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Why an HDTV Antenna Is the Best TV Antenna to Have in a Rural Area

Cable TV providers make 80 billion US dollars annually from homeowners. If you're subscribed to pay TV, you might be wasting money on something you can get for free.

How can you save hundreds of dollars and still watch your favorite shows? TV antennas can help you cut monthly costs by receiving crystal-clear TV for free. 

If you live in a rural area with poor TV reception, you'll benefit from an HDTV antenna that picks up on transmissions even from your location. With the wide variety of antennas available today, it's important that you choose a model best optimized for your home. 

How do you choose the best rural antenna? What's the best way to install it? How does an HDTV antenna work? We've put together this comprehensive guide to explain why an HDTV antenna is the perfect fit for you. 

Understanding TV Signals

120 million US households watch TV every day, which has led to a booming television industry. You probably have a TV in your home, but do you know how it works?

TV antennas are simple technology that receives signals from local television towers. These signals are what makes up over-the-air (OTA) television. Since 2007, they've been broadcasted as digital signals that get picked up by TV antennas. 

It may sound too good to be true, but you can watch high-definition channels for free by attaching an HDTV antenna. It connects to your TV by picking up on OTA signals close to your home. When those signals connect, antennas direct it to your TV for viewing. 

These signals transmit as uncompressed and clear 1080i resolution. Once your TV is able to connect to the signals, you'll be able to watch popular channels like ABC, FOX, CBS, NBC, and PBS. The best part is that you won't have to pay any monthly fees to watch. 

How TV Antennas Work

How do TV antennas pick up on the signals broadcasted by nearby towers? They're made with metal rods that let signals travel along at the right frequency.

Although their technical construction is simple, they're made up of unique elements. Here are some terms you should know to help you optimize the efficiency of your antenna. 

Line of Sight

Antennas don't work the same in any location. They need to be positioned so that none of the signals gets blocked. This means outdoor TV antennas need to be facing away from roofs, towers, or hills.

An indoor TV antenna will work best when facing a window. This is because building materials like brick and metal siding create a barrier that blocks TV signals. When this happens, you won't get a clear picture on your TV or be able to watch certain channels.

All HDTV antennas work best when they are facing the closest broadcasting tower. When you position your new antenna, your goal is to place it with the most direct "line of sight" to a nearby tower cluster. You'll need to do some research on your area about where your TV towers are located and how far apart they are spaced. 

Don't worry about getting the position absolutely clear of obstructions. Most homes are built near large trees or tall buildings. This means it's not always possible to avoid obstructions. Your antenna is designed to work well even without the perfect "line of sight." 

Front-To-Back Ratio

This is what makes your TV antenna directional. Front-to-back refers to how well it picks up on signals from in front and behind. The bigger the antenna and the more rods it has, the higher its front-to-back ratio will be. 


"Gain" is the antenna's ability to receive TV signals at a specific frequency. Antennas with higher gain will be longer and have more cross pieces.

While shopping for an antenna, you can talk with a professional about each model's gain. Most antenna providers will let you search their selection for the stats on each design.  


This is what happens when your antenna picks up on a signal more than once. If it happens while you're watching TV, you'll notice additional faded images on your screen. What causes it? When a TV signal reflects off of a nearby building, it makes your antenna pick up on it more than once. 

Indoor vs. Outdoor

Indoor and outdoor TV antennas each come with their own pros and cons. When choosing between the two, you'll need to consider different variables. 

Outdoor Antennas

Outdoor TV antennas have the best chance of receiving crystal-clear reception. Because they're located outside, they can be made larger and with far-reaching rods. This lets them pick up on signals easily so that you get great TV reception. 

Some homeowners wonder if they're allowed to install a TV antenna to their home. The US FCC has ruled that all homeowners and renters have the right to install a TV antenna. 

A major downside to using an outdoor antenna is that they won't last as long. Since they're located outside, they are regularly exposed to rain and harsh weather. When the metal rods of an antenna is exposed to liquid, it causes the metal to oxidize and rust. Over time, it stops the antenna from picking up reception. 

Another downside to using an outdoor antenna is that it may not be an attractive addition to your house. If curb appeal is important to you, then you may not enjoy an outdoor antenna's bulky appearance. 

Indoor Antennas

Although indoor TV antennas may not pick up reception as well as outdoor antennas, they come with many benefits that make it worthwhile. Indoor antennas will usually feature a sleek and compact design that's easy to place inside your home. This can make them cheaper than big outdoor antennas, which means you save more money.

You also won't have to worry about fitting a bulky piece of equipment into your interior design. Installation is simple and fast because you only have to plug it in and set it down. 

Today's indoor HDTV antennas have upgraded designs that help them pick up on TV signals better than before. This means you can still get great picture quality while saving time and money. 

Using TV Antenna in a Rural Area

When you live in a rural area, watching TV can be a difficult task. You won't get pictures as clearly and sometimes channels won't come through. 

Why is poor TV reception normal for rural areas? There are a number of reasons that can affect how well a television signal comes through. You might live in a hilly area that blocks your antenna from receiving signals fully. If you live in heavily forested areas, then trees can block your antenna's reception too. 

Homes in rural areas are also usually located farther away from broadcasting towers. This means the signals will be weaker and it makes it more likely that there will be an obstruction in your reception's path. 

When choosing a rural TV antenna, you need to consider how far away you're located from the closest tower cluster. 90% of the US has both VHF and UHF TV stations that broadcast digital HD signals. This means you have a high chance of picking up signals from a tower. The issue is all down to your antenna's reach and line of sight. 

Maximize Your Rural Antenna's Reception

There are simple ways to maximize your TV antenna's reception, no matter where you live. The most critical step is to face the front of your antenna towards the closest TV towers. This rule applies to any model of antenna.

Some antennas are multi-directional, which means they can pick up signals from any direction. But even multi-directional antennas work best when they are directly facing their source.

You might have to test out different antennas before finding the perfect fit. Choose an option that comes with a full-coverage refund policy so you can stress less. No matter which antenna you're installing, here are some basic tips for getting the best results. 

The Higher, the Better

Another tip is to install your antenna as high up as possible. This gives it the best chance of clearing obstructions that can block your reception.

Outdoor antennas are best placed on top of your home's roof. The best outdoor TV antenna will be made on an extra long pole to get the best line of sight. Indoor antennas can be placed near windows or on a high ledge. 

Check for Obstructions

Don't forget to check for possible obstructions. Outdoor antennas should face away from chimneys, nearby buildings, or large trees. Indoor antennas work best when they're not directly facing your home's metal or brick siding. 

Look for Water

Remember, the terrain has a major impact on reception. Even if you don't live near forested areas or clusters of buildings, the land itself might block TV signals. If you live near a body of water, this is your best case scenario for antenna installation. The flat surface of water gives the best chance of a clear path for receiving TV transmissions. 

Always Rescan 

The final tip for maximizing the results of your rural antenna is to rescan every time you make an adjustment. This is because your antenna works on an "all or nothing" rule. Every time it connects to a signal, it will show you the visual results on your screen. When that connection is broken, your screen becomes blank. 

This means you need to take a moment to rescan when you move your antenna to a different location. This will help you test for the best position and ensure that you get high-quality reception. 

Shopping for the Best HDTV Antenna 

There are companies who will try to sell you on their low-quality antennas that aren't designed for optimal reception. If you want to get the best quality for the most affordable price, you need to consider what model will work best for your location.

The first thing you'll need to think about is where your closest TV towers are located. In urban areas, you won't have to search far. If you live in a rural area, your local towers might be located far away. 

Depending on your tower location, you'll then have to decide on an outdoor or indoor antenna. There are pros and cons to each style, but either choice will bring you great results. Even indoor TV antennas are designed to get the best reception no matter what's hindering it.  

If you're looking for an affordable and simple solution to your TV needs, the TennaZ Ultra-Thin HDTV Antenna might be the perfect choice for you. This compact antenna can get you over 100 of your favorite channels without the cost of a subscription. 

This high-quality antenna gives you channels in crystal-clear 1080p. This means your free TV shows will be as clear as your expensive cable television. It's also easy to install and works flawlessly for 90% of the nation. 

Start Watching Your Favorite Channels

Installing an HDTV antenna is the best way to break your reliance on pay TV and save you money. OTA TV is even easier today because 90% of US areas have access to TV stations that are broadcasted for free. 

This method of television can even give you clearer pictures than paid subscriptions. How is this possible? OTA TV signals are compressed less than cable signals, which means your picture quality will still be high-quality. Not only are you saving money, but you end up getting the same TV experience as before. 

Remember that TV antennas will work differently according to how your home is set up. The closer you are to a TV tower cluster, the better your antenna's signal will be. If you live in a rural area, you'll want to install your TV antenna carefully to optimize your results. 

Ready to kick back and watch your favorite show? Add the TennaZ HDTV Antenna to your shopping cart today.