Hdtv Antenna

Written by Gregg Ruais
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When my editor first assigned me the topic of HDTV Antennas, I thought she had made a typo. Only the cable companies and satellite providers could bring high-definition programming into people's homes, or so I thought. In my mind, antennae were silver rabbit ears that extended no more than three feet in the air. They could pick up television signals, but the reception would always be less than perfect. There would be squiggles and fuzzy blemishes on the screen whenever you relied on an antenna.

I'd forgotten the tremendous antenna that had been on my parents' rooftop until Hurricane Gloria knocked it off in 1986, an event that prompted mom and dad to get cable. HDTV had not been invented in 1986, but the picture on my Saturday morning cartoons had always been clear--not HD quality, but clear enough. Today, any broadcasting company that records its programs in HD can transmit an HD signal over the airwaves.

The antennae that receive these signals cost between $60 and $200. Satellite TV providers can help people determine which antennae they need, and there are Websites that tell people whether they require the largest antennae or if they can still get the channels they want using the less expensive models. People can install antennae on their own. Most of them come with securing devices that protect them from the wind.

HDTV Is a Growing Trend in Antenna Television

Only broadcast companies that send digital signals, rather an analog, can offer HDTV programming. Local channels that provide HDTV are in the minority, but they are growing in numbers. For example, out of several dozen antenna channels available on Long Island, only six of them currently send digital signals. However, there are additional broadcasters currently awaiting FCC approval to make the trasition from analog to digital.


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