Digital Television Antenna Guide

December 28, 2015
Outdoor Digital TV Antenna

Digital TV AntennaWhen the United States transitioned to digital TV transmission in February 2009, people who had previously received broadcast channels with no difficulty suddenly found themselves in need of new antennas. However, the sheer variety of digital TV antennas now available on the market may cause confusion when it comes to choosing the right one. Many who are willing to spend thousands on a big-screen digital TV might fail to realize how essential the right antenna is to providing good reception. The information in this guide can help consumers purchase the correct digital TV antenna for any particular situation.

Why Digital TV Antennas Matter

Although there might appear to be some sort of magical difference between digital and analog TV antennas, both actually operate within the same bands. However, a reallocation of the old broadcast channels combined with the switch from radio frequency to digital transmission have made the digital TV antenna essential for proper reception.
Many people reside in rural areas with no access to cable TV and receive no more than three or four broadcast TV stations. These regions can be challenging ones where any sort of broadcast reception is problematic. This is due as much to geographical obstructions in the region as it is to distance from the broadcasting station. Digital antennas can help stabilize and clarify signals to reach more viewers without demanding the costs of satellite services.

Indoor Digital TV Antennas

Indoor digital TV antennas, the least expensive variety, will allow most people who reside within a primary reception area to receive a large percentage of the available DTV channels. This is particularly true of the directional type, where the narrow angle of acceptance reduces interference from any other broadcast stations that do not fall within the same line of sight.

Types of Indoor Digital TV Antennas

Here is a look at the most common options for indoor antennas.


Receives channels 2 through 13

Resembles rabbit-ears

Manual adjustment required


Receives channels 14 through 51

Shaped like a circle, bow-tie, or half-moon


Receives channels 2 through 51

Combines the VHF rabbit ears with the UHF loop design

Multi-directional models make manual adjustment unnecessary

Boosting Digital TV Antenna Reception

If reception provided by the digital TV antenna proves to be less than optimal, pointing it toward the transmitter or moving it to a higher location can sometimes help. The next step is to try a larger antenna with higher gain or greater directionality. When all else fails, switching to an outdoor antenna or using a newer and shorter RG6 cable could also do the trick.

Outdoor Digital TV Antennas

For people attempting to watch TV under more challenging conditions, the indoor digital antenna has its limitations. That's where the outdoor digital TV antenna can be useful. Broadcast signals don't bend, and they can't travel through mountains and buildings. An outdoor location enables a placement that is sufficiently high to permit the reception of an uninterrupted signal. A correctly positioned and oriented outdoor antenna can improve the picture by as much as 70 percent.

Digital TV Antenna Amplification

Because obstructions such as buildings, roofs, trees, walls, and even wind can cause interference, in areas where the TV signals are weak to begin with, many consumers turn to digital TV antenna amplifiers or digital TV antenna boosters to increase the signal strength. While some antennas already contain internal amplifiers, it is also possible to purchase them as separate components.

Buying a Digital TV Antenna on eBay

There are two ways to locate digital TV antennas for sale on eBay. The first is to start at the eBay home page and enter the desired keywords into the search box. This will bring up a page that lists all desired items for sale. From here, adding or subtracting keywords, narrowing search categories, or limiting the search to titles or descriptions will refine it further.
Another option is to browse by category. Click on Shop by Category at the eBay home page and select Consumer Electronics. Next, in the right-hand column, click on TV, Video & Home Audio followed by TV, Video & Audio Accessories and Antennas & Dishes. Use the search box to enter the specific variety or brand of antenna desired.


Programming received through a digital TV antenna costs nothing to view, and thanks to recent technological advances, high-definition TV transmits equally well through the air as it does via cable or satellite. The right digital TV antenna for a particular location and situation can provide excellent television reception with no additional monetary outlay, and the separation of the broadcast bands for digital transmission provides the user with more channels than were previously available through analog.

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