Broadcast Area Map
To locate your broadcast area, enter your zip code in the search box. Select the station icon nearest you for a list of local channels.
Free Over-the-Air Broadcast
MontanaPBS broadcasts up to five digital TV channels for viewers with an antenna connected to a digital-ready television. Refer to the solid and dotted green circles on the coverage map to determine if a local MontanaPBS broadcast signal may be available in your community. Montana’s rugged terrain, with mountains and valleys, can make for challenging TV reception. A clear line of sight from your home to the local TV transmission tower is generally required for a TV signal to be viewable. In some instances, VHF signals will pass over terrain even if you can’t see the broadcast tower and if you install a large or amplified antenna. UHF channels require line-of-sight over terrain, but are better at passing through buildings in more urbanized areas. In many Montana communities, you will find both VHF and UHF channels.To learn more about the local TV signals in your community, visit the TV Fool website, which includes an Interactive TV Coverage Browser into which you can enter your physical address to determine the broadcast coverage at your home and the antenna installation necessary to a receive a signal. In general, viewers should select an antenna that will receive both VHF and UHF signals. An indoor or outdoor antenna may be used, depending on the distance to the local transmission tower and the local topography.Each viewer’s unique location will dictate the type of antenna (indoor vs. outdoor), the size of antenna, omni or directional, and any signal amplification necessary to receive a good picture. AntennaWeb is online resource that can help you identify the right antenna for your area. Antennas should be placed in the highest location possible in or on your home. An attic space can often work well. If it is a directional antenna, aim it towards the local TV transmission tower.There are many TV antenna manufacturers, and you can find their products in local hardware, electronics and big box stores. AntennaWeb also has a list, with links, of antennas you can order online. It may take some experimentation, including rescans on your TV, to determine the ideal configuration to receive all local channels. Remember that outdoor antennas must be kept away from power lines and should be grounded in the event of lighting.
Recent Signal Changes and/or Known Issues
Bozeman and Gallatin Valley
- In May 2020, KUSM-TV/MontanaPBS relocated our local 9.1 – 9.5 channels to a new transmission site west of Bozeman. This move was required of all local TV and radio broadcasters. As of June 1, 2020 the local channels for ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and MontanaPBS are broadcasting from this new location, on a large hill to southwest of Four Corners, called High Flat. While the vast majority of TV viewers around the Gallatin Valley will not need to do anything to continue receiving MontanaPBS channels, some viewers who have previously had their antennas aimed towards Green Mountain, to the east of Bozeman, will likely need to reorient their antennas toward Four Corners. After June 1, 2020, all TV and radio transmissions from Green Mountain will cease, and we recommend all TV viewer antennas in the Gallatin Valley be reoriented towards Four Corners.
- We are sorry for this inconvenience to our viewers and members, but circumstances outside our control have necessitated this change, which is affecting all local television stations in the Gallatin Valley. Some TV viewers on the east side of the Gallatin Valley and in certain Bozeman neighborhoods have found that their existing indoor or small antennas no longer receive local TV channels, even after reorienting towards Four Corners.
- It will be necessary for these viewers to upgrade their antenna installation, which may include one or more of the following: moving an existing antenna to a higher location, purchasing a larger and/or amplified antenna, or possibly installing an outdoor antenna. Please see the Free Over-the-Air Broadcast summary above to learn more about the online resources that are available to assist you in the best antenna solution for your specific location.We recognize that this transition is disruptive for some viewers in the region, but our new MontanaPBS VHF transmitter is operating at a much higher power than before and we are doing everything possible to make our signal available to viewers. In addition to the new high power VHF transmitter near Four Corners, MontanaPBS operates a UHF translator on the same site, channel 17, which might work better for some viewers, depending on your location.
- When you scan for channels on your TV, you may pick up both our VHF channel 8 (virtual 9.1-9.5) and our UHF channel 17 (virtual 9.1-9.5). In this case, you should be able to select the strongest signal for your location and ‘hide’ the duplicate channels. We are confident that when viewers invest in the time and effort to improve their home antenna installation, they will benefit by receiving the many free TV channels available in the Gallatin valley. Finally, remember that every time you adjust your antenna it will be necessary to perform the rescan function on your TV to discover all local channels.
Livingston, Paradise and Shields River Valleys
- MontanaPBS viewers in these communities may be experiencing a temporary loss of signal due to the transmitter changes described above in the Gallatin Valley. MontanaPBS is in the process of installing a new on-channel distributed transmitter near Bozeman pass to feed the Livingston TV translator, which in turn serves that community, the Shields River Valley as well as translators down the Paradise Valley. Our engineers are working hard to complete this installation and restore service as soon as possible.
Kalispell and the Flathead Valley
- The over-the-air transmission facility in this community is operating at reduced power while equipment is repaired or replaced. This temporary, low power, status may adversely affect some viewer’s signal reception in parts of the Flathead. We apologize for this technical issue, which our engineers are addressing as quickly as possible.
MontanaPBS Channels Available:
- MontanaPBS - Montana's most widely available public television programming available with PBS national and local programming. High Definition programming available.
- MontanaPBS Kids - Educational programming geared to kids and to parents with kids.
- MontanaPBS Create - Public Television's top shows in Cooking, Arts, and Crafts.
- MontanaPBS World - Unexpected stories: video, audio, documentaries, commentary, public TV, etc.
- Montana State Capitol Coverage - Montana Public Affairs Network (MPAN) is a state government broadcasting service that provides unedited, gavel-to-gavel coverage of Montana's legislative proceedings.
Tools to Help with Receiving MontanaPBS Channels:
- TV Fool - Free website tool for checking your location for free OTA (Over the Air) TV.
Main TV Fool Website. Use TV Fool to interactively find what TV signals are available for your location.
- Free Over the Air Satellite - If you have a large satellite dish and a DVB-S2 tuner, you can get MontanaPBS.
- Satellite: AMC-21, Ku Band (125 deg W)
Downlink Frequency: 11916.5 MHz
Symbol Rate: 2.398 MS/s
Forward Error Correction (FEC): 2/3
- Information on Free TV from Satellite
- Satellite: AMC-21, Ku Band (125 deg W)