How can I watch WMC Action News 5 with an antenna?

How can I watch WMC Action News 5 with an antenna?

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - How do I get reception of WMC Action News 5? If you live within about 17 miles of our transmitter location, then you should be able to use an indoor antenna to get reliable reception. You will need an antenna that has a long set of rods, commonly referred to as "rabbit ears."

WMC Action News 5 broadcasts just off of Crestview Lane, very near the auto dealerships on Covington Pike. Refer to the picture below on how to align the antenna properly. It should be placed perpendicular or at a right angle to our transmitter. But, as with all antenna installations, trying different alignments is always best.

Please see this map (also pictured below) and reference the circle on the map to see if you live within or outside of indoor antenna reception. The circle is an approximation and folks just inside of the circle may need an attic or outside antenna, simply because of the local terrain or construction of the building they are in.

Please click on this map link to see the 17-mile circle.

If you live outside of the circle or more than 17 miles from our transmitter, then an attic or outdoor antenna will most likely be needed.

We have been using Solid Signal as a great resource for installation and antenna selection help. If you contact them via the website ( or via phone at 866-374-4625, they can help you select the right antenna and help with installation instructions.

The pricing on Solid Signal’s website has always been very good, but we encourage you to shop around and compare prices. For most people who live within about 40 miles of our transmitter site, we have been recommending a Channel Master antenna model #CM3016. The antenna is available on Amazon for about $100 and can be found on other sites by googling Channel Master 3016. Prices vary.

Please click on this map link to see the 40-mile circle.

Antennas that do not work include amplified antennas, meaning they plug into an AC outlet to get power. These type antennas will amplify the electrical noise in your home and cause interference with proper VHF reception.

In addition, antennas with "fine tuning" knobs also can be very tricky to setup for proper reception of WMC5. Depending on what position the knob is in, it has the potential to completely block the entire WMC5 signal.

The simple rabbit ear style antenna with a set of rods that extend out close to a 6' total length will work the best. The rods also need to be able to go completely horizontal for best reception. Think of the rods the way you think of wings on an airplane. There are a lot of antennas, which are simple rabbit ears, but they will not go horizontal, so they may not properly receive VHF signals.

Placement and configuration of the antenna is very important. Assuming you have one of the GE antennas mentioned above, once you connect the antenna to your converter box or digital TV you need to do the following:

1. Fully extend the telescoping rods, and place the rods horizontally, in opposite directions from one another.

2. Rotate the antenna to be perpendicular to the broadcast tower.

3. Re-scan your converter box or digital TV, and the WMC Action News 5 signal should be found and saved along with all the broadcast channels in our area.


Why can't my old rabbit-ear antenna work well, or at all?

Some will! If your antenna's rods extend to span about 72 inches, can be adjusted to be horizontal (parallel to the floor), and does not have any kind of switch or adjustment knob on the base, try orienting the antenna as described above and re-scan. If the signal is found and is reliable, you're done!

I am using the GE antenna. Why am I not getting reliable reception?

Many things can affect digital television reception, regardless of how good your antenna. Is there a fluorescent light in the room? Do you have large, old trees around your house? Does your home or office have a metal roof or steel in the walls? Virtually anything metal can affect television reception, as can the position of your body near your antenna. Viewers who live in a home with aluminum siding will almost certainly require an outdoor antenna, no matter how close their home may be to the tower. We have seen cases where even aluminum window blinds have completely blocked the signal, but raising those blinds allowed the TV to work.

Avoid putting your antenna directly on top of the converter box or TV, or near any electrical appliance or electronic accessory, such as video recorders, computers, or similar items. These can generate electronic 'noise' which can severely disrupt digital TV signals.

Even though you may seem to have nothing nearby which might affect your reception, sometimes moving the antenna a few feet (especially raising it well above the floor) can dramatically improve reception. The connecting lead on the GE antenna is approximately 4 feet long; you may want to purchase a small extension of RG-6 coaxial cable and a connector (readily available at Home Depot, Lowes, and Radio Shack) to allow easier placement. Don forget to re-scan your converter or digital TV whenever you move your antenna!

I don't live within that 17-mile radius (or, my indoor antenna doesn't work). What can I do?

Although indoor antennas can work farther than 17 miles from the broadcast tower, we recommend using an outdoor antenna. Generally, for viewers who live out to approximately 35 miles, we recommend the Channel Master CM 3010. This is also the antenna we recommend for those who live within the 17-mile radius but have circumstances that dictate using an outdoor antenna.

For viewers within about 45 miles, but beyond 35, we recommend the Channel Master CM 3016. Both of these antennas work best mounted on masts or towers, and should be connected with RG-6 coaxial downleads.

While installation of outdoor antennas is not difficult, many issues should be examined. How high does the antenna need to be? What about wind and lightning? If you are not comfortable with, or knowledgeable about, such work, please consult a qualified installation professional. We recommend checking with local home centers or satellite companies.

Where do I find these antennas and other materials?

In addition to your local Home Depot, we have referred many our viewers to Solid Signal in Novi, MI (toll-free 877.312.4547; for the Channel Master antennas. Solid Signal has helped many of our viewers (especially those at significant distances) select proper antennas, mounts, splitters, and amplifiers, and they also provided detailed setup assistance. Although we have found Solid Signal's prices to be exceptional, we encourage you to comparison shop.

Any other resources I should know about?

Our transmitter tower is located at 35.169167 N, -89.886111 W. You should place rabbit-ear antennas perpendicular to the tower and point outdoor antennas toward the tower.

Here are several websites you may find useful:

We welcome your questions! Write to us at WMC5 by clicking here.