July 18, 2008
You can receive many television stations by using a good, old-fashioned antenna. In most cases, the signals will be in high definition. Best of all, after the installation, there are no reoccuring costs.
If you have an antenna, you might try making some adjustments to your current setup. These adjustments include moving the antenna to face the broadcast tower, adding a signal booster and raising the antenna. If you have an older antenna, replacing the cable between the antenna and your TV may also help. Also, check the antenna and make sure it does not have antenna elements that are broken off or missing. The short elements receive UHF channels and longer receive VHF channels. In the wind, the first to break will be the long elements.
Remember, to receive both VHF and UHF stations you need an antenna that will pick up both signals. Many of the so-called indoor “digital” antenna’s that were sold with television sets, will only receive UHF signals. You need the rabbit ears and the circle/square type antenna to receive both VHF and UHF signals. The “rabbit ears” should be about 12 to 15 inches wide, do not lay them flat. The “face” of the ears should face the television broadcast tower – do not point the ears toward the tower.
If you live close to our broadcast tower - a normal, inexpensive antenna may do the trick. As you get further away, you'll need larger, stronger, more directional antennas. Directional antennas concentrate on one specific direction instead of pulling the signal in from all angles.
The Consumer Electronics Association has a color-coded chart to help you select the best outdoor antenna for your area and the stations you wish to receive. Click here: http://www.antennaweb.org/aw/welcome.aspx
These days, just about all antennas say they're "digital". But, there is no such thing as a "digital" antenna. While DTV signals may be different, they are still transmitted over the air in much the same fashion. There's no need to pay more for an antenna just because it says "digital" on the box.
When you get your new antenna home, be sure to follow the installation instructions properly, simple mistakes can mean the difference between having a great digital picture and getting nothing at all. If you need to get cables to hook up the antenna, invest in the ones that are mid-range in both quality and price. These cables typically work better and last longer than the cheap ones. High-dollar cables may provide better performance, but the increase likely won't be enough to justify the price.
At this link, there is a lot of information about the advantages of over-the-air reception and the use of antennas, click here: http://www.crutchfield.com/S-cHjvJkl44pq/learn/learningcenter/home/antenna.html
Here is some information about the kinds of antenna you can buy: http://www.antennaweb.org/aw/info.aspx?page=more_info
Here is a link to some other useful articles about using an antenna:: http://www.antennaweb.org/aw/info.aspx?page=links
Remember, a proper “full-size” non-amplified antenna mounted in the attic or outdoors will always outperform best indoor set-top. Free, over-the-air high definition signals, in many cases, look better than signals from a cable or satellite provider.
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