Lv 4
Jordan asked in Consumer ElectronicsTVs · 9 years ago

Do modern televisions require external antennae to watch channels over the air?

Let me start by saying that the last TV I got was a hand me down that the neighbor was throwing out back in the mid 90s when I was a schoolkid. The last time I didn't have cable television, you could turn on a television and reasonable expect to get several (analog) stations. But I haven't had cable in a while, and my analog stations have gone dark. I decided to upgrade last week to a modern TV. I guess I falsely assumed that I would be getting everything I needed to see some television right out of that box. When I scanned for stations though, my brand new awesome TV found nothing. After looking at the connection guide, I was surprised to see something that looked like an antenna, but I went and fetched the one from that old 90s TV and sure enough, about 11 stations pulled up. The majority of them flash something awful, but the fact of the matter is, the channels show up with that old antenna, and without it they don't. So my question is, did I just do a poor job of picking my new TV and not get one as up to date as I thought, or do they all require some sort of antenna to function? And if an antenna requirement is normal, and I just need a better one to stop the flashing channels, what brands / models count for decent these days? I don't need anything super fancy, I just need it to work and I'd like to understand how it works.

4 Answers

  • R T
    Lv 7
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer


    ANY device that pulls signals from the air needs a proper antenna. In the case of a cell phone or a portable computer, the antenna may not be obvious, but it's still there somewhere!

    As you found out, any TV antenna will work as long as the signals are strong enough at your location. Apparently they are just barely good enough for the antenna you have. With a better antenna, you most likely would get wonderful results. Over the air digital looks better than cable too because it's not compressed as much.

    Try this, visit . This site will tell you where the TV transmitters are in your area (so you know where to aim the antenna) and how far away they are. If they are more than about 5 miles away, you will probably need an outdoor antenna.

    Source(s): Broadcast Engineer for 30+ years
  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    digital antenna.??? Any sturdy television antenna will paintings. attempt to get one with an amplifier.. the biggest concern with digital television is you choose for a sturdy sign.. no be counted if that's susceptible..No image. if your community television towers broadcasting over the air isn't too a ways away, you're able to get simple terms set your television enter to 'Antenna' and do a test. do no longer anticipate plenty, i attempted numerous hookups, and basically have been given 3 channels..

  • ?
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Sorry - but you need an antenna just like for analog tv. They still use the same radio waves . If you are getting 11 channels with an indoor antenna then something like a 10 element outdoor antenna should work fine . make sure it is suitable for VHF and UHF.

  • 9 years ago

    Pretty much any modern flat screen tv will require an external antenna. They come with built in TV tuner, but that is just to pick out the different signals from the antenna and tune them into a picture/sound. You still need the input.

    Get an external antenna installed or you can still buy "rabbit ears" style internal tv antennas, although for the best quality picture, go for external antenna.

    Most cable tv providers will provide normal free-to-air programming in addition to the paid stuff, so the other alternative is to get cable installed again (but that will cost you more in the long run).

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