What kind of antenna for HDTV?
Megan writes: My husband and I are finally prepared abandon cable and go back to no-cost television throughout the airwaves. Will the 30-year-old antenna up on our roof utilize our HDTV, or do we need to update to an HD antenna?
Hi Megan! Great question, and perfect timing. My family and I only cancelled our satellite tv service also (our cable services bill held creeping up and up), and from now on we’re getting our broadcast TV the old-school means: on the atmosphere.
And indeed, I did head out and get a television antenna just for the occasion, you may be a little astonished in what I got.
In place of spending an arm and a knee on a fancy “HD-ready” antenna, We found a $9 couple of broadcast Shack rabbit ears.
We plunked the one thing in back of my 46-inch Sony HDTV, plugged it in, and presto: there were NBC, CBS, and Fox, all-in crystal-clear HD. (ABC took a little fiddling using the antenna, but i acquired a definite sign eventually.)
Put differently, any good “over-the-air” antenna is perfectly capable of getting HD signals, although the old television reception principles nevertheless use.
For instance, an internal antenna will probably only work if you’re within 10 kilometers of neighborhood television transmission towers; any more away, and you’ll most likely need a roof antenna. (I live on the second floor of a Brooklyn brownstone, just a few kilometers from TV transmission towers regarding the Empire State Building, which explains why an affordable interior antenna struggled to obtain me personally.)
You’ll also need to keep an eye on trees, tall buildings, deep valleys, and other neighborhood topography that'll play havoc together with your HD reception.
Last but most certainly not least, over-the-air HD signals tend to be pretty finicky. With analog TV, you can nevertheless get a picture with a weak signal, albeit one marred by fixed or faint double-images, a.k.a. “ghosting.” With over-the-air HD transmissions, you’ll either get a perfect picture or nothing at all.
Require assistance? Visit AntennaWeb.org and plug your road address .
Your website will reveal all nearby TV programs, along with a color-coded chart regarding the variety of antenna you’ll need to get a great signal—anything from a small “multi-directional” antenna to a sizable “directional” model. The chart also inform you the direction where your antenna should deal with for just about any provided television section.