Did you know that across the US, over fifty free-to-air channels are available for viewing? With such a wide range, it is astonishing that many people still choose to pay for expensive subscription services. So how do you access quality free programming? All you need to do is switch to an antenna. Read on as we discuss seven things you must know before getting a digital TV antenna.
1. You Don’t Need a Subscription
Once you have paid for your antenna and TV antenna installation, the expenditure stops. You don’t have to pay for subscription services as you do with cable or streaming services. There are no recurring bills to worry about, bringing your monthly outgoings down.
Many of the channels you will receive will also feature many of the same shows. They may arrive a little later, and you may not be able to watch them all in one go, but it is a small price to pay for big savings.
2. You Get Access to Local Channels
A digital TV antenna service will open up a world of channels. You get all the programming you would expect from cable services. From music to sport and TV shopping, everything you want will be there.
In addition, you will get access to relevant and current local programming. You can tune in to watch the local sporting games, or access current events from your area. All of this can help you stay connected with your town and state.
3. What Type of Antenna Will You Get?
Before you contact an antenna installation company, you need to know what antenna to get. There are three main types to choose from.
An indoor TV antenna sits inside the house. It will only fit a single TV and does not serve the whole house as others do.
They are the least powerful antenna, and they may not work in every location. You can attach antenna boosters, or move them closer to windows and higher-up walls for better signals. They usually work better if you are close to a broadcast tower.
An outdoor antenna will serve the whole household. They can pick up signals from a long way off, meaning they are great for more remote, rural locations.
These antennas are the hardest to install, as they are quite large and have to be secured to a rooftop. Do an online search for ‘antenna installation near me’ and hire a professional with the right tools for the job. This will not only result in better quality but will be much safer.
The final antenna is an attic antenna. Like the outdoor antenna, it sits on a metal plate in the roof space. It is almost as effective, but material from the roof and electrics may hamper some of the signals received.
4. Know the Cost
The cost will depend on the type of antenna you purchase, and if you are able to install it yourself. Single-use indoor antennas can cost between $10 and $50. Though you have no installation fees, they are less effective than others.
Big antennas for rooftops and the attic can cost anywhere up to $160. It is recommended that you get someone to install these for you, as they will know the best positions for signal strength. You can learn more about the installation cost here.
5. HD or HDTV?
When you are choosing an antenna, you may see both of these terms advertised. Luckily, they are two terms for the same thing. Neither is better or worse than the other.
Every digital antenna will be capable of providing high-definition pictures and sound. It does, however, depend on how the broadcaster chooses to put out their content, so some may still be in standard definition regardless.
6. Know Your Position
One of the few downsides to digital antennas is obstacles. The more objects that are around the antenna, such as buildings or trees, the weaker your signal will become. Rooftop antennas work best as they are higher and have fewer obstacles around them.
The signal you get will come from the broadcast tower. If you know where your nearest broadcast tower is, you can face the antenna in the direction and position it for better signal reception. Some antennas also work better with different types of towers, so do your research carefully.
7. All Major Networks Transmit
It is not just local and niche channels you will find. All major networks transmit free to watch signals. These networks are paid for by advertisers, not subscribers, and so you will still get major news, entertainment, and sports networks.
8. Sub Channels
In addition to the channels you will get, each broadcaster will also have sub-channels that will appear as points on your television. For example, channel 3 may also have 3.1, 3.2, and such forth. This means that aside from a network’s main channel, you will get additional programming that they choose to broadcast.
9. You Can Compliment Other Services
Of course, you can choose to compliment your existing subscriptions with digital antennas. If the paid service goes down due to internet or satellite outages, you still have access to television. You may also find they go down because of bad weather, and you will still be able to keep on watching.
Speak With an Installation Expert About a Digital TV Antenna
Now you know the benefits of a digital TV antenna, speak with an expert. They will be able to advise on the best antenna for your location and give information on local broadcast towers and programming.
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- About the Author
Abigail Bassey is an interior design and lifestyle enthusiast & blogger with over 5+ years of experience in writing and editing. She takes pleasure in helping people achieve their dream homes.