Frequently Asked Questions
Q What is going on with this whole analog to digital thing by our government? Do I need a tuner box for my TV?
By February 17, 2009, our government is making all television stations change over to digital. Meaning your old TV will not work without a tuner box.
Q Is it smart to buy an HD TV or keep my TV and get a tuner box?
HD TV's are nice yet expensive. The government has issued out vouchers for $40 off tuner boxes. The HD TV’s have the converter boxes built inside.
Q Is it worth getting an antenna because of all this HD stuff and analog channels turning to digital?
Yes, the antennas that Ottawa Kent Antenna install, are all HD capable. Meaning that the antennas will get all the HD and digital stations.
Q Why would I want an antenna?
Most people have cable or dish in their houses. This is costing them on an average $60 a month. This adds up to around $720 a year. Having an antenna fully installed is only about ½ a year of cable or satellite bills and you will be set for years. FREE TV, and in the Grand Rapids area we have two extra weather stations.
Q Do other people in the Grand Rapids area have antennas? If so, which kind?
More and more are seeing how expensive Dish and cable is and are switching to an antenna for local stations, because it is free. Also with this switch over to digital, you will get more channels for free from your antenna. The type of antenna depends on many factors. You can get the "Area Special" (stationary antenna specifically designed for the Grand Rapids area) or other antennas that are more directional pointing with motors on them to point the antenna in the direction of the desired channel. It is true "you get what you pay for," when it comes to antennas.
Q What channels will I get in my area with an antenna?
Depending on where you live. Most in the greater Grand Rapids area get channels: 3, 8, 13, 17, 35, 41, 43, 54, and 64. If you already have an HD TV, or converter box, then you will receive all the digital channels, (3.1, 3.2, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 13.1, 13.2, 17.1, 35.1, 35.2, 35.3, 35.4, 41.1, 41.2, 43.1, 43.2, 54.1, 54.2, 64.1, 64.2)
Q Do I have to have a big antenna on my roof or can I have it installed in the attic?
Generally, antennas do not perform the best in an attic. Even if the antenna performs well outside, signals can be interfered with more easily from other electrical devices in the attic or house. Also, the wood, trusses, shingles, and aluminum can reduce signal 30-50%. Outdoor installation is the most recommended.
Q I live in the middle of the woods, is that going to be a problem if I want an antenna?
Yes, and No. Trees do play a significant role in your signal, but often times we can put a good antenna up with an amp and shoot through the trees.
Q What is the difference between Digital TV (DTV) and High Definition TV (HDTV)?
"HDTV is a type of DTV service. HDTV provides high resolution programming in a widescreen format. A current analog TV picture can provide resolution of up to 480 horizontal lines. An HDTV picture can provide resolution of up to 1080 lines, providing improved picture detail. Aspect ratio is a comparison of screen width to screen height. Analog TV has an aspect ratio of 4 by 3, which means the screen is 4 inches wide for every 3 inches high. Widescreen HDTV format has an aspect ratio of 16 by 9. HDTV programs include Dolby digital surround sound, similar to the sound used in movie theaters and on DVDs." (antennaweb.org)
Q What are the basic rules for TV signal reception?
- Outdoor is generally better. Outdoor antennas have a better view of the transmitting station, with no building-induced signal loss. They receive less interference from other household electronic/electrical appliances, and they are less likely to receive reflected ghost signals from the building structure.
- Higher is better. The higher an antenna is, the more direct signal it can receive from the TV transmitter, while at the same time reducing the reception of interfering signals from other household electronic/electrical appliances and reflected ghost-causing signals from other nearby structures. The higher the better, but any antenna should be at least four feet above the structure to which it is mounted, and ideally above the roof line.
- Closer is better. If a position above the roof line is not possible, the antenna should at least be on the side of your building facing the TV signal broadcast tower.
- Bigger is better. The larger an antenna, the more signal it receives. This is especially important on channels 2-6, where the longer wavelength requires a larger antenna in order to be efficiently received. Larger antennas also become directional which reduces ghosting caused by reflected signals coming from the side and the rear of the receiving antenna.