How to Choose the Right Indoor TV Antenna

Written by jennifer underwood
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How to Choose the Right Indoor TV Antenna
An indoor antenna has some of the same functions as an outdoor antenna. (antenna image by Madrider from Fotolia.com)

Choosing the right indoor antenna, will maximise your reception of free television programming. Many websites only address the specifics of outdoor antennas, but having a base knowledge of the signal, range and directional functions of indoor antennas will ensure you purchase the correct one for your home. When it comes to installation, indoor antennas do need to be adjusted often, depending on weather and signal conditions.

Skill level:
Easy

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Know what channels are available in your area. Go to Antennaweb.org, and click "Choose an Antenna." Enter your address and postcode. Confirm your location by clicking "Continue." Print the list at the bottom of the screen.

  2. 2

    Find the types of signal, or signals, your antenna will need to receive. From the list you printed, look to see if ultra high frequency (UHF) or very high frequency (VHF) are listed. Your antenna needs to be specific to either or both of these signals. Do not waste time looking for digital or high-definition specific indoor antennas. These terms are just marketing ploys. There is no special function required for antennas to receive these formats.

  3. 3

    Determine the range specifications of your antenna. Most indoor antennas will only receive a strong signal from a few miles away. If you are trying to receive broadcasts from towers more than 10 miles away, try an antenna with an amplifier.

  4. 4

    Determine the directional needs of your antenna. Indoor antennas are available as directional and omnidirectional. The range from which a signal is received is higher on directional antennas, but the antenna must be turned and the television, or digital box, rescanned each time you change the channel. A omnidirectional antenna will constantly receive a signal from all directions, but will have a much lower range.

  5. 5

    Look for the Consumer Electronics Association seal. This is only on antennas that have been tested for performance. These antennas are required to have listed specifications that are consistent with the actual performance of the antenna. The seal is a red check mark encompassed by the words, "Meets or Exceeds CEA Performance Specifications for Indoor Antennas."

Tips and warnings

  • Indoor antennas must be adjusted often because signals vary from season to season. If you are not able to receive a certain channel, try relocating the antenna and rescanning for channels. To rescan, simply press the "set-up" or " menu" button on the remote control for your converter box or digital television. Select the appropriate rescan option. The term may be "rescan," "auto program," "channel scan," or some other similar term.

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