Need Help Choosing the Right HDTV Antenna

 

Need help choosing the right antenna?

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One of the most common questions we receive at Antennas Direct is "What is the right HDTV antenna for my location?"
 
We find ourselves again and again recommending our ClearStream™ and Bowtie series of antennas because they function very well in the majority of locations.  Since these antennas and are multi-directional, they are ideal for locations where the broadcast towers are not centrally located or when one is trying to capture signals from multiple cities. In addition, multi-directional antennas work well even if all of the broadcast towers are consolidated in one area as we see in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
 
Use our distance chart to determine the right antenna for your location:
 

 

Need More Help?

While our ClearStream™ and Bowtie antennas work very well is most locations, we also offer other antennas to meet your needs. We have analyzed the largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. and provided a summary of which antennas work best in which cities.
 
View Antenna Recommendations for Major Metro Areas for a list of locations and their stations. If you do not live in a major U.S. city, this page will walk you through the process of identifying the type of antenna that will perform the best.
 
1. Locate the nearest digital television transmitters (DTVs) to your location by going to AntennaPoint.com and filling in your address and other relevant information.
 
Scroll down to view whether your stations are in UHF or VHF frequency. Obviously, most people do not want to outfit their home with numerous antennas, so some tradeoffs are typically made. From this chart you can determine the type (UHF or VHF), power, and style antenna that should work best.

 

 

2. Check to see if all of the digital channels in your area broadcast on the UHF band.

Look under the columns titled "Channel" and "Band" or refer to our list of digital stations broadcast on the VHF band. If you need to receive low frequency VHF stations (Channels 2-8) you may need a VHF antenna.

Choosing the Best Antenna Step 2 

 

3. Determine how far will your antenna be from the transmitters?

Look at the "Dist." column on the far right side of the chart and then choose from the following:

  • Indoor: 0-15 Miles
  • Short Range: 0-25 Miles
  • Medium Range: 10-55 Miles
  • Long Range: 50-70+ Miles

Choosing the Best Antenna Step 3

 

4. Determine whether you need a uni-directional or multi-directional antenna?

In some cities like New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, all stations are broadcast from one central area, the Empire State and GE Buildings in New York, the Sears Tower or Hancock Building in downtown Chicago, and Mt. Wilson in Los Angeles. In other cities like St. Louis, the transmitters are scattered around the city.

antenna point heading

 

Check the "Heading" and if all of your desired stations are transmitting from the same area or within 20° of each other you can use a uni-directional antenna. If the transmitters are positioned more than 20° apart, it is best to use a multi-directional antenna. It is important to note that most multi-directional antennas will work in place of uni-directional antennas, but you may pick up some multi-path distortion.

How to MapBy zooming in and out on the map you can get a graphical representation of your compass orientation.

If you need further assistance with choosing the best HDTV antenna for your area, please contact one of our antenna specialists at 1-877-825-5572 between the hours of 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM EST or Weekends 10AM and 6PM Central Standard Time or by using our Contact Form.