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A TV Geeks Guide to choosing the best Antenna for your television

TV – we can’t get enough of it. We love having hundreds of channels to flick through, shows of every genre that we can watch in every room of the house, on TVs of all sizes, at any time of the night and day. But are you getting the very best out of your television?

Many people pay extra to enjoy cable or satellite channels, but do you know that with the right antenna you could be enjoying extra channels for free. Some people are even opting to buy a HDTV antenna which then allows them to reduce or even lose expensive monthly subscriptions to specialist channels. A good antenna can also help improve both the reception and picture on your current channels.  

This is an important topic so keep reading for details on how to choose the best possible antenna for your particular television set up.

Types of TV antenna – a brief overview

There are two types of antenna – indoor and outdoor. These are split into categories, with both indoor and outdoor versions of the following being available:

  • Directional VHF & UHF
  • Multi-directional UHF
  • Multi-directional VHF & UHF
  • Omni-directional

With each type of antenna performing in different ways – your task is to figure out which is best for your needs.

How to choose the best TV antenna

You need to think about the following things before making a decision:

The location of TV station’s transmitter

The quality of reception you can expect from a TV antenna depends heavily on how far you are located from the TV station of choice’s transmitter, along with the direction, power and height of the transmitter.

Those living quite close to the transmitter and without any major obstacles blocking the way could probably find a small indoor antenna does the job perfectly well, but those who are not so close could be looking at some kind of HD antenna in order to get a decent signal.

VHF or UHF?

Digital TV signals use two frequencies to broadcast; VHF, which mean very high frequency, and UHF, which stands for ultra high frequency. Which you choose can be due to which channels you want to catch, but it makes sense to just get a dual purpose version so you can enjoy the flexibility. The difference between UHF and VHF antennas is mainly size. VHF antenna are larger as the frequencies used produce longer waves.

Indoor or outdoor antennas?

Indoor versions are obviously lightweight and easy to move around, and generally easy to work with. They can be positioned on top of the TV set or higher – say on a  shelf. For more details and suggestions check out Serif TV reviews the best outdoor tv antennas.

Amplified or non-amplified antennas?

Amplifiers can help boost reception, and nowadays they are built in to most indoor antenna as standard. However, you can also buy an RF distribution amplifier which is separate and you need to install somewhere between the TV and the antenna. FYI outdoor antennas tend to use a preamp (preamplifier) instead.

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