In traditional analogue broadcasting, TV aerials are necessary to capture terrestrial broadcast signals and translate them into audio visual information. Before cable and satellite, TV antennas were the only way to view live television broadcasts, and are still in use today. More modern aerials are designed to pick up digital broadcasts, as modern broadcasters transmit almost exclusively in digital signals.
The RS Components range of aerials contain indoor and outdoor antennas for TV, FM Radio and DAB (digital audio broadcast) signals.
Digital Television Aerials Versus Cable Television
Depending on their proximity to a broadcaster, and if there is no severe weather interference, TV aerials present a reliable way to view terrestrial television. However, because they rely on a strong, clear signal from a broadcaster, any compromising or loss of that signal will result in the aerial being unable to translate it to audio visual.
This problem is less prevalent in digital signals than in analogue, as digital encoding carries more information per second than analogue, and so maintain their quality over longer distances. Because digital signals are so economic, there are many freeview channels that can be picked up by digital aerials in all most of the UK.
Obviously, as cable has a direct hard wired feed to your television, environmental interference and proximity to the broadcaster are much less likely to be a concern, and so cable television is usually regarded to be very reliable. However, damage to the cable or cable cabinets outside of your control can lead to loss of service. It is also worth mentioning that, depending on your cable provider, some free view channel may not be available through a strictly cable television set-up.