If you are keen on adding a few local stations that are not part of the TV bundle you are subscribed to or if you want to cut off your ties with your local cable TV signal provider, installing an antenna first may be necessary for your home TV setup. It is a very simple process and a cost-effective measure to make. Over-the-air TV signals can be broadcast on 2 different sets of frequencies.
The specific channels that you are keen on seeing on your TV could be one band or the other. However, in the absence or use of the right antenna, you won’t stand a chance of seeing them.
UHF Antenna vs VHF Antenna
Over-the-air TV signals, we usually broadcast them on 2 different bands. One of which is the very high-frequency band or the VHF and the other is the ultrahigh-frequency band, the UHF. VHF channels would be transmitting their radio frequencies between 54 MHz and 216 MHz. This is in complete contrast to UHF channels which come at a much higher frequency, ranging from 470 MHz and 890 MHz.
Any certified ham-radio enthusiast will surely agree with us in saying that your choice of frequency will have something to do with how well their signal will travel. During those times that cable TV was not yet in existence, the majority of TV stations would broadcast using the VHF band.
The reason behind this is that there is a lesser chance for interference or signal interruption to take place. Besides that, it is also capable of carrying the signal farther under specific transmission power. UHF today is more well known because it provides you more bandwidth, making high-definition programming possible.
Broadcast Frequency and Antenna Design
It is normal for both VHF and UHF radio frequencies to operate under different wavelengths. A VHF signal would be sending large radio waves, whereas the UHF signals are relayed using smaller waves and they arrive closer together. When we refer to the UHF signal as taking on
“higher frequency”, we are doing so in a very literal sense.
The UHF antenna prongs or elements are directly associated with the radio wavelength. There is one simple rule to remember here, they are complete opposites. This means to say that the bigger number you have, the smaller the radio wave is. With that also there is a smaller TV antenna element that is likely to receive it.
Choosing a TV Antenna
If you are undecided or can’t make up your mind yet as to which between these two you should have, UHF antennas or VHF antennas, and which among them can do the job for you keep in mind that there are two things that you need to take into account first before making any decision: the channels that you want to have and the signal strength.
Things become even more complicated than you would have first imagined, like for instance, Channel 7 Local News would now be transmitting on UHF channel 38 as opposed to VHF channel 6. That is, even though you can still see it on channel 6, making it possible for the station to preserve its branding.
Checking out the official website of the Federal Communication Commission, you can verify your station by call sign. From this dedicated website, you’d be able to compare your station’s real and assigned virtual channel numbers. You may need to have a VHF antenna, a UHF antenna, something that does both.