Jun 2, 2017

TV Antenna Facts

If you decide to cut the cord and use an antenna to get local TV, you do not need to worry about a special 4K antenna, because there is no broadcast 4K content - and there may never be. Just as with cables, an antenna does not know and does not care what kind of signal it receives as long as it is within the designated frequency (channel) range.

Any digital antenna will work fine for digital TV, HD, and 4K. There is nothing that would make an antenna better or worse for digital, HD, or 4K. However, broadcasters are not required to put out a 4K signal and that means that they probably will not. Current 4K content comes from cable channels and other digital operators, such as Sling TV, DirectTV Now, HULU, etc. None of them require an antenna.
Amplified vs. non-amplified antenna - If you are running a very long length of coax cable or more than one TV, an amplifier might improve your TV reception. It should be placed at the end closest to the antenna, not at the end closest to the TV. For most situations, a non-amplified antenna is equal and sometimes better than an amplified antenna. An amplified antenna may overpower some signals and you actually lose channels, because they amplify noise as well as channel signals.

Bottom line, if you want a digital antenna, buy one, but do not give in to hype about being 4K ready or any other mumbo jumbo from the salesperson. Also, using an antenna will produce a noticeably better picture on your TV, because antennas do not compress the signal as cable companies do.