From InterceptRadio.com Wiki
When shopping for a TV antenna, please disregard misleading advertising such as HDTV READY or DIGITAL. These terms are bogus because Digital/HDTV signals use the same frequencies as standard analog TV. A regular VHF/UHF antenna is perfectly capabable of receiving Digital/HDTV signals.
If you are a long distance from your local TV stations then I recommend four things to bring in a good signal:
- Altitude - Get your antenna as high off the ground as possible. Mount the antenna on your roof, on top of a pole, or buy a small antenna tower. It always helps if you live on top of a hill.
- Antenna size - The bigger the better ! See the list of antennas (below). You can put these antenna names into a search engine to find a dealer where you can buy one.
- Antenna amplifier - A good amplifier will boost the signal without boosting a lot of interference. Many people recommend the Channelmaster 7777. It is important to get a "mast mount" amplifier and mount the amplifier as close as possible to the antenna. Mounting the amplifier near the television is generally useless because it will also amplify any noise added due to signal losses in the antenna cable.
- Cable - The cable between your antenna and TV is something often overlooked. Do not use RG-59 cable! Use RG-6 cable which is a little thicker and has lower loss. The difference between RG-59 and RG-6 is especially noticeable at UHF frequencies when your antenna cable is long. Most of the new HDTV stations use UHF frequencies (regardless of whether their channel number appears to be VHF) so this is an important thing to consider. RG-6 cable is available from many manufacturers and the quality of the cable can vary accordingly. A good brand of RG-6 cable is CommScope. Good quality connectors are also very important, it's best to use compression fittings whenever possible. These work much better than the cheaper twist-on connectors.
Here are the titans of TV Antennas, the biggest and baddest VHF/UHF/FM:
- Wade-Delhi VU-937SR (192") + VU8PZ (33") powerzoom UHF attachment
- ChannelMaster 4242 (180")
- Antennacraft HD1850 (180")
- Antennacraft HD1800 (180")
- Antennacraft D9000 (180")
- Antennacraft CCS1843 (180")
- Winegard HD8200P (177")
- ChannelMaster "Crossfire" 3671/3671B (173")
- Wade-Delhi VU-936SR (171") + VU8PZ (33") powerzoom UHF attachment
- Winegard PR7052 (170")
- Radio Shack VU-190XR (160")
- Channelmaster "Advantage" 3020 (152")
- Terk TV-38 (150")
- Wade-Delhi VU-935SR (147") + VU8PZ (33") powerzoom UHF attachment
For extreme fringe reception you might consider a Wade-Delhi VIP-307 (VHF) and AntennasDirect XG-91 (UHF). The Wade-Delhi has much better multipath rejection than the Channel Master 3671.
A good low-noise preamp is the ChannelMaster Titan 7777.
Honorable mention: Radio Shack VU-210XR (192") part number 150-2157 (discontinued in 2001)
As of late 2008 there is a new breed of TV antenna commonly called an "HDTV" antenna. This is simply a normal TV antenna with the longest elements for channels 2 thru 6 removed as it is generally assumed that RF channels 2-6 will no longer be used in most markets after the DTV transition is completed. I recently heard there will be approximately 30 remaining stations using channels 2-6 after the transition.
Usually I recommend Winegard & ChannelMaster products however I bought a Winegard HD7695P "HDTV antenna" and it turned out to be a flimsy overpriced piece of junk. At this point in time I would recommend a ChannelMaster CM-2018, ChannelMaster CM-2020, or Antennacraft HBU-44.
Here are the best gain UHF-only antennas:
- Channel Master 4228 (8-Bay)
- AntennasDirect DB-8 (8-Bay)
- Winegard PR-8800 (8-Bay)
- AntennasDirect XG91
- Channel Master 4248/3023
- Winegard PR-9032
- Televes DAT-75