ATSC 3.0, Antenna, And HDHomeRun

Like several have noticed, our local NBC affiliate (Chicago, WMAQ) has moved to the streaming with DRM. As such, I've looked to explore options with an antenna and HDHomeRun or alternate.

Any recommendations or pointers to the best setup? Would an Indoor antenna be perfectly sufficient or is it substantially better to get an outdoor antenna? Any suggestions on product?

Also it looks like the recommendations on HDHomeRun on the Channels FAQ are dated. I see their Flex 4K model that is out now. I also see ZapperBox M1 and curious if that works with Channels?


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You can go here and check the reception in your area ... each area is different.

There are a ton of variables regarding antenna selection. First go to and put in your address and see what the recommendations are.

Regarding which receiver to buy. Channels supports HD Homerun so that is the recommended choice.


Stay with ATSC 1.0 for the next year or so.

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I think is more informative than If you post your report for your site on here, you’d get better-informed tips regarding location and type of antenna.

I don't have any antenna/HDHomeRun (I'm using Xfinity streaming only right now) and wanted to futureproof a bit (both ATSC 3.0 and ATSC 1.0, which seems to be backward compatible AFAIK)

The Flex 4K provides 4 tuners 2 can be used for ATSC 3.0 and all 4 tuners can be used for ATSC1. returned the same number of channels when I selected antenna will be 30' off the ground or deselected.

Here are the results from RabbitEars.Info

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No that doesn't work with Channels. Use an HD HomeRun.

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Antenna web will tell you the class of antenna you should get but in any case I would say an indoor antenna is probably not going to work. You might be able to do an attic antenna though.

This is a good resource for you.

Antenna man offers $40 consulting to help you pick the best antenna based on his experience. He also offers help if you run into trouble. I would have done this myself but I can see my towers from my attic window and my signal is so strong I have to attenuate it.

I agree an indoor antenna probably wont cut the cheese. It looks like you will need an antenna that does UHF and Hi-VHF frequencies (AKA Mixed). You don't need Low-VHF as there is no station running under 7. Due to the fair strength probably going to need a medium size antenna. A small one will not do it. The one thing you got going for you is that the towers seem to be in the same direction which is nice.

If your stations offer ATSC 3.0, your reception could be much better than 1.0. The signal travels further and not subject to interference.

I think Chicago might happen later this year. But I don't think any firm date has been set.

Thanks, I have reached out. Would also be looking for an installer if going to roof.

It would be cool if he had people in your area to recommend. Let us know how it works out.

I chuckled. :poop:


So we can still watch and record NBC with the older HD Homerun models?

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Just to give an update from my end, I ended up ordering a Sky Blue SB22 antenna which captures both High VHF and UHF frequencies (there are a couple Low VHF here in Chicago that seem to be foreign channels not relevant for myself anyway). It actually picked up 98 channels and using the HDHomeRun Flex 4K.

I have to clean up the guide but the one feature I do not see is to comingle naming conventions between antenna and other service providers. In other words, on Xfinity and SlingTV they are mapped to Ch 6xxx. The antenna sourced channels are routing to their virtual channel (2.1, 5.1, etc..). I would like to have them mapped to Ch 6xxx to keep the same naming convention. Unless this IS possible and I'm just missing how?

I don't think that is possible due to the lower channels represent over the air and the 6000 plus channels representing TVE and or apps. I can't remember if the OVA channels are auto mapped. If you were allowed to change those then it would break that feature too. I do understand why you would want to replace the OVA channel with the now defuncted TVE channel.