Typical Brisbane pre-Digital antenna

TV Antenna Types

There are a number of different types of TV Antennas commonly used in Australia. The type you’ll use will depend on the area you’re in. Different regions have different broadcasting bands. In this article I’ll explain the major types and how they’re used.


18 Element VHF/UHF Combination Yagi
18 Element VHF/UHF Combination Yagi

This is the most common design seen in Australian capital cities and many other areas. Yagi antennas have long cross elements at the back and narrower ones at front. These correspond with frequency ranges from VHF to UHF. Typically these are VHF/UHF Combination antennas as in most areas a combination of VHF and UHF channels were used. At the back they have long elements up to 2m long at the back. Those elements were used for picking up the ABC on VHF Low Band(Band 1). With the conversion to digital TV broadcasting they are no longer required as Band 1 is not used any more.

Some Yagis also have corner reflectors just behind the UHF elements. This helps improve directionality on UHF stations and reduces interference from reflections. You can read more about Yagi antennas at Wikipedia.

Log Periodic

Log Periodic Antenna
Log Periodic Antenna

Log periodic antennas look similar to Yagi antennas, although some newer designs are far more compact. Log periodic antenna elements are cross connected and get gradually shorter from front to back. A log periodic antenna doesn’t have as high a gain(signal strength) for the same size as a yogi, but it does tend to produce a cleaner signal. The signal quality is the key factor in Digital TV reception.

In many different situations I compared a 17 element VHF/UHF Yagi Combination to a Fracarro LP345 30 Element Log Periodic that was about half the size. The Log Periodic performed much better, actually getting a better signal level and much better Modulation Error Rate. Ultimately it worked in many situations where the Yagi didn’t work even with an amplifier. I strongly recommend this type in most areas. Typically in a capital city area you will need a Band 3/4 Log Periodic. In other regional areas the bands used may vary.

You can read more about Log Periodic Antennas at Wikipedia. You can also read more about the Fracarro LP345 antenna at the manufacturer website.

Phased Array

Phased array
Phased array mounted for vertical polarisation

A phased array antenna is basically a flat panel with a couple of other elements in front of it. They typically are used for UHF in regional areas. They are excellent in areas a long way from the TV stations and where there’s a weak signal.

Like with all antennas it is important they’re mounted in the correct orientation for the correct polarisation. The correct orientation is a lot less noticeable with these antennas so be sure to check you’ve mounted it correctly for the transmitter you’re aiming it at.

You can read more about Phased Array Antennas at Wikipedia.