Television antennae may sound like a thing of the past but believe it or not they are making a comeback. The most in-demand being the indoor HDTV antenna. These portable and easy-on-the-pocket devices are just perfect for every family’s needs.
What Is an Indoor HDTV Antenna?
An indoor HDTV antenna is a miniature form of the antennae you might have observed in the past. These antennae are portable, small, lightweight and easy to install. They receive over-the-air broadcast signals from television channels. The antennae are sensitive to VHF (Very High Frequency) in the range of 41 to 250 MHz and UHF (Ultra High Frequency) channels that operate in the 470 to 960 MHz range.
These devices are placed right on the television sets or on a table adjacent to the TV set. However, people usually put them in a fairly high place inside their homes for better reception. The very basic indoor antennae used in the past were able to pick up the analog signal. However, with the passage of time, everything has shifted to digital and so have the antennae too. Moreover, these antennae are gradually replacing the normal cable in the American households.
Here is a list of the basic types of antennae:
Directional, multidirectional, and omnidirectional
As the name suggests an indoor digital TV antenna can be classified on the basis of its ability to receive signals from particular directions.
A directional antenna can only receive a signal from one particular direction. This makes it the strongest receptor of signals amongst its category. Moreover, it is resistant to noise and interruptions. The other two types can receive signals from multiple directions making them prone to noise and interruptions. The latter two are affected when they receive reflected signals, which weaken signal strength.
Amplified antenna and non-amplified antenna
Antennae can further be divided on the basis of the presence of an amplifier. An amplifier is a device that boosts signals in order to transmit them to long range. An antenna can come with a built-in amplifier that helps it pick up signals from a longer range. Such kind of antennae is known as amplified antennae. The users opt for the device when they are quite far away from the source of the broadcast.
If the user lives in an area which is near TV stations they can opt for the unamplified version of the device. Moreover, the device can be connected to an RF distributing amplifier in order to function as an amplified antenna.
You can find out more about TV antennae here.
Choosing a Digital Antenna over a Coaxial Cable
With antennae gaining popularity, more and more people are confused about choosing between a cable network and the indoor antennae.
Here are a few reasons why antennae should be your choice over the orthodox coaxial cable networks:
HD picture quality
With digital taking over expect no less than high definition picture quality via the indoor TV antenna. Many people fear the loss of quality from over-the-air reception. However, the picture quality is as good as that offered by the coaxial cable medium.
Antennae support off-the-grid life
If you are looking to spend your life away from population and off-the-grid but still need your package of entertainment then indoor antennae are what you are looking for. The over-the-air transmission ensures you receive the signals from nearby stations to keep you occupied in the middle of nowhere. Moreover, receiving the transmission is not illegal as the stations broadcast signals themselves.
Cord cutter’s way to paradise
Cord cutters are people who give up their paid-cable TV subscriptions for an internet-based entertainment medium. The antennae not only help cut cost but also offer a way to enjoy local channels free of cost. Moreover, cord cutters could binge watch their favorite shows while still catching CBS, NBC, Fox, and other local TV stations.
When it comes to saving money, the indoor HDTV antenna reigns supreme over the cable network. According to recently released data, an average cable TV subscription costs around $103 per month. This price is too heavy on the pocket for some families. On the other hand, the indoor antenna lets you watch and enjoy TV channels for free without paying for them. What this means is that you have to pay a one-time cost for the antenna. A basic antenna on an average cost between $40-$60. This allows the user to enjoy the basic channels for free at no cost for the rest of their lives.
Doing away with channels you don’t watch
Most cable TV subscriptions offer lucrative deals by marketing a wide range of channels to their customers. However, an average person does not watch all the channels in their day-to-day life rendering more than half of them useless. With services such as Amazon Prime, Netflix, YouTube TV coming into the picture the user can do away with a bunch of channels and save money. Moreover, the user can still be able to access his daily dose of entertainment on local channels like NBC, Fox, PBS, and CBS for absolutely no cost.
Outdoor Antenna vs Indoor Antenna
The basic and main difference between indoor antennae and outdoor antennae that catches the eye are their respective sizes. While an outdoor antenna is large in size and occupies huge space, an indoor antenna is small, portable and lightweight.
The choice to opt for either device depends on a range of reasons. When it comes to outdoor antennae they need to be placed on the roof of the house in order to function. This can sometimes be inconvenient in cities where people find it difficult to find a place that can accommodate such a device. On the flip side, indoor antennae are portable and lightweight and can be placed over a TV or adjacent to it, saving space and the cable bill as well.
However, when it comes to signal reception outdoor antennae outperform indoor antennae by a long stretch due to their size. The outdoor antennae can receive signal in a range of 60 to 100 miles while an indoor antenna can only receive signals while being in a 30 to 50-mile radius of the broadcast.
Tips for choosing between an outdoor and an indoor antenna
If you are aren’t sure what kind of antenna fits your needs here are some tips:
- If you live in a city where mounting an outdoor antenna is too much work and might catch the eye of your neighbors then indoor HDTV antenna is your best bet.
- The next thing to evaluate is the location of the nearest TV tower. You can do this by visiting sites such as TVFool.com and AntennaWeb.
- If you live within 30-50 miles of the tower then you can opt for a non-amplified indoor antenna.
- When that is not the case you can opt for an amplified antenna while in a city.
- If you live in a rural area far away from the city, then outdoor antennae fit the bill.
Best Indoor HDTV Antenna on the Market
An indoor HDTV antenna can cost anywhere between $30-$100 depending on the facilities provided by the device. Here are some of the options that can be a good buy for you:
The Mohu Releaf costs a meager $35 and is the only 4k-ready antenna available at this price. The indoor antenna is eco-friendly and made up of recycled cardboard and colored with chlorine-free paint. Furthermore, the company sends the user-manual printed on the packaging, saving paper. This is one of the best options for users looking to experience 4K-viewing.
This flat antenna has a price tag in the range of $40-$60, which is a tad bit higher than the other antennae in the category. However, it outdoes the rest in performance. The ClearStream Eclipse is a multi-directional antenna that covers a range of 35-70 miles. Moreover, the antenna comes in black and white on either side and you can mount it anywhere in the house thanks to its wide range of reception. You can even paint the antenna so it fits in with your home decor.
The Mohu Curve costs $70 but comes with its own set of benefits. The sleek and stylish look makes it stand apart from the other devices in the category. You can place this free-standing antenna anywhere in the house and connect it to the TV through the 10-feet coaxial cable provided with the device.
The people of America are slowly shifting to these portable antennae once again. Moreover, as the number of internet-based entertainment services continues to rise, an indoor HDTV antenna seems to be the perfect option for local news and other channels.