Industry offers tip sheet on DTV antennas

The broadcast and consumer electronics industries have joined together to help consumers choose the right indoor antenna for successful DTV reception.

Television broadcasters, antenna manufacturers, consumer electronics retailers and the consumer electronics industry, in collaboration with the FCC, have developed a tip sheet and advisory that offers information on where antennas should be placed in the home and what consumers should look for in buying a new television antenna.

The initiative was necessary because some consumers continue to have problems receiving local DTV broadcasts. There are instances where viewers with an indoor antenna have been unable to receive stations broadcasting on VHF channels 2-13.

The participants represent the Association for Maximum Service Television (MSTV), the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the Consumer Electronics Retailers Coalition (CERC), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Audiovox, Antennas Direct, Channel Master, and Winegard. The new consumer tip sheet and advisory are available on the following Web sites:

Relying on recent data and consumer experiences, the group provides a number of tips to consumers. For example, the group will alert consumers to look for a special logo that tells them that the antenna meets or exceeds CEA performance specifications for indoor antennas.

Another tip: Consumers should move indoor antennas away from household electronics — including the TV set — as these devices may interfere with indoor reception. In addition, consumers experiencing reception problems are advised to experiment and reposition their antennas. Indoor antennas should be placed in or near a window, if possible.

The CEA's AntennaWeb also offers an antenna mapping program that’s designed to help retailers and consumers make an appropriate choice when selecting an off-air antenna for their location.