Will a TV antenna work in rural areas?

When it comes to the TV antenna market, it’s no secret that the majority
of users who buy one live in rural areas. This is where you’ll notice most
of the benefits of an antenna, and there’s also the fact that an antenna
may be the only way to get a signal in some rural areas.

However, with many users who are about to buy one, but aren’t sure
about their investment, there’s a dose ofskepticism. There’s always
one question popping up – if no cable provider canget TV to my home,
how can a single device do that instead? Will a TV antenna work in
rural areas? Or is it a waste of money.

Well, the short answer is that yes, a TV antenna will work in rural
areas, but there’s a bit more to it. Therefore, read on as we discuss
a few main types of TV antennas and how you can expect each to
perform in rural areas. If you haven’t already check out our
best rural tv antenna here.

What kind of antennas are there?

To begin with, we’ll touch on the most apparent division – indoor
antennas and outdoor antennas. Once we’re done with that, we’ll move
on to the three main types of outdoor antennas – omnidirectional,
multidirectional and directional antennas. Without wasting any more
time, let’s dive in.

Indoor vs outdoor TV antennas – which ones work better in rural areas?

When you first need to buy a TV antenna, you’ll be faced with the
challenge of choosing between an indoors one and an outdoor one.
An indoor TV antenna is much more simple to set up – all you have
to do is plug it in and connect it to your TV set. Then, just point it
towards the broadcast tower, and you’re good to go. However, with
an outdoor TV antenna, you’ll need to assemble it, have cables run
through your house, and set it up on the roof for optimal performance.
And, every adjustment you’ll need to make should be done on the roof as well.

This sound simple, right? An indoor antenna is better. Well, no. With any
kind of antenna, the broadcast tower’s signal should be able to reach the
antenna itself. With an outdoor antenna, you place it high on the rooftop,
and you may even have a clear line of sight to the tower, depending on your
surroundings. On the other hand, with an indoor antenna, you have walls
the signal needs to go through, and that’s the least of your issues.  The signal is
highly susceptible to interference from other wireless devices, so anything else
in your room that’s wireless will negatively impact your signal.

Therefore, the conclusion is that an outdoor antenna is often the better choice.
Less issues with signal interference, and a much stronger signal result
in a better viewing experience. With that out of the way, let’s take a look
at the different types of outdoor antennas, and which one you should go for,
depending on your specific situation.

What kind of outdoor TV antennas work best in rural areas?

As we mentioned earlier, there are three main types of outdoor antennas
– omnidirectional, multidirectional and directional. There isn’t a “best”
type, all of them have advantages incertain situations, and all of them come
with disadvantages as well.

Let’s start with omnidirectional antennas. As their name suggests, they
can receive signals from all around them, a full 360 degrees. This makes
them ideal for two scenarios: you’re either living in a densely populated area
with a lot of towers, or you live in a rural area that also has a lot of towers in
multiple directions. An omnidirectional antenna doesn’t have a range that’s
too strong, but it can pickup multiple signals, giving you a lot of channels,
provided you have towers nearby.

Next, we have multidirectional antennas. They’re similar to directional ones,
but usually have a wider range coverage and can cover multiple directions at once.
If you live in a rural area where you have multiple towers, but they’re all in
the same general direction, this might be the one to go for. Compared to an
omnidirectional antenna, their range is significantly better, but it’s not as good
as a directional antenna’s. However, if you know you have multiple towers nearby,
all in the same general direction, chances are they’re close enough and you don’t
really need all that much range.

Last but not least, we’ve got directional antennas. They’re the favorites of people
who live in rural areas where the broadcast towers are far away from them.
They do have quite a lot of range, often up to 150 miles, and even when bad
weather does impact signal reception, you still have quite a bit to spare.
The downside is that you must have them pointing in the exact direction of the
broadcast tower for them to work well. This can be a finnicky thing to set up,
but once you’ve got it up and running, you should be good to go. If you have a
single broadcast tower, or two, that are in the same line of sight, a directional
antenna is definitely the best antenna for you, even though it’s difficult to set up.

Wrapping things up

At the end of the day, the answer to our initial question on will a TV antenna
work in rural areas is definitely yes, but different antennas will give you different
performance. Depending onyour location, your surroundings, and your expectations,
you can choose one of the types we discussed earlier. If your home can accommodate it,
by all means go for an outdoor antenna, and which one you go for depends on your specific
situation with the broadcast towers. 

About the Author Joseph Geizen

Joseph is an electrician with 10 years of experience he moonlights as a writer and works for Serif TV on some key articles.

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