How To Make an Antenna for a Digital Television

TV antenna

There are several ways to receive digital television signals or digital reception. Among the popular means are digital satellite, digital cable, digital transmitter, Internet protocol, and the oldest of all – the antenna, or the digital terrestrial television.

A television antenna is a system that is designed to receive over the air broadcast television signals. While they are expected to provide quality reception signals, it is important to understand that in order to take advantage of digital television you need an antenna system that is capable of receiving both VHF and UHF channels - that is from channels 2-13 and 14-51 respectively. Some systems only provide quality picture for VHF channels or UHF channels but not both.

Two kinds of antennas used for digital television are the simple or indoor antennas, and the aerial or outdoor antennas. As the names suggest, the indoor such as the popular ‘rabbit ears’ are designed to be placed inside your house or building while the outdoor which is usually made up of conductive elements are intended to be placed on rooftops, attics, or outdoors. The intended location for each kind of antenna is not the only difference between the two. Indoor antennas are relatively smaller but because it is situated within the house, the walls, electrical interferences, and even movement of people within the household affect its performance. Outdoor antennas on the other hand are larger and if placed away from obstructions such as power lines or wires, the performance is comparatively stronger and better.

While you can always purchase an antenna for your digital television, you can save money by making your own using scraps of materials you already have in your storeroom or garage. Some creative people can make effective antennas out of coat hangers, cans, tin lead, cables, etc. The following are some easy steps to create an indoor digital antenna out of coax cable and a piece of foil.

  1. Prepare your coax cable at least 36 to 48 inches in length and a piece of foil about 12 inches long.
  2. Connect the coax cable into a metal knob at the back of your digital television. Secure the cable in place using a screw.
  3. Fold and flatten the length of foil and put one end of it onto the metal wire that extends from the coax cable.
  4. Fit the foil securely onto the cable using a packing tape, as this will be responsible for augmenting the digital signal.
  5. Check the signal from your television by moving the antenna while you scan the channels and.
  6. Keep moving the antenna until you get a quality picture. When you get the channels and the picture quality you desire, attach the cable against the wall or any solid surface to secure the reception.

Remember that obstructions such as walls, buildings in close proximity, trees, and terrain among others may affect indoor reception of digital television signals. If your homemade indoor antenna does not improve your reception, consider mounting an outdoor system.


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