Leave a comment

What's the difference between an indoor and outdoor antenna?

What's the difference between an indoor and outdoor antenna?
© Picstudio | Dreamstime.com

As more people turn to streaming for their television, antennas are finding their way back into and on top of homes. After all, while cutting the cord is not a bad idea as cable prices continue to rise, the main knock on them is they don't receive most local broadcast channels.

That's where antennas come in. With them you can receive so many channels, all of which will arrive for free. Check out this link to see which ones you can get in your area.

Maybe you remember the bunny ears from back in the day, or perhaps you recall the giant ones that used to sit on top of homes.

These days there are many options when it comes to antennas, both indoor and outdoor. Each style has its strengths and weaknesses, including price. But which is right for you?

Well, that depends

For starters, there is a difference and it is about more than just size and price. To figure out what's important, you need to ask yourself a handful of questions.

Which channels are most important to you? Where will you be putting the antenna? Is having one on your roof even an option?

Let's start indoors

Many of us still remember the rabbit ears antennas, and while those still exist the one you may end up with could look very different.

One thing you will need to figure out is how clean the signal is that reaches your home. Are you tucked away within some mountains or with many tall buildings?

Building materials such as metal, stucco, brick and wood will interfere with a digital signal, as will some household appliances.

All of these can be negated by placing your antenna in the right spot, but that assumes there is one. Closer to a window is ideal, especially if you can then have your antenna face your local broadcast towers.

If an indoor antenna is the right choice for you, this one is an excellent option.

This powerful indoor antenna can deliver HDTV channels totally free. It sports a 50-mile multi-directional range and a sleek curved design so it doesn't have to be hidden. Setup is as easy as plugging it in, turning on your TV, and scanning for channels.

Which leads us outside

Along with cable, many are dumping traditional TV stands in favor of hanging their screens on the wall, which means there may not be any place near for you to put an antenna.

Back in the day it was common to see an antenna on top of a home. Usually gray or silver, they tended to look the same and did a good job.

They started to disappear as cable became more prominent. The newer outdoor antennas don't look all that like the old ones, yet they do the same thing (only better).

While not quite as simple to set up as an indoor antenna, the outdoor styles will provide the best chance for clear TV signals. Typically mounted on a rooftop, they avoid much of the electric noise that impacts indoor antennas and have a clearer line of sight to the towers sending the signal.

The downside, of course, is that you have to install it. That means attaching it to your roof and running cables up to it. You will want to do plenty of signal testing before drilling holes in your roof, because the last thing you want is to guess wrong and have to try again.

It's plenty doable, yet a tad bit more complicated than just setting one up inside.

This new 60-mile antenna is more compact than traditional outdoor antennas, making easy to install yourself. It has a 30-foot detachable high-performance coaxial cable included, along with a mounting kit.

Breaking it all down

Cutting the cord is not a bad idea, but before you do so make sure to have a good antenna, too. The channels it receives (for free, remember) will supplement whatever streaming service you choose, giving you even more options.

As for what kind you will need, it really depends on your situation. Do you have a good place inside, near a window and without obstructions, where you could place an antenna? If not, are you even allowed to put one on your roof?

Once you can answer those questions -- along with a few others -- you'll be ready to go.

Next Story
Learn how to code for free
Previous Cool Sites

Learn how to code for free

Software makes camp scheduling easier
Next Cool Sites

Software makes camp scheduling easier

View Comments ()