TV Antenna Questions from All Over the Net

People ask the craziest things about TV antennas. Well, it might seem that way to me because I work at a company that’s the most recognized TV antenna experts online. That’s why I chuckled a bit when I read that someone asked, “Are TV antennas any good?” Of course they are, I thought. Then I realized that I take my antenna knowledge for granted. Other people don’t know as much about these devices so it’s natural for them to have these questions.

We’ve already gotten some creative questions about TV antennas. I wanted to know what other things people want to know. As a blogger, I have access to certain online tools that let me research the kinds of questions people ask Google. I typed “TV antenna” into one of these programs and found out some of the most common questions people are asking. I was so surprised at some of these questions that I had to share them, and the answers to each here in the Solid Signal blog.

Q: Are TV Antennas Any Good?

A: I got a chuckle out of this one because I thought it carried a certain tone. It’s almost as if the person who asked this question was expecting to find something bad about these devices. I don’t know what web pages their searches pull up but I can only hope they end up here at the Solid Signal blog so Stuart Sweet and I can set them straight. So, are TV antennas any good? When I read this, I heard two underlying questions here:

  1. Are TV antennas built to last?
  2. Do these devices work?

The short answer to both questions is yes. Many of today’s antennas are built to be mounted to your roof and withstand the elements. The outdoor TV antennas we carry will deliver years’ worth of free TV, which addresses the second part of the question. Yes, these things work. In fact, they deliver more local channels and sub-channels than your local cable company can get you. The best part about it is that all that TV is free!

Q: Are TV Antennas Wireless?

A: We live in a wireless age, so it actually makes sense that someone would ask this. Actually, about 30 people a month on average type this question into Google. The answer, at least from my perspective, is yes and no. By now, you’re probably thinking, “What the heck is Buckler babbling about now?” Let me explain…

…Unlike cable, TV signal is not delivered into your home via a wire or cable. Antennas receive signal that is pumped out into the air by large TV transmitters. So, in that sense, you could say these devices are wireless; but, on the other hand, you have to connect your antenna to your TV using a coaxial cable. This is why I say that antennas are both wired and wireless. For the record, there are several adapters on the market that are used to connect to a TV antenna to make it wireless. We carry one of these products here at Solid Signal.

Q: Are TV Antennas Dangerous?

A: This isn’t a common question; about 10 people a month on average type this phrase into Google’s search bar. Still, it’s an important question. Everyone should be concerned about their safety, especially if they’re on their roof trying to install one of these devices. Much like another question on this list, this one has a yes-and-no answer.

Whether or not a TV antenna is dangerous depends on many factors. Are you holding onto it during a lightning storm? I don’t know why anyone would want to do this but if they did, it would be dangerous. Installing antennas can also be dangerous if you’re picking it up while standing beneath power lines. As to whether or not antennas cause cancer, we’re not aware of any studies that suggest that. In other words, the antennas themselves aren’t inherently dangerous… unless some kid throws one off the roof like it’s a paper airplane.

Q: Are TV Antennas Legal?

A: This search term gets about 10 hits a month and I know what they’re getting at. The people asking this question probably want to know if they can put up a TV antenna on their condo or apartment building. Because situations involving homeowners associations are pretty much the only time when someone would need to be concerned about the “legality” of a TV antenna. In reality, it’s merely a matter of HOA guidelines.

Some HOAs forbid large antennas from being mounted on your roof. There is a federal law that basically states that as long as your antenna is smaller than 39.37 (one meter) in any direction, people can’t tell you that you can’t put it up. This rule is known as edition 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations, section 1.4000, aka the OTARD rule. If you live in a community with an HOA, we highly recommend you research this rule before putting an antenna on your roof.

Q: Are TV Antennas Worth It?

A: My colleague Stuart Sweet would probably do his best Don Rickles impression and say, “Of course, you hockey puck.” What other device lets you get a lifetime of free entertainment for a one-time investment? That’s right! There are absolutely NO monthly fees for the local TV programming you’ll get from a TV antenna at your home. Try getting that from your local cable TV provider.

Q: Is There Such a Thing as a 4K Antenna?

With 4K being the big craze these days, it was only a matter of time before someone asked this. Actually, quite a few people have. The answer is another one of those yes-and-no replies. Technically speaking, a TV antenna can receive 4K signals. Look, antennas are designed to do that, and these devices don’t seem to care whether those signals are 4K or standard high-definition. So, that’s the yes portion of the answer.

Are you ready for the bad news? It doesn’t really matter if a TV antenna can receive 4K signal or not. As of this writing, there is no 4K over-the-air television for anyone to watch. That’s right. No local or national TV station is broadcasting 4K content. The day for such a thing might eventually come, but it’s not coming soon. For now, all OTA TV is in digital high-definition. The reception and picture quality is still better than cable, though.

Q: What TV antenna Should I buy?

A: This is one we get a lot here at Solid Signal, and a lot of people ask this online. I understand why, too. There are so many different types of antennas that it might seem confusing to someone who’s not a subject matter expert in these devices. If you’re considering getting an antenna, you’ll be glad to know that we have the answer to your questions. The catch is that there’s no one answer to this question because everyone’s situation is different.

The type of antenna you need depends on how far you live from your local TV transmitters and a few other factors. When you call us for an antenna recommendation, a member of our team will put your address into a computer program to find out where you live in relation to these towers as well as other geographical factors. They’ll use all this information to make sure the antenna they recommend is truly the best one for you.

That’s It… For Now

Those were some interesting questions but they won’t be the last ones we get. Whether someone asks Solid Signal something directly or I do some research, there’s always someone who wants to know about TV antennas. That’s great as far as I’m concerned. There’s a lot to learn about antennas so we get it. Do you have something you’d like to ask? You’d can give us a call at 888-233-7563, or fill out the form below and click “submit.” We’re happy to share everything we know about antennas with you so you can make an informed decision.

About the Author

Jake Buckler
Jake Buckler is a cord-cutter, consumer electronics geek, and Celtic folk music fan. Those qualities, and his writing experience, helped him land a copywriting gig at Signal Group, LLC. He also contributes to The Solid Signal Blog.