Things You'll Need
- Digital converter box
- VHF/UHF combination antenna
As of June 2009, all television stations are now required to broadcast their signal in digital quality. This means that even if you do not have cable television, you can enjoy high-quality digital programming from your local television stations. All you need is a television that has a digital converter built in and an antenna capable of receiving digital quality programming. If you already have a television with a digital converter built in, then buying and installing the antenna is simple. If you do not have a digital television, you have the added step of installing a converter.
Determine if your television is analog or digital. There is a link in the resources section below that will allow you to input the model and manufacturer of your television to see what kind of television you have. Also check to see if you have an ATSC compatible tuner built in to your set that would allow you to receive over-the-air digital broadcasts.
Purchase and install an analog to digital converter if you determine that your television set does not have a digital converter built in. These can be purchased at any electronics store, and come with easy-to-read installation instructions. This will also allow you to receive over-the-air digital programming as well. The days of simply putting an antenna on your television and receiving local channels are over. With every television station in the United States broadcasting in digital, you now need to make sure your television is able to receive digital signal before you can proceed.
Hook up an antenna that is a combination VHF and UHF antenna. These are the antennas that have the V-shaped "rabbit ears" and the O-shaped UHF antenna built in to the same unit. There is nothing special about an antenna that makes it digital or non-digital. The digital technology is all in the television.
Test your channels to make sure that you are getting all of your local channels in digital quality. If you are not able to receive some channels, then re-adjust the antenna or refer to the operating instructions for your television or digital converter.
Upgrade your antenna if you are still unable to receive local channels. It is possible that the signal to your home is weak, and you may need a stronger antenna to amplify the signal.
If you are getting an especially weak signal from your local stations then you may need to install a roof-top antenna to get your local stations.
George N. Root III began writing professionally in 1985. His publishing credits include a weekly column in the "Lockport Union Sun and Journal" along with the "Spectrum," the "Niagara Falls Gazette," "Tonawanda News," "Watertown Daily News" and the "Buffalo News." Root has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the State University of New York, Buffalo.