Antenna Terms Defined

AM: A type of frequency used for radio stations. Some OTA TV antennas can also pull in AM signals.

Amplifier (Booster): An amplifier is a device used in conjunction with an OTA antenna designed to help make up for signal loss due to long runs of cable or splitters.

Bow-Tie: This is a design of antenna typically used for UHF only antennas and is named that because the front of the antenna usually has elements that look like a bow-tie. Typically these antennas are square, or rectangular in shape, and have a metal mesh screen on the back of them.

CEA Ratings: Antenna codes are broken into six different zones. These zones identify the different types of antennas that are required for a consumer to receive optimal reception. Typically, the closer consumers live to the signal tower, the better reception they will receive. They may also be able to use an indoor antenna versus an outdoor. The farther away a consumer lives, the opposite is true. However, there are many variables that impact exactly which antenna a consumer will need. Please click here for more information.

Channels 2-6: Not to be mistaken with the channel number on your television, this actually refers to the RF frequency that is used for the Low band VHF frequencies. The RF channel frequency and the actual channel on your television will often be different from one another.

Channels 7-13: Not to be mistaken with the channel number on your television, this actually refers to the RF frequency that is used for the High band VHF frequencies. The RF channel frequency and the actual channel on your television will often be different from one another.

Channels 14-69: Not to be mistaken with the channel number on your television, this actually refers to the RF frequency that is used for the UHF frequencies. The RF channel frequency and the actual channel on your television will often be different from one another.

Coaxial Cable: This is the type of cable used to connect an OTA antenna to your television. This is the same type of cable that satellite and cable companies use. The most popular type used is called RG6 coaxial cable.

dB: Short for Decibel, it is a unit of measurement used to classify the strength of an OTA signal.

Deep Fringe: A term used to describe an antenna that has the ability to pull in OTA stations that are very far away.

Directional: A term used to describe an antenna that is designed for picking up stations in the direction it is pointed at only. These types of antennas usually do not have much more than a 30-50 degree range on a compass.

FM: A type of frequency used for radio stations. Some OTA TV antennas can also pull in FM signals.

High VHF: A category of VHF frequencies that is in regards to RF channels 7-13.

Low VHF: A category of VHF frequencies that is in regards to RF channels 2-6.

Multi-directional: A term used to describe an antenna that is designed to be able to pick up channels from the direction it is pointed at, and it also has a range of about 50-90 degrees on a compass.

Omni-directional: a term used to describe an antenna that is designed to be able to pick up stations from any direction at the same time without having to rotate it.

OTA: Stands for “Over the Air”, which is used in reference to antennas that receive RF signals that broadcast in the air.

RF: Short for Radio Frequency, it is the frequency waves used to broadcast OTA stations. OTA stations are divided into 2 RF categories classified as UHF and VHF.

Rotator/Rotor: A device used to rotate an antenna in different directions. If your local broadcasts come from different directions a rotator is recommended.

Splitter: A device used to split your signal from your antenna off to multiple televisions. If you plan on splitting your antenna to multiple televisions you should also purchase an amplifier to make up for signal loss.

UHF: Stands for “Ultra High Frequency”. In TV antenna terms it represents the RF frequencies used from 14-69.

UHF/VHF: This is used to represent that the antenna can receive both UHF and VHF frequencies.

VHF: Stands for “Very High Frequency”. In TV antenna terms it represents the RF Frequencies used from 2-13.