Direction and distance
Knowing the direction and distance of the stations you want to receive is the first step in selecting the appropriate antenna for your home. Go to www.antennasweb.org. This user friendly website that provides you a list of digital TV stations in your area and a description of the type of outdoor antenna that will perform the best based on your address and its distance from the TV station's transmitter. It will describe antennas as following:
Small multi-directional Small directional
Medium multi-directional Medium directional
Large multi-directional Large directional
There are general characteristics of indoor and outdoor antennas that you should know.
- Directional antennas are able to pull in signals from greater distances.
- Multi-directional antennas should be used when the transmitters of the stations you want to receive are more than 20° apart.
- Nearly all outdoor antennas perform better than even the best indoor antennas.
- In general, the larger an antenna's surface area is, the stronger the signal it will provide.
- Neighborhood associations' covenants cannot restrict antenna use. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 prohibits restrictions that impair the installation or use of antennas to receive video programming. It covers digital satellite dishes, TV antennas, and wireless cable antennas.
- It's best to purchase your antenna from a dealer who offers no-hassle returns with a money back guarantee.
1. Installing an outside antenna should be done by a professional installer due to hazards of climbing ladders and the potential of hazardous power lines coming into your home.
2. If you decide to take on the task yourself the antenna needs to be installed on an antenna mast and mount it as high as you can
3. Usually the antenna is mounted on a 5 or 10 mast and secured to your chimney with mounting straps or with a three leg tripod mounted to your roof.
4. Use a suitable 75 ohm RF coax cable such as RG 59 to bring the RF signal from your antenna to your TV set, this usually requires drilling holes through the house to get the cable installed.
5. Radio shack provides all of the materials to do an install
6. Rotate the antenna until you receive max. signal on your HDTV set.
7. Please go to this website for more information: http://www.crutchfield.com/S-eQBKDG2GP5a/learn/learningcenter/home/antenna.html
1. Much easier to install and less hazardous to personal injury that could occur while installing an outside antenna
2. There are many new designs for indoor antennas that replace the traditional so called "rabbit ears" antennas
3. Most consumer electronic stores such as Radio Shack and Best Buy carry the new HD indoor antennas
4. You may need to purchase some additional pre-made coax jumpers to get the signal from the antenna to the HDTV set
5. You want to place the antenna as high as possible in the room such as on top of a book case - height is as important for indoor antennas as they are for outdoor antennas.
6. Purchasing an indoor antenna should have a pre-amplifier and be able to control the gain of the pre-amplifier with some type of control knob on the unit.
7. Please go to this web site for comparison of TV antennas: http://www.hdtvantennalabs.com/indoor.php
Setting up your antenna with a converter box or digital TV
Once your antenna is installed you will need to set it up to receive the channels you wish. Often times, some stations do not come in on the first attempt to set up your antenna. You should always refer to your television set/converter box instructions but here is a general method you can use.