You might want to watch this 8-minute video created by the Consumer Electronics Association
Charleston/Bluefield Area HDTV Channels
Station Channel RF Channel Network
To find the perfect antenna, first list the RF Channels around Charleston which you want to watch. The CEA, Consumer Electronics Association, and NAB, National Association of Broadcasters, created the AntennaWeb to help you with the rest. Free! An example of how it works is presented below.
NOTE that all TV stations are transmitting on different channels now. To avoid confusion, however, the new tuners and converter boxes allow a station to keep its old channel number while automatically switching you to its new RF Channel. Some of the new RF Channels are VHF but most are UHF.
RF Channels on your list numbered less than 14 are VHF. They need a broader antenna than UHF channels; the ones numbered 14 and up. Since HDTV is 91% UHF, you probably won't need to use a broad antenna.
Most can use an indoor antenna. They work just fine with older TVs using a converter box, and with all new TVs. You'll need an outdoor antenna if you're more than 15 miles from transmission towers, but most towers are located very near town and are powerful enough to reach you.
We'll use a site near Tampa, Florida
Select AntennaWeb.org then ENTER:
11565 66th Ave, Seminole FL 33772
A Map appears, press Continue. Next a Channel List appears, press "Show Digital Stations Only," and this list appears. The strongest stations are at the top. Record the RF channels, with colors, you like. You'll need both for the Antenna Charts.
Cross-checking this List with Tampa's RF Channel List reveals a shortage of stations here, and WTSP is not on RF Channel 10, etc. If you have any doubts check with TVFool.com for another List, as below.
A Color Code represents an antenna's reception strength. Within 15 miles of stations an indoor antenna can be used (in the Yellow, Green and Light Green Zones). Farther away you'll need an outdoor antenna. Our Example calls for antenna types red, blue and violet. If we plan to use one antenna it would need to be a violet type to cover the others. Furthermore, two of our desirable RF channels are VHF, needing broader VHF antennas.
WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU HIRE A PROFESSIONAL
FOR ALL ANTENNA WORK OUTSIDE YOUR HOME.
THIS DATA IS PROVIDED TO KEEP THEM HONEST!
A Small Directional UHF Antenna pointed 10° lead spliced into
A Large Directional UHF/VHF Antenna pointed between 92-95°
Or one Large Directional UHF/VHF Antenna with a rotor for pointing.
Having done the Example ENTER YOUR West Virginia address or zip code