How Does an Amplified Antenna Work?

by Stephen Lilley

The Basics

An amplified antenna is a device designed to improve the image quality of broadcast television in a situation where signal loss is occurring. Signal loss can happen for a variety of reasons, from living in a building encased in thick concrete walls to just living too far away from the transmission source of the television signal. An amplified antenna will preserve as much of the original television signal as possible.

Picture Quality

A little-known fact is that using an amplified antenna to receive your television broadcasts will actually result in a better picture than if the same channels were being viewed on cable or satellite television. This is due to the nature of their transmissions. Cable and satellite providers heavily compress all their content for transmission, as they have hundreds of channels that they're sending at the same time. A television station that is broadcasting a signal "over the air" sends out its signal completely uncompressed, which preserves the original resolution of the image.

Problem Areas

There are still certain areas and environments that will result in even an amplified antenna not doing much in terms of preserving the integrity of the television signal. Living in a high-rise building in a major city, for example, can result in significant signal loss beyond the capability of an amplified antenna to repair. Rural areas with homes hundreds of miles away from the source of the television signal can do the same thing. In these situations, cable or satellite television is recommended.

About the Author

Stephen Lilley is a freelance writer who hopes to one day make a career writing for film and television. His articles have appeared on a variety of websites. Lilley holds a Bachelor of Arts in film and video production from the University of Toledo in Ohio.

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