If you want to ditch the cable TV (and pocket the fees!) and make use of the free HD TV channels which are so often overlooked, or you just want to add this option to your channel choices, one thing you definitely need is a top class outdoor antenna. Here we have put together some tips to help you source and buy the best possible outdoor TV antenna for your particular preferences, lifestyle and circumstances.
To make full use of this opportunity you need, along with the antenna, a digital tuner – which is integral to all televisions build before 2007, an available as a converter box for TVs which are older than that.
Getting the best outdoor TV antenna
This is a process as there’s no one size fits all answer on which is the best product for you.
Tip #1- Generate a signal report
This is pretty important as it is the easiest way to find out which channels are available around you – and the results will guide your antenna choice. armed with your report you need to note down the channels and networks you are interested in watching, the distance the relevant tower is from your location, and the direction the tower is facing. Keep these results handy as you will need them soon.
Tip #2 – UHF or VHF?
Did you know that TV channels operate on one of three bands. VHF-Lo band is where you will find channels 2-6, VHF-Hi is home to channels 7-13, then from 14-69 the channels are all on the UHF frequency – which an indoor antenna can manage quite nicely. A good outdoor TV antenna should be able to handle both with no worries.
Tip #3 – How flexible should direction be?
There are two types of outdoor TV antenna, directional and omnidirectional. As the name suggests, directional TV antennas work by pulling the signal from the direction you set them to point towards, while omnidirectional antenna can pick up channels from any direction without you needing to touch it. Remember the signal review you did earlier? That should tell you which type of outdoor antenna is best – direction wise.
Tip #4 – Range
Take a second look at the signal report and you’ll see the kind of range each channel you are interested in has, which should provide a useful guide when assessing the range of different outdoor TV antennas.
Tip #5 Consider the weather
Be realistic – if you live in a place which is notoriously windy, or liable to get a lot of either rain or snow you need to choose an outdoor TV antenna which can deal with those conditions, or it will need replacing much too soon.
If you are not sure exactly where to start searching for a decent antenna take a look at a site which reviews popular models of outdoor tv antennas. This is a sure fire way to get the information you need from a trusted source.