Part 1Picking an Antenna
- There are a few antenna options available. Rabbit ears, multi-element beams, and large array antennae used in remote locations. Pick the one that best suits your requirements.
- Rabbit ears have two telescoping rods you can move around. These are optimised for receiving VHF signals. While they are better than nothing, they are not the best solution for good television reception.
- Multi-element beam antenna are the most common antenna, and will serve you well. Those are the ones you commonly see on roof tops or masts. They have several elements, each one longer than the other. This design eliminates multi-pathing and focuses the signal, acting sort of like an electronic version of a magnifying glass. They come in a variety of sizes.
- Larger antenna are great if you live in a remote area, in a valley, behind a hill, or other significant obstruction where you may need a larger antenna to get the maximum amount of signal—but don't buy anything bigger than you need to do the job. Really big TV antennas are meant for remote areas. If you are closer in you may pick up too much signal which will lead to distortion, or get channel interference and crosstalk from catching weak overlapping signals from further away.
- Use a rotor. If your location is such that one channel is broadcast from north of you, for example, and another channel is broadcasting to the west you, you may need an antenna rotor so you can turn the beam toward the station's tower.
- If the angles only vary a little bit, or the stations are all fairly close, you shouldn't have much of a problem. If the angle is more than about 30 degrees apart, you may need the rotor—depending on how far the towers are. If you don't have a rotor, but find yourself running up the roof to adjust the antenna every time you change the channel, you'll soon be looking for the best rotor for the job!