Should you take a chance with a less powerful antenna?

A lot of times, our antenna professionals have a quandary. They look at a customer who is “right on the fringe” where a larger antenna might help, but a smaller antenna might be just good enough. They try to get the most information, asking about trees and hills that could make the difference between good enough and not good enough when it comes to an antenna. Usually our pros will recommend a bigger antenna, not because it’s more expensive but because it’s easier to stand behind the recommendation. Certainly no one wants to have to return an antenna because it doesn’t work. In a case like that nobody wins.

What about when you’re deciding for yourself? If you’re looking, for example, at our HD-BLADE and trying between it and the HD Horizon which is more expensive, it can be a rough choice. This is especially true if there really isn’t a middle-of-the-road choice. We do have an amplified version of the HD-BLADE but it’s not really anywhere near as powerful as the Horizon. So what do you do?

Well, of course it’s up to you. With a very inexpensive antenna like the HD-Blade, you may figure that you can try it and if it doesn’t work it’s not a big deal. That’s taking a risk and if you’re ok with that, you could potentially save a lot of money. I don’t see anything wrong with that. Before you do, though, ask yourself these questions:

  • Will you be able to point the antenna out a window that faces the towers?
  • Does that window have a clear view of the sky straight ahead (not just above?)
  • Will you be feeding only one TV with this antenna?
  • Are you OK with potentially having to “fuss” with the antenna if the reception’s a problem?

If the answer to all the questions above is “Yes” then certainly it’s worth rolling the dice and perhaps saving some cash. If there’s more than one “No” … you really need to think about a larger antenna if you’re out at the fringe region of 25-40 miles from the towers. It’s very possible that you could get some reception from those distances, but it’s equally possible that you won’t get reception right when you need it.

Personally I agree with our antenna pros. (Yeah, I know, big surprise.) I think that if you get a little more antenna than you need you’ll be ready for when you want to add an extra TV, or when the weather is particularly bad. Really, there are excellent antennas at every price point and it’s not worth going with the less expensive one if you think there’s even the slightest chance you’ll need the more expensive one.