Is a TV Antenna Right for You? The Ultimate Guide

Do you think Philo Farnsworth, the inventor of television, ever imagined that television would go from antenna to cable to satellite to digital and then back to an antenna?

If you are considering breaking up with cable, you’ll want to have the best tv antenna to pick up channels over the air.

Have you looked at tv antenna reviews? Consumer Reports tv antennas review can help, but there are many factors that impact how an antenna will work for you.

If you are thinking about having a new tv antenna installed, learn how to decide which one is right for you and your home.

Thinking About a TV Antenna?

As of last August, 20% of households were using antennae to watch television. Are you jumping on that bandwagon?

Factors to Consider

  • where you live
  • what channels are available in your area
  • what types of antennae are allowed (town ordinances or HOA rules)

Where you live, your geographical location and the channels available will help determine the type of antenna that will work best for you.

Your distance from a broadcast tower will affect reception as well as any obstructions like mountains or trees.

Use various search sites like TVFool or AntennaWeb to find out what you can pick up in your area.

Check your HOA bylaws or town ordinances for any restrictions regarding outdoor tv antennas.

In most cases, antennae are allowed. There is an FCC ruling that overrides most HOA rules applicable to blocking antennas.

Choosing the Right TV Antenna for You

Do you need a digital antenna? A multidirectional antenna? The TV Bandit? Which one is best for you?

1. Omnidirectional Antenna

This is the option to choose if your network channels are coming in from all different directions.

You’ll receive the most channels possible from everywhere around you, but the signal may not be the best.

This type of antenna is easy to place and there’s no need to move it around for different channels.

2. Directional Antenna

If you’re close to a major city and your channels are all coming from that direction, a directional antenna will work for you.

Directional antennae are stronger and reach further than other antennas. You can expect the channels to come in sharper and clearer because of this.

3. UHF vs. VHF

Most antennae are good at one or the other, but not both. Lower numbered channels are usually VHF. The higher numbered channels are UHF. The best-selling antennae can pick up both but are much better with UHF channels than VHF.

On the bright side, many VHF channels are network stations and put out a much stronger signal.

Cutting the Cable Cord

Is it time to cut your cable? Is it just too expensive when there are so many other options out there? Streaming options and tv antenna choices have made it easier than ever to watch tv. Visit us for the latest on everything from the best way to watch movies to what people are talking about in books.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.