Zenith Silver Sensor antenna, VHF and UHF

Week of June 18, 2006

Q: I read your column about the Zenith Silver Sensor for receiving HD TV and it was very applicable to my situation since I have difficulty receiving HD off the air. However, in looking up info on it, it seems to be for UHF only. Is that the case and is their a VHF equivalent ?

-John Travalent, Minneapolis, MN

A:   The Silver Sensor is UHF only.   The physical design of the antenna itself is optimized for UHF reception.

By an overwhelming margin, almost all HDTV is UHF.   That allows antenna manufacturers to get away with calling a UHF-only antenna a HDTV antenna.   If you need VHF to receive a station or two you will have to get a second antenna.

The ‘rabbit ears” of rabbit ears antenna are what receive VHF.   Some rabbit ears types have a UHF section built-in, but none I have seen match the amazing reception of the Silver Sensor.

There is a list of digital stations broadcasting in the USA located at the National Association of Broadcasters website.   The list can be found at
http://www.nab.org/Newsroom/issues/digitaltv/DTVStations.asp and is well worth a look if you are capable of receiving HDTV at home.   You will probably find a few local stations you did not know about that are broadcasting HDTV.

Checking the list for the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, all HDTV broadcasting in the area is done on the UHF band.   So the Silver Sensor is the only HDTV antenna you will need.

The elusive Silver Sensor: Speaking of the Silver Sensor, I received quite a bit of email last week asking where it can be purchased and comments that it is hard to find in stores.   This is a first for me- whenever I hte recommended the Silver Sensor before, the only emails I received were from readers telling me how happy they were that they could receive HDTV now that they had one.   For some reason it is a little hard to find these days- it was stocked at Sears and Circuit City, as well as many other retailers.   Perhaps it was cutting into the sales of their more expensive antennas!

If you go to zenith.com you can enter your zip code to find a list of dealers in your area.   Check independently-owned stores- if they do not have it in stock they can order it for you.   Online it sells for only $19.99 from amazon.com.   Just do a search on the amazon.com home page and you will get several options for purchase.

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