In order to enjoy your HDTV and home theater setup, you need something to watch. Sure a Blu Ray player is nice, and set-top boxes can provide almost unlimited entertainment, but sometimes there just isn’t anything as good as watching your local TV stations. Whether you want to be able to watch the local news at night or in the morning, or you want to be able to see your local sports teams, being able to watch your local stations can’t be replaced by a Blu Ray player or internet streaming device. You will either need to pay monthly for cable or satellite, or you can purchase an HDTV antenna once and never have to pay a monthly bill for it.
If you want to watch your local TV stations for free, then you need to buy an HDTV antenna. An antenna is the only way of getting TV channels over the air with no monthly fee. No need to pay your monthly bill and your quality should be just as good as cable or satellite TV. Of course the reception quality depends on where you are in relation to the TV transmitters, but most people experience very good reception with high quality HDTV antennas.
The difference between a digital antenna (which all HDTV antennas are) and the older analog antennas is the way they receive signals. Digital antennas receive signals in a block shaped waveform that either contains a 1 or a 0. That means that if your antenna receives the signal at all it will look perfectly. With older analog broadcast signals, they are susceptible to more interference because the signal wave can become deformed very easily and that causes the picture to become very distorted. The tradeoff is that if you live in a rural area or just outside of the broadcast range of the transmitters, you may not get any signal at all. That is because the antenna does not receive enough data to recreate the image and sound that make up the TV signal. That means that if you used to have an analog TV antenna and the signal wasn’t very good but you were happy just to be able to hear it and make out some of the image, then a digital antenna may not bring in any channels at or a very little amount of channels.
HDTV antennas allow your TV to pick up all HDTV signals that are being broadcast within your local area. This will allow you to pick up any of your local news or sports channels that may not be available via satellite or internet streaming.
There are a large variety of HDTV antennas available on the market today in all different types of form factor. Some are larger and made to be installed outside, while others are smaller and designed to be placed on the inside of the house near your TV somewhere. Some are actually very small and slim, being about the size of a piece of paper that can be mounted somewhere unassuming such as on the wall behind your TV. Some Antennas are ‘amplified’ which means that they use more power by plugging into a power source (such as a wall or outside outlet) that allows them to receive many more signals than a non-amplified antenna, as well as signals from further away as well.