Where to Point a TV Antenna

By Larry Amon

With the advent of cable and high bandwidth connections, most people no longer rely on over-the-air antennas to pick up TV signals. However, if you do use an antenna, knowing how to use it will improve your TV viewing experience and allow you to view more channels. It's also important to know how digital TV affects your TV antenna.

Type

Now that analog TV signals are no longer being sent out and all TV stations broadcast exclusively in digital, you may wonder how this affects your antenna. Believe it or not, your old antenna will work just as well as a new antenna. Antennas don't differentiate between analog and digital signals. Companies that advertise TV antennas as digital or HDTV are merely taking advantage of the fact that most people don't understand newer TV technology.

Direction

No matter what type of antenna you have, you want to point it toward the TV station or stations that you want to watch. You can connect an indoor antenna right to your TV. How you point it will not make a big difference in clarity as long as the stations are relatively close by, within about twenty to thirty miles. Stations that are further away will have a better chance of coming through when you point your antenna in that direction. Roof-mounted antennas usually are more powerful and can pick up signals farther away, but they still need to be pointed toward those stations. Because the TV stations you want to watch are probably not all the same direction from your house, you will either need to be able to change the direction of your antenna with an antenna rotator or put up at least two different antennas.