Choosing an Antenna for HDTV that Will Work
The Rise of DTV
As we all know the US has recently transitioned to DTV. This transition has allowed stations to offer better picture quality and to enhance audio with surround sound. The DTV transition has also allowed broadcasters to offer multiple digital programs so they can now offer more programs simultaneously.
The DTV revolution has also made it so that TV Antennas can provide better picture quality and receive HD channels. With this new option many people have hopped on board the TV antenna train and cut the cable cord. The problem is that when going to the store, buying a TV antenna can be a bit confusing. I hope I can clear up some of this confusion with a quick buyers guide.
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What You Need
- Firstly, if you have an older TV you may need to purchase a converter box. If you have a TV that has been made in the past 5 years you should be okay.
- Secondly you will need a coaxial cable.
- Lastly, if you’re installing an outdoor TV antenna you will need materials to mount it.
Things to Consider When Choosing a TV Antenna
- How far do you live from a signal? To determine how far your signal is you can use a signal map that can be found here.
Do you live in an Urban or rural setting? If you live in an urban area you will find that homes and tall buildings can affect your TV antenna’s signal.
Outdoor or Indoor TV Antenna
An indoor TV antenna is the easiest to install and is ideal for those who live within 25 miles of a signal. They indoor type works great for urban environments and they work perfectly for homes that have a strong signal with little interference from trees and buildings.
You’ll probably need an outdoor TV antenna if you live more than 25 miles from the closest signal. In general, if you live this far from a signal you likely live in a rural environment where installing an outdoor TV antenna is allowed. The outdoor type is also a good choice if you have a lot of obstacles that interfere with your signal.
Directional or Multi-Directional TV Antenna
Directional TV antennas are ideal for people who live further than 25 miles from their nearest tower. They allow you to get a cleaner signal, because you can point them directly at the tower. However, it’s important that you make sure all your signals come from the same direction when buying this type
Multi-directional TV antennas are great if you live within a 25 mile radius of your tower. If you have towers that are in opposite directions of each other you’ll want to get the multi-directional type so you can receive a signal from both directions.
Amplified or Non-Amplified TV Antenna
If you live further than 25 miles from your closest tower an amplified antenna will help you gather weaker signals from further away. The amplified type is also good if you have a lot of obstacles like buildings and trees. Amplified antennas are more expensive, so if you’re on a budget you may want to avoid them.
Non-amplified antennas are a good option if you live close to a strong signal without obstacles. In general they are a better option, but if you’re on a budget a non-amplified antenna will work just fine.
Hopefully this antenna buying guide has helped you choose which antenna will work best for your situation. Remember all antennas can be divided up in the following ways:
- Outdoor and Indoor
- Directional and Multi-Directional
- Non-Amplified and Amplified