There’s still time to get an antenna for the World Series

Game 1 of the 2021 World Series is scheduled for Tuesday, October 26. I’m publishing this article for the first time on Sunday, October 17. That means that the window is closing for getting the antenna you need to enjoy the big games.

Why is antenna TV better for sports?

If you’re serious about the quality of your sports programs, you really should be using a TV antenna. There’s no substitute for the experience.

Antenna TV comes to you faster

There’s a delay of about 4-5 seconds between getting your TV from an antenna and getting it from cable, satellite, or streaming. Why? Because cable, satellite, and streaming companies get the signal off an antenna first! Most of the time, they are getting a feed that’s coming over the air. In the rare case where they are getting it over some sort of cable connection, it doesn’t make a difference in the delay.

When the signal is received, it’s usually bounced up and down to a satellite twice. First, from the local reception point to the pay-TV company’s national broadcast center, and then up and down to either you or a local cable headend. This is where the delays happen. There’s processing each time it hits a reception point on the ground. And then, there’s the time it takes to go up and down. The speed of light is very fast but it’s not instantaneous. It takes some time for that signal to travel 22,000 miles. On the satellite side, remember it’s also not just a mirror. The signal gets received and put on a transponder, and that takes a small amount of time too.

Oh, by the way, you can add a trip up and down to a satellite just so the signal can get to the TV station’s facility, but there’s nothing much you can do about that.

When you add up all those little bits of time, it can mean a significant delay. You know you don’t want to be left behind, which is why getting the original broadcast off an antenna is the best way to go.

There’s no substitute for that antenna signal

The signal coming from the broadcast tower is as clean as it can possibly be. Every time it’s processed, you lose a little bit of quality. At first it can seem like it’s not a big deal, but as it gets processed over and over you lose fine details. And you want those fine details to know what’s really going on. It’s really worth watching.

What about 4K?

Earlier this year, there were stories saying that Fox was going to provide a 4K feed of the World Series. I think that’s great, but if history is any indication, they’ll be starting with an HD feed and sampling it up. Yes, this will give you the best possible HD feed, but it isn’t really 4K quality. I’ve found Fox’s coverage to be inconsistent here, and the other part is that it adds even more delay to the signal. I’m not 100% sure that 4K is worth all the sacrifices, especially when the picture quality may not be much different than an HD feed off an antenna.

Get your antenna from Solid Signal

Did I convince you? If so, shop for the antenna you need from the great selection at Solid Signal. If you don’t know what you need, our team of experts can help! Fill out this form and we’ll recommend everything you need for a fantastic antenna installation!

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 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.