Before you buy your antenna and spend your hard earned money you need to consider a few things. You need to find the type of antenna that you need, the location of your antenna, your budget, your skill level and the cost effectiveness of the project. Depending of the location of your home you may not benefit from getting your TV programming from a TV antenna if you don't get enough channels where you live or, if the channels available in your area don't appeal to you. Before you start you may want to search all the stations broadcasting where you live. An excellent source of information is Antennaweb.org. At antennaweb.org you can search stations in addresses located in United States and overseas territories and, it is a great tool to help you decide what to do next.
Step 1: Outdoor antenna versus indoor antenna
- Easy to install, almost right out of the box.
- Some have great receptivity wherever you place them in your home.
Some disadvantages of indoor antennas are:
- Some cheaper antennas have limited receptivity.
In contrast outdoor antennas have some benefits like:
- Choice of unidirectional or omnidirectional.
- Better and increased receptivity of digital signal.
- Usually located at the highest point on a structure, thus increasing reception.
- Choice of shapes and sizes. Some antennas look like arrows, some look like little satellite dishes, some look like grids and, some like flying saucers. The shape of the antenna is a result of its function. Unidirectional antennas look like arrows and some of the newer ones look like small satellite dishes. Omnidirectional antennas may look like grids or small flying saucers.
- There are many different ways to install an outdoor antenna: gable install, roof, wall or, chimney. There are different installation kits available in almost every hardware store.
The disadvantages of the outdoor antennas are:
- Unless you hire a professional installer, it requires you to climb ladders, use power drills and, walking on your roof. Caution should be taken to not install your antenna too close to electrical wires or, during wet, stormy or, snowy weather. Always observe the maximum weight capacity on your ladder, do not use unstable ladders and, never overextend your arms trying to reach anything.
- Installation of an outdoor antenna requires grounding to discharge any electrostatic potential that will attract lightning.