Back in the good ol' days, a large rooftop antenna was seen as a status symbol. Today, smartphones, tablets and GPS units have conditioned consumers to expect reliable wireless services in very small packages. These dramatic changes in technology and consumer preferences, along with the switch from analog to digital signals, have created a high demand for quality, over-the-air, digital HDTV antennas.
The designs for those old, rooftop TV antennas are decades old and consist of a configuration in a horizontal “fishbone” style, with “arms” of varying lengths, allowing for the reception of a broader range of frequencies. Although antenna research and engineering have seen radical advancements over the years, manufacturers of television equipment have mostly stuck with these old designs for economic reasons.
Since the transition to digital signals, most digital frequencies are broadcast in UHF (ultra-high frequency). These signals are smaller than VHF (very high frequency) signals, which were the more common transmission method for analog television. UHF signals are broadcast on channels 14 to 51, and VHF signals are broadcast on channels 2 to 13.
It is important to know what frequency your favorite TV stations are transmitting on, before choosing a digital HDTV antenna, as some manufacturers are still selling old antenna designs. Choosing an old antenna design could cause reception problems since they are not built to receive frequencies with "reflected signals", also known as multipath distortion. This RF interference occurs when signals have more than one path between the receiving TV antenna and the transmitting broadcast tower.
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