Why can’t you buy a VHF-only antenna?

It’s very hard to find a VHF-only antenna and honestly, Solid Signal doesn’t carry one at the moment. Why? Just the laws of supply and demand.

Since TV went digital in the mid-2000s, most TV channels moved to the UHF range. UHF and digital broadcasting are a good fit for each other, and the hope was that 100% of channels would move to UHF. About 90% of channels have, but many markets still have one or two VHF stations that still broadcast. It might have been better for the FCC to have forced all of them to move, but if you remember those days you remember that money was tight for everyone and new broadcast facilities are expensive.

Still, a VHF-only antenna hasn’t been a terribly useful thing. If you had a VHF-only antenna, you’d be missing out on most of the channels in your home market. Not only that, but most of the bulk of a large antenna is actually in the VHF part, so VHF antennas tend to be large and bulky and taking out the UHF portion doesn’t actually save space or money in manufacturing. What I’m saying is that a VHF-only version of our super-powered HD8200XL wouldn’t be much smaller or much cheaper, but it would be less useful.

If you do actually need a VHF-only antenna, because for example you’re trying to aim for a VHF station that’s located in a different direction from the other UHF antennas, there’s an answer. Use an inexpensive combiner like this one and connect any UHF/VHF antenna to the VHF end and it will strip out the UHF signals. That’s an easy and simple solution.

Of course, if you’re a real hobbyist you’re possibly still thinking that you want a true VHF-only antenna. You could work with a small UHF/VHF version and tear it apart, or if you’re really hard-core you could fabricate your own out of aluminum. For the rest of us, though, a VHF/UHF antenna works just fine.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 7,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.