By using a simple antenna, you can receive local over the air (OTA) TV broadcast that looks as good as cable or satellite. Also, OTA broadcasts need no subscription, they are free of cost! If you are residing near the TV transmitters serving your locality, a small Primecables indoor tv antenna is perfect for you. Read on for the tips on how to choose the best one for you.
Reasons to add an HDTV antenna
- Free OTA signals: Besides the costs of purchasing and installing an HD antenna, receiving OTA signals are absolutely free of cost!
- Local TV broadcasts are everywhere: Research which stations in your area are available at ease.
- Over-the-air TV signals provide excellent picture quality: Hundreds of channels are offered by cables and satellite providers. However, they also encourage data compression and other factors that might tamper with the picture quality.
VHF and UHF
Similar to analog signals, digital TV signals can also be broadcasted over two frequency ranges: VHF or Very High Frequency and UHF or Ultra High Frequency. The former channel range is 2-13: low band VHF is channels 2-6; high band VHF is channels 7-13. The UHF channel can range 14-51.
The distinction between UHF and VHF is the size. VHF frequencies are lower so the waves are longer which needs a larger antenna surface in order to receive them.
Indoor versus Outdoor Antenna
Indoor antennas are typically small in size, lightweight and easy to connect to your television set. Many people are prone to place this type of HA antenna on or near the TV for ease, you will get the best reception if you place it high on a wall or close to a window.
On the other hand, outdoor antennas are larger in size than its counterpart. They are intended for roof or attic-mounting. So, in other words, the larger the surface area of an HDTV antenna, the stronger the signal it will emit. The relative strength of the signal an antenna can provide to a tuner is deemed to be as ‘gain’ and is ascertained in dB or decibels. The higher the dB rating, the greater the gain. Almost every outdoor antenna will outperform even the best of its counterparts. Additionally, apart from their size disadvantage, indoor antennas also have a height disadvantage. They are also prone to be affected by the walls of a house and even by the movement of people in the room. Other sources of household interference comprise fluorescent lights and computers.
Amplified versus Non-amplified Antenna
In order to overcome these disadvantages of size and height or maybe improving the reception is simply by amplifying the signal. The amplifier comes as a built-in, as it is in various indoor antennas, or it can also be a separate device which is termed as RF distribution amplifier, that installs in-line between the antenna and TV.
An amplifier which is installed on an outdoor HD antenna or a mast is referred to as a preamplifier or a preamp. Experts suggest only using an amplifier when it is required. The prospective drawbacks of amplifiers are that they can also amplify the noise along with the signal and they can be overdriven by strong signals which only makes the reception worse.