It depends on your situation; factors determining what type of antenna depend on the distance and direction from the TV station transmitters to your home. Other factors include the transmitter's power and tower height and any obstacles (hills, buildings, etc..) between the tower and your antenna. To help mitigate these factors we offer indoor/outdoor and multi-directional antennas to fit your situation. To help you figure out what best fits your need use our Antenna Finder located on our homepage.
Do I need an indoor or outdoor antenna?
Good question, answer depends on your situation. The main factors determining reception are the distance and direction from the TV station transmitters to your home. Other factors include the transmitter's power and tower height and any obstacles (hills, buildings, etc..) between the tower and your antenna. If you live within a few miles of the transmitter, and the signal path is relatively unobstructed, you may be able to get adequate reception using an indoor antenna. But as you move farther away, getting usable signal strength becomes trickier. This is where careful antenna selection and installation become essential. General rule of thumb, the larger an antenna's surface area is, the greater the signal it will provide. Outdoor antennas typically are larger in size and provide greater access to unobstructed signals potentially blocked by walls, furniture, people, etc? so they tend to outperform indoor antennas. However not everybody has the ability to install or hook up to a roof-top or attic mounted outdoor antenna. Indoor antennas provide a nice alternative as they are generally small, designed to be placed on or near your TV and can work just as well in certain situations. Indoor antennas can also be amplified to boost signal to enhance performance. Refer to our antenna finder in the top left corner of this page to help you in find the right antenna for your situation.
Do I need an amplifier for my antenna?
One way to help antennas overcome size or height disadvantages, or otherwise enhance signal gain, is through the use of an amplifier. The amplifier can be built in as it is in many indoor antennas, or it can be a separate device that installs in-line between the antenna and TV. An amplifier that installs on an outdoor antenna or mast is often called a preamplifier or "preamp." RCA also has innovated the amplification process in antennas with SmartBoost™ technology. SmartBoost™ offers precise amplification that allows TV tuners to pick up and amplify the right TV signals, unlike competitors amplifiers that also amplify background broadcast noise.
What does passive and active mean?
A passive antenna has no active amplifier parts, it is just an antenna. An active antenna includes a preamplifer or amplifier to increase the gain of the antenna, but it can also refer to an electronic means to tune or match the antenna.