2018: The Year in Antennas

As 2018 comes to a close, we look back on innovations and news in the world of over-the-air TV. While antenna technology hasn’t changed much this year, that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been news.

4K in 2018? Well….

While we didn’t see 4K over-the-air broadcasting in 2018, we did take some steps. In 2017, the FCC stated that they would allow simulcasts of the next-generation TV standard, ATSC 3.0, as long as the programming was the same was what people could get from regular broadcasting. Some tests happened, and in October a major group of broadcasters agreed to support ATSC 3.0 in the future.

The good news is that when or if the next generation standard does happen, you won’t need a new antenna. All of today’s antennas are 4K-capable.

Time to get repacking

The FCC repack started this year. When it’s complete, most people will simply need to rescan for channels in order to keep getting free TV. The repack moves channels closer to each other, because digital broadcasting makes it possible for these channels to work without interfering with others.

Moving all TV broadcasting into the range of channels 2-35 makes it possible to open up new frequencies for cell phones, which are desperately needed as people crave more and more data.

The first phase of the repack concluded on November 30 and it will continue throughout 2019 and into 2020. Keep reading The Solid Signal Blog for more information as the time comes.

Take your antenna TV anywhere

I think the biggest innovation in TV is the AirTV. This device connects to any over-the-air antenna and gives you the ability to watch that antenna’s signals from anywhere with internet. This has been tried with other devices in the past but it’s never been as easy as it is with AirTV. This box has a 1-time 5-minute setup and then you can watch live TV from your phone, tablet or smart TV literally anywhere. You don’t have to be at home to enjoy your own home market signals.

Personally I think this is a major breakthrough for people with RVs or boats who want live TV. In the past it’s been difficult to get live TV when you’re traveling because you’re always re-aiming the antenna. Now it’s as simple as any other form of streaming. Just like every other antenna product, there’s nothing to buy once you made the initial investment

Will antennas thrive in 2019?

Personally I think 2019 will be a strong year for TV antennas. Streaming looks to be more expensive than ever in 2019 with so many different services launching. Folks who want live TV will love the option of watching without paying, and let’s not forget that even today in 2018, 100% of the top 10 rated programs are all on local free TV.


About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.