Browsing through our favourite channels on TV is something that many of us look forward to after a long hard day. With rapid advancements in technology, we have come a long way from the days of analogue TV with many of us switching over to digital TV. And when it comes to digital TV, installing a digital antenna is one of the best ways to enhance your TV viewing experience. Not only will you be able to access free-to-air channels, but you can also stay on top of watercooler gossip about the latest shows! If you are considering investing in digital antennas, read on to learn everything you need to know!
What Are Digital Antennas & How Do They Work?
A digital antenna is a device which is used to pick up electromagnetic signals sent out from local broadcast stations. Digital antennas work by transmitting these electromagnetic signals into data which will allow your TV to display the live broadcast. They use over-the-air (OTA) broadcasts as opposed to satellites or cables to pick up the signal. Since these OTA broadcasts are usually transmitted in an uncompressed 1080i format, the viewer will have access to the highest quality of picture and sound available for HDTV.
What Types Of Digital TV Antennas Are There?
It is important to understand that the size, make and method of installation of your antenna will impact your TV’s performance. The strength of the signal and the clarity of the picture is dependent on the type of antenna you have.
There are two main types of digital antennas. These include:
Indoor antennas are much easier to install, usually placed on top of TVs. However, this means that the signal quality may be lacking and more prone to interference. Indoor digital antennas are most suitable for places with access to good TV signals. In cases where there is no easy access, the antenna will work better if installed next to a window or at a higher location.
These more closely resemble traditional antennas and are installed outdoors, most commonly on the roof of a house or flat. Depending on your preference, you can either opt for a digital antenna that offers stronger signals and fewer channels, or one that provides a wider range of channels and a milder signal. However, it is important to know that outdoor digital antennas receive stronger signals when compared to their indoor counterparts.
What Are The Advantages Of Digital Antennas?
There are several other benefits to owning a digital antenna, namely:
- You get free access to a number of local channels, meaning that you will never go bored!
- A digital antenna improves reception tenfold and gives you great visual clarity with uncompressed HD.
- You get to save on monthly cable bills and the overall cost of digital antennas is far less when compared to standard aerial charges.
- Antennas provide constant access to TV channels and work well in areas where satellite and cable connections can weaken. For instance, in places prone to natural calamities such as cyclones or hurricanes.
Getting The Most Out Of Your Digital TV Antenna
If you will be investing in a digital antenna, then it is important to know how to get your money’s worth. Listed below are a few important things to keep in mind while purchasing a new digital antenna.
Get The Right TV Antenna For You
Digital antennas come in two forms: Ultra High Frequency and Very High Frequency. What you require will depend on which TV transmitter has the best signal in your area. Additionally, it is worth noting that digital antennas may come in different sizes, and some might receive signals better than others. The antenna gain further determines how good your reception will be. The higher the antenna gain, the better the signal quality and the stronger the signal power. If noise reduction is desired, you may wish to get an antenna with a 4G or 5G built-in filter.
Assess The Alignment Of TV Antenna
The way your antenna is installed has a direct effect on how your TV reception will be. An important factor to consider is the height at which your digital antenna will be installed. You will also need to consider the antenna alignment and, in case of an outdoor antenna, its placement on the roof. Thick trees or other buildings can act as a point of interference, so it is important to steer clear of them and opt for the highest point on your roof for better signal quality.
Consider A TV Antenna Booster
Depending on the number of TV outlets or your building’s height, you may sometimes need a TV antenna booster, regardless of whether you have a UHF or VHF antenna. TV antenna boosters help adjust signal power and amplify it when required. If you ever do get a TV antenna booster, you must exercise caution to ensure you never overload the signal.
Setting Up Your Antenna
Now that we have covered everything there is to know about digital antennas, let us go over how to get your antenna set up. There are some factors to consider when you are installing a TV antenna. These include:
Having The Right Tools
Professional TV antenna installers use tools and equipment to ensure excellent digital reception to all TV points. One of these elements includes the digital signal meter, which tells you the exact strength of signal for each TV channel at each TV point in the home. Unfortunately, this piece of equipment is quite expensive and not easily accessible to the average home installer.
Distance Between The TV & Antenna
Longer distances can significantly weaken digital TV signals. Ideally, a digital antenna must be placed within 20 metres of your TV. If the antenna needs to be positioned at a further distance than this, then it must be a stronger antenna that can lessen the possibility for signal loss. Alternatively, a signal booster may also help.
Placement Of The Antenna
Often, the best signals will be received when the antenna is directed at your nearest TV transmission station. Finding the correct angle and height at which your antenna must be placed can be quite tricky and if you do not get it right, you may suffer from frequent loss of signals.
The Bottom Line
Whilst it is entirely possible to install your own TV antenna, it is highly recommended to seek the services of a professional installer. This will not only ensure that you have a flawless antenna installation, but it will also save you loads of time and money overall. The use of professional signal meters alone will save you hours that you may spend in trying to find the signal and align the antenna to get the best possible reception on each TV channel. The valuable experience that professional installers possess means that they will have plenty of tips and tricks which will yield fantastic TV signals. Furthermore, a professional installer can guarantee your safety, as well as that of your household.
How Online Shop Can Help
If you are on the lookout for good-quality digital antennas, Online shops is to whom you should turn. They have a wide range of quality digital antennas and other electrical home fixtures, all in one place. With the best prices available on the market, we aim to satisfy all their customers and provide them with the best shopping experience there is. So, experience the best of digital TV with the right digital antenna for you.
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