiVo!) and NetFlix. Yea baby!

    • Location: Mustang Loop, Park City, UT
    • Antenna: Winegard FreeVision FV-30BB HDTV, facing 141 degrees magnetic ($40)
    • Receiver: TiVo Roamio

    Channel Call HD

    2-1 K15FLD N
    2-2 K15FLD2 N
    4-1 K31FPD Y
    4-2 K31FQD2 Y
    4-2 K31FPD2 Y
    4-30 KUCW-SD Y
    5-1 K27GCD Y
    5-2 K27GCD2 Y
    5-3 K27GCD3 Y
    7-1 K25DLD Y
    7-2 K25DLD2 Y
    7-3 K25DLD3 Y
    9-1 K39HPD Y
    9-2 K39HPD2 Y
    13-1 K35K0PD Y
    13-2 K35KOPD2Y

      1. I replaced the old DirecTV dish with the HDTV antenna, which was convenient since it\’s already wired to the house. That side of the house faces 141 degrees. Looking through the channel listing on TiVo for the 19 channels I get, I wonder if it was worth it…tons of old junk. I guess I can record sports and news though. Lots of bugs with TiVo Roamio already.

      2. I haven’t thought of using a DVR. I’d never have time to watch the recorded stuff. We use an Apple TV to hook into Netflix and MLB though.

        Thanks for the follow up above. Great that it all works for you.

  8. I am so glad I found this information. I am so done with Direct TV, don\’t want All West, and they are all a RIP!

    I did get good internet (it seems okay) through Utah Broadband. The installer said I had a direct line to the thing that gives good reception. I am so illiterate when it comes to this.

    Oh….. did I mention I live in Kamas? I was going to head out to Best Buy but have no ideas what to get.

    I would be very interested to find out if you think you could do anything so I can disconnect from these money sucking digital rip-offs. I don\’t even watch what I\’ve got with Direct but do sometimes want the news, weather or PBS.

    Please let me know if there is something you can do for me in Kamas!

    Thanks so much…. you have given me hope. It is a racket and overwhelming for me to try to figure this one out on my own.


    1. Hi Kate,

      Well, the best I can do to help you is to point you to the website – it will give you the info you need to determine what equipment would be suitable for you location, as well as where to point it.

      You may just want to purchase the preamp anyway. It certainly helps my reception, and I don\’t recall if TVFool recommended it or not.

      Good luck!

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