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Installing an HDTV Antenna System

You cannot just bring home your HDTV and use your old antenna system. You will need to install an HDTV antenna to get a clear reception. The antenna you use for your HDTV is quite critical. A highly directional antenna with fringe area reception makes the best HDTV antenna.

Here are some things to remember when installing your antenna:

The objective with HDTV antennas is to pick up the signal directly from the transmitting tower without picking up signals that are bouncing off buildings, electrical towers and wires. This is where fringe area antennas come handy. They are designed to reject signals coming from any direction other than straight ahead.

An important thing to keep in mind is to avoid using an antenna mounted amplifier in urban areas. These antennas will amplify everything and make good and clear reception really difficult. With High definition televisions it is best to mount your antenna away from all reflective things and any other antennas in the area. Also try to mount the antenna as high as possible to avoid second hand signals.

If you want to pick signals from multiple stations check the location of the stations. If the stations are more than 30 degrees apart you may need to invest in an antenna rotator for your antenna. Also, it is important to check the distance of your home from the radio station. If you live less than 5 miles from the station, you might want to invest in a 10 or 20 db attenuator to reduce the signal. This will prevent your HDTV set from being overloaded and give you a clear signal.

Another important thing to look out for is strong signals from FM and TV stations. This is one of the most common causes of poor reception on HDTV. An FM trap or FM filter then becomes necessary. The thing to keep in mind is that the antenna will catch signals from all kinds of stations and bring in the whole broadcast spectrum. This can overload the receiver of the HDTV. Too many signals or too high a signal is just as bad as too low a signal.

In the case that you live in the back of the beyond, are at least 30 miles away from any kind of radio station and are using the antenna to feed only one HDTV station, then you need to use an antenna mounted amplifier with a deep fringe antenna.

Also to increase the life of your antennas seal all outdoor connections with coax seal or RTV. Humidity in the atmosphere can cause your connections to corrode and kill your reception.

author: Max Adams

 

 

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