As the popularity of over-the-air (OTA) HDTV grows, HD antenna becomes an essential component of your home entertainment system. Off-air TV antennas have been put aside for many years in favor of modern satellite and cable television technology. The comeback of off-air HD antennas has to do with an amazing quality of HDTV broadcasts. Forget about noisy analog pictures; snow, ghosts, all that belongs to the past. HDTV broadcasts quality is often superior to the quality of the same HD programs received through a paid satellite subscription. Not only the quality is better, OTA HDTV is free of charge. To pick up HD signals you will need a HD antenna.
Step-by-step HD Antenna Selection
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To choose the best HD antenna follow our step-by-step HDTV antenna selection guide. After you figure out what type of TV antenna you need to pick up HDTV broadcasts in your area, use our HD antenna search engine to find the specific antenna models of the required type and read customer reviews.
Also frequently referred as HDTV antenna, HD antenna is a regular TV antenna used for HDTV reception. There is nothing special about HD antenna. Associating high definition term with a TV antenna is just a marketing spin that takes advantage of the fancy buzzword to increase the old-fashioned device sales.
By the time the subject of HD antennas ever rolls around, most individuals find themselves over a previously established budget. High definition compatible televisions can easily run into the thousands of dollars, with the cords and cables taking another bite out of the budget. The good news are that HD antennas are much easier on the budget. Typically, a high quality outdoor directional antenna can be found in $50-$100 range. And when the differences between the superb antenna and the junk are that small, go for the best! After you have already spent a lot of money on the HDTV set, you want to get the most out of it.
If at all possible, outdoor antennas are recommended, especially if you live in an area that may be remote in regards to broadcast towers. However, if you live in an urban area or one that is greatly saturated with broadcast signals, then an indoor HD antenna may work perfectly well. Indoor television antennas are also encouraged for anyone who may not feel comfortable with accessing their roof and installing the actual antenna. Furthermore, indoor HD antennas do not take the environmental punishments that outdoor antennas take, so the indoor versions generally last longer.
Some housing developments and neighborhoods have gone so far as to ban outdoor HD antennas. If the homeowners association doesn't let you put an outdoor antenna on the roof, you have two choices: 1) Show them the FCC ruling that prohibits restrictions on outdoor antennas installation; 2) Go for an indoor HD antenna.
Over 90% of HDTV broadcasts are on the UHF band. Unless there are HDTV broadcasts on the VHF band in your area, don't bother with VHF antennas. These antennas are typically of much bigger size, more expensive and more difficult to install. In principle, you can buy a VHF/UHF antenna to cover both bands, but keep in mind that such an antenna is always a compromise. There is no free lunch. By designing the HD antenna to cover a large bandwidth, performance is sacrificed on each one of the bands, especially on the VHF band. There are also VHF/UHF antennas that are built of two separate UHF and VHF antennas stacked together. The major drawbacks are again: price, size and installation hassle.
Directional HD antenna is a must in remote areas where a signal is weak. If you want to pick up signals coming from different directions you need either two directional antennas or an antenna rotator. Omni-directional HD antenna should be preferred when the reception conditions are good and the signal is strong. With an omni-directional antenna you don't care which direction the signal comes from.