What is a Digital Antenna and How does It Work?

A growing desire by TV entertainment viewers to boycott overly expensive cable TV subscriptions presents fresh opportunities to worthy alternatives such as Digital Antennas.

Most digital antennas today offer multiple channel options streaming in HD picture quality. We can tell from the current trajectory that they’re bound to upgrade their broadcast strengths to 4K UHD picture quality in the coming years.

In this article, we’ll explore what Digital Antennas are, factors that make them a worthy backup to cable TV, and other facts you should know to enjoy Free entertainment TV.

Let’s jump into it.

What is a Digital Antenna?

A digital antenna, also called an HDTV, is a TV antenna designed to receive radio signals from a broadcasting tower.

Some tech engineers describe a digital antenna as a type of TV antenna that can receive radio signals from digital television sources at a particular range of frequencies.

So basically, a digital antenna is any piece of equipment that receives digital electromagnetic broadcast signals and decodes them in UHF or VHF frequencies.

How do Digital Antennas work?

An HDTV digital antenna traps signals from nearby broadcast towers of TV stations.

Most local TV stations broadcast their channels over radio frequencies, and your inbuilt TV antenna may not be able to pick these signals effectively.

Most HDTV Antennas come with inbuilt signal amplifiers that ensure you get the best free TV entertainment.

Since the digital antenna relies on the available broadcast signals in the area, its effectiveness is dependent on its nearness to the closest cell tower. In all cases, the closer, the better.

Things to know about Digital Antennas [Hidden Facts]

There are a few facts to know before getting yourself an HDTV Digital Antenna.

  • Broadcast networks are more reliable than cable TV. It’s been proven repeatedly that cable TV services are more easily disrupted by thunderstorms and strong winds than digital Antennas.
  • Many cable cutters see HDTV as a good backup plan for the multiple cable TV blackouts.
  • HDTV digital Antennas can bring up to 100 free local and foreign language channels to your TV.
  • It’s possible to find multiple channels on a single frequency, and these are called sub-channels. This is possible when a particular channel has other TV programs running together on its particular frequency. So you get to watch more Free TV.
  • The signal strength from your digital antenna is limited by surrounding structures like buildings, trees, mountains, etc. The clearer the path between the Digital Antenna and broadcast towers, the better its reception.
  • The size of the antenna impacts its net gain, which in turn impacts its Maximum range. The larger the Antenna size, the greater its gain, and the farther its reception range (up to 350miles).

Can I use Digital Antenna with a Smart TV?

Digital antennas are compatible with all TV types, as long as the TV has an HDMI, coaxial, or composite AV cable port.

Connecting your Smart TV to a digital antenna also improves the picture quality for True HD 1080P (High Definition) and 720P SD (Standard Definition) display.

Comparing Digital Antenna Vs. Regular Antenna

  • Digital antennas have been proven to provide better OTA (Over-the-Air) broadcast signal reception than regular antennas. But why’s that?
  • An HDTV digital antenna has an inbuilt noise filter that filters unnecessary data called ‘ Signal noise’ in Audio and video formats to improve the overall output. Analogue TV antennas receive every available signal on a frequency, resulting in poor reception quality.
  • Digital antennas have a fixed net gain, while Analog antennas have variable gain.
  • An Antenna gain is how many signals and frequencies it can capture.
  • Analogue antennas have a maximum range of 31miles (49.89KM), and the closer you are to the signal source, the better. On the other hand, Digital Antennas have a maximum range of up to 350miles (563.27KM).
  • An HDTV (High Definition TV) digital uses a compression module that improves reception quality. The signal from a digital antenna is also first decoded before relaying to the TV, and this improves the general quality of HDTV compared to analogue antennas.

UHF or VHF: Which Digital Antenna should I get?

UHF stands for Ultra-High Frequency, and VHF means Very High Frequency; while they’re both 2-way radio frequencies (between 30MHz to 1000MHz or 1GHz), these two are very distinct in their performance.

VHF signals travel at a range of 30MHz to 300MHz, while UHF frequencies cover a range from 300MHz to 1GHz (1000MH).

This principle impacts their performance significantly. UHF frequencies can penetrate buildings, structures, and external bodies, making them ideal for indoor use.

On the other hand, VHF signals travel at lower frequencies not exceeding 300MHz, so they suffer a lot of interference with other lower frequency transmissions.

You’ll find UHF frequencies being used to communicate in walkie-talkies with short antennas.

VHF frequencies have just one advantage, Wider range. Because they’re at the lower belt of the spectrum, they have broader wavelengths and travel farther than UHF frequencies.

Some local TV and radio stations have upgraded to UHF frequencies, but most data transmission networks prefer to maintain VHF frequencies for their longer reach.

Indoor or Outdoor Antenna: Which should I go for?

One crucial factor to consider when deciding whether to go for an indoor or outdoor antenna is the antenna’s Surface Area.

The wider the surface area, the greater the antenna’s gain, which translates to more channels.

Going For an Indoor Antenna

It would be best to consider the proximity of the closest broadcast mast/tower. 

Indoor antennas are ideal for you if you’re staying very close to a broadcast tower. 

The position of the Indoor antenna matters a lot, and it must be positioned to face the broadcast tower direction for maximum reception. 

But whenever it is possible to mount, outdoor Antennas offer the best reception quality. 

Although you can improve signal reception for an indoor antenna using a signal booster, you can avoid that extra cost with an outdoor antenna.

Outdoor Antennas generally have a more extended range and better reception line above obstructions from buildings, trees, and other structures.

Connecting Digital Antenna to Multiple TVs

One thing to consider when connecting your HDTV antenna to multiple TVs is that signal strength reduces with each TV addition to the network.

You can counter this setback using a Cable TV splitter with a signal Amplifier for each connected TV. 

An alternative way to connect multiple TVs to a single Digital Antenna is to use a low noise TV preamplifier, which efficiently works for indoor antennas. 

What are the Benefits of Digital Antennas?

There are three main benefits you should exploit using by getting your home a digital antenna.

  • It’s Cheap
  • It’s Free
  • It’s Easy

Top Three Digital Antennas in 2022

1. U MUST HAVE Amplified HD Digital TV Antenna

Has a Long-range of 250+ Miles with 4K and 8K 1080p support. Compatible with Fire TV Stick and All TVs.

They are packed with an Indoor Smart Switch, Amplifier Signal Booster, and 18ft Coax HDTV Cable/AC Adapter.

2. ANTAN Indoor Window HDTV Antenna

It has a 35-45 Miles Range and Support 8K and 4K,1080P picture quality. Watch free TV in UHF and VHF View.

3. Digital HDTV Antenna

Includes a Magnetic Base and Coaxial Cable. It has a 50 Mile Range and is suitable for Indoor or Outdoor use.