HOUSTON TV ANTENNAS
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A television antenna, or TV aerial, is an antenna specifically designed for the reception of over-the-air broadcast television signals, which are transmitted at frequencies from about 41 to 250 MHz in the VHF band, and 470 to 960 MHz in the UHF band in different countries. Television antennas are manufactured in two different types: "indoor" antennas, to be located on top of or next to the television set, and "outdoor" antennas, mounted on a mast on top of the owner's house. They can also be mounted in a loft or attic, where the dry conditions and increased elevation are advantageous for reception and antenna longevity. Outdoor antennas are more expensive and difficult to install, but are necessary for adequate reception in fringe areas far from television stations. The most common types of indoor antennas are the dipole ("rabbit ears") and loop antennas, and for outdoor antennas the yagi, log periodic, and for UHF channels the multi-bay reflective array antenna. There are advantages and disadvantages to installing a TV antenna, but most people agree that the pros outweigh the cons. The money savings alone is more advantageous than all of the cons put together. With antennas being easy to install and affordable, there’s no reason not to buy one for your home.
Saves You Money
TV Antennas do not require any subscription fees, so your only expense will be the price of antenna itself, which is also affordable, and probably professional fee if you choose a professional to help you with your antenna installation. Antennas’ job by default is to just receive free TV so that you will not need to pay a single cent of subscription fee as needed by cable and satellite TV.
Receives Channels That Are Not Available in Cable and Satellite TV
Many broadcast station have a sub-station that cable and satellite TV don’t have it available. You can only receive these channels through an antenna.
High Definition, Un-altered TV Channels
Not many know that cable and satellite TV provide a compressed signal for high definition programs. Antenna, on the other hand, does not supply compressed signals. They receive signals straight from broadcasting stations and thus making it uncompressed. Because of this, you’ll receive better resolutions for your favorite TV programs.
Easy to Install
The great thing about an antenna, especially a portable TV antenna, is that they are extremely easy to install and highly affordable. You don’t have to hire someone to put in the antenna like what you have to do when installing cable.
Can’t Watch Premium Channels
One slight drawback to having a TV antenna is that that you will not have access to premium channels, like HBO, Showtime and Starz. You’ll only get access to free channels available in your area.
Finding a Signal May Be a Challenge
Finding a signal is one of the most challenging aspects of installing a television antenna. If your yard has a lot of trees or you live next to a tall brick building, there may be too many obstructions to get a good signal. But don’t let this hinder you from purchasing an antenna. Everyone has some degree of difficulty finding the right spot to get a signal.
Available Channels Will Depend on Your Location
Unlike with cable TVs, you can’t be sure which channels you will have access to. The channels available in your area will be dependent on your location. You may not even get some of the broadcast channels that you’d normally get with your cable subscription. However, you may pick up channels that you’d never heard of. Some of those channels may have programming you really enjoy.
Issues During the Installation
Depending on the age and brand of the television, you there may be some difficulty connecting the antenna. The issue really only occurs with older TVs – like very old television sets, but if you have a newer TV, you need not worry about this issue.
You’ll Still Have to Watch Commercials
Since an antenna is just like regular television, advertisements will still be a part of the programming lineup. Only streaming services eliminate commercials.
Types of TV Antenna
Indoor antennas may be mounted on the TV itself or stand on a table next to it, connected to the television by a short feed line. Because of space constraints, indoor antennas are smaller compared to outdoor antennas, and they’re not mounted at high elevation. For these reasons, indoor antennas often don’t give good reception. They are often used in urban and suburban areas that are usually within the strong radiation "footprint" of local TV stations. In rural fringe reception areas, only an outdoor antenna may give adequate and good reception. There are a variety of indoor antennas that are available in the market. Many have a dial on the antenna with a number of different settings to modify the antenna's reception pattern. This should be rotated with the set on while looking at the screen, until the best picture is obtained.
An outdoor TV antenna is a high-gain directional antenna that is often needed to achieve adequate reception in fringe reception areas, greater than 15 miles from the TV station. They have a unidirectional radiation pattern so the correct end of the antenna must be pointed at the station. The received television signal passes down a feed line (transmission line) into the house to the television. Older antennas used flat 300 ohm twin-lead cable. This had to be kept several inches away from metal objects like the antenna tower or gutters, so it had to be mounted on standoff insulators. Modern antennas use 50 ohm RG-6 coaxial cable that attaches to the TV with a type F connector.
Designs of outdoor antenna are often based on the Yagi-Uda antenna or log-periodic dipole array (LPDA). These are composed of multiple half-wave dipole elements, consisting of metal rods approximately half of the wavelength of the television signal, mounted in a line on a support boom. These act as resonators; the electric field of the incoming radio wave pushes the electrons in the rods back and forth, creating standing waves of oscillating voltage in the rods. The antenna can have a smaller or larger number of rod elements. In general, the more the elements, the higher the gain. Another design, used mainly for UHF reception, is the reflective array antenna, consisting of a vertical metal screen with multiple dipole elements mounted in front of it.
Outdoor antennas are also highly directional. They have a narrow main lobe; that is, their maximum sensitivity (gain) is only achieved over a narrow angle along their axis, so they must be pointed at the transmitting antenna. This, however, presents a problem when the TV stations to be received are located in different directions. In this case, two or more directional rooftop antennas each pointed at a different transmitter are often attached on the same mast and connected to one receiver. One alternative is to use a single antenna mounted on a rotator; a remote servo system that rotates the antenna to a new direction when a dial next to the television is turned.
Things to Consider when Installing a TV Antenna
Finding the perfect location for your Television antenna is not always easy, and you’ll need to know where the towers are to put them in the right place. The antenna type you use and its location will depend on how far away the tower is. Towers that are 50 or more miles away will require specialized equipment, so keep that in mind. Below are some important things that need to be considered when choosing a place for the antenna:
The height of the antenna is the most important thing because higher antennas can pick up a stronger signal. Therefore, the higher the antenna, the better.
Because you won’t be relying on cable wires, the strength of the signal is very much vulnerable to obstructions. The more things blocking the way of the signal, the weaker it will be. Therefore, it is important that you find a spot with a few obstructions as possible, so you can enjoy the best signal possible.
It should go without saying that the antenna direction is extremely important. Most of the antennas available on the market are uni-directional, so they must be pointed at the signal’s source (the broadcast tower).
First and foremost, find out where the towers are in your area. Once you find out where they are located, you can figure out which direction to place your antenna. Remember, you must point the antenna in the direction of the tower to get the strongest signal possible.
Sometimes, changing the direction slightly may also give you access to more channels that you may not have access to right now.
Finding the right location before making a permanent installation is the key to success.
- TV antennas are good conductors of electricity and attract lightning, acting as a lightning rod. The use of a lightning arrestor is very important to protect against this. A large grounding rod connected to both the antenna and the mast or pole is required.
- Properly installed masts, especially tall ones, are guyed with galvanized cable; no insulators are needed. They’re designed to withstand worst-case weather conditions in the area, and positioned so that they do not interfere with power lines if ever they fall.
- There is an inherent danger in being on the rooftop of a house, required for installing or adjusting a television antenna. British entertainer Rod Hull died after falling from his roof where he had been trying to improve reception for a football match.