What Is a Digital Antenna?


Quick Answer

A digital antenna is a TV antenna that can receive digital transmissions from broadcast TV stations in the United States. A digital antenna must be able to receive UHF and VHF channels to receive the digital signals broadcast by all U.S.-based stations.

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Full Answer

As of 2015, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission indicates that TV consumers require an antenna to receive a digital TV signal even if they are using a digital-to-analog converter box. Certain types of antennas also perform better when receiving either UHF or VHF digital signals. These types of digital antennas include the rabbit-ear antenna that requires the addition of a wire loop to receive UHF channel signals properly.

Existing analog TV antennas can also potentially receive digital signals as long as they have good-quality reception for channels 2 to 51 in analog. Consumers do not need to purchase an antenna that is marketed as either digital TV or high-definition television, as a standard broadcast antenna can receive both signals. Consumers should also check if their current antennas can receive digital signals being broadcast in their region before deciding to purchase new antennas.

Consumers who are already connected to digital TV channels should perform an occasional channel scan to see if new digital channels are available.

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