LAVA HDTV antenna basics: There is no one magic HDTV antenna or HDTV antenna type that will deliver excellent TV reception in every location. The main factors determining reception are the distance and direction from the TV station transmitters to your home. Other factors include the transmitter's power and the height of its tower, the terrain between the tower and your Lava HDTV antenna, and the size and location of any large buildings in the path of the transmission.
VHF and UHF Like analog signals, digital TV signals can be broadcast over two different frequency ranges: VHF (Very High Frequency) and UHF (Ultra High Frequency). The VHF channel range is 2-13 "low-band" VHF is channels 2-6; "high-band VHF is channels 7-13. The UHF channel range is 14-69. Prior to the Feb. 2009 transition, most digital stations (over 87%) broadcast in the UHF frequency band, meaning that most viewers would be fine using a UHF antenna. But many stations will change their channel locations with the transition. The nation's 1,819 full-power TV stations will look like this: Low-band VHF (ch. 2-6): 40, High-band VHF (ch. 7-13): 445, UHF (ch. 14-51): 1334. If some of the local stations you want to receive are below 14, you may need a VHF/UHF antenna — especially to receive channels 2-6.
Amplified HDTV antenna vs. non-amplified HDTV antennas: One way to help HDTV antennas overcome size or height disadvantages, or otherwise enhance signal gain, is through the use of electronic amplification. The amplifier can be built in as it is in many indoor TV antennas, or it can be a separate device that installs in-line between the HDTV antenna and TV. An amplifier that installs on an outdoor TV antenna or mast is often called a preamplifier or "preamp." Most experts recommend only using an amplifier if you need to. The potential drawbacks of amplifiers are that they amplify noise along with the signal, and they can be over driven by strong TV signals, which can make reception worse.
Indoor TV antenna vs. outdoor TV antennas: Indoor TV antennas are generally small, designed to be placed on or near your TV. Outdoor TV antennas tend to be significantly larger and are intended for roof or attic mounting. In general, the larger an antenna's surface area is, the stronger the signal it will provide. The relative strength of the signal an antenna can deliver to a tuner is referred to as "gain" and is measured in decibels (dB). The higher the dB rating, the greater the gain.
Uni-directional HDTV antenna vs. multi-directional HDTV antennas: TV Antennas described as "uni-directional" or sometimes just "directional" are designed to receive signals from one direction. "Multi-directional" or "omni-directional" antennas are able to receive signals from all directions.Directional antennas are able to pull in signals from greater distances, and because they "see" in only one direction they are resistant to noise and "multipath distortion. Because multi-directional antennas "see" in many directions they are more likely to pick up noise, interference, and multipath distortion.