The powerful antennas we have in the market today are powerful, capable enough for them to broadcast their signals clearer and further despite great distances. However, a less powerful or lower gain antenna broadcasts better on obstructed terrain such as hilly landscape, which renders the aerial angle matter less. Lower gain antennas are measured to be at 3dB or lower.
On flat terrain, 6 dB uhf antennas or ultra-high frequency type can transmit a 100% clear signal over a hill. While nearby buildings and similar structures, as well as hills, can still weaken your antenna signal, however, a lower gain antenna can help carry a full clear signal even over an obstruction such as a hill.
Should You Have VHF or UHF Antennas Instead
In the analog TV days before 2009, the majority of TV stations transmit in VHF. During those times, it was more advantageous to transmit signals in VHF since it supported transmission in longer distances. It also performed better when it comes to cutting down interference.
From the moment that television transitioned into digital, UHF began to support more bandwidth. It worked to the advantage of modern programming because it centered on high definition.
The major portion of the digital broadcasts of today is usually carried out on a UHF band. Although TV stations have remained on their use of VHF, come July 2020 those TV stations will be moving from UHF stations towards becoming a VHF type. This is brought about by the changes due to the FCC repack of channels. It is bringing away channels from the UHF band, only to be reassigned with their new frequencies to 5G cell service.
There is a big possibility that you know what these VHF-qualified channels are, from 2-13 while the UHF-qualified channels would be from 14-51. After implementing the repack policy, it will become 14-36. This might lead you to think that the only thing you need to know is to find out what these local channels are, and then obtain the antenna that corresponds to that band.
In the final analysis, it seems not to be the case. The channel number which the TV station is calling itself by, that one you have on the TV guide is not the channel by which the TV station is broadcasting on.
What the guide is showing is referred to as the virtual channel. The signal would be originating from a broadcast tower but is on a different frequency. This then is the real channel.
Entailed with the signal is some digital information to help in telling the set what particular virtual channel should be utilized. Though it is kind of strange, it is natural and understandable that a local TV station that has identified itself to its audiences for decades, say for example as channel 4, would still be keen on referring to itself as Channel 4, even though it has been moved to broadcast on a UHF channel.
Therefore, the broadcaster known to the public as Channel 4, for instance, could have a real channel of, 21 or 36. Thus, it becomes 21-4, or 36-4.
To know what kind of antenna you need to have here, you must know what your local stations’ real channels are. Now the looming question here is how would you be able to find that out?
Several websites will give you this specific information you need. This would include the FCC site. They will provide you with the real channel that local TV stations in your area are assigned with. These sites will also advise you of the real channels that will be affected by the changes while the FCC repack policy is rolled out.