The question we get asked most of all is: “What HDTV Antenna would you suggest for my area?” With so many different options, including Indoor HDTV Antennas vs. Outdoor HDTV Antennas, And Omni-Directional vs Directional, picking the best antenna for you can sometimes be a little difficult. Well, we are here to help. If you follow these tips, you should be able to match your location and set up with the perfect LAVA HDTV Antenna for you to get the most channels possible in your area. Just make sure you know what the reception is like in your area, where you would like to keep your antenna when using it, and how many T.V’s you want to connect to it at the same time. But first, you need to make sure you have the right T.V. tuner that your antenna will need.
In the USA, you need to have a Digital Antenna Tuner that is compatible with ATSC. You want to look through your T.V’s instruction manual and see if it has a digital ATSC Tuner and a Coax Input jack. Some T.V’s nowadays don’t even have a spot to connect your antenna to since everything seems to be going digital using HDMI or the internet to stream video. Make sure your T.V. has a Coax Input jack. Most T.V’s still do, but you want to be sure. Since they changed over to digital broadcasting in 2008 here in the US, Most T.V’s sold since then that have a coax jack, also have a digital tuner. If you have an older tv that doesn’t have a digital tuner, or you have such a new tv that there is no coax jack, you can still use an HDTV Antenna with a digital converter box like our HDTV-2100 DVR.
If you have the right T.V, The next thing you want to know is what your reception is like in your area. You can enter your address into the FCC Gov. Website to see what stations are being broadcast in your area: https://www.fcc.gov/media/engineering/dtvmaps Or you can use ours: HDTV Reception Map
When you enter your address, you will see a map with a list of channels, all color-coded based on how strong the signals are. You want to see how far away your towers are by clicking on the channels in the list. Also, make note of what color the channels are that you want to watch most. Green is strong, yellow is moderate, orange is weak, and red is no signal. Our best Omni-Pro and Directional style Antennas can reach up to 125 miles, however, that depends on how strong the signal is. Any omnidirectional antenna that is picking up signals from all directions tends to not be very good with weak signals. It can pick up strong and moderate signals, but when it comes to weak signals, they may break up or only come in sometimes. A directional antenna can pick up weaker signals much easier than an omnidirectional. There are other sites you can check that show if there are any problems with mountains or hills blocking your signal. Whatever site you use, make sure you know what your reception is like when considering an HDTV Antenna.
The next thing you need to know is where you want to keep your antenna mounted. We have some antennas that will work indoors, right next to the tv, but those tend to max out at 50 miles since they are lower to the ground. We also have some RV/Boat Antennas that work on the water or if you will be traveling to different locations, they easily hook up to your 12v system to get channels up to 70 miles away. Of course, you can go with an outdoor antenna, the strongest type of HDTV Antenna. If you go with one of them, you can get channels up to 125 miles miles away. Some of our outdoor antennas can also be used in your attic, although you will lose some of the maximum range, they still will work better than any of our other models.
Lastly, you will need to know how many T.V’s you want to use with your antenna. Most of our indoor antennas that sit right next to the T.V. are for one – two T.V’s. Our RV/Boat Antennas can go to 2 T.V’s using the included wall plate power adapter, and can even pass through a cable service or satellite feed. Our directional HDTV Antenna’s can connect 2 T.V’s at the control box, and if you use a LAVA HDS12 4 Way Splitter, you can connect 3 More. Our Omnidirectional’s are the same way, only they have a power insert that connects to one T.V. You can use the LAVA Splitter to connect 4 T.V’s instead of just one, or you can get a Distribution Amplifier (pretty much a powered splitter) and even connect 8 or more T.V’s to the same antenna.
Once you figure out what your signal is like, how many T.V’s you will use, and where you want the antenna, you will have a better idea of what kind of antenna you need for your location, and which LAVA Antenna will be perfect for you! If all this has only left you with more questions, then send em’ our way, either by phone, on using the chat page on our site. We are open Monday-Friday from 8AM – 4:30PM PST. to help you pick the perfect Antenna to get you the most channels!