By Dave Crowden: This article from TechHive was published in early September of this year, so its recent and very current.
The article may be helpful in answering some of the TVCUC members’ questions about “what kind of antenna do I really need?” Flat-panel antennas appeal to many, because they are not obtrusive and ugly and can be easily hidden with a little imagination. One of the drawbacks may be that, if you have multiple TVs in your house, you may need one for each TV, depending on how far apart they are from each other. You can buy a separate splitter that adds number of TVs you can connect to one antenna, but then you have to figure out where and how to hide the cables running to the other TVs in different rooms. Also, in this article, the author points out that spending more money on one of these flat-panel antennas doesn’t alway equate to better reception.
From my own experience, your home’s viability of using an over-the-air (OTA) antenna depends largely on location and construction of the house. Why location and construction? Location, because the terrain around your home may affect signal strength. For example, if your house is situated in a valley or bowl, the OTA signal may be blocked or disrupted by that terrain. Broadcast signals are line-of-sight, so if you’re house is in a low area, you might not be a good candidate for OTA reception. Construction, because some homes are made with materials that also block the signal. For example, a metal roof or attic insulation with aluminum foil-like backing will also block much of the signal.
A typical flat panel antenna costs about $35-$40 and can be installed inconspicuously. Whether it is in your attic, garage or basement, the antenna can be connected into your “cable” system, especially if your house has been pre-wired for TV cable to various rooms. Remember, you can have any number of TVs with OTA reception. You don’t need to have a “streaming device” on all of your TV sets, only those on which you want to use the streaming services. Streaming services, you ask?!? That is another subject for discussion. See the past Cord Cutting presentations available on the TVCUC web site!!
So, the reason for posting this article is simply to pass along some information on those fancy and attractive flat-panel antennas that are in many of our local stores and available on line, often for more money too! You don’t need a special HD antenna to gather the OTA signals and, even if you don’t like the way the simple flat panel antenna looks, one can be installed in a surprisingly inconspicuous manner. A flat panel antenna can provide great reception and can feed all of your house’s TV-connections needs.
Read the entire article Here.
If you are interested, we have a TVCUC member who is an expert in flat panel antenna installation, and may be willing to survey your house and recommend whether a flat panel installation could fit your specific needs and expectations.