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How to watch KFMB Over-the-Air

Depending on where you live, you may be able to receive our over-the-air broadcast. CBS 8

Depending on where you live, you may be able to receive our over-the-air broadcast of CBS 8 on 8.1 and The CW San Diego on 8.2. In San Diego County, we get TV signals primarily from three locations:

  • Mt. Soledad (VHF stations carrying CBS 8 and ABC)
  • Mt. San Miguel (UHF stations carrying PBS, NBC, and independent programming), and
  • Mt. San Antonio in Tijuana (UHF stations carrying CW and Spanish-language programming)

This diversity of locations makes TV reception especially challenging. You will need an outdoor antenna capable of receiving VHF signals and usually a second antenna capable of receiving UHF signals from a different direction. Forget about indoor antennas--you will be disappointed. These antennas are cut to receive UHF signals only, and inside of stucco walls typical in San Diego, the metal reinforcement used in your walls will block the signals you want. Nearly every antenna available in big box stores will not work properly to receive all San Diego TV stations. We do not recommend amplified antennas for simple installations.

We recommend hiring a professional antenna installer. Search in Yelp or Google for the term, “San Diego antenna installer.” They will charge a fair fee, but you’ll save money and heartache over the long-term by doing it right the first time.

If you want to do-it-yourself

Are you up for this? You’ll need an extension ladder, proper connector crimp tool, RG6 coax cable, coax “F” connectors, drill, 7/16” wrench, and oodles of patience.

1. Determine whether or not you are capable of receiving our signal. Go to TVFool.com and enter your complete address. You’ll receive a complicated table, listing TV stations you should be able to pick up at your location.

2. If you see KFMB-TV listed in the green or yellow portions of your chart, you’re in luck. If in the red portion, you’re going to have to use a very high gain antenna.

3. Buy a recommended antenna:

  • For strong signal locations like University City, Clairemont, Pacific Beach, Linda Vista, University Heights, Hillcrest, and North Park, you can use a single antenna like the Channel Master CM2016 or CM-3000HD, or Winegard FV-30BB.
  • For medium signal locations like Mira Mesa, Tierrasanta, San Diego east of I-15, La Mesa, National City, Chula Vista, we recommend using two antennas. Buy a simple UHF antenna like the Channel Master CM4221HD or Stellar Labs 30-2420 and a VHF antenna like the Stellar Labs 30-2475. You’ll also need a special UHF/VHF combiner.
  • For long distance locations like all cities in North San Diego County or high locations east of El Cajon, we recommend using either a large all-in-one antenna like the Winegard HD7694P or Xtreme Signal HD8200XL. If you really want to do it right, get separate antennas and combine them. For UHF, the absolute best is the 91XG. For  VHF, buy the Stellar Labs 30-2476. You’ll also need a special UHF/VHF combiner.

4. Install your antenna on a mast and attach to your chimney or other support structure. Avoid power lines and follow good safety practices if using a ladder. A chimney strap is a good way to go, provided you follow the installation instructions carefully and don’t overload it.

5. Aim the UHF or combination antenna at a location between Mt. San Miguel and Tijuana so that you can receive signals from both locations. Aim the VHF antenna toward Mt. Soledad (La Jolla).

6. If you have both a VHF antenna and UHF antenna, you’ll need a special UHF/VHF combiner.

Do not use a normal splitter/combiner for this purpose. You will need to attach a short line from your VHF (wider) antenna to the VHF port on the combiner, and a short line from the UHF antenna to the UHF port on the combiner. From the output port on the combiner, you run a line to your TV sets indoors.

Image below: The ultimate antenna combination for San Diego County TV

UHF VHF Antenna

Questions? Send a message to dtv@kfmb.com.

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