Television signal polarization...


Joined Nov 30, 2010
You can derive most of the information you need from looking at a, "normal" TV antenna. Horizontal, hollow tubes. Longer tubes or loops for lower frequencies. Larger diameter tubes for wider bandwidth. More tubes, rods, or disks at some amount of spacing for directivity and amplitude gain. Small diameter, short, solid rods for UHF antennas. The specifics escape me because I always believed $50 to $70 was much more efficient use of my time than learning how to design a broadband receiving antenna...let alone the price of meters to measure the quality of my product!

Now Bertus comes along and pees in my soup. How am I getting 60 channels of, "digital" TV on the same antenna I installed 30 years ago if they changed the polarization?:mad:

ian field

Joined Oct 27, 2012
Receiving over-the-air television signal; is it horizontal polarized ?

A simple whip omnidirectional antenna, intended to receive TV signals should be installed horizontal ?
If yes, better use a horizontal dipole, right ?

¿? ---->

The thicker the element, the broader the frequency reception span, right ?
Whoever transmits the signal, probably publishes technical information which includes polarisation.

A local aerial installer will know - but probably won't tell you anything that gets you up on the roof instead of him.

You can always look down the street and see which way up everyone else's aerial is.
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Joined Aug 1, 2013
How am I getting 60 channels of, "digital" TV on the same antenna I installed 30 years ago if they changed the polarization?:mad:
Because polarization is not a brickwall filter, and even the sharpest, narrowest bandwidth design broadens under manufacturing tolerances. And any hunk of metal will pick up *something*. I've never calculated the gain or polarization angle of a coat hanger, but I use one on TV.

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Joined Aug 21, 2008
In the United States, terrestial television and FM transmissions are transmitted with horizontal polarization (from my reading) because most natural interference was vertically polarized.


Joined Nov 29, 2011
US terrestrial DVT broadcasts are either polarized horizontally, circularly or even elliptically. As such, any antenna that could have been use for analog reception will also work well for digital reception. My high gain UHF antennas that did a stellar job of pulling in distant analog signals also does a stellar job of pulling in distant digital signals. And because the signals are digital, the quality of the signal is WAY better (plus they are HD).

Bertus is in Europe - his broadcasts may indeed be vertically polarized (I believe that European broadcasts can be either vertical or horizontal).
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Joined Jun 22, 2012
In the UK terrestrial digital tv is broadcast Horizontally for the main transmission, repeater sites use Vertical on a different frequency band so as not to interfere.