Erecting a TV Antenna
If you have been told that you may not erect a small outdoor TV antenna, that is probably wrong. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 has a provision that preempts (overrules) nearly all local restrictions such as deed restrictions, home-owners association rules, renters contracts, and so on. For more details see FCC Fact Sheet.
Late news: Note that now is not a good time to buy a Yagi antenna. Present Yagi antennas are optimized for channel 69. But in the U.S. 51 is now the highest channel, and a new generation of Yagi antennas cut for channel 51 will be the most desirable. For the next few years Yagi buyers must pay close attention to the frequency specs.
Many people live in areas where TV signals are strong. Even if these people know nothing about selecting or installing an antenna, they will probably succeed anyway. This website is written mainly for people in areas where reception is nontrivial to very difficult. A trip to the website www.antennaweb.org will tell you quickly into which group you fall. If your must-have stations are in the yellow or olive-green range then there is not much reason to study anything. (But if your present antenna is disappointing then read on.)
Common TV Antenna Types
Shown above is the radiation diagram for a 9-element Yagi antenna that the author once used to receive channel 12. To interpret this diagram, imagine that the antenna is at the origin. The length of a line from the origin to any point on the surface is proportional to the gain in that direction.
An antenna made for analog TV will work fine for DTV. There is nothing different about an antenna for DTV or HDTV. Unscrupulous people have labeled their antennas “HDTV Antennas” as a marketing ploy. The honest antenna makers have had to re-label their products likewise to avoid losing sales.
Gain – a measure of how much signal the antenna will collect.
Beam width – how directional an antenna is.Bandwidth – how the gain varies with frequency. A narrowband antenna will receive some channels well, but other channels poorly.
- HDTV Antennas
- Winegard HD-1080 2-Bay Bowtie Outdoor HDTV Antenna
- Winegard HD-7698P Outdoor HDTV Antenna 168" Boom
- Winegard HD-7694P Outdoor HDTV Antenna 65" Boom
- Winegard HD-7697P Outdoor HDTV Antenna 131" Boom
- Common TV Antenna Types
- Erecting an Antenna
- AntennaWeb Stations and Antenna Types
- AntennaWeb You need a Large Directional Antenna