What I learned about Antennas

As a kid, antennas to me were just rabbit ears. I remember the days of moving them around, and hitting the side of the TV in hopes of a clearer picture. I knew there were outdoor antennas and I had seen them before, but of course as a kid you do not think of those things in detail. All you care about is a clear picture, not what brings you that clear picture.

Ok, ok I admit it, I pretty much knew nothing. I knew basic things like you put the antenna outside, point it, run the cable to the TV and do a channel scan in hopes of finding channels. I never knew why antennas could be so difficult or anything. So after getting hired in at Solid Signal, my first drive into town for training I thought to myself “What all could there be to learn about antennas?” Little did I know, there is a whole lot…

First I learned of the different types of antennas. The different models and their titles like Yagi/Element, Bow-tie, Rabbit Ears, and Omni Directional. After learning those it started to get a little more intense.

Next I learned about VHF and UHF bands. I had no idea that there were two different types of signal bands out there for over the air. I didn’t know they existed, the difference, the benefits or the pros and cons between the 2. Not only that but upon further learning there are RF numbers for these band types and they are different from the virtual channels a consumer sees (most of the time. Sometimes they are the same). I had no idea that RF Channels 2-6 were low band VHF signal, that RF Channels 7-13 are High band VHF Channels and that RF Channels 14-69 were UHF channels. I also didn’t know that only certain antennas cover certain band channels. Like some antennas only cover High Band VHF and UHF, therefore if someone has a channel with the RF Channel number(s) 2-6, that antenna would not work to get them those channels.

By the end of day one, my mind was blown away by all the information that needs to be considered when selecting an antenna. I went in thinking it was easy to pick out a TV antenna…and I left whistling a completely different tune. I knew then that there is a lot to learn in the world of TV Antennas and a lot more to come. And I was right; antennas present almost a never ending learning experience, an experience I and many others are still living through every day. However, the further into the experience you go, the more troubleshooting you learn. Troubleshooting alone is a crazy twist to the experience, and it can take you on a wild ride. You won’t know however, until you jump on and take it for a ride.