Dozens of millions of TV sets in the US receive local channels via off-air
broadcasts. And this number is growing as more and more networks offer free of
charge HDTV broadcasts over the air. That's right, over the air HDTV is totally
free, get a decent off-air antenna and stop your HDTV programming subscription
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 general, outdoor antennas are recommended, especially if you live in an area
that may be remote in regards to broadcast. Keep in mind that indoor antennas
generally do not provide the same quality of reception as outdoor antennas.
However, if you live in an urban area or one that is greatly saturated with
broadcast towers, then an indoor TV antenna may work perfectly well.
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.
Many individuals choose to purchase an indoor TV antenna instead of its outdoor
counterpart for aesthetic reasons. Some housing developments and neighborhoods
have gone so far as to ban outdoor TV antennas, especially neighborhoods of
historical homes. For this reason, and indoor HDTV antenna still allows you all
the fantastic qualities of HDTV while not marring the physical look of your home
with an unsightly dish and antenna.
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.
Keep in mind that one of the main drawbacks of using an indoor HDTV antenna is
the quality of the reception. Many individuals find themselves disappointed with
the poor reception quality provided by indoor antennas, but the success mainly
depends on your physical location and the proximity of the broadcast towers.
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
There are many companies that produce indoor HDTV antennas, including Audiovox,
Phillips, and Samsung to name a few. In UHF frequency band the supply varies
from the cheapest loop antenna to more expensive and better performing
directional log periodic and scatter plane antennas. In VHF band the most common
and almost the only available indoor antenna is rabbit-ears. Directional VHF
antennas are just too big to be placed indoors.
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.