How to make an HDTV Antenna

I wanted to watch the IBM Jeopardy Challenge last night, but couldn't find anywhere to stream it online, and I don't have cable. So, I decided to make an antenna for my HDTV.

With only about 30 minutes until the show started, I didn't have time to make one of those fancy wood and coat hanger designs you've probably seen around the internet. I had to make do with just this spool of copper wire and some cardboard.

copper wire spool
coaxial cable
hdtv antenna

I stuck one end of the wire into the coaxial cable port on the back of my HDTV, wrapped the other end of the wire around a cardboard tube, and stuck the tube in my window.

There's no special math or measurements involved in this antenna design, it's just my best guess at the minimum viable product required to pick up a signal.

So, how does it work?

hd over the air
hdtv picture quality

Thanks to my new antenna, I was able to watch the game in HD on the CBC. In fact, I now get 13 free channels, including ten analog channels and 3 digital channels in crystal clear 1080i HD! Not bad for 5 minutes work. :)

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Posted by John on 2011-02-15