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Indoor TV Antenna Performance
An indoor TV antenna is placed indoors on a TV wall mount through the process of wall mounting, unlike outdoor TV antennas that are not mounted on a TV wall but outside on the roof. Indoor TV antennas can be identified by their small size. They are omnidirectional antennas designed to receive UHF or VHF frequencies that can broadcast TV signals. Indoor TV antennas are known to be simple to use and cheaper than outdoor TV antennas.
Before you dive into deciding on whether to purchase an indoor TV antenna for your digital television or not, it is essential to be on the lookout for specific features that are necessary for an indoor TV antenna to work. In this article, we will bring to your attention some of the main features that you should look for in an indoor TV antenna and how to know whether it's working.
Features Of Indoor TV Antennas
UHF or VHF signals
All indoor TV antennas are omnidirectional but designed to obtain UHF or VHF signals in order to broadcast TV signals. Therefore, one of the most essential features to look for in an indoor TV antenna is whether it can receive VHF or UHF signals.
It is generally understood that most people living in the outskirts or close to significant cities receive VHF frequencies. However, this may not be true when factoring in all people in all instances. Some people receive UHF frequencies despite living in regions close to the major developed cities. Ensure to inquire about this feature when purchasing your indoor antenna.
Another feature to look out for in an indoor TV antenna is whether it is amplified or not. Most indoor TV antennas have a built-in amplifier. There is a primary setback with indoor TV antennas having a built-in amplifier as they are prone to a series of problems.
One of the common challenges with indoor TV antennas with a built-in amplifier is that sometimes the amplifier may increase the signals way too high. This then leads to an overload of the TV tuner, which in turn may lead to you not receiving any channels at all.
Further, people who own indoor TV antennas with built-in amplifiers are more prone to receiving the wrong signals. This occurs when the booster does not have an LTE filter. The lack of an LTE filter will make unfiltered signals cause an overload in the built-in amplifier, thus allowing the unwanted signals to interfere with the quality of the signals received by the television.
The operation of built-in amplifiers in indoor TV antennas also depends on the location of the indoor TV antenna. If you place your indoor TV antenna in a place that receives poor signals, the built-in amplifiers will fail to work. Although indoor TV antennas with built-in amplifiers may be functional occasionally, experts recommend going for indoor antennas that do not have a built-in amplifier.
No one wants an ugly TV system. One wrong choice in the type of indoor TV antenna could ruin the beauty of your entire TV system. There are various designs of indoor TV antennas. Therefore, it is best to choose a design that matches your TV system's aesthetic. However, as much as you consider the beauty, always remember functionality. Never go for beauty over functionality, especially with electronics.
Do Indoor TV Antennas Work?
This is a question that experts receive all the time. The reason behind it is the scepticism surrounding indoor TV antenna operation. Another reason that poses doubts as to the operational features of indoor TV antennas is the rise in the manufacture and circulation of digital TVs in Australia and beyond.
There is no complete response to this challenging question since the operation of indoor TV antennas depends on various factors. However, it is often agreed that the efficiency of operation of indoor TV antennas is generally minimal. One reason why indoor TV antennas may not be a perfect fit is their small size and strength.
This translates to the inability to produce strong, clear, and reliable signals, mainly when used with digital televisions. Digital televisions have taken the majority portion of the market and usage in Australia. These TVs require strong and good-quality signals to display more transparent images on your screen.
Having an indoor TV antenna may thus be a setback for people with digital televisions (which is almost everybody who owns a TV in this day and age). As opposed to the current era, indoor TV antennas were essential and with better performance during the classic period of analogue televisions.
How Effective Are Indoor TV Antennas?
Indoor TV antennas would work even better if the user lived in an area in closer proximity to a transmitter or regions with a clear reception from the transmitter. However, sometimes the good signals would not always be stable. Therefore, it was common for the signals to become a little fuzzy before going completely poor.
As a result, one had to adjust the antennas to change the TV channels, for instance, having fuzzy images until the antenna managed to pick up better signals again. This practice is not so long eroded. There are households that still have traditional analogue televisions and thus may still opt for or simply use indoor TV antennas.
The challenges remain the same, but you can make it better by living in areas that are closer to a transmitter and thus get a clearer reception. Digital televisions have different operational mechanisms hence the recommendation against using indoor TV antennas when you have a digital TV. Basically, in a digital TV antenna, information in the form of data from the television transmitter is distributed over the airways.
The data is then picked up by the TV antenna and sent to the television through the coaxial cable. Finally, the data is converted to images that you can then see on your screen. The conversion of the data to images requires strong signals meaning that if the signals are weak, as the case may be with an indoor TV antenna, you may receive unpleasant sounds and pixelated images from your television set. Sometimes it is so weak that you cannot see any images.
Do Indoor TV Antennas Work With Digital TVs?
The simple answer is no. Indoor TV antennas definitely can work with digital TVs, although under limited circumstances. The primary secret behind using indoor TV antennas with digital TVs is the location of the indoor TV antenna. Experts suggest that those living close to the main television transmitters where reception is clear can comfortably use indoor antennas with digital televisions.
This is because the proximity of the TV signals to the TV transmitters makes them more substantial than in areas that are far away from the main TV transmitters. Moreover, in places that are closer to the main TV transmitters, there are few or no objects that would interrupt the line of sight between the TV transmitter and the indoor TV antenna. As a result, the indoor TV antennas will be able to receive stronger signals.
In Australia, it has been found that many people still use indoor TV antennas with their digital televisions for a long time before shifting to outdoor TV antennas. The primary reasons for the shift include the frustration with having to adjust the antenna, re-tuning the television, or failing to use and watch the television at all due to poor signals.
This tells us that it is not guaranteed that living in places closer to the main TV transmitters will make the indoor TV antennas receive strong signals all the time. Similarly, concerns have been raised that there is also no guarantee that there will be no radio waves in places closer to the main TV transmitters. As a result, should such waves be present, it is highly likely that the indoor TV antenna will pick up such signals, which is dangerous for the people living there.
Why Do Indoor TV Antennas Perform Dismally?
So far, we have looked at whether indoor TV antennas work. From our discussion, a conclusion can be drawn that it is not true that indoor TV antennas do not work. They do work but under certain circumstances. When such circumstances are met, then indoor TV antennas may work just as well as outdoor antennas.
Why then do indoor TV antennas sometimes not work correctly, especially with Digital TVs? Is it due to some of their features, or is it all perceptions and biased preferences? Well, certain standard features of indoor TV antennas make them work poorly sometimes. These features include:
- Single element: Indoor TV antennas have a single element or arm, which gives them a low gain. Due to the very low gain, indoor TV antennas tend to have inferior signal power capabilities.
- Omnidirectional: Indoor TV antennas are omnidirectional, meaning they do not point in the direction of the television transmission towers. As a result, the indoor TV antennas generally struggle to collect signals from all directions at every angle. The problem with this is that the indoor TV antennas may instead collect all the unwanted signals, thus making the images on the television fuzzy. Sometimes you are also highly likely to hear some weird sounds coming from your television due to the unwanted signals.
- A low front-to-back ratio: This setback is attributed to the omnidirectional characteristic of indoor TV antennas, among other features. Since indoor TV antennas are omnidirectional in nature, they tend to have a low front-to-back ratio and sometimes no front-to-back ratio at all. Simply stated, indoor TV antennas do not have a front or back. The challenge with this design is that the indoor TV antennas are not able to pick up signals optimally.
- They do not filter signals: Indoor TV antennas do not filter any signals that they receive; hence these antennas cannot prevent receiving unwanted signals most of the time. Unwanted signals are signals like those produced by mobile phone towers, such as 4G signals. The problem with this is that the indoor TV antennas will receive such an abundance of unwanted signals, thus overloading the tuner of the television set. The overload will cause the pixelation of images and the production of unpleasant sounds. Eventually, the overload may be detrimental to the television set and result in unnecessary repair expenses.
Choosing An Indoor TV Antenna
There are various types and models of indoor TV antennas. It is advisable that you familiarise yourself with these types of models before purchasing one. Despite the operational challenges attributed to indoor TV antennas, it is essential to note that certain circumstances may necessitate one to have an indoor TV antenna instead of an outdoor one.
So, what are some of the common types of indoor TV antennas that you can choose from if you decide to purchase one?
- The first type that is common and widely used is whip antennas. Whip antennas are metre ranged and have two telescopic pins that are adjustable in both inclination and length.
- Another type of indoor TV antenna is the decimetre receiving antenna. These antennas have five or more aluminium conductors that are parallel and connected to a standard frame that is perpendicular.
- Additionally, there is an active antenna. This is more suitable for small rooms such as the bedroom. An active antenna has more gain as compared to the other two mentioned above.
- There is a single-channel, also known as the narrow-band, and multi-channel mostly referred to as the broadband room antennas under another categorisation.
In all cases, you will be able to see the MHz indicated at every receiver.
Should You Get An Indoor Antenna?
In general, indoor TV antennas are simple to use and cheaper than outdoor TV antennas. They are also easily adjustable and require little or no effort in adjustment. They are easily foldable and easy to setup with the help of an antenna installer. Indoor TV antennas are also the most suitable antennas for room options.
However, indoor TV antennas generally have a limited frequency. They also have certain features that make them unsuitable on many occasions. For instance, they are not the most suitable TV antennas to use with a digital TV. They require you to use them in areas that are closer to the main TV transmitters.
Not everyone will have such a privilege, thus making them an inconvenience under certain circumstances. Finally, in terms of whether indoor TV antennas work, this question can be answered positively, although with an understanding that their operations are extremely limited.
For instance, although it is agreed that most people in Australia have shifted to the use of digital televisions that require stronger signals and thus the use of outdoor TV antennas, it is notable that there are some households in Australia that still use indoor TV antennas with both analogue and digital televisions.
Seek Expert Antenna Installers For All Your Needs
Depending on your unique needs, you can make an informed decision on whether to purchase an indoor TV antenna for your television set or not. In situations like this, it is often best to consult a professional to determine the best option for your needs.
Suppose you're looking to get an indoor antenna but aren't sure it will be compatible with your TV. In that case, it's a good idea to ask a professional to handle TV antenna installation. These professionals are familiar and experienced with all things antenna and can determine if you need to install only a small indoor antenna or an outdoor antenna.
Having your antenna installed using trained and licensed experts means you won't have to worry about improper installation. There's nothing more frustrating and annoying than a TV that isn't clear or working correctly due to low signals or faulty installation, so don't compromise on being sure of the best option for your TV.