Skip to content

Digital Antenna Vs Analog Antenna – Differences and Similarities

We all want a good picture quality on your television. Nobody likes to be disrupted while watching television programs and movies, especially your favorite TV program. Antennas enable your TV to pick up channels in your vicinity.  Therefore, people pay attention to the type of antenna to go for. However, you will need to know the difference between digital and analog antennas.   

Antennas are specially designed to transmit and receive signals between several wireless points. A wireless network needs antennas to function properly. An effective antenna ensures perfect wireless connectivity in homes, outdoor wireless networks, and offices. Antennas are usually classified based on the available frequencies and broadcasts they pick. The two main types of antennas are digital and analog antennas.

What is an Analog Antenna?

This is the older type of antenna. Analog antenna has larger elements. This antenna was ideal for the frequencies used before the introduction of digital switchover. However, it still works in most cases although it isn’t optimized for the new frequencies integrated for digital transmissions. Also, an analog antenna provides you with a much lower signal pickup.

An analog antenna features a variable gains. This type of antenna only works within 31 miles for DVB-T. One of the drawbacks of analog antenna is that it doesn’t catch signal from a long distance. The signal is poorer when you are farther from the signal source.

Furthermore, analog antennas produce signals that are bound to a range. Analog circuits are usually difficult to design than. It takes a professional designer to design an analog battery charger or analog radio receiver. This is because designers now integrate digital components to simplify those designs.

Analog antennas are more vulnerable to noise, therefore, they can experience disruption during transmission.  Also, any small change in the voltage of an analog signal, this can result in significant mistakes when being processed. Analog signals help to send voice, signal, data, or image by using a continuous signal.

A good number of analog antennas are on rooftops. These antennas have been there for too long and are in bad condition due to the weather. Also, these antennas are usually connected to plastic splitters and old cables. Any physical damage or corrosion to your analog antenna, the signal quality will be negatively affected.

What are Digital Antennas?

Digital antenna is the second type of antenna. This type of antenna is much smaller than analog antenna. It is the right type of antenna for new frequencies integrated in digital transmissions. Also, it picks up stronger signal with an enhance BER (bit error rates) and CNR (carrier to noise ratio). This helps in achieving a reliable and stable TV reception.

Digital antennas are specially designed to offer stronger signal pick up. Also, they pick up new frequencies integrated for digital broadcasts. Digital antennas are a much better option than analog antennas. The analog broadcast stopped working in 2013 and now digital channels are the only channels that exist.

To optimize the performance of digital antennas, it is important to consider the placement of the antenna. This determines how strong your signal will be and the quality of your picture. Some digit antennas come with 4G filter. The 4G filter makes the signal spectrum clean. Therefore, this can reduce the noise that disrupts programming.

Digital antennas are usually considered as the more modern style. Also, these antennas perform more powerful functions. They are ideal for use in our modern world.

Difference between Analog Antennas and Digital Antennas

There are huge differences between digital antennas and analog antennas. Analog antennas were specially designed to only pick up analog signals. On the other hand, digital antennas can receive and interpret digital signals. Analog antennas have lower frequencies while digital antennas have higher frequencies.

Also, analog antennas offer continuous broadcast and signal. However, this is not the case in digital antennas as signals will likely have a slight delay if sent in small chunks. One great benefit of analog antennas is that the transfer broadcast signal exactly as recorded. They don’t alter the signal. However, digital antennas convert signals. Your digital TV then encodes the signal.

Analog antennas are no longer available since analog TVs no longer exist. Therefore, you can get a new analog antenna. Therefore, a digital antenna is often recommended if you need an upgrade. The best option is to replace your analog antenna with a digital one.  Digital antennas receive both radio and TV signals.

Also, there are various digital antenna services and you can select antennas that suit your signal strength.  You don’t need to consider your placement options when using an analog antenna. The analog antenna will pick up a signal with just a simple placement. However, digital antennas need more precise placement. This helps in achieving a good signal.

Furthermore, analog signals directly transmit to the TV. On the other hand, the digital signals require decoding. Therefore, this allows the signal to correct errors and compress data. An analog antenna features a variable gains. This type of antenna only works within 31 miles for DVB-T. Digital antennas can provide enough signal strength needed for a digital signal.  

Analog and Digital Signals


Digital and analogue TV signals work quite in a similar way. Both signals carry radio waves at different frequencies. However, the recent development in communications technology and advent of digital TVs have resulted in some changes in the frequencies used in carrying the TV signals.

A two-way communication now dominates the lower end of the VHS band. Digital TV offers much higher frequency than analog signals. The frequencies a TV antenna are required to pick up determines the best geometric design. Therefore, digital antennas are specifically developed for higher frequencies.

The way digital signal degrades on the television screen is one of its setbacks. For instance, a poor analog signal can still be watchable. Although, it might be kind of grainy, you can still watch it even with a poor signal. This is not the case as with digital signal. Instead of becoming less clear as the strength of the signal drops, a digital signal will totally stop displaying.

As regards digital signal, you either get a good picture quality or nothing. You may have been tolerating  a poor analog signal for a while and barely noticed. If you will be opting for a digital signal, you will have to fix this problem or completely loose all channels.

You need to place the antenna is a much more careful position for digital televisions to get a very strong signal. Therefore, you need to do some things to achieve a properly tuned in. First of all, you need to optimize the position and orientation of the antenna. Secondly, you need to optimize the antenna.  You don’t need a new antenna, all your antenna might need is a rotation or a move. However, you might need a new one if your antenna has cracked or broken.

Do You Need to Upgrade to Your Analog Antenna to a Digital Antenna?

You might need to upgrade your analog antenna to a digital one. However, this depends on you. These days, most people are upgrading their antennas to digital. People see analog antennas as being archaic. Although, you might not necessarily need a new antenna, you just want to upgrade.  Upgrading to a digital antenna is a good choice.

Generally, digital antennas are much better than analog antennas. Therefore, it is better to install a digital antenna since it is specially designed for the digital TV. In Australia, digital TV channels are now common. When you upgrade to a digital antenna, this means you want to meet the need of getting a better signal. Also, you don’t want to experience disruptions while you’re watching TV.

In Australia, analog antennas were completely phased out in December 2013. However, if you have got an old analog antenna, it will still work. The fact is that you can still get digital signals via your older analog antenna.  This means that you can still use your existing antenna service for a much longer  time Also, you may have to encode the signal with a set-top box you have an older analog television.

Commercial sites such as clubs and hotels have set-top boxes. These boxes help in tuning analog channels. Also, these boxes distribute the channels via the entire building or venue. Poor design can result in bad picture quality.

Well, there are other reason you may have to upgrade to a digital antenna. Antennas are often exposed to elements like wind, rain, or hail since they are on your rooftops.

5 Facts about Digital Antennas

Digital antennas have been in use for a long time now. Here are some facts about today’s digital antennas offer:

Pick up new local channels

Cable providers don’t provide all the channels available around you. The majority of broadcast stations usually provide region programming for free. Also, these channels may include kids programming, local new, and classic TV shows.

A great compliment to satellite subscription

By using a digital antenna, you can compliment your cable subscription. A digital antenna will be very useful when your cable blacks out. Also, the frequency of TV digital antenna is less prone to interruption. Therefore, it is a reliable option.

Some obstrcuctions can weaken signals

Digital antennas offer strong signals when they are close to their source. Therefore, the signal is usually considered “line of sight.” You will have a better reception if your antenna is higher. A signal will become weaker if it encounters more obstructions and this can result in signal disruption. The antenna will function at its peak if there is a clear view to the broadcast towers.

All primary networks transfer signals over the air for free

With a digital antenna, you can get local news, kid’s shows, sitcoms, and many movies for free.

HDTV or HD antennas are common names for digital antennas

Digital antennas usually receive same sound and picture quality. While some broadcasts are full HD, others are in standard definition.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is digital antenna?

The price of an antenna varies. It usually depends on the antenna type that can pick up the channels you need. In most cases, the cost of TV antennas ranges between $10 and $35.

What is the best antenna to use?

A digital antenna is still the best antenna for your TV. This antenna allows your TV to pick up extra channels around you. A digital antenna will pick up that signal if it is within the range of the source.

What are the types of Digital Antennas?

The two major types of digital antennas are indoor TV antenna and outdoor TV antenna. An indoor antenna attaches to a TV to pick up channels. Also, this antenna is ideal for use in urban areas where there are broadcast towers around. The outdoor antenna is ideal for use in areas that are not close to the broadcast towers. Also, this antenna is very tricky to install since it requires getting to the roof to fix it. Outdoor antennas are also referred to as whole-house antennas.

How do I choose a good antenna service?

A reliable antenna service will prevent you from getting into any trouble. Professional antenna service providers access your antenna and your home. When choosing the right antenna service, you need to consider factors like expertise, experience, guarantees, and overall your budget.


Both analog and digital antennas have their benefits and disadvantages. However, in our world today, digital antennas are integrated. Analog antennas transmit continuous signal. The major difference between an analog antenna and digital antenna is the channel frequency. All antennas detect radio waves’ vibration at particular frequencies making electrons to accelerate. Antennas enable your TV to pick up channels in your vicinity. Some issues such as cracking, bending, rusting, or dirt may bring up the need to change your antenna. All these issues will prevent your TV from getting a good and clear signal. Also, they will disrupt your viewing.




                Get Fast Quote Now