Smart TVs, Inbuilt Antennas and Channels: Questions For New Users Answered
Smart TVs have been widely accepted all over the world. They are televisions that have access to the internet.
However, some details about the smart tv are confusing. A lot of users have various mind-boggling questions that manufacturers fail to address in their advertisement details. A lot of these questions are related to the over-the-air broadcasting features of these televisions.
This article promises to address some of the questions you might have. After reading this, you’d have all the information you need to guide you in deciding on whether or not to purchase a smart tv.
If you already have one, you’d have answers to most questions you might have regarding the over-the-air broadcast features of your smart tv.
Before we dive in, let’s answer the most basic questions
Table of Contents
- 1 What is a Smart TV? What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of using a Smart TV?
- 2 Is auto-scan feature present in all Smart TVs?
- 3 Do Smart TVs need an antenna?
- 4 How do you know if your Smart Tv has a built-in antenna?
- 5 How can I get an antenna on my Smart TV?
- 6 Does a Smart TV need an antenna for local channels?
- 7 How can I get local channels on my Smart TV without an antenna?
- 8 Will the signal on my Smart Tv be improved when I use an antenna?
- 9 Can I record shows on my Smart TV using an Antenna?
- 10 How will I know a good digital antenna?
- 11 Antennas and Channels
- 12 Can one Antenna be used by different Smart TVs?
- 13 What is the Range of my antenna?
- 14 How can I get more channels?
- 15 Can the safety of my Smart Tv be compromised through the antenna?
- 16 Can Hackers Access my Smart TV Through the Antenna?
- 17 Can an Antenna give my Smart Tv Radio functions?
- 18 What’s the benefit of installing an antenna?
- 19 Is Cable TV better than an antenna?
- 20 Can I also use a coaxial splitter to view my cable tv on multiple smart televisions?
- 21 Is a Digital Tuner necessary for smart tv?
- 22 Can a coaxial cable be used to split a digital tuner?
What is a Smart TV? What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of using a Smart TV?
A Smart TV is a regular TV that has inbuilt internet connectivity and streaming applications.
With a smart TV, there are more channels to watch, games to play, and music to stream.
All in all, it is more convenient than regular tv.
Well, as you quite know it is expensive. There are some fears about the level of security in this device also.
Is auto-scan feature present in all Smart TVs?
It isn’t. But it is available in most. The auto-scan picks up channels for you.
Now to questions on over-the-air broadcasting features
Do Smart TVs need an antenna?
Yes, a smart TV needs an antenna to get over-the-air broadcast signals.
As a smart TV owner, if you plan to view free-to-air channels, then you need an antenna for your television.
Digital antennas now render high definition broadcast signals which are better than signals gotten from antennas of more than 2 decades.
To escape the hassles of purchasing and setting up an antenna, you can opt to buy a cable TV.
How do you know if your Smart Tv has a built-in antenna?
Yes, it has. But the issue now is that the inbuilt antennas in your smart tv are only meant for connecting with wifi or a Bluetooth device. It allows easy and quick pairing with other devices in the home internet network.
There is no antenna for over-the-air signals.
Manufacturers nowadays believe that customers rarely watch over-the-air programs. And this is not so. A lot of people despite having streaming apps on their smart tv, prefer to watch some free-to-air programs on regular channels. To get access to free-to-air channels, you need to purchase a High Definition Digital TV Camera.
How can I get an antenna on my Smart TV?
This is easy. You purchase one. You can also make use of your old analog TV antenna. It is important to note that a signal’s level of reception is dependent on the type of antenna purchased. Hence, you are advised to buy a digital antenna.
Then you hook the antenna to the connector(a round small hole at the back/side of the TV). That is, you plug the end of the antenna’s cable into the TV’s antenna port.
Does a Smart TV need an antenna for local channels?
It depends, if you can afford to subscribe to some channels online or your cable TV , you do not need an antenna. However, if you can’t, you need an antenna to view tap into the signals of free-to-air channels.
How can I get local channels on my Smart TV without an antenna?
There are different ways this can be done. However, it is cost-effective. Some of these ways include watching through;
- Live streaming services
- Installed local network apps
- YouTube app
- Subscribed YouTube Tv
- Cable TV
- and other online channels.
Will the signal on my Smart Tv be improved when I use an antenna?
Yes, it will. Although, another important factor to consider is the location of your antenna.
Antenna signals are most times obstructed when they are surrounded by items or if placed beside a taller object. For example, when you place your antenna on the ground beside a tall building, the signals on your tv would be very low.
Best signals are gotten when an antenna is placed on the rooftops- where there are little to no barriers.
This is one of the disadvantages of using an antenna. In the case of cable television, over-the-air signals are not wielded, rather wired connections are used.
Can I record shows on my Smart TV using an Antenna?
This is impossible right now.
This is one of the advantages of using a cable TV with your smart television. The record function works perfectly with it.
Using a DVR can help you record from your digital TV antennas. Brands like Tablo manufacture highly recommended DVRs.
These DVRs are now designed to record local broadcasts. Just use a very good digital TV antenna.
How will I know a good digital antenna?
Have you decided to purchase an antenna for your smart tv?
Are you wondering what criteria an antenna needs to have to pick up several channels?
Different factors come into play here.
However the most important is your location.
Some landlords do not allow tenants to install rooftop or balcony antennas. If you have this landlord, you’ll be restricted to having an indoor antenna.
If the house is yours, are your neighboring houses going to be an obstruction to an antenna’s signal? All these have to be considered…
Antennas and Channels
There are two different types of antennas.
- Omnidirectional antenna
- Directional antenna
An omnidirectional antenna is capable of getting signals from all directions. These signals are not of high quality but the maximum number of available channels will be gotten.
A directional antenna is capable of getting a strong signal with a clear image. With this type of antenna that gets signals in a single direction, only a few channels are gotten.
Can one Antenna be used by different Smart TVs?
Yes! One antenna can be used by multiple smart TVs. Only one device is needed. This is the coax cable splitter.
Luckily, this device is inexpensive. It provides a connection to an existing cable to tap and splits its signals for multiple devices to connect to.
It is important to mention that the key to this usage is a good signal. The signal weakens as different devices begin to connect to it. So if the initial signal isn’t good enough to be amplified, the rest of the smart TV would have very poor signals.
This way, you can watch on different TVs with multiple cable lines that disperse the antenna’s signals.
What is the Range of my antenna?
The range of an antenna shows how wide the antenna can pick up a signal. A higher range guarantees more channels are picked up and transmitted.
All digital antennas have a number listed to indicate the range. Albeit the range of your antenna would be inconsequential if the antenna is placed in the wrong positions.
How can I get more channels?
You can consider getting a cable TV in a situation where you desire some channels that are not being picked up by your antenna. Or you could go online and stream the channel via YouTube or the channel’s app itself.
Can the safety of my Smart Tv be compromised through the antenna?
This is very complex and would take a lot of effort to pull off. The possibility of this ever happening is very low.
However, your data can be collected because of the Automatic Content Recognition feature present in smart TV. It is only the received transmission data that can be collected. The ACR cannot send out any of the collected data
Another question this prompts is…
Can Hackers Access my Smart TV Through the Antenna?
To do this, it takes a lot of effort, as compared to hacking your smart TV through the Internet.
One way this can be done is through a Digital Video Broadcasting- Terrestrial (DVB-T) signal.
This method was explained by Rafael Scheel, a consultant from Onconsult. He explained that a harmful code could be inserted through the signal.
However, the DVB-T signal is only used by a few countries. And the hack needs an internet connection and a DVB-TV channel to succeed.
Thus the probability of this happening to you is very low, so you don’t have to worry. Though, your smart TV is much safer when it is not connected to the internet.
There are some articles online that can provide more insight on this.
Can an Antenna give my Smart Tv Radio functions?
A transistor radio has the appropriate hardware needed for it to function. A smart TV does not have this hardware.
You can consider using a radio app on your smart tv or streaming apps like Spotify to listen to music on your device.
An antenna cannot turn your smart tv into a radio.
What’s the benefit of installing an antenna?
Well, this is a no-brainer. Installing an antenna saves cost.
Money that will be used for internet and cable TV subscription can be diverted to something else.
There are multiple channels to pick from with different contents.
With an internet subscription, when the network is down, Your smart TV would be of no use. With an antenna, you are assured of having another channel to fall back on when one channel goes down.
With free-to-air channels, you have more access to raw information that has not been streamlined and overly curated. Moreover, other entrainment shows would be at your fingertips.
Is Cable TV better than an antenna?
Every option has its limitations. While a Cable TV is paid for, you get better signals and more channels depending on the package paid for.
For you to decide which to go for, you have to consider some of your viewing habits, as well as your budget.
How much are you willing to put away for a subscription?
Are the channels you will be viewing every day free-to-air?
Can you access them without a cable tv subscription?
If you can, then there’s little point in getting a cable tv. Or you could just go for streaming options- provided you have good internet.
This way, you will be getting good reception with better services.
You should consider having an antenna just to have a backup in cases when your cable tv services become unavailable due to unavoidable reasons.
Can I also use a coaxial splitter to view my cable tv on multiple smart televisions?
Yes, you can. Each smart tv must have an individual cable tv box to link with your cable subscription.
Is a Digital Tuner necessary for smart tv?
Digital tuners are used to receive HD signals from free broadcasts. Not all smart TVs have inbuilt tuners, because it’s just starting to become a standard feature.
Brands like LG, Sony, and Samsung now manufacture smart TVs with inbuilt digital tuners.
Can a coaxial cable be used to split a digital tuner?
Currently, this is not possible. Since most TVs now have these tuners in them.
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