Television antennas have certainly evolved since the days of those old rabbit ear antennas your dad or grandfather once used (and cursed at while jiggling them about) on top of their sets. Today, thanks to changing technology, if you’re looking to watch network television without having a cable subscription, you are going to need a digital TV antenna. Personally, and for a variety of reasons, I think everyone should own one, regardless. But there are a few things you should know first, and then I’ll fill you in on how to set up a digital TV antenna.
What is a Digital TV Antenna?
Long ago in the before-times, like possibly when you were a kid, television signals were broadcast in analog and that was the standard in most countries. Those were the signals you caught using those bunny ear antennas. Often, getting a decent signal required a frustrating amount of fiddling with the ears, some aluminum foil, and occasionally convincing your youngest sibling to hang on to one antenna while pointing their fingers out the window for the duration of an episode of Knight Rider. However, over the past decade or so most countries have phased out those analog broadcasts in favour of the newer digital television format, and most people now use the more modern Digital TV Antenna to grab signals from the air.
Reasons to Use a Digital TV Antenna
Most people look into buying a digital TV antenna so they can stop paying a cable subscription. However, you may also want to pick one up to compliment the cable package to which you currently subscribe. Say you get channels 1 through 25 on a slim cable package. Well, you could also be getting channels 27, 29, and 41 for free through the air! Another reason to own a digital television antenna is for those days when a storm or something knocks out your cable. Imagine sitting there watching the Stanley Cup playoff final game and suddenly you lose your cable signal! You could simply set up your digital tv antenna, tune in to CBC, and catch the game-winning goal while your neighbours are staring at static.
Types of Digital Television Antenna
Digital TV antennas come in a couple of flavours for your needs. You can either get a nice discreet one that sits in your living room or right by your television indoors, or you can purchase a larger model that is meant to be placed outside on your roof, or side of the house on a pole. Some are narrow focused (directional) antennas; while others are multi-directional and both have various range capacities. Which one you need will depend on how far away you are from those broadcast towers.
Setting Up Your Digital TV Antenna
Setting up a digital TV antenna is really not all that different than setting up an analog antenna was in the old days. Your first step is to choose a location for your antenna. A good rule is that higher is always better! The spot should also be free of other electronic devices or cables that could cause interference.
Next, connect the antenna to your television set (usually an HDMI cable will do the trick) and go to your set’s settings so you can scan for channels. If you have done some research beforehand, you will already know which channels are available for free in your area. If you are having reception issues, try moving your antenna around to a different location, or adjust its position until you get a clearer signal, then enjoy your free television programs!