Coat-hanger DTV Antennas Distributed in San Diego Suburb

(Feb. 13, 2009) ESCONDIDO,CALIF.: Jim Lipka is demonstrating that pricey “HDTV” antennas aren’t necessary to pull in digital TV signals. Lipka is getting press for making functional TV antennas out of wire hangers and what appear to be picket-fence slats. He’s putting the devices together at less than $10 each, giving them away to African refugees at his church so they don’t lose TV reception when the city’s stations transition this coming Tuesday (notwithstanding they have converter boxes or a DTV receiver).

Antennas were identified a source of reception problems in Wilmington, N.C., when that city transitioned to all-digital broadcast TV last year. The Television Broadcast staff has tried several indoor antennas, frequently finding rabbit ears to be as effective as more expensive models save the amplified Terk HDTVa.

Lipka’s antennas resemble one created last summer by Paul Zelman, who notified Television Broadcast of its effectiveness.