Before you buy your antenna and spend your hard earned money you need to consider a few things. You need to find the type of antenna that you need, the location of your antenna, your budget, your skill level and the cost effectiveness of the project. Depending of the location of your home you may not benefit from getting your TV programming from a TV antenna if you don't get enough channels where you live or, if the channels available in your area don't appeal to you. Before you start you may want to search all the stations broadcasting where you live. An excellent source of information is Antennaweb.org. At antennaweb.org you can search stations in addresses located in United States and overseas territories and, it is a great tool to help you decide what to do next.
Step 1: Outdoor antenna versus indoor antenna
Some disadvantages of indoor antennas are:
In contrast outdoor antennas have some benefits like:
The disadvantages of the outdoor antennas are:
Step 2: Materials
Step 3: Antenna installation
Assemble the antenna on the ground. Secure all bolts and nuts and connect the transformer to the antenna if the antenna comes with the transformer. If the antenna comes with a coaxial connector outside the plastic casing simply connect the outdoor coaxial cable to the antenna. In some models the transformer is already built-in. Follow the manufacturer's instructions.
Carefully select the location of your aerial. Do not install too close to electrical wires or tree branches. My antenna has been installed on the opposite side of the house that, has the electrical wire coming from the service transformer. You may need someone to help you hold the antenna while you secure all the u-bolts to the braces. Make sure that the antenna is at least 10 feet above the peak of your roof. Also the nuts that come with your mounting kit will have washers that will not creep out. Make sure to tighten them.
Once the antenna is in place, secure the cable to the mast using Ty-wraps. If you have a rotator, allow about a 2 feet loop of enough cable between masts. When the rotator gyrates the antenna while searching for more stations the coaxial cable might be pulled and stretched. It is very important to allow the cable not to be stretched by the action of the rotator.
You may want to disguise the coaxial cable the best you can for aesthetic reasons. I have hidden the coaxial cable behind the gutters. Use your imagination.
Next, connect the coaxial cable to the grounding block or the splitter depending on your configuration. In my case I connected the cable to a 4 way splitter and connected three coaxial cables to a grounding block that would accept the three segments of coaxial cable (see picture above). One of the segments went to my upstairs bedroom, the second entered the basement to come out of the living room floor and, the third is kept with a TV in the basement. Now I can watch the news anywhere in the house.
Step 4: Can I use my old antenna and still enjoy high definition on my TV?
The answer is yes. You can enjoy HDTV with an old VHF/UHF antenna. According to the Antenaweb site you can still use VHF to receive channels of the 2-13 range.
Are all digital stations on UHF channels, and do I need a UHF-only antenna to receive them? What are the VHF and UHF bands anyway, and what do VHF and UHF stand for?
The Very High Frequency (VHF) band is the segment of the television broadcast band covering channels 2 through 13. The Ultra High Frequency (UHF) band is the segment of the television broadcast band covering channels 14 through 83. Currently, the vast majority of TV stations broadcasting in digital are using UHF (14 and up) channels to do so. This is not due to any technical requirement of digital broadcasting, however. It is mostly because the UHF channels were more likely to be available in most markets. Eventually, after the digital transition is complete and TV stations no longer need to broadcast in analog, they may switch and use their current analog VHF channels for digital instead. Antennas that receive UHF stations only and ones that receive both VHF and UHF are available. If you are fairly certain you won't want to get any lower channels in the VHF 2-13 range, you could purchase one that is UHF only.
Also the How Stuff Works site answers the same question:
An antenna - Depending on your location relative to the stations you want to watch, a set of rabbit ears might do, but you might need a rooftop or attic antenna. You can buy an antenna that's specially made for digital signals, but any reliable VHF/UHF antenna will work.There is no need to buy expensive equipment to enjoy HDTV as long as your TV is HD and is connected to a reliable antenna. Like it can be appreciated in the picture above, my antenna is a VHF/UHF and I am able to receive on my LCD screen channel 8.1 and 8.2 in high definition.