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How Does an Over The Air Antenna Work?

Last updated: Friday, April 16,

One of the most expensive bills each month is the cable bill. Losing the cable bill can save you upwards of $1, a year. What the cable companies don&#;t want you to know is that by installing an over the air TV antenna you can get free hi-definition channels right in your living room. The process is very basic. All of the newer televisions have what they call a digital tuner built right into the TV. This allows you to plug in an over the air TV antenna and you can start watching free TV. You get all the major stations like ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, and CW. There are also many substations available with great shows and content.

Looking For a Digital Aerial Antenna in The UK? Click Here for Our How to Guide.

It&#;s Easy Follow These 3 Steps:

OTA antenna diagram

  1. Connect to &#;ANT IN&#; on the back of any digital-ready TV.
  2. Place the Antenna&#; Place on wall, window, attic, or roof and find the optimal position for the antenna.
  3. Scan Channels &#; Select &#;Menu&#; then &#;Channel Search&#; and you are ready to enjoy your free TV shows.


Check Out Our YouTube Channel for more helpful videos.

Finding The Right OTA Antenna

Choosing an Over the Air TV Antenna for Free HD Channels

OTA Attic Antenna

Since the signal is being broadcast from a transmitting tower, you need to find out how far away you are from the towers. The first thing is to find the proper antenna for your location. Generally, if you live close to a major city, you may not need such a large over the air antenna. There are some great websites and apps that will tell the size and style antenna needed. Let&#;s take a look at them:


    • TV Station Locator Tool &#; Use our website tool for finding channels, maps, and antennas for your area. Just enter your zip code for results.
    • Mohu Antenna Selector &#; Enter a zip code and will generate an antenna list and stations.
    • Antennas Direct Antenna Selector &#; Gives you a channel list and range results for your location.
    • Tvfool &#; Gives you options on what size antenna you need and channels you will receive.
    • Channel Master &#; Nice antenna selection guide. Giving you the distance and location of broadcast towers.
    • ANTOP &#; The website has good DTV signal maps and an antenna selector.
    • RabbitEars &#; Helpful site to find stations and towers to fine-tune your antenna.

SmartPhone Apps

These apps for a smartphone can help point your OTA antenna. They can be useful and accurate when you are in the attic or on the roof trying to adjust your antenna. Just use one of these apps to point your antenna in the right direction.



Digital TV Antennas

digital tv antennas app logo

HDTV Antenna Pointer

antenna pointer app


Generated Maps

For most of these sites, just enter your street address and zip code. It will then generate a map and a list of channels that you will be able to receive. It will also tell you what style of antenna you will need and which way to point it.

Antenna map

Mile Range

These sites will also tell the distance the broadcast towers are from your house. This will give you an idea of the mile range antenna needed to pick up the stations.

Antenna channel list

Color Code

As you can see in the picture below there are quite a few channels available for the area I entered. The chart is color-coded and tells you what type of antenna you will need to receive the signal.

Choosing an Over the Air TV Antenna for Free HD Channels

Channel List

This shows the available channels in the area I entered. You can see a map and channel list for yourself by using our station locator tool.

Type of Over The Air Antenna You Will Need:

Green &#; An indoor &#;set-top&#; antenna is probably sufficient to pick up these channels (mile range)

Yellow &#; An attic-mounted antenna is probably needed to pick up channels at this level and above (mile range)

Red &#; A roof-mounted antenna is probably needed to pick up channels at this level and above (mile range)

Grey &#; These channels are very weak and will most likely require extreme measures to try and pick them up

tv station locator tool

Let&#;s Choose an Over the Air Antenna

There are many companies that make over the air antennas. We will show you what we consider the best of the field. We will list these HD antennas by the color code system we showed in the previous graph. For most people that live within their city limits, a yellow (60 miles) range should work well. A general rule of thumb is the higher you place the antenna the better the reception.

Use caution when purchasing an over the air antenna. There are many scams. When buying an antenna, stick to name-brand companies that do not exaggerate their clams. The ones we prefer are found on this page. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Green Antenna &#; 30 Mile Range

Mohu Leaf 30 Indoor Over The Air TV Antenna (30 Mile)

The Mohu Leaf 30 Indoor HDTV Antenna is one of the best interior digital TV antennae on the market today. Its Omnidirectional flat design and weight make it very versatile. Its simple square design makes adjusting unnecessary. Assembly is as easy as attaching the cords per the directions, powering up the amplifier, and hanging the Leaf in the best spot for over the air reception. This antenna will give you crystal clear reception. The initial setup is as easy as screwing in a light bulb.

Where to Buy:

The Mohu Leaf 30 Indoor HDTV Antenna is available at these retailers:


Mohu Leaf 30 Indoor HDTV Antenna


Mohu Leaf 30 TV Antenna

Green Antenna &#; 30 Mile Range

1byone Super Thin Digital Indoor HDTV Antenna (30 Mile)

Installation is super simple with the 1byone indoor antenna. Just connect the coaxial cable to your TV. This indoor/outdoor antenna from 1byone is a great way to cut loose from your monthly cable bill or to get over the air signals for rooms that aren&#;t wired for cable. In the package are the flat panel antenna, mounting accessories, the power adapter, the power booster, and a waterproof connection cover for outdoor installation. You will need a coax cable of the necessary length to hook up to your television. You can mount the antenna on a wall or on a pole. It&#;s lightweight, so it&#;s easy to mount or put up anywhere.
1byone window


Where to Buy:

The 1byone Super Thin Digital Indoor HDTV Antenna is available at these retailers:


1byone Super Thin Digital Indoor HDTV Antenna


1byone Super Thin Digital Indoor HDTV Antenna

Yellow &#; 60 Mile Range

Mohu Sail Amplified Attic/Outdoor Antenna (60 Mile)

The Mohu Sail Antenna is nice and solid. This antenna is extremely light. This size antenna will fit comfortably between typical roof joist spacing in an attic or a crawl space. The mounting components are of high quality and can be adjusted for any mounting configuration. This multi-directional antenna provides excellent quality HD television from signals approximately 60 miles away. The build quality and construction are top-notch. This antenna is completely weatherproof. Lightweight and will not topple in high winds. All the needed hardware is included in the package and the instructions are well written.

Key points

  • You can use this antenna inside or outside.
  • Comes with a foot cord
  • Comes with hardware and mount to bolt it down
  • Brings in many channels and makes existing channels more solid
  • Comes with a USB powered preamplifier
  • Small footprint

Where to Buy:

The Mohu Sail Amplified Attic/Outdoor Antenna is available at these retailers:


Mohu Sail Antenna


Mohu Sail Antenna

Yellow &#; 60 Mile Range

ANTOP ATB UFO Dual Omni-Directional Antenna

The ANTOP UFO Dual-Omni ATB Outdoor/RV/Attic HDTV Antenna is very easy to set up-no tools are required. This antenna comes with a quick and easy mounting bracket. Just mount the antenna and hand tighten with the provided wing nuts. The size of the antenna allows for many applications. It is much smaller than most antennas in this mile range. ANTOP ATB UFO Antenna can be mounted on a balcony, on the roof, or in the attic. It comes with a power amplifier and built-in 4G filter which will help to boost the signal and filter out unwanted cell phone interference. ANTOP smart pass technology amplifier is easy to adjust the balance between short and long-range reception. Plus the intelligent switch can avoid signal overload.

Where to Buy:

The ANTOP ATB UFO Antenna is available at these retailers:


ANTOP UFO Dual-Omni ATB Outdoor/RV/Attic HDTV Antenna



Yellow &#; 60 Mile Range

1byone 85 Miles Digital Amplified Attic or Roof Antenna

With the 1byone 85 Miles Digital Amplified Antenna, you will get superior reception without the whole neighborhood noticing. This compact outdoor antenna is designed to maximize signal reception and integrate seamlessly into any home environment, indoors or out. It&#;s easy to install. Turn a few bolts and this antenna is ready to be mounted outdoors or in the attic. It&#;s a complete kit with a very strong mount.

Choosing an Over the Air TV Antenna for Free HD Channels
Choosing an Over the Air TV Antenna for Free HD Channels




  • Withstands tough outdoor conditions
  • Superior reception outdoors or even when mounted in the attic
  • Includes J-shape mounting pole, built-in high gain/low noise amplifier

Where to Buy:

The 1byone 85 Miles Digital Amplified Antenna is available at these retailers:


1byone 85 Miles Digital Amplified Antenna


1byone 85 Miles Digital Amplified Antenna


Red Antenna &#; Mile Range

DB8e Extreme Long Range Bowtie HDTV Antenna

The DB8e Extreme Long Range Bowtie HDTV Antenna has a gain of dB which makes it one powerful OTA antenna. This antenna comes with a special bracket that allows you to turn each panel toward different broadcast towers. This HD antenna is excellent for rural areas where heavy foliage or roofing materials can reduce your signal. It works well in an attic or mounted on the roof.


  • Weatherproof
  • High gain UHF band (UHF channels )
  • ohm Impedance
  • Gain dB
  • Dimensions: 50&#;W x &#;H x 6&#;D
  • Product Weight: 12 pounds
Combining Two HD Antennas for Better Reception
Choosing an Over the Air TV Antenna for Free HD Channels


Where to Buy:

The DB8 Bowtie Antenna is available at these retailers:

Antennas Direct:

DB8e Extreme Long Range Bowtie HDTV Antenna


DB8 Bowtie Antenna

Red Antenna &#; Mile Range

Channel Master CM UHF / VHF / FM HDTV Antenna

The Channel Master CM is a keeper and totally worth it. Get crystal clear free HD channels with this antenna. So well built, even on windy days it locks into all channels. It is very easy to install and has excellent reception. The antenna is all that Channel Master claims it to be. Well made with clear easy to follow directions and simple assembly. This antenna has a signal range of miles and will pick up available local digital and HD signals. It is a little on the large size, but that is why it works so well.


  • Reception Range: Up to miles
  • Picks up UHF, VHF, FM, and HD
  • Antenna Size: x 95 x 22 Inches
  • Easy installation
  • Superior signal strength in weak signal locations
  • Optimized for HDTV and Digital FM Signals

Where to Buy:

The Channel Master CM UHF / VHF / FM HDTV Antenna is available at these retailers:


Channel Master CM Antenna


Channel Master CM Antenna

Grey Antenna &#; Over Mile Range

Long Range Rotating Antennas

Long-range rotating antennas are excellent for receiving channels from towers that are in different locations. They come with a motor and will rotate the antenna degrees. Most are HDTV Yagi-style antennas with a pre-amplifier. If you live far away from different broadcast towers, you can dial in your reception by rotating it in the right direction. These long-range antennas come with a wireless remote to control the motor. They work well in the attic or on the roof.

Where to Buy:

Long-range Rotating Antennas are available from these retailers:


Long Range Rotating Antenna


Long Range Rotating Antenna

HD Antenna Mounting Options

Most antennas that you purchase will come with mounting hardware. In some cases mounting to a pole, tripod, or bracket system may be your best option. We have an article explaining different methods of mounting an OTA antenna. See the link below.

Different Ways to Mount an HD Antenna for the Home

Scanning Your Television for Stations and Fine Tuning

Once you have your&#;re over the air antenna set up, you will need to scan your TV for the stations to show up. That option depending on your television should be in the menu options. Check the user manual for more information. Most TVs also have an option to allow you to see the signal strength to fine-tune the antenna. You may have to move the antenna around a bit to get it in the ideal position to obtain all the channels available. Use the map you generated to point the antenna in the right direction.

Choosing an Over the Air TV Antenna for Free HD Channels
Samsung TV rescan option
Choosing an Over the Air TV Antenna for Free HD Channels
Signal strenght


One Antenna Multiple Televisions


If you have other TVs in the house, add a splitter to the one over the air antenna and distribute it to multiple televisions. Just take the output of the HD antenna and plug it into the input of a powered UHF splitter. Then plug each cable from the output of the splitter into the other televisions. In most cases, you can use the existing wiring in your home, left by the cable company.

Check out our article on how to properly set up a antenna splitter.

Other Helpful OTA Antenna and Station Locator Websites

Are you still having trouble finding an HD antenna? If you are looking for more information on available channels and antenna options, then these websites can be very helpful. Just enter your address or zip code for channel results. Stick with name-brand antennas like the ones listed below and on this page. Be wary of scammers. Click on the logo below to get started.

Mohu Antenna &#; Channel Locator Tool

Antennas Direct &#; Antenna Selector

ANTOP &#; DTV Signal Maps and Antenna Selector

Channel Master &#; Antenna Locator


As you can see, you don&#;t need cable to watch TV. Free television is at your fingertips, just by installing an over the air antenna. Get rid of that expensive cable bill today.

antenna channels, antenna locator, free hdtv, hd antenna, hd free tv, ota antenna

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Sours: https://www.overtheairdigitaltv.com/choosing-an-over-the-air-tv-antenna-for-free-hd-channels/

If you're fed up with the high cost of subscription TV -- whether you're getting it via a live TV streaming service, from a satellite dish or over a coaxial cable -- it may be time to cut the cord and look into an antenna. That's right, TV antennas still exist and they are now much less finicky than the "rabbit ears" that people had to fiddle with in years past. If you are in an area with a decent signal, you can watch some of the most popular TV shows, specials and sports for free with an antenna and some antennas can even bring in HD channels.

For the purposes of this article, we'll be discussing over-the-air, or OTA, antennas. This type of antenna feed is great for events you want to watch live, such as sports and the evening news. Depending on where you live and your signal reception capabilities, you can watch anything on NBC, Fox, ABC, CBS, PBS and some other channels like MyNetworkTV and The CW. While a roof-mounted television antenna or outdoor TV antenna would do the job, your TV already has a built-in tuner, and adding an indoor antenna can cost less than $20 shipped. 

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Become a home entertainment expert with our handpicked tips, reviews and deals. Delivered Wednesdays.

And if you're really serious about cutting the cord, check out our Streaming TV Insider for even more tips.


The downside is that in some places, the TV signal of some channels is spotty or nonexistent due to either your proximity, or lack thereof, to a broadcast tower or obstructions that break up the signal. Unlike a live TV streaming service, OTA TV is restricted to a single television, and the broadcast signal from an OTA TV antenna won't work on phones or other devices. Unless, of course, you kick it up a notch with an OTA DVR.

Now playing:Watch this: How to cut the cord for $ installing an indoor antenna

We tested seven different indoor antennas with prices ranging from $10 to $90 (all much less than the most basic cable TV). The best TV antennas were able to pull in more channels than the others and delivered stronger, clearer TV signals, even on "problem" channels. We tested in two different locations: urban Manhattan and suburban New Jersey. We'll keep this updated as we review new products. Here are the seven TV antennas we originally looked at:

  • Channel Master Flatenna 35 ($10 plus $ shipping)
  • AmazonBasics Ultra Thin Indoor TV Antenna ($20)
  • 1byOne Upgraded Digital Amplified Indoor HD TV Antenna ($27)
  • Antennas Direct ClearStream Eclipse ($40)
  • Mohu ReLeaf ($30, discontinued)
  • Channel Master Smartenna Plus ($49, discontinued)
  • U Must Have Amplified High Definition Digital TV Antenna ($29)

The best TV antennas we tested

Best TV antenna overall

Channel Master Flatenna 35/Duo

Sarah Tew/CNET


  • Detachable coaxial cable? Yes
  • Number of channels: 50 in Manhattan, 61 in New Jersey
  • Number of watchable channels: 9 out of 13 checked, both locations

The Flatenna 35 has been upgraded with a removable antenna since our original test. It seems that signal performance has also improved -- it's now the best of our seven models at pulling in channels, beating our previous recommendation, the Antennas Direct ClearStream Eclipse. 

And yes, the best TV antenna is just $10 (plus $ shipping) from Channel Master's website. (It's called either the Flatenna 35 or Duo depending on where you buy it from.) Best TV channels reception and low price? We have a winner.

Read our Channel Master Flatenna 35 review.

Best TV antenna for power users

Antennas Direct ClearStream Eclipse

Sarah Tew/CNET
  • Detachable coaxial cable? Yes
  • Number of channels: 39 in Manhattan, 65 in New Jersey
  • Number of watchable channels: 9 out of 13 checked, both locations

Maybe you've tried the Flatenna with so-so results and want to give it another shot. The $80 Antennas Direct Eclipse won our original comparison and performed very well again this time around at receiving a broadcast signal for many TV channels. 

With its ankh-shaped and multidirectional reversible compact design, the ClearStream antenna is definitely unique. It comes with sticky tabs for attaching it to your window, which is handy. And if you need more signal oomph, there's a $20 antenna amplifier available as well.

While the Eclipse is still available, be aware that there's now an upgraded Eclipse 2 model, though we have yet to test it.

Read our Antennas Direct ClearStream Eclipse review.

Other top TV antenna picks

Best TV antenna for weaker TV signals

1byOne Indoor Amplified HDTV Antenna

Sarah Tew/CNET
  • Detachable coax? No
  • Number of channels: 34 in Manhattan, 49 in New Jersey
  • Number of watchable channels: 6 out of 13 checked, both locations

The 1byOne is one of two antennas in this list with a nonremovable coax cable, and at only 10 feet long, it may not work in some rooms where it cannot pick up a very weak signal. The black plastic feels a little cheap compared with the others, though the HD antenna model does come with a powered gain amplifier. It was toward the bottom of the pack in terms of signal performance, but this indoor HDTV antenna was the only television antenna to pick up CBS from a TV tower at our Manhattan location (see below for details).

The current price is cheaper than the others, but in our book the Channel Master is worth another buck or two.

Sours: https://www.cnet.com/tech/home-entertainment/best-tv-antenna/
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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is OTA television and how does it work?

A:  Over-the-air television is a term used to describe television signals that are broadcast by your local television broadcast towers (as opposed to a cable or satellite signal). Since , these signals are broadcast using digital signals, as opposed to the analog signals, which were in use prior to There are currently 3 ways to pick up your local stations:

  • The first is an OTA digital receiver which will receive your local channels. These digital tuners with HD outputs can be purchased at any electronics chain for about $$ They can be added to almost any television and there will be no monthly fees. 
  • The second is an HDTV with a built-in digital tuner. All TVs made after should have an ATSC (HDTV tuner) already built-in. (Note: If your TV says “HD ready” it does not have a digital tuner built in. "HD Ready" refers to any display that is capable of accepting and displaying a high-definition signal at either p, i or p using a component video or digital input, but does not have a built-in HD-capable tuner.)
  • The third is an HD satellite tuner. Both Dish Network and Direct TV offer HDTV satellite receivers with the over-the-air tuner built into the same unit. The advantage of using this method is that there is no need to utilize separate equipment to receive premium HD networks like HBO HD and ShowTime HD. Also, the local and satellite channels can both be integrated into the program guide, to make it seamless for the viewer when switching between local and satellite. You will need an over-the-air antenna, (like the ones we sell), as well as the dish being connected to the receiver.
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Q: How do I scan for channels?

A: Scanning for channels is essential when it comes to TV antennas. Each television/converter box is different, so you may need to consult the owner’s manual provided with your TV/converter box, but generally, the guidelines remain consistent. (Note: If you need further assistance or you no longer have the owner’s manual for your device, find the model number for your TV or converter box, usually located on the back, and type it into Google, along with the words “channel scan”. You should find information specific to your device.) Every time you hook up a new TV antenna or move the antenna you already have, you should scan for channels.

  • Using the remote control for your device, find the Home or Settings menu. (Note: Make sure the tuner is set to “Antenna” or “Air”, not “Cable”.)
  • The Channel Scan tool may be found under “Channels”, “Tuner”, or something similar.
  • Select “Auto Scan”, “Channel Scan”, “Digital Channel Search”, or something similar.

You’re done! Your device will search for all available digital OTA channels in just a few minutes, and you’ll be watching high-definition TV for free. Cord-cutters should rescan for channels periodically, as over-the-air TV providers are adding new stations all the time, thanks to the growing number of Americans who no longer pay for cable or satellite TV.

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Q: Can I really receive high-definition channels for free using a TV antenna?

A: YES! With a TV antenna, you will experience HDTV in the highest quality picture and sound available. Over-the-air broadcasts are transmitted in uncompressed, crystal-clear i, far surpassing what cable and satellite offer. Many local broadcasts are digitally aired in Dolby Surround Sound, giving you the ultimate soundstage for watching live television from major networks including ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, PBS, The CW, and many more. No tricks, no bills, no subscriptions. All you need is a TV antenna!

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Q: How do I locate the broadcast towers to aim my TV antenna?

A: We’ve taken all the work out of aiming your TV antenna. Simply download our free Antenna Point app to your Android/iOS smartphone or tablet or go to www.antennapoint.com and enter your zip code. You will find a map with your local broadcast towers, a list of your local channels, and the radius of coverage from your area.

If you need further assistance, our Connection Crew is available 7 days a week, by phone or live chat right here on our website.

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Q: How do I know what channels are available in my area?

A: On our Transmitter Locator page, once you have entered your zip code, you will find a complete list of the channels available in your area. The list will indicate your distance from the transmitter tower which broadcasts that channel, whether the channel is UHF or VHF, as well as the precise heading to aim your antenna. The Virtual Channel column represents the channel displayed on the television. The DTV Channel column represents the actual transmitting frequency. A list of broadcast towers, as well as their distance from your location, is also available on our free Antenna Point app.

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Q: Are all Digital Channels on UHF?

A: No, not all channels are on UHF. While Many DTV stations are occupying UHF broadcast channels, there are many stations providing VHF broadcast channels as well. For more information, please visit www.antennapoint.com.

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Q: My TV channels display as , , etc. So I need a VHF antenna, right?

A: A TV channel, such as , , or , might be displayed on your TV, but that does not mean it is a VHF frequency. You can locate the actual broadcast frequency channel at www.tvfool.com. Select the TV Signal Locator and enter your home address. The actual broadcast frequency channel will be shown along with the virtual channel in parentheses. For example, KMOV 24 (). The call sign for the TV station is KMOV, the broadcast frequency channel is 24, and the virtual channel is Therefore, in this example, the TV station is broadcasting on frequency channel 24, so it is not a VHF frequency.

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Q: What is the difference between UHF and VHF antennas?

A: The most obvious difference between VHF and UHF antennas is the size. We've written a blog about this, but here's a short example: Reception of different frequencies is related to wavelengthThink of it like this: a wave in the ocean is approaching a large boulder. If the wave is large and more spread out, it will suffer less disruption when it hits the boulder, and more water is able to make it over or around the obstacle. This is how VHF signals travel through and/or around obstacles between the TV towers and your TV antenna. When a smaller wave hits the boulder, its short length means that it is much more disrupted by the obstacle and less water will make its way over or around the boulder. This is how UHF signals are affected by obstacles and it is much easier for these signals to degrade over long distances.
You need a different type of antenna to receive larger or smaller waves, based on what's available in your area.

UHF and VHF signals represented next to an ocean wave for comparison of size of waves

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Q: Getting VHF stations is a problem for me. I get everything else fine.

A: Many stations that have reverted to VHF assignments have dramatically cut their transmitter power, in some cases by over 90%! Some stations mistakenly thought they could save money by cutting their power while reaching the same number of viewers. In other cases, the FCC imposed reduced power limits to stations that reverted to their old VHF assignments in order to prevent interference with adjacent markets. There has been a misperception among some station owners that while dramatically lowering DTV transmitter power, they could serve the same coverage area as analog, and this has turned out to be incorrect. Many stations that have reverted back to VHF are now finding themselves with significantly reduced coverage areas and fewer viewers after switching to VHF. 

One potential problem with re-using low VHF () and high VHF () TV channels for DTV is the possibility of interference from other signals during certain times of the year. "Skip" may bring in distant broadcasts on the same channel and create interference. Low VHF () digital broadcasts are particularly prone to interference and are often hard to receive reliably, regardless of what model of antenna is used. Note: The physical size of low VHF and high VHF antennas is much larger than that of a UHF antenna.

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Q: How does the material of my home affect an antenna’s reception?

A: When using an indoor TV antenna, building materials such as brick, metal siding, radiant barrier, or stucco can greatly reduce the incoming signal. Our indoor antennas are engineered to offer the best reception while taking those obstacles into account, which is why several of our antennas have consistently been featured in many "Best Indoor TV Antennas" publications throughout the years.

You may also need to elevate and/or move your antenna. Place your antenna as high up as possible, or near a window or wall facing the broadcast towers. If you have an attic antenna, try moving the antenna outdoors. If outdoors, make certain the antenna is not aimed at physical obstacles such as a roof, buildings, trees, or a hill.

Important: Remember to rescan for channels on your TV every time you move your antenna.

Call our Connection Crew, available 7 days a week, if you are having further difficulty receiving signals.

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Q: How is reception in distant or "fringe" areas? Will I get a fuzzy picture?

A: When it comes to digital television, it's an "all or nothing at all" proposition. Once the signal is acquired, a steady stream of data assures you'll get a perfect picture and great audio. If that bitstream is interrupted, however, there will be nothing - just a blank screen. In areas with lots of buildings or obstacles, multi-path distortion can cause a "cliff effect" to kick in. The fix is to use a higher-gain antenna assuming the multi-path can be tamed. Work is being done to determine the optimal designs for improving error correction in set-top receivers.

As far as distance is concerned, getting reliable UHF DTV reception beyond the curvature of the earth (approximately 70 miles) is difficult. Terrain has a major impact on reception. Going over water is the best-case-scenario since water is generally flat and has positive impacts on temperature for sending the signal along. That being said, beyond 70 miles, unless you can get direct line-of-sight to the transmitters, obstacles which impact reception negatively are inevitable.

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Q: How do I resolve a channel that keeps cutting out? And/Or I’m having issues with reception. What can I do?

A: This could be due to several different issues. Click here to consult our dedicated Troubleshooting Reception page. Give our Connection Crew a call or chat with us right here on our website for an evaluation of your location and/or installation or for more tips on how to receive the best TV signals from your local towers. We are available 7 days a week.

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Q: Why should I face the front of my multi-directional antenna toward the broadcast towers?

A: While most Antennas Direct antennas are multi-directional and will receive TV signals from several directions, aiming the front of your antenna towards the largest cluster of towers is a critical step in receiving the most TV channels available in your area, and this is true for all TV antennas. Our ClearStream and Bowtie antennas are engineered to receive signals at a degree beam angle, meaning our antennas are best suited to provide TV signals from widely-spaced broadcast towers. Even with the best multi-directional antennas, facing the front of the antenna towards the largest cluster of towers optimizes your chances of achieving the best line-of-sight between your antenna and the transmitting towers, which will ensure you receive the most available TV channels for your location.

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Q: My local towers are not within line-of-sight, what do I do?

A: You may have seen “line of sight” mentioned many times when it comes to antennas. This simply means that in an ideal scenario, there is a direct, straight line between your TV antenna and the broadcast towers it is receiving signals from. The goal in practical applications is to achieve the most unobstructed path to the broadcast towers as possible.

signals from tower being blocked from an antenna on top of a home by a hill

You may need to elevate and/or move your antenna. Make certain the antenna is not aimed at physical obstacles such as a roof, building, or trees. You should also determine what type of antenna you need based on the terrain around your home, your location in relation to the local broadcast towers, and what channels are available in your area. Go to www.antennapoint.com or download the free Antenna Point app to your Android/iOS smartphone or tablet to find your local transmitter towers and a complete list of channels available in your area. Remember to rescan for channels every time you move your antenna.

Give our Connection Crew a call or chat with us right here on our website if you need further assistance with a new or existing TV antenna installation. We are available 7 days a week.

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Q: What is a Bowtie Antenna?

A: A bowtie antenna is another name for a UHF fan dipole antenna. By using triangular elements instead of rods, the bandwidth is greatly increased, to cover the entire UHF band. Additionally, the mesh reflector of the bowtie is more efficient than the rod reflector. It is also lighter in weight and has less wind resistance.

 db8e tv antenna model

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Q: What is a Yagi?

A: The Yagi antenna is credited to Hidetsugu Yagi (although not the original inventor), A Japanese physicist. The Yagi was designed to improve the gain of the antenna concentrated in one direction. The directivity is accomplished with added elements called directors and reflectors. The Yagi has high Gain, is very directional, and has a narrow bandwidth. In simple unidirectional antennas like the Yagi, frequency bandwidth is inversely proportional to antenna gain. One way to increase the frequency bandwidth of a simple antenna like a Yagi is to increase the diameter of the antenna conductors. The greater the conductor diameter, the wider the band with increased conductor diameter also has a second benefit, it increases the physical strength of the antennas.

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Q: What makes a ClearStream™ antenna different from other antennas?

A: Whenever you design an antenna for a narrower range of frequencies, you can expect dramatic improvements in performance. Our ClearStream™ series of antennas are tuned specifically for the core DTV channels broadcast in North America. ClearStream™ antennas are also less prone to interference since we have extensively researched the high-quality materials we use to make them. We are so confident our antennas will ensure the best possible signal reception, we back them with the best lifetime warranty in the antenna category. 

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Q: How do I hook up my antenna to multiple TVs?

A: Every installation is different, which is why we ask that you contact our Connection Crew to provide you with individualized support. Connecting an antenna to multiple TVs is easier than it sounds. Think of it like this: if your residence ever had satellite or cable TV service, the coaxial cable needed to distribute an antenna's signal throughout your home is already installed, you just need to find the right location to install your antenna. If you didn't have satellite service and are setting up an antenna for the first time, you will need a signal splitter, some coaxial cable, and probably an antenna mast. Take a look at our illustration below for a visual guide.

To cut the cord from satellite service, you can disconnect the coaxial cable from the dish that is sitting on your rooftop and remove the dish - throw it away, you won't need it anymore! Using the antenna's mounting hardware (all our attic and outdoor antennas include universal mounting hardware), install the antenna on the satellite's mast. Connect one of the coaxial cables from the dish to your TV antenna and remember to scan for channels. That's it! You're watching your local channels in HD for FREE. 

For assistance with splitting your antenna's signal to reach multiple TVs, give our Connection Crew a call or chat with us right here on our website. We're available 7 days a week. 

splitting over the air signals to multiple TVs in a home

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Q: Do I need to use an amplifier with my TV antenna?

A: In some areas, broadcast signals are strong enough that an amplifier is not necessary. Connect the antenna to the TV/converter box without an amplifier first. If you are not receiving a clear picture on some channels, then install an amplifier with your antenna. For indoor antennas, we recommend the ClearStream In-Line Amplifier. For outdoor or attic antennas, installations with long cable runs ( ft. or more) and/or when using splitters, we recommend the ClearStream JUICE Preamplifier.

Call our Connection Crew or chat with us right here on our website if you need more information on using amplifiers, preamplifiers, or to get an evaluation of your location. Available 7 days a week.

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Q: Can I install an antenna in the attic?

A: Sometimes, for various reasons, it is necessary to install your antenna in the attic. However, keep in mind that one layer of asphalt shingles + roof felt + ¾" plywood roof deck = at least a 50% reduction in signal strength. Plus, if you have metal or aluminum-backed insulation in the walls or under the roof, the signal will most likely be blocked. You'll have to remove the insulation or install the antenna in a different place. In addition, although the antenna is inside, you'll still need to make sure that your antenna is pointing toward your local TV broadcast towers. Visit antennapoint.com to find your nearest towers, and visit our page Attic Installation Tips for more information.

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Q: Why is it better to install my antenna outdoors or in an attic?

A: For the best performance, we typically recommend placement of your TV antenna at the highest point available to you and with a clear line of sight to the broadcast towers to minimize the possibility of obstructions between your antenna and the broadcast towers it is receiving signals from. Of course, many people still choose to install their TV antenna in the attic for aesthetic reasons or to comply with neighborhood guidelines. Where installation is possible, an outdoor TV antenna will offer the best opportunity for receiving TV signals. Outdoor TV antennas are traditionally mounted on a rooftop and have a distinct advantage over indoor and attic antennas, with better line-of-sight to the broadcast towers and fewer obstructions such as trees, buildings, walls, or roofing materials. If you live a far distance from the broadcast towers, a long-range outdoor antenna is the best option for receiving the available TV signals. Outdoor antennas can also be mounted onto the side of one’s house, decks, or on a tripod from the ground if rooftop access is not available.

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Q: My Homeowners association prohibits antennas on the roof, what can I do?

A: In , The FCC affirmed the rights of homeowners to place antennas on property they own or control*. You can read the FCC ruling here: https://www.fcc.gov/media/over-air-reception-devices-rule. The law basically states that homeowner association covenants cannot prevent you from installing antennas or dishes. The rule "prohibits restrictions that impair the installation, maintenance or use of antennas used to receive video programming."

*Masts higher than 12 feet above the roofline may be subject to local permitting requirements.

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Q: I have read ads for an antenna that can pick up TV channels miles away. Is this possible?

A: According to all current laws of physics here on Earth, no. 

Theoretically, under extremely rare circumstances, it would be possible if you lived on top of a mountain and the broadcast towers were also on a mountain, directly in front of you, exactly miles away.

At normal elevations, however, the curvature of the earth limits effectiveness to pretty much 70 miles for UHF signals (sorry, flat-earthers). Low VHF signals (channels ) and High VHF signals (channels ) can bounce further than this, but most digital TV channels are on the UHF band (channels ) - which is line-of-sight transmission.

signals being blocked from a tower to an antenna due to earth's curvature

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Q: I keep seeing the term “Cord-Cutting”. What does that mean?

A: Cord-cutting is a term used when you have made the choice to cancel your cable or satellite service in favor of using a TV antenna and an internet-based service using an OTT (over-the-top) streaming device, such as an Amazon Fire TV, Roku Player, or Apple TV. Learn more about how to cut the cord here!

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Q: My TV doesn’t have an F-connector port to hook up an antenna. What should I do?

A: If you have an analog TV, a TV manufactured before , or the TV you have doesn’t include an F-connecter (usually found on the back of your device), you will need to connect the antenna to a converter box for playback on your TV. Converter boxes are sold at most retail stores or check on Amazon.

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Q: What does “4K Ready” mean?

A: Also known as “Ultra HD”, 4K is the image resolution x pixels on your television screen, allowing for clearer, more defined pictures. With this screen resolution, you will see more detail and texture than you ever imagined possible. When the new ATSC standard launches, the FCC will be using the current spectrum available today for broadcast TV. Our antennas are compatible with all the new features this standard has to offer, including content broadcast in 4K.

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Q: Why did some of my channels go dark?

A: If you have noticed that a particular TV channel you usually receive has “gone dark” (you see a black screen instead of regular programming), this doesn’t necessarily mean you no longer receive that channel. This could occur more frequently as some channels begin to move to new frequencies (learn more at www.tvanswers.org).

This just means that the location from which that channel was broadcasting has changed, but your reception of the channel won't. Performing a channel scan on your television or converter box will allow the TV you are watching on to pick up the new broadcasting signal for that channel and it should show up just as before.

As a general rule, it is recommended to scan for channels periodically throughout the year, especially after periods where there has been a shift in the weather.

If you need more information or any help regarding channel reception, contact our Connection Crew! Available 7 days a week.

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Q: What is ATSC Next-Generation Broadcast TV?

A: We’ve written about the new standard coming to American television broadcasting in the near future. Read about ATSC here and stay tuned, as we will add more information to this page as it becomes available!

Sours: https://www.antennasdirect.com/faqs.html
Hdtv Antenna 150 Miles Mytv

Ever since the transition to digital television, most consumers have had more choices in free over-the-air broadcasting.  This guide provides information on TV antennas and tips for obtaining good quality reception of digital broadcasts.

Scanning for DTV Channels

Before making any changes to your current antenna or antenna system, you should perform a channel scan to see if your antenna receives the digital signals being broadcast in your area.

To run a channel scan, find the "set-up" or "menu" button on your remote control, then select the option that allows you to search for available digital broadcast channels. Once the scan is complete, you should be receiving all available digital channels in your area. In many cases, this is all you need to do to watch DTV broadcasts.

You should rescan periodically to ensure your TV has the current channel lineup for your area.

If you have any difficulty completing the channel scan, consult the owner's manual of your digital-to-analog converter box or DTV for detailed instructions. More information can be found at fcc.gov/rescan

Antennas for Receiving DTV

(Note: An auction of spectrum that had been licensed to broadcast television stations operating on UHF TV Channels resulted in many TV stations on these channels transitioning to other channels. Almost all of the TV stations affected finished transitioning in July )

To receive DTV signals from all stations in the area, your antenna needs to be able to receive both VHF channels (channels ) and UHF channels (channels ). Some antennas only provide good reception of VHF or UHF channels, but not both. For example, indoor "rabbit ears" usually need to be augmented with an additional "wire loop" or "bowtie" antenna (see images in next tab) in order to pick up signals on UHF channels. Many of the antennas being sold as "HDTV Antennas" perform best at receiving UHF signals, but perform less well receiving VHF channels. Check with retail consultants and consumer websites to make sure that any antenna you choose provides good reception of both VHF and UHF channels.

Even if you use a digital-to-analog converter box, you will still need to use an antenna to receive DTV signals. Digital-to-analog converter boxes do not contain additional antennas or signal amplification.

Antennas for Different Conditions

The antennas shown below will work for the indicated signal strength in most instances, but may not work in all cases. The type of antenna needed at a specific location may vary depending on geographic location, the height at which the antenna is used and other local factors such as nearby buildings, trees, terrain or home construction. Generally, outdoor antennas will get better reception than indoor antennas and are strongly recommended for the most reliable reception.

Strong TV Signals





Combined VHF/UHF

Image of indoor VHF antennaImage of indoor UHF antennaImage of indoor VHF/UHF antenna

Simple indoor antennas may be sufficient for locations having strong TV signals.

Moderate TV Signals

High quality indoor antenna (check the box for information)
or an outdoor antenna may be appropriate.

Image of high quality indoor VHF/UHF antenna

Image of outdoor rooftop antenna

Weak TV Signals

Image of rooftop antenna

Outdoor antenna
is appropriate.

Image of outdoor rooftop antenna

See www.antennaweb.org for guidance on the type of outdoor antenna you may need.

Reception Tips

  • Antennas typically need to be oriented or "aimed" to get the best signal from the desired station. DTV reception can often be improved just by changing the location of your current antenna, even as little as a few inches. For example, moving it away from other objects or placing it higher or lower can often improve reception. Be sure to move the antenna slowly to allow time for the signal received by the digital TV tuner to be displayed. 
  • While adjusting your antenna, it may be helpful to access the "signal strength meter" on your digital-to-analog converter box or DTV, if it has one, to determine whether your adjustments are improving the signals' strength. The signal strength meter is usually accessed through the menu feature on your remote control; consult the owner's manual of your device for detailed instructions on how to access it.
  • Remember to do another channel scan after you have adjusted your antenna. For outdoor antennas, a rotor that re-orients the antenna can improve performance, particularly when trying to receive stations that transmit from different locations.
  • If you are near a station's broadcast tower, reception of that station, as well as other stations, can be impeded by strong signal "overload." If you suspect this to be the case, you may want to remove any signal amplifiers you may have or try to install an "attenuator" to reduce the amount of signal coming to your converter box or DTV.
  • If you are not receiving certain DTV stations, this does not necessarily mean there is a problem with your antenna or receiver. Check with the TV station to find out whether they are planning changes that will improve reception. To check available signals where you live, use the FCC's DTV reception maps.

Printable Version

Antennas and Digital Television (pdf)

Sours: https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/antennas-and-digital-television

Antenna high channels definition


✅ TOP 5: Best Indoor TV Antenna [ 2021 Buyer's Guide ]


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