If you seriously want to discontinue your subscription with your cable provider or you want to add local stations that aren’t currently part of your subscribed TV bundle, integrating an antenna into your TV system at home will make it all possible. The process is simple to carry out and generally inexpensive.
But there is a minor setback that must be looked into here. Over-the-air television signals use two separate sets of frequencies. There is a good chance that the TV channels you want to watch on your TV are available on both bands, or on only one of them. With that scenario in mind, you won’t see the channels, until you realize you have a dire need for an appropriate antenna.
UHF Antenna vs VHF Antenna
Very high frequency, otherwise known as VHF, and ultrahigh-frequency, or simply UHF TV signals are transmitted over the radio (UHF). On the lower VHF (54 to 216 MHz) and upper UHF (from 470 to 890 MHz) radio frequencies, the VHF band covers the same broadcast area.
For amateur radio operators, the band choice of frequencies has a lot to do with the scope of the signal. Until cable TV came along, the majority of television stations were using UHF. The reason being it was less prone to interference issues.
Besides, it also transmitted better over the length of the wire. The UHF antennas these days is more common than it was in previous decades because it made HD programming possible.
Antennas With Visible Elements
The size of the elements in your antenna indicates whether it can receive VHF or both VHF and UHF. These types of antennas are generally classified as omnidirectional aluminum antennas.
These antennas are designed to operate in only one direction. It is either horizontally or vertically. It is also typical for them to have single prongs with varying widths that are laid out in parallel rows.
Longer elements in an easy-to-remember V-shaped design make up an outdoor VHF antenna. An antenna that contains both V-shaped and a more compact group of straight elements should be capable of transmitting both signals.
The most basic indoor antenna is the basic rabbit ears design. This type of antenna can receive a VHF signal. In the case of the UHF, it makes use of a loop-shaped antenna. This can be arranged, either horizontally or vertically.
To relay both sets of frequencies, many antennas have rabbit ears and loops.
Antennas Without Visible Elements
Certain antennas are visually unidentifiable, either because they are concealed inside a streamlined case or because they are shaped differently, such as a flat type of antenna for greater ease in-wall mounting.
Such information can be found on a plate or decal attached to the antenna. Sometimes you will see them instead in the user’s manual. The band includes UHF television channels 2 through 13, as well as UHF television channels 14 through 51.
Choosing a TV Antenna
When deciding between antennas or whether an existing antenna would suffice, two factors must be taken into account: the channels you want to receive and the strength of their signals.
That’s trickier than it seems, since Channel 6 Local News may now transmit on – for example – UHF channel 38 rather than VHF channel 6, it will continue to appear on channel 6, in order to maintain the station’s branding.
On the Federal Communications Commission’s website, you can check and compare your station’s actual and virtual channel numbers by call sign. You may need a UHF antenna, a VHF antenna, or a dual-band antenna.
Additionally, there are online resources available on enthusiast websites and antenna manufacturer websites that indicate the strength of a channel’s signal in your region. You can reference them if you want to choose between a basic and inexpensive indoor antenna, a more powerful amplified antenna, or a full-bore outdoor antenna.