While standing on the ground without any elevation, the horizon that people are able to see through their naked eye is only a couple miles in the distance. Because of that, sometimes it’s hard to fathom the difficulties of HDTV antenna signals. There are some forms of interference and obstacles that everyone should be aware of and be ready to counteract.
Most notably there are the natural obstacles. It is more difficult to receive a signal that is on the other side of a mountain. In the long run, small obstacles aren’t as big of a problem, but that is only if the smaller obstacles aren’t obscuring the antenna or transmitting tower. In other words, an antenna can receive signals through trees just fine, but not if there is a large tree planted directly in front of the antenna. The air closest to the antenna should be clear and open for optimum reception through and around natural obstacles.
Weather is the most unpredictable of natural obstacles. If a few of your channels mysteriously stop working, then either the stations are off-air, or there’s a major weather condition that’s keeping the signals suppressed. You can easily check this online with weather reports and radars. Common forms of weather don’t interfere much with broadcast signals, but it’s always good to keep an eye out if you see a storm brewing in the distance.
Another large obstacle to note is the man-made buildings that may stand in the way. Large apartment buildings, for example, are a thick slab of matter that the broadcast signal will have trouble traveling through. People who live in the city and have indoor antennas are able to get by because the television broadcast signals are heavily saturating the air, but large buildings away from any transmitting towers will be a hindrance for an antenna. Getting a more powerful outdoor HDTV antenna is necessary to make the most of the signals that are being received in these conditions.
Smaller HDTV antennas follow the same sets of rules, but scaled down. The region surrounding an indoor antenna should be free and open, preferably next to a window or other thin wall. Powerful models are needed in there are lots of obscuring buildings nearby, usually if the indoor antenna is installed in a room that isn’t located in the middle of a city or town. High population density, on the other hand, means more television stations nearby to provide a constant feed of signals.
Ultimately, the best all-purpose advice for optimal HDTV antenna reception is to mount the antenna as high as possible in whichever setting you intend to install it. With outdoor antennas, that means mounting the antenna on top of a pole so that it has a high line-of-sight distance in addition to its actual reception distance. RV antennas should always be mounted on the roof of the vehicle they are installed on. Indoor antennas benefit from a high placement in the home they are located inside, so a window by the roof is the best placement spot.
Getting a powerful antenna and mounting it in an ideal location will guarantee the best performance. It is the combination that minimizes interference and obstacles. Knowing about geography and current events equips a person with tools that greatly benefit antenna usage.