22 May 2008 @ 15:46HDTV and OTA broadcasts
A couple weeks ago, I came across a small set-top dipole television antenna that wasn’t being used, and decided I ought to give that to my parents who recently bought a 42-inch LCD HDTV. Their television programming comes mainly from a DISH satellite which is only standard definition, so I figured that if they could get some “free” high-definition programming, they would make better use of their new television.
As I expected, the small dipole was able to pickup a few of the closest stations, and all were standard definition digital signal except for one which was in HD (the local ABC affiliate). Seeing this HD picture was enough to prompt my dad to buy a larger external antenna and rotor and mount it in an open space in the attic. Unfortunately, it turns out that he is only able to pickup a couple more channels and still none of the major networks broadcasting out of Birmingham (the ABC affiliate broadcasts from a different location). I was disappointed to find this out. My parents’ home is approx. 25-30 miles from the broadcasters, and there is a hill in the way. I feel like the hill is the main problem. I told my dad that I felt that many broadcasters weren’t transmitting at full power until after the February 2009 transition. Whether that is true or not, I don’t know, but I feel like I read that somewhere. Hopefully it will be enough to get my parents a couple more stations that broadcast in HD.
By the way, you don’t need a special antenna for digital/HD programming. The same antenna you have used all these years with your standard-definition tv will also receive digital broadcasts.
Keep reading for the bestselling television antennas.