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05 August 2015

Understanding Television Antennas

Terrible TV reception can be incredibly frustrating, especially if you’re watching a really great movie or show. Double-images, tv snow and digital scrambling are some of the most common antenna-related problems that will interfere with your tv reception. It’s important to install the right kind of antenna in the right way to get the most out of your television. Browse through this TV antenna guide and end your agony!

The Basics of a TV Antenna

Everybody dreams of a single perfect antenna that you can place anywhere and get perfect reception. Sadly, there’s nothing like it, or it at least hasn’t been invented yet. The factors which most often impact reception is the direction and distance of the antenna from the station transmitters. Other contributing factors include the transmitter’s strength, the tower’s height, and the presence of large structures between your antenna and the tower.

If you reside only a few miles away from the transmitter and are not surrounded by mountains or buildings, a small set-top indoor antenna may be enough to get decent TV reception. Logically, as the distance increases it is harder to get good signal strength. You need to be careful when choosing what type of antenna to use and where it will be installed.

VHF and UHF Antennas

Similar to analog signals, you can broadcast digital TV signals using 2 different frequency ranges.

  • VHF/Very High Frequency

VHF channels range from 2-13 with low-band VHF taking the channels 2 to 6 and high-band taking the 7-13.

  • UHF/Ultra-High Frequency

UHF channels range from 14-1 with the low-band having 50 and the high-band comprising around 450 channels.

Typically, the channel number you are trying to receive indicates your need for either a VHF or UHF antenna. If it’s around 2 to 13, VHF is adequate but if the channel number is beyond 13 then UHF is needed. However, this is not always the case. Reference numbers are sometimes embedded into analog channels to make it easy for viewers to remember them.  For example, what you know as Channel 9 may actually Channel 25 in the digital category. A digital station might be tagged as a VHF channel by your TV when it actually belongs to the UHF range.