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The latest Tablo news along with tips to maximize your free TV experience. 

Where You Live Impacts Your OTA HDTV Reception – OTA HDTV Blog 2


A key factor in understanding whether OTA TV is for you is discovering the location of local broadcast towers. Free Over-The-Air (OTA) HDTV is distributed by local broadcasters via radio waves from massive broadcast transmitter towers. These towers are located in most major cities and towns across North America. The closer you live to these towers, the better your OTA HDTV reception will be.

Tablo Broadcast Towers

Tower Proximity: 

OTA TV radio signals from towers work via the concept of line-of-sight. This means ideal HDTV reception occurs when your home HDTV antenna can ‘see’ the TV tower in a direct line, with no obstructions.

As you get further away from towers, the curvature of the earth actually blocks the signal from towers, which is why ideal reception areas are between zero and 35 miles away. Depending on your antenna equipment, placement and other factors though, you may be able to receive signals from towers further afield.

Channel Selection and Location:

The selection of channels you receive depends on whether or not a broadcaster in your area distributes the signal for that channel in your area.

For example, in California’s San Francisco Bay Area you could receive over 100 stations, whereas if you live in the middle of the Nevada desert, near the famed Area 51, you’ll be more likely to find an alien than an OTA signal.

Those living in urban areas near the US/Canada border, like in Detroit, are likely to receive signals from both countries, providing a much larger channel selection for increased cord cutting delight.

In most cities you’ll be able to receive signals from the main national broadcasters (in the US that would be NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox and in Canada it’s CBC, CTV, CITYTV and Global). To find out exactly what OTA channels are available in your area, check out our TV channel locator service.

In the next post in this series, we’ll talk about how obstructions can impact your OTA reception, even in areas near broadcast towers.

*** See an updated version of this post ***

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How to restart your phone/tablet

Sometimes, just restarting your smartphone or tablet can clear up issues with apps. The links below will provide detailed instructions on how to force close your Tablo app. 

Apple iPhone

Android smartphones 

Most Android smartphones and tablets can be restarted by holding the POWER button and then selecting RESTART or POWER OFF and RESTART from the POWER OPTIONS menu.

NOTE: Newer Samsung devices require you to hold the POWER/SIDE button and VOLUME DOWN to make the POWER OPTIONS menu appear. On the Google Pixel 6, hold the POWER and VOLUME UP buttons.

How to force close your Tablo app?

Sometimes, just restarting the app can fix things. The links below will provide detailed instructions on how to force close your Tablo app. 

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( over-the-air channels and streaming channels )

This is an estimate only. Actual broadcast TV channels received may vary based on TV antenna location, reception, topography, and other obstructions. Streaming channels require an internet connection. View the Channel Details Report for specifics of each channel and to help determine what antenna is needed. 

Reception alert:  Based upon the location you entered, you may not get many of the major networks.  As a result, Tablo may not be the best fit for you.  Please enter your full address above for best accuracy. 

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