What Type of Digital Antenna Do You Need for Prime Reception
On the hunt for a new antenna? It’s important to do your research before just buying the first digital antenna you come across. Before you book your digital TV antenna installation or purchase an antenna, make sure you read this guide.
Why Reception is So Important for Digital TV
Remember back to the olden days (a few years back) before digital TV came in? Analogue TV reception was a bit different to digital. If your reception was a bit dodgy, you could still get a signal and watch your shows (with a bit of “noise” and fuzziness).
But with digital TV, reception is all or nothing. If your signal is good enough, you’ll get a clear picture. And if your signal is too weak, you’ll get no picture or sound at all. That’s why good reception (and the right digital TV antenna, installed professionally) is so important.
I Already Have a Digital TV… Do I Need an Antenna?
Yes, if you want to watch free-to-air TV, you’ll need an antenna. Digital TVs are equipped to decode signals via the digital TV tuner. And these signals need to come through the antenna input at the back of your TV, connected to your digital TV antenna. Here’s how you get a signal to your TV:
Digital TV signal > Digital TV antenna > Antenna cable > TV wall point > Cable > Antenna input on your digital TV
If you have an older style analogue TV, you’ll need a digital set-top box to decode these signals. In this case, the process looks a little different:
Digital TV signal > Digital TV antenna > Antenna cable > TV wall point > Cable > Set-top box > HDMI input on your analogue TV
If cables and technology aren’t your thing, don’t worry. Your antenna technician will take care of the setup for you, from installing your antenna through to plugging in and tuning your TV.
What Are the Different Types of Digital Antennas?
A digital antenna is any type of antenna that’s specifically designed to pick up digital signals. While some of the older style analogue antennas can pick up digital signals, they may not pick up the signal as well or it may be at the wrong frequency, so it can be a good idea to upgrade your analogue antenna to a digital TV antenna. Installing a new antenna will ensure you get the best possible signal and viewing experience for your location.
You can get both indoor and outdoor digital TV antennas installed. Usually, unless you have a very clear line of sight to your broadcast tower (as in, you can see it from the window next to your TV set), an outdoor antenna will be the best option for you. In fact, we nearly always recommend an outdoor digital TV antenna installation.
The problem with indoor antennas is they’re very susceptible to interference – even the walls of your house or your furniture can throw off the signal. So, while they’re often cheap to buy and easy to install, an indoor antenna unlikely to give you the result you’re looking for. However, an outdoor digital TV antenna, installed correctly, will be able to pick up a clear signal from the top of your roof so you can get a reliable connection any time you want to watch TV.
What’s the Best Digital TV Antenna?
So now you know you probably need an outdoor antenna. But there are hundreds of different types of outdoor antennas to choose from… how do you know where to start? Which one will give you the best reception?
The type of outdoor antenna you need will depend mainly on your location. Your location will determine:
- What frequency and gain you need
- The appropriate design to avoid interference from other signals
- How durable and hardy it needs to be to survive your local weather and wildlife
The best antenna for you won’t be the best antenna for someone on the other side of the city/state/country and vice versa. There’s no straightforward answer to the question, “what’s the best digital TV antenna?” Installing and choosing the right antenna is a job best left to the professionals with experience and knowledge to identify the equipment and setup that’s best for your situation.
Outdoor Digital Antenna Features
After your antenna technician assesses your home, they’ll look at a number of different factors to decide what features you’ll need your antenna to include. Features like:
- UHF vs VHF frequency (or a combo)
- High vs low gain (anywhere from 4-18 elements)
- Yagi design vs Phased Array design
- 4G or LTE filtering to avoid mobile phone tower interference
- Stainless steel vs galvanised steel (if you live near the beach, it’s important to go with rust-resistant materials)
- Standard vs heavy-duty thickness (thicker metal will help your antenna survive wild weather, birds, and your nightly possum visitors)
- Brand and manufacturer (we have access to a huge range of brands at all different price points and qualities, including antennas manufactured in Australia – the best kind, we think)
Check this page out for more information on digital TV antennas.
Why to Get Your Digital TV Antenna Installed By a Pro
It’s so important to have your antenna installed by a professional technician. Digital TV antenna installation is not something you should attempt to do yourself. Here’s why:
- Safety – Installing a digital TV antenna can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing; you’ll need to climb ladders, work on the roof, use tools, and be comfortable with electrical equipment
- Optimal reception – Getting a good signal to your TV isn’t always straightforward; it takes skill and experience to know what to do
- Knowledge – Only a professional will know what type of antenna is best for your location
- Experience – Unexpected issues come up more often than you think, but a professional will know exactly what to do in any situation
- Convenience – A professional will get the job done faster and more efficiently so you can go back to enjoying your favourite shows sooner
- Full service – They’ll take care of the extras you might need, like TV point installation, TV wall mounting, TV tuning, and Foxtel installation
Should You Buy Your Own Antenna?
You can buy antennas at your local hardware store, but that doesn’t mean you should. It’s better if you wait until your technician arrives to assess your home because they’ll be able to recommend the right antenna for you. Our technicians also have access to a much greater range of antennas (with top quality brands) than what you’ll find at the hardware store. And you won’t have to worry about choosing the best antenna or whether you’ve picked the right one for your location. It’s all part of the service when you hire a professional to install your digital TV antenna.
Check out our previous blogs to learn more about digital TV and digital antennas:
- Digital vs Analogue: Which Antenna (and Service) Do You Need?
- What Is a Digital Antenna and Do I Need One?
- What Is Digital TV and Do I Need a New TV Antenna Installation?
Get Your Digital TV Antenna Installed Professionally
Ready to get a professional to help you choose the right antenna, get the best reception, and get all set up to enjoy your favourite shows? Call us on 1300 800 123 for a free quote or to book a digital TV antenna installation expert to come to your home.