The most common question new cord cutters ask is, are indoor digital TV antennas any good?” The straight answer to this is, yes, indoor digital TV antennas work but are not the ideal option for everyone.
Whether or not an indoor antenna will work for you will depend on different factors. Things like your location’s distance from the broadcasting station, the building material of the house, signal strength, and the channels you want matter a lot.
If you want to understand indoor TV antennas deeply, you need a detailed guide on it from experts. That’s why I created this article specifically to help cord cutters like you with indoor digital TV antennas.
Let’s not waste any more time and get into the details.
What Is An Indoor Digital TV Antenna?
An indoor digital TV antenna is simply one that stays inside your house, captures RF signals from broadcasting stations, and gets you TV channels. Indoor antennas typically have a short gain.
They generally work well for UHF channels but have a record of performing relatively less well for VHF channels. It happens because of the design of indoor antennas.
UHF channels mostly require a shorter gain design. That means the shorter elements in the antenna are enough to get channels good enough that is broadcasted in the UHF band.
As indoor HDTV antennas are designed in a medium to compact size, they fulfill the demands for UHF channel reception.
On the other hand, most VHF channels require a longer gain design. This means they utilize the longer elements of an antenna to get the channels broadcasted in the VHF band.
Unfortunately, most indoor TV antennas lack longer elements because of the compact design that will stay inside the house. Hence, they do not perform much well for VHF channels.
Still, indoor antennas can receive VHF band channels if the signal strength is strong enough.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of An Indoor Digital TV Antenna
At this point, you may need clarification on whether to get an indoor HDTV antenna. So, let’s discuss some advantages and disadvantages of indoor digital TV antennas to get a clear picture.
Advantages Of Getting An Indoor TV Antenna
Every other cord cutter knows that a monthly cable subscription requires a lot of money every month. When you calculate the total bill for a year, you see it is insanely massive.
If you shift to the outdoor antenna to get OTA channels, it costs less than a monthly cable subscription. But outdoor antenna buying and installation costs can make you lose a few more bucks.
In the case of indoor antennas, the scenario is different. They cost close to nothing in comparison with what it has to offer. Plus, there are no monthly fees for it. You can get an indoor antenna with minimal investment and get the best out of it.
- No Need For Installation
If you are not a professional in installing outdoor TV antennas, you’ve to pay some extra cash to do it with the help of an installer. Because there is stuff regarding antenna connection, setting it up to the required height, and more than an average person may need help understanding.
On the contrary, indoor antennas need no installation. Most indoor digital TV antennas are flat antennas that come in a stick-and-go format using 3M double-sided stickers. You have to attach it wherever you want by peeling off the sticker.
And the connections? Connect the antenna to the ant-in line to your television’s back and a power source. That’s it. A kid can do that, too, right?
- Portable And Easy To Move
Once an outdoor antenna is set, it can be challenging to reposition it. Sometimes you must undo the antenna and reinstall it in your desired location.
But you can easily move the antenna wherever you want in indoor antennas. You only need a long coaxial cable for better portability inside the house.
- Suitable For Urban Areas
As indoor antennas are weak in capturing signals in areas densely surrounded by trees or other resistant materials, they suit the best in urban areas.
Although the signals still have to penetrate through the building to reach the antenna, the external resistance is minimal in urban areas. So, it is easier for an indoor antenna to get good signals in such places.
Disadvantages Of Getting An Indoor Antenna
- Limited Range And Coverage
You already understand indoor antennas have a limited range gain and coverage. This means these flat antennas work best for you only if you are located very close to your broadcast signals.
Besides, it’ll work better for you if your major TV channels are on the UHF band. You may lose some of the channels in the VHF band in an indoor TV antenna if it’s not a decent model.
Moreover, indoor antennas aren’t good at capturing weak signals.
- Signal Interference From Household Electronics
Electronic interference is a big issue for any type of antenna. It is far more significant in indoor antennas as many electronic items are inside your house.
It is likely to say if you have electronic items near your indoor TV antenna, there will be much interference. So the antenna won’t work great. If you can settle the electronic things a bit far from the indoor antenna, I hope it works well for you.
- Signals Get A Hard Time To Get Signals Because Of The Building Materials
Radio frequency signals always have a hard time penetrating the building materials. Solid concrete, steel, and other materials are there which can act as resistance in terms of getting RF signals from the broadcasting stations.
As a result, the signals can’t reach the antenna well, and your TV experience may turn out poorly.
- Limited Number Of Channels
Outdoor TV antennas can capture as many channels as there are set free in the outdoors. The signals can directly get in without much external resistance. So you get most of the channels.
But it is quite the opposite in indoor TV antennas. As they’re set inside the house, signals can’t reach the antenna well, and you may get fewer channels than you expected.
However, there are ways to improve indoor TV antenna reception. Besides, it can get all the channels if the broadcast channels are closer.
As you’ve come this far, let me ask you something. What do you think now?; are indoor digital TV antennas any good? Are you going to get an indoor antenna for your TV?
If you ask for a suggestion, go for an indoor antenna if your landlord doesn’t allow you to set an outdoor antenna. But apply the best practices for setting up an indoor antenna.
Plus, an indoor antenna could benefit you if you live near the broadcast tower and have a strong signal.
But if you live far from your broadcasting station and can set up an outdoor antenna, experts will suggest you go for outdoor ones. In the comment section below, let us know what you chose and how this write-up helped you.
Happy cutting the cord!