Wednesday, December 17, 2008

High Definition TV Reception using an Antenna

Get High Definition TV for Free with an Antenna?
A lot of people are buying new LCD and Plasma HDTV's and Projectors everyday, but they can't get HDTV! With so many people upgrading the Cable TV companies and Satellite companies just don't currently have the installers or Boxes to go around. Sure, if you are willing to wait a month or so they'll hook you up, but what are you going to do in the meantime? A lot of other people already use antennas for their TV reception, but may need to upgrade what they have to get good results with the new digital channels. Well, the latest HDTV's pretty much all have built-in "ATSC" tuners which can receive local broadcasts over Antenna for free. All you need is an Antenna, and a bit of know-how to get it set up right.
What do you need to get started?
First, you need to determine what type and size of antenna you will need, which depends on your location. Different locations will be closer or farther away from the Broadcast Towers, and some Stations will eventually be at different frequencies after the digital changeover in February. While most stations will be in the UHF band, some stations are changing from UHF to VHF after the changeover. So how do you find out? There is a great website that walks you through selecting and directing your antenna.

Just click on the "choose your antenna" button, put in your address or just zip code and fill out a few questions and it gives you all kinds of results for every "local" TV station in any direction from you. Most people will just want to aim for the main towers in the closest city. This way you don't need to rotate the antenna to pick up different stations. Those close enough to the local stations towers can often get good reception using a small indoor antenna. Just pick up a small antenna, Those far away would generally need a larger, roof mounted job - quite a bit more of a permanent installation than you may want, but hen again, it's free digital TV and HDTV which is a nice option to have if your Cable or Satellite TV service goes down or you get sick of paying for it. Anyway, it gives you the Antenna type color code, miles from the Broadcast Tower and Compass heading referenced in degrees from magnetic North. All you need to set up the Antenna for good reception. They also have a variety of FAQ's and Resource sites which should answer any other questions you may have. Another great resource is the AVS Forum "Local HDTV Info and Reception" forum where you can ask questions and read up on what people local to you are doing for OTA (over the air) Reception.

If you decide to take the plunge, we have some of the top rated Antennas, Amplifiers and Splitters to finish the job.
Please see our Channel Master Products Section.

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