Read on for information on the various types of HDTV antennas available.
HDTV antennas have become a very important part of the home entertainment system. The main reason behind this can be attributed to the razor-sharp quality of HDTV broadcasts. As a matter of fact, the quality of the HDTV broadcasts is normally better than what you see on your television sets through a paid satellite subscription.
As the over-the-air (OTA) HDTV is free of charge, you can get a HDTV antenna installed at your house and take advantage of the amazing quality of the broadcasts. Before you think that these antennas are a complex piece of equipment that costs a small fortune, let me clarify that is a regular TV antenna that is used for HDTV reception.
Although there are many antenna reviews available over the internet, it is important to understand that they are different from most of the other products regarding the information of what is good and what is not, as the performance of a HD antenna depends on various factors.
These factors are the specific location that it is placed on along with other factors like the distance from the network tower, presence of any reflecting objects near the antenna and in case of indoor HD antenna, the materials used in the construction of the building also plays an important role.
Hence, it is quite common to find many contradictory reviews of the antennas. It is highly possible that a particular antenna may be perfect for one user but absolutely useless for another user. Hence, while deciding on which HDTV antenna to purchase, it is more important to read a user guide and other related articles.
Indoor Antennas Vs Outdoor Antennas
Indoor antennas are usually more popular as they are very easy to install and also cost far less when compared to outdoor antennas. However, indoor antennas have to be placed very close to the television set which is usually at the same level as the television itself.
This lack of elevation along with possible distortions produced from walls, furniture and other items present in the house usually inhibits the performance of the antennas. Hence, the indoor antennas are ideal only when they are close to local transmitters along with minimal topographical and structural obstructions.
Outdoor antennas are usually considered to be the best antennas even though they incur high installation and basic costs. Further, harsh environment can also takes its toll on the antenna. They are ideal for reception in remote areas where the transmission towers are very far.
Directional Antennas Vs Omnidirectional Antennas
An omnidirectional antenna is used when the conditions to receive the signals are good and also when the signal is strong. It also provides the advantage that one does not have to worry as to which direction the signal is coming from.
A directional antenna, on the other hand is required where the signals are weak. Here, if two signals coming from two different directions have to be picked then either two different antennas are required or an antenna rotator has to be installed.
Outdoor UHF Antennas Vs Outdoor VHF Antennas
Unless HDTV programs are broadcasted in VHF bands in your area, avoid VHF antennas. These antennas are huge, more expensive, and difficult to install.
A UHF/VHF antenna can be bought, but is always a compromise and the performance will be comparatively deteriorated on each band, especially the VHF band. There is also the option to buy UHF and VHF antennas that are stacked together. But these antennas too have the drawback of being very big and expensive along with innumerable installation hassles.
If you are new to buying antennas then it is better to inquire in your neighborhood as to what is the best option available. I agree that cost can play a major factor but you should plan for the long-term and buy wisely.
You could also ask the dealer to give you a trial run of the various antennas that you have in mind so that you can work out what antenna is most efficient in your area.