How to Use Rabbit Ears to Receive Digital TV

By Christopher Carter

Starting in June 12, 2009 all major broadcasting stations were required to have officially switched to a digital broadcasting signal. As a result, you will no longer receive analog broadcasts from full-powered TV stations. If you have an older TV set, purchased prior to May 2007, you may need to purchase a digital receiver or tuner to receive a digital signal. However, you may still be able to use your indoor antenna, with the "rabbit ears," to get the best possible reception.

Things You'll Need

  • Indoor Antenna
  • Digital TV
  • Digital Tuner or Digital Receiver

Using Rabbit Ears To Receive Digital TV

Step 1

Assess your equipment needs. If you have an analog TV set, you'll need a digital converter box and rabbit ears antennas to receive a digital signal. If you have a digital TV, make sure that it has an integrated or built-in tuner. You may have "ATSC built-in" markings on your TV set. In this case, you won't need to purchase a separate digital tuner. If you purchase a digital receiver or tuner, you may end up spending anywhere from $100 to $400 depending on the features you choose. The other option at your disposal is to purchase a brand new digital TV with an integrated tuner.

Step 2

Select the proper type of antenna. There are many different types of antennas to choose from. At the very least, the antenna you select should be able to receive signals on VHF and UHF channels. VHF channels range from 2 to 13, while UHF channels range from 14 to 51. Make sure your rabbit ears have a bow tie or circle to enable you to pick up UHF channels.

Step 3

Connect your rabbit ears to your digital converter box or directly into your digital TV. If you have a digital converter set up, plug a cable from the converter to the back of your TV. A weak digital signal may result in ghost images or no image at all.

Step 4

Improve your reception. Moving your indoor antenna a few inches to the right or left may help produce a better picture. Remove objects that may be close to your antenna. Your digital tuner may take some time to pick up a signal. For that reason, move your antenna slowly so as not to bypass a clear picture.