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How to Build Your Own HDTV Antenna

Mukul Deshpande Oct 12, 2018
You can use an off-air antenna to get over-the-air (OTA) channels. Know how to build your own HDTV antenna.
You can make an HDTV (high-definition television) antenna at home that works better than a Yagi antenna. Your old one comes with a rotor to rotate it so that it can be pointed in the right direction to get a strong digital signal. Here, you will learn how to build your own HDTV antenna, which will be much better than your older piece.

Steps to be Followed

  • First, mark a 3"x20" wood board, which will serve as the antenna frame.
  • Then, drill holes on the board using an electric drill. Each hole is for a mounting screw.
  • Now, take four coat hangers and cut them apart, so that you have eight V-shaped pieces. Remove any paint, varnish, or finish at the bottom of the V so that there is no insulation.
  • Now, take two more coat hangers and cut them apart, so you get two straight wires, each being 22" long.
  • Attach the eight V-shaped pieces to the board, using screws and washers. There should be good electrical contact between V-shaped pieces and the screw heads.
  • Fix the two straight wires to the board, so they cross back and forth between the screws. Insulate the two straight wires with electrical tape at the points, where they cross on the board.
  • Attach a 75 to 300 ohm matching transformer (also called a balun) to the board. The spade clips of the transformer should be connected to the two connections in the center, while the female F connector of the transformer is connected to the TV.
  • Attach the wood board to an iron pipe with U-bolts. The iron pipe is 24" long and has one threaded end.
  • Finally, use a 12"x10" wood board, as the base of the antenna. Attach a pipe floor flange to the wood base, and screw the iron pipe to the floor flange.
This DIY antenna is only good for UHF channels. All that is left to do now, is use your TV's auto-scan function to find all the digital channels you can get. The channel range for low-band VHF is 2-6, the high-band VHF channel range is 7-13, and the UHF channel range is 14-51. VHF channels need the antenna to have a larger surface area than UHF channels.
You will either need an outdoor rooftop or an indoor antenna. An antenna resonates at some particular frequency range. It can be rabbit ears for VHF (Very High Frequency) channels or bowtie for UHF (Ultra High Frequency) channels. You may also need an amplifier with an indoor antenna, or a preamplifier with an outdoor antenna.
OTA channels are free and you don't need to subscribe to cable TV or satellite TV to get them. Indoor ones are less powerful than outdoor ones. The latter can be placed either on a chimney, deck, or attic. Computers or cordless phones can interfere with an indoor type. 
Uni-directional or directional antennas get signals from one direction, while multi-directional or omni-directional antennas get signals from all directions.
With TV going from analog to digital, broadcasters can offer many digital programs at the same time. Digital TV also offers better picture and sound quality than analog TV. To watch digital television, you will need a digital TV set with a digital tuner. 
The digital tuner may be included in your cable set-top box, fiber service set-top box or satellite set-top box. You can also use an analog TV set, along with a digital-to-analog converter box.
With digital TV, you either get a picture or no picture at all. Stations broadcast in standard-definition during the day, and in high-definition in the evening. It is not possible to get OTA signals, if the transmission tower is more than 70 miles away from your home.
Also, you won't get OTA channels if there is an obstruction, caused by mountains or tall buildings, between the transmission tower and your home. Now that you know how to build your own HDTV antenna, you can install the antenna and enjoy high-def channels without pixelation, skipping, or fuzzy reception.