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Everything you need to know about HDTV antennas

Thomas TV can help you select the right antenna to enjoy over-the-air television

Given the rising costs of subscription television many people are bailing on their cable and specialty television packages, choosing instead to rely on good old-fashioned antennas to secure their television signals. Thankfully, antenna technology has advanced beyond the “rabbit-ear” style antennas used by television watchers in the previous century.

Like any modern entertainment-based technology, it’s important to educate yourself on the merits of what HDTV antennas are available and what style works best in your geographic area. That’s where Welland’s Thomas TV can help.

“The best place to buy an HDTV antenna for the best price is at Thomas TV,” said Tyler Thomas, owner of Thomas TV. “We have tested the antennas we sell to see where they work the best. We can help you get the right one for your application.”

HDTV antennas are a great way to secure free over-the-air television in Niagara. To help you determine what the best option for your viewing would be, Thomas has provided the following information about antennas.

What to look for when you want to buy a TV antenna

According to Thomas, there are basically two differences in how HDTV antennas are made: there are indoor antennas and outdoor antennas.

Some can be used in both situations depending on the design. In addition, there are also antennas that have a longer range measured in miles or kilometres. The higher the range rating of an antenna, the more channels you are likely to receive through the antenna.

However, Thomas warns that some of these ratings are measured over surfaces that have no major obstructions, like across lakes. Things like large urban landscapes featuring tall buildings or areas with huge variances in land height or spotted with windmills and other structures can have an impact on your antenna reception.

“In our area outdoor antennas are the best,” said Thomas. “Unfortunately, sometimes that is not an option so you can buy an indoor HDTV antenna. It will receive less than what you would receive with an outdoor antenna but enough to get you a few good free channels. With how technology has progressed, indoor antennas have come a long way.”

How to you set up your HDTV antenna?

When it comes to antenna placement, Thomas said direction is everything. To get maximum reception, you need to aim our antenna towards the transmitter for the channels you want the most. You’ll need to also set your TV to scan for channels so it can pick up available HDTV signals.

“You may need to experiment with it,” said Thomas. “It can be a bit of a treasure hunt at times.”

For those using an outdoor HDTV antenna, Thomas said you can save a lot of work by doing some preliminary research to find out where the nearest broadcast towers are. This will help you aim the antenna. Full Digital broadcast reception is determined by line of sight, so it is very important to aim it right.

While you many never have access to a universe of over 150 HDTV channels, purchasing an indoor or outdoor HDTV antenna is a great way to save money be eliminating your cable costs. With internet access and streaming services combined with a TV antenna for local content, you can still have a significant amount of channel choice. Most channels you receive will be in Full HD 1080P quality; it will ultimately depend on whether the station broadcasts in HD or not. In uncompressed full HD the picture can be superior to other sources like cable or satellite.

What TV channels are available free over-the-air in Canada?   

There are a lot of free over-the-air channels available from Canada and from the U.S.A. that may or may not be available to you.

In the Niagara area customers have been able to get the following through their free HDTV antenna: CHCH, PBS, PBS Kids, FOX, NBC, CBS, CBC, ABC, LAFF, GRIT, ESCAPE, CTV, MyTV, Global, YesTV, WNED, The CW, TVO, and more.

The channels you can receive depends on where you are located in the Niagara Region, how close are you to the nearest broadcast tower, and the direction in which h your antenna is pointed.

Thomas TV can help you get a better Idea of what is available in your area. Come in and discover the variety of HDTV antennas available today.

Visit Thomas TV at 130 Thorold Road West in Welland. Or connect online.