HDTV and Antennas

July 5, 2008 – 7:23 am, posted by Shannon

If you have an HDTV, you might be considering setting up an antenna with your television. While this may seem like a throwback to the dark ages, using an antenna with your HDTV may actually be able to help you get an even better picture than what you would get with satellite or cable.

The reason for the difference is really quite simple. When television is broadcast, over the air, it is not compressed nearly as much as it is when it is sent by satellite or through cable. Therefore, in order to get the best HDTV picture, using an antenna may be a good idea.

Of course, you won’t be able to pick up as many channels with an antenna as you will with satellite or cable. If you live in a larger city, however, you should be able to pick up all of the major television stations, all of which will likely be broadcasting in HDTV. What this means is you might ultimately go back to the days of having an antenna along with a satellite or cable hook up in order to pick up your local channels. It’s pretty ironic considering the battle that satellite subscribers had to endure in order to get their local channels carried by their satellite companies in the first place.

  1. One Response to “HDTV and Antennas”

  2. In 2001, I bought a 200 lb RCA f38310 HDTV. I signed on with DirecTV and, at the time, got 2 channels in HD, HDnet and some HBO telecasts. Needless to say, I was unhappy with the lack of HD broadcasts from providers. I read many local channels in Los Angeles were broadcasting (remember, this is 2001)over the air in HD. I had an old color tv antenna I has purchased 1981 that I had installed at my first home (cable was an option, even in ’81, but we were struggling to meet monthly mortgage payments so I decided a $70 antenna would have do). So, in 2001,I took the old, big antenna out of the garage, ran a cable from the tv to the antenna, threw the antenna on the patio cover, and had my wife tell me when/if the picture appeared or disappeared (A replay of the “dark ages”. I am sure my dad and mom engaged in the same ritual)and discovered ota hd broadcasts! That same antenna is still on the patio cover partly because of HDtv Antenna Labs and their wonderful site. they gave me the info I needed to place the antenna in the most best position to receive the most possible channels.

    Directv has a great selection of HD broadcast now (mid 2009) but my little 26″ Sharp hdtv in the den is still hooked up to the relic from a different era, the ota antenna. One advantage of ota HD is receiving the subchannels like “This TV” (a movie station,the multiple subchannels by the local public television stations (in LA, KCET, KOCE), and 24 hour weather and sports channels that some stations offer here in LA and Orange County. Most cable and SAT providers do not (yet)carry these subchannels, so you are getting something for free that paying customers are not receiving with the their service. I always get a little charge out of watching tv in the den and seeing crystal clear HD images for free from my old “color” tv antenna!

    Thanks for reading,


    By Greg on Jul 15, 2009

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