How to Build an HD Antenna

Knowing how to build an HD antenna is useful if you have an HDTV, but you live where you can't get a strong HD signal. More television stations are broadcasting in HD, and there's no reason for you to miss out on a good picture or feel like you have to buy a new antenna or high definition dish.

Before you get started, take note that you will not get an HDTV signal if you don't have an HDTV set. A new antenna can result in a stronger digital signal, which is useful since TV stations no longer broadcast in analog, but you'll need an HDTV for signals of high definition quality.

If you have an HDTV, a two-by-four, eight wire hangers (without paint), wire, eight screws, eight washers, coaxial cable and spare time, you can improve your signal in a matter of hours with the following steps:

  • Cut a two-by-four board to about three feet in length.
  • Untwist or cut hangers, and bend each of them into a "V" shape.
  • Set a washer on each point of the hanger to hold it in place on the board. Then screw the point of each hanger along the length of the board so you have four on each side. Aim the ends of the "V" shapes out along the board. You'll wind up with a board that has four protrusions on each side, and it will really start to look like an antenna.
  • Use the remaining two coat hangers (or more flexible wire, if necessary), to connect each point. Connect the top left point to the two middle points on the right side of the board, and end the wire at the bottom left point. Do the opposite by connecting the top right point to the two middle left points, and end at the bottom right. You'll have two X's with a gap in the middle. Make sure the wires are insulated when they cross.
  • Attach a coaxial cable to the board using a balun, connecting the two wires on the opposite side of the middle gap, and screw the other end of the cable into the coaxial input on your TV set.
  • Turn on the TV set, and start adjusting the antenna and the channels until the image reaches HDTV perfection. However, don't be surprised if you can't get VHF channels.

Once your antenna is finished, set it well away from kids or pets so no one gets poked or injured by the hangers. 

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