A digital TV antenna will play a crucial role in getting a good reception of digital TV programming. Still, few homeowners are investing in digital TV antenna installation. Oftentimes, they get confused with the different antenna solutions.
Many people are ready to spend thousands of dollars on a widescreen television but are unwilling to spend on proper antenna installation. They do not know that the cost involved when setting up the correct TV antenna installation is nothing compared to the average cost of a large television.
Remember that a good digital TV antenna can either make or break the images on your TV because it gives you that extra decoding margin to remain above the digital cliff. This further means that it can provide a clearer sound and picture than its analog counterpart.
Here are eight other things you must know about today’s digital TV antennas
1. What you need to receive OTA digital broadcast
- A TV with a digital tuner
- A digital antenna that is suitable for your specific location
- Knowledge of where the broadcast tower is located in your area. This is important because the antenna must be pointed towards this location.
2. Free local channels
Satellite and cable service providers don’t carry all the channels that are available in your area. But most broadcast stations offer regional programming at no extra cost.
Due to the fact that broadcast networks are paid by advertisers, you don’t have to pay for the content you receive from satellite or cable. All the local weather, cooking shows, news, kids shows, movies, and sports programs are available free with a digital TV antenna.
3. Superior broadcast signals
To receive OTA or over-the-air television, you don’t have to pay for subscription fees. The sound and picture quality is also far superior. OTA broadcasts are also free from the signal compressions used by satellite and cable, thus giving you a high definition television experience.
4. Channels and sub-channels
Broadcast stations send out a signal on a frequency known as the channel. This frequency provides plenty of sub-channels that contain certain programming. For instance, a channel broadcast on Channel 6 will appear on your television as sub-channel group 6.1, 6.2, etc. Apart from its main service, every channel will broadcast extra programming on 1 to 4 sub-channels at the same time.
5. Digital TV antennas as a complement to satellite or cable
Adding a digital antenna to your television setup comes in handy when your satellite or cable suddenly blacks out. During bad weather or emergencies, receiving OTA signals will keep you well-informed – and this is the biggest advantage of installing a digital TV antenna. Just like a radio, the frequency is far more reliable and less susceptible to interruptions.
6. Buildings, trees and hills
The digital TV antenna is considered a “line of sight” signal. You will get better reception if the antenna is placed higher. Although signals can pass through surfaces like walls, the signal becomes weak and disrupted if the signal encounters physical obstructions.
If, for instance, trees are obstructing the signal, you will need to invest in professional pruning services to ensure you get good reception. Your digital TV antenna will perform at the highest level if it has the most unobstructed, clearest route to the broadcast towers.
7. No magic antenna
Antennas come in various sizes and shapes, each designed for a particular situation. Some are multidirectional with a wide range of capacities while others are directional or narrowly focused. As much as possible, opt for well-designed antennas because these are tuned for certain geographical challenges and frequency ranges.
8. Some fast facts
- Outdoor digital TV antenna installation is best, but it can also be installed in your attic or indoors.
- When the signal is split into two or more televisions, the signal strength is reduced. You might need to invest in an amplifier to compensate for such signal reduction.
- Digital TV antennas must be installed where there is a signal. Consider moving the antenna to various locations until you find the best signal. Remember that one end of the room or the roof can have better signal characteristics than the others.
Choosing the right digital TV antenna is not easy. This is why you must work with a digital TV installation expert and let them do the antenna installation for you. Experts know which antenna works best in your area, and where it should be installed to get the best signal so you get to enjoy that enormous TV.