When you ask about the best television antenna for your TV, you might imagine something akin to the “rabbit ears” of yesteryear. However, television antennas have come a long way since then, for reception or their valuable service as punch lines of generational humor. During this time, the relevance of the television antenna has only grown as many people seek out better picture quality without having to pony up the cash for expensive cable services. And, without a doubt, the best television antenna is an HDTV antenna.
HDTV Antenna vs. Cable
Thanks to the switch from analog to digital, we are left with an all or nothing situation. You can either watch crisp, non-grainy picture or none. If you think, however, that this pigeonholes you into having to sign on with a cable television service, think again.
Many stations broadcast local and syndicated programming (pre-HD days) in standard definition while switching to HDTV during primetime. If the view to the sky is clear, an HDTV antenna can offer you more options than previously indicated.
There are also several good reasons to at least give a television antenna a chance when comparing it to cable:
- Over-the-air HDTV signals are free – barring, of course, the initial investment of the antenna.
- An HDTV antenna can grant you access to your local channels when some TV service providers won’t. In some cases, like DIRECTV for example, local channels are included, but this is not always the case, nor are they always broadcast in HD.
- Cable providers go on and on about the plethora of channels they provide, but there’s a cost…and we’re not just talking about your wallet. In order to provide all these channels, some cable providers employ rigorous data compression methods that diminish the picture quality. Something you don’t need to worry about with an antenna capable of over-the-air digital reception.
Those are just a few of the cases for the HDTV antenna when compared to expensive cable plans.
Indoor or Outdoor
Indoor HDTV antennas look sleek and are designed to rest comfortably next to or on top of the television set. Great for Feng Shui purposes but not-so great when it comes to the viewing experience. As a general rule of thumb, the more surface area on an antenna, the better the reception. Outdoor antennas are typically designed to be mounted on your roof and are significantly larger, allowing for better picture quality.
The Indoor antenna design suffers for its convenient, compact size by offering poor picture quality from even the slightest obstruction. This includes walking past it, drawn curtains and even the walls of your home. With all of this taken into account, it’s not difficult to see that the outdoor antenna is a superior model compared to its compact, indoor cousin.
Finding the Best Television Antenna
Size is obviously an important factor, but there are other things to consider. Logistical concerns regarding installation, cost, ordinances in your residential area – be sure to do your research before you purchase one of these. There are plenty more online resources that dive deeper into the trade.