We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How do I Choose the Best HD Antenna?

By William M. Carter
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Many television stations around the world now transmit signals in a digital format. With digital signals, you either have a great picture or no picture. Choosing the best HD antenna for your television can be tricky. The distance and direction of the transmitting station to your television set are typically the two main questions to answer when choosing an HD antenna. If the TV station is local and near your house, then an indoor antenna that sits on top of of the TV set may work just fine. Longer distances will most likely require an outside HD antenna that can be attached to a roof.

The first step is to determine the distance and direction of all the television stations that can be received in your area. There are websites online that utilize antenna mapping software to list the stations in various areas and sometimes even recommend antenna guidelines. Calling station listings in phone books can also yield station locations.

With the growing digital transition for television stations, another important consideration in choosing an HD antenna is knowing whether the local stations are VHF or UHF stations. Typically, channels below channel 14 are VHF channels, and those above channel 14 are UHF channels. This will help determine whether you need a UHF antenna, or a VHF/UHF antenna. The tricky part of this is after a transition from analog to digital signals, stations may move to a different channel number. Local or national regulatory agencies, such as the Federal Communications Commission in the United States, usually provide such information to consumers. In the United States, the new digital stations are required to insert a code into the operating frequencies to force the HD converter or television set to display the old channel, so there is no need to memorize new channels.

The final step in choosing an HD antenna is to determine whether a directional or omni directional HD antenna is best suited for your situation. Omni directional antennas usually work best; they are recommended if various station transmitters are more than 20 degrees apart. If the transmitters are in all directions, a directional antenna with a rotor may be the best solution. A rotor allows you to change the direction of the antenna from inside your home.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.