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Types of Antennas

Following is a description of different types of TV antennas, both indoor and outdoor. Information provided includes the type of antenna, a general description of how the category of antenna performs, a general description of the physical appearance of the antennas, and where they may optimally perform in relation to the color code of the station you want to receive.

Guide to Antenna Box Labeling

When purchasing an antenna, look for the CTA-certified antenna mark for outdoor antennas (which corresponds to the colors on your stations list). There is also a CTA-certified indoor antenna mark, which does not apply to this mapping system, but certifies that your indoor antenna will work in geographic areas that are appropriate for indoor antennas.

CTA-certified Antenna Mark for Outdoor Antennas

Antenna color codes are broken into six different zones. These zones identify the different types of antennas that are required for a consumer to receive optimal reception. Typically, the closer consumers live to the signal tower, the better reception they will receive. They may also be able to use an indoor antenna versus an outdoor. The farther away a consumer lives, the opposite is true. However, there are many variables that impact exactly which antenna a consumer will need.

Indoor Antennas

Due to multiple variables in determining good reception in a specific location with indoor antennas, these antennas are not included in this mapping system. This mark, however, assures that an indoor antenna meets or exceeds CTA performance specifications for indoor antennas in households that can use indoor antennas.

Outdoor Antennas

Look for the CTA-certified antenna mark on outdoor antennas, based on the colors of the stations you want to receive:

Outdoor Antenna Types

 Small Multi-directional
The smallest of TV antennas, they receive equally well from all directions.
APPEARANCE Good looking designs including novel shaped disk and patch antennas, and antennas that attach to satellite systems.
USE This is where signal strength is highest and away from reflecting structures or low areas.
 Medium Multi-directional
Somewhat larger and slightly more powerful
APPEARANCE These antennas include novel stick, wing shaped or disk antennas with long elements.
USE An amplified antenna is recommended in the green area anytime a long (20 feet or more) cable run from the antenna is required, or when more than one device (TV or VCR) is to be used with an antenna. They work best away from reflecting structures or low areas.
 Large Multi-directional
Bigger in size, these antennas receive more signal power. Better for greater distances from signal source and areas with low signal strength.
APPEARANCE Styles include element antennas. These antennas can be used to reject simple ghost situations.
USE When mounted at rooftop heights (30 feet or higher) outdoors, amplified antennas can be used in light green color code areas away from reflecting structures or low areas
COLOR CODE Light Green
 Small Directional
DESCRIPTION Antennas that act like large multidirectional on channels 2-6 but on higher channels these antennas start to have useful ghost reducing effects. Picture quality is excellent when no signal reflecting structures are around.
APPEARANCE Multi-element rooftop antennas.
USE Suitable for far edge of light green color code areas. Amplified antennas with rooftop mounting can be used in these areas if the area is free of signal reflecting structures and is not in a low area.
COLOR CODE Light Green
 Medium Directional
DESCRIPTION Most popular rooftop antenna because of its modest size and ghost reducing characteristics.
APPEARANCE Multi-element rooftop antennas.
USE If there are ghost producing reflective structures near TV receiver antenna location, this kind of antenna is best for yellow, green, light green and red color code areas. Amplified antennas with rooftop mounting can be used with the blue color code.
Light Green
 Large Directional
DESCRIPTION Large antennas used in weak signal areas for maximum possible TV reception.
APPEARANCE Multi-element rooftop antennas.
USE Can be used in any color code area, but requires an amplifier and roof mounting for blue and violet color codes. Amplifiers are not recommended for yellow color codes.
Light Green
Blue - with amplifier
Violet - with amplifier
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