digital tv antenna on top of roof

3 Things to Know About Digital TV Antennas

In 2013, Australia’s last analogue TV transmitters were switched off, ushering in the era of digital TV. Since then, free-to-air digital TV has been the go. Many homes have yet to install a digital TV antenna, however. We’ve got three things you should know if you want to make the change to digital.

1. Analogue Antennas Can Pick Up Digital TV Signals

Did you know that old analogue antennas can pick up digital TV signals? You might think that to pick up a digital TV signal you need a digital antenna. In fact, the type of antenna is not important.

Channel frequency, however, is important. The frequency used by many analogue antennas differs to that used by digital antennas. For frequencies used by both types, analogue antennas will receive digital TV. Any digital TV frequencies outside of the analogue antenna’s frequency are not received, however, and you’ll miss out on these channels!

To enjoy the full potential of digital TV, we recommend making the switch to a digital TV antenna.

2. Size Actually Does Matter

Did you know that wrapping your antenna in aluminium will actually improve the signal? This is because it increases the surface area of the antenna. This means that the size and shape of your antenna are important to the quality of the signal you will receive.

Larger antennas are more able to receive a weak signal and the shape of the antenna also impacts what frequencies it can pick up. While the size and shape of the antenna do have an effect on the quality of the signals it receives, the TV tuner does all the detailed work.

The TV tuner fine-tunes the exact frequency or channel. It also interprets the information contained in the radio signal. The strength of the signal contains the AM information, while FM information comes from the frequency.

3. Types of Digital TV Antennas

There are three main types of digital antennas – indoor, outdoor, and loft antennas.

Indoor Antennas

Indoor antennas connect one TV to free-to-air TV, and are one of the simplest to install but sacrifice some signal quality.

If your home is in a location with especially good digital TV signals, you might be able to get away with an indoor antenna. To improve the signal you can position the antenna high and near a window.

Outdoor Antennas

Outdoor TV antennas are more common in Australia. More specifically, you’ll find Yagi and Log Periodic antennas.

Yagi antennas receive a stronger signal but for a more narrow frequency range. So while you’ll receive less channels with this antenna, the quality of the signal is very good. Log Periodic antennas, however, receive a wider range of frequencies but the signal is weaker.

Regardless of which outdoor antenna you have installed, these receive a stronger signal than an indoor antenna would. Installation, however, is more difficult and is best done by an antenna specialist.

Loft Antennas

Loft TV antennas are somewhere between indoor and outdoor antennas. They are installed in your roof space and so are easier to install than an outdoor antenna. Depending on what your roof is made out of, however, the signal might be weaker.

Compared to an indoor antenna, a loft antenna is more difficult to install but will provide a better signal!

Ready for a new digital antenna? Metropolitan Electrical Contractors have antenna installation experts. Contact us to learn more about our antenna services.

Published: 4 Aug, 2020

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