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             29 October, 2020

Category:  Articles » Home Management » Home Audio - Video


Off-air Indoor HDTV Antennas

         Views: 1401
2006-08-13 19:55:11     
Article by Eric Gov

More and more individuals outfit their homes with high definition TVs. Many of them subscribe for a paid HDTV programming delivered by their cables or satellite television provider. Due to cables and satellite TV bandwidth limitations very strong video compression is often used and, as a result, the video quality is degraded. Surprisingly, an alternative option of over the air (OTA) HDTV broadcasts reception is not only free of charge, but also frequently offers better video quality. OTA HDTV broadcasts can be received with a simple off-air TV antenna.

Which HDTV antenna to choose? Most of all it depends on the area you live in. Depending on the broadcasts available in your location and a distance from the transmitting towers, you will have to decide on the frequency band you need, antenna directivity, amplification and placement.

In most cases an outdoor antenna is the way to go. Indoor antenna reception quality is always inferior to the quality obtained with an outdoor antenna, especially in remote areas. However, of you live in a HD signal saturated area in the immediate proximity to the towers, then an indoor HDTV antenna may work great for you.

There are many reasons for using indoors antennas, most of which have to do with the inability of installing an outdoor television antenna. Indoor HDTV antennas are especially popular with individuals living in apartments. Your home may simply not have the space to mount an outdoor antenna, and there are several indoor models that serve as space savers while providing you with reception.

Another reason for indoor television antenna selection has to do with aesthetics. Some neighborhoods forbid installation of outdoor rooftop antennas. In principle, according to FCC regulations you have the right to install a rooftop antenna and nobody can stop you from doing this.

Indoor television antennas are also encouraged for anyone who may not feel comfortable with accessing their roof and installing the actual antenna. Furthermore, indoor antennas do not take the environmental punishments that outdoor antennas take, so the indoor versions generally last longer.

The main disadvantage of an indoor HDTV antenna is of course the reception quality. For an indoor antenna the line of sight is almost always blocked and the incoming wall-bounced signals are weak. Physical location with respect to the broadcasting towers is the key to success. The impact of construction materials of your house is also significant. The less metal is there, the better.

Although the reception quality of outdoor antennas is usually far superior to that of the indoor antennas, the other factors - including size, cost, ease of installation, and appearance - may be the deciding factor in your choice between the two.

Audiovox, RCA, Samsung these are just a few of many indoor HDTV antenna manufacturers. All of them offer similar products. For VHF TV channels 2 to 13 all you have is the well known rabbit ears antenna. Anything more sophisticated than that in VHF band would be simply too large to place indoors. UHF antennas are smaller and a consumer has many antenna types to choose from. The most basic (and poorly performing) is the UHF loop antenna. More sophisticated UHF antenna types are directional log-periodic and scatter plane antennas.

There are numerous pros and cons with the particular antenna types and brands, so be sure to research a specific model before you buy. Consider looking at customer reviews, to see how owners of the model in question rate the antenna in a variety of arenas.

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