What the cable and satellite providers don’t want you to know is that you can get hi def broadcasts for free. Why would they tell you that? Why would they even inform their installers? Word is…they don’t. I’ve heard of cable and satellite installers who walk into a home already receiving local HD channels and stare with a blank look on their face.
Most HDTV owners don’t realize this, but you can receive high quality, uncompressed, digital signals over-the-air. If you have an antenna, and your hdtv has a built-in tuner, you are ready to recieve local channels in hi def. If your HDTV does not have a built-in tuner, you will need an HDTV receiver. This type of television would have been labeled as “hd capable” rather than “hd ready”.
“How does it work?” You simply connect your antenna to the coaxial input of your HDTV, or HD receiver, and you tune into your local stations. Once tuned in, you will notice that it is a crystal clear image. That is because unlike traditional analog stations, the signal being broadcast is digital. There will be no ghosting or snow. However, unlike analog, if your digital signal is temporarily unavailable, the signal will just drop out. Pointing your antenna directly towards a broadcast center will ensure a stable signal. To find out the best positioning of your antenna for your specific address, visit AntennaWeb.org.
“Do I need a special antenna?” No. However, rotary antennas work the best, because they can point directly towards the broadcast station. The best antenna system would be one which turns according to what station you are watching. But many people have success with a non-rotary antenna, and even set-top antennas. If you have a roof-top antenna, you will have a better chance of getting great reception because it may bypass many obstacles which could interfere with the signal. Indoor antennas will work too, although if you live in a dense city there may be too much interference from buildings.
Learn more about receiving broadcasts over-the-air.