What is a digital TV Aerial? Many people ask the question, his is an
interesting question which most people or aerial installation companies do
not have the answer for.
I will however answer the question, and give you
some inside knowledge when deciding which aerial to buy from the retailer or
even ask the aerial installers if the aerial is indeed suitable for digital.
There is no such thing as a digital aerial!
When people or companies refer to a digital aerial they are normally
taking about a High Gain Aerial. All aerials are capable of receiving
digital reception, but there are many factors that need to be taken into
account to ensure the said aerial is capable of digital reception.
If your aerial has been on your roof for 15 years or more, there is a
very good chance that it's not going to cut the mustard with digital
reception. This is due to the fact that the cable attached to the aerial has
been sun bleached and open to the elements for a long time. If the outer
plastic coating has split, it will expose the inner braid of the coax cable
which will result in signal loss and also water ingress which is potentially
a serious problem.
The aerial was designed many years ago by a chap in Asia called professor
Yagi, hence today most older aerial which are referred to as analogue
aerials are called a yagi aerial. These aerials at the time were ideal for
With the advancement of technology the digital signal is more complex and
holds a lot more information on the same frequency range. In order to
receive the information, the aerial needs to be able to pick the signal up
with the lowest noise levels and but the highest power level which is
measured in DB Volts.
In summary, if you live very close to a TV transmitter you will probably
receive the digital signal ok. If however you are not so lucky and live a
distance from the transmitter, then think about a couple of aspects.
The size of the buildings around you. (are you surrounded by flats or
cranes) they all defect the signal.
Geographically are you in a dip, or are you on the top of a hill. (top of
a hill is good)
Do you wish to connect more than one TV to the aerial (one aerial can
feed a block of flats with the correct equipment!)
Does your current aerial give you interruption in your viewing? (ie -
mosaic effect, especially at night)
If any of the questions above are a "yes" then consider upgrading to a
newer aerial or even a high gain aerial (referred as digital), but more
importantly be sure to make sure that the aerial is benchmarked with a
digital tick or has a CAI standard rating.
When choosing an aerial installation company, shop around.
The cheapest is not always the best. Remember the saying - you get what
you pay for!
In this day and age, it's not always to financially viable for a company
to give you free estimations at your property, however they should be able
to spend time with you on the phone, give you advise, and a price.
If they will not give you an estimation on the phone, be very wary!
If you are still at a loss after reading this article, please look at the
official digital TV site.