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Outdoor antenna

Splitter - Goobay
Ordered before 9 p.m., delivered tomorrow
€ 1,59

Reception over the airwaves

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Today all information comes to us via cable and fixed Internet connection. We quickly forget that various airwaves are also still busily used to broadcast both radio and TV signals. Receiving these signals requires an antenna. This is designed to work optimally for a particular frequency band and therefore transmits the signal from the surrounding stations broadcasting on this band to the connected receiver. A radio or TV receiver is built to operate over a whole range of frequencies. This range is called a frequency band. Within a frequency band, each transmitter is assigned its own piece of frequency so that transmitters do not interfere with each other and can be received separately from each other. By simply turning or pressing a button, a receiver can be used to choose between the different transmitters in a frequency band, provided the receiver is equipped with a good reception signal via antenna. This is precisely where things can quickly go wrong.

Why use an outdoor antenna?

In our modern homes, many of the radio signals that pass freely through the airwaves are blocked by the coating of high-performance glass and the rebar in walls. As a result, only a very weak signal can be received in a home, resulting in weak reception when using an indoor antenna. With an analog signal, this leads to a sound with a lot of noise or a picture with a lot of snow. With a digital signal, reception may be jerky and the picture may become blocky, or you may not get any picture or sound at all. There is a good solution to this problem, which is to install an outdoor antenna. An outdoor antenna picks up the radio and TV signal before it is weakened by metal coating of windows, concrete iron in walls or insulation foil in the walls of a caravan. An outdoor antenna can also be placed higher than an indoor version, greatly reducing the shielding effect of nearby objects such as other houses and caravans. Just a few feet of extra height makes a clearly audible difference in radio and a clearly visible difference in TV. This is the reason why people who like to have good reception at home or at the campsite install an outdoor antenna.

Outdoor antenna, choosing the right frequency band

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An outdoor antenna comes in many different designs. Therefore, it is important to know the distinctions between the different types so that you immediately order the right type that suits your needs and your receiver. Each outdoor antenna is designed to provide the best performance for a specific frequency band. Outside of this band, the antenna will perform much less or not at all. There are also antennas that can accommodate multiple bands. These are either broadband antennas that cover a wide frequency range, or dual band antennas that are designed for two specific frequency bands. The frequency range of an antenna is indicated by an "from-to" frequency or by a global designation such as VHF, or UHF. An antenna may also be designated by a specific application. Examples include:

  • DAB (Digital Audio Broadcast);
  • DAB+ (Digital Audio Broadcast + with higher quality and more features);
  • DVB-T (Digital Video Broadcasting Terrestrial).
These are all broadcast standards where the standard specifies the digital modulation method and broadcast frequencies. An outdoor antenna with one of these designations is suitable for the broadcast frequency specified in the standard.

Types of antennas

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There are different types of antennas, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. We describe these advantages and disadvantages so you can quickly determine the best choice. The omnidirectional is a type that is equally sensitive all around. It is often shaped like a sprite or stick. You can easily hang it outside or mount it on the roof of your boat or caravan. You do not need to align it, but be sure to mount it vertically. The dipole antenna is a wire or stick antenna commonly used for analog radio reception. Because the analog radio signal is transmitted horizontally polarized, you hang this antenna horizontally. The dipole antenna is not strongly directional and works well in many situations, provided the ends of the dipole are not pointed exactly at the transmitter. A directional antenna is a high-performance model. A directional antenna has its own gain factor, making it ideal in situations where the transmitter's signal is weak. The disadvantage of a directional antenna is that it has a small opening angle. Thus, the directional antenna must be properly aimed at the transmitter, or no signal will be received.