Are TV antennas making a comeback? It may be hard to believe, but according to Joe Milicia of the Associated Press, there’s a mini-boom going on in the antenna business. And it’s not just technophobes who are buying them.
According to Milicia: “…some consumers are spending thousands of dollars on LCD or plasma TVs and hooking them up to $50 antennas that don’t look much different from what grandpa had on top of his black-and-white picture tube.”
According to the head of an antenna company: “Eighty-year-old technology is being redesigned and rejiggered to deliver the best picture quality. It’s an interesting irony.” The reason is that quite a few people believe HD signals are actually better over-the-air, and with digital technology snow and other interference is less of a problem. “Over-the-air everything is perfect,” said one consumer.
It’s a controversial point, to say the very least. And it hard to imagine the general public returning to the world of over-the-air. Most people, one researcher is quoted as saying, don’t even know they can get HD over-the-air. And many — as Gary Shapiro has pointed out — just don’t care. Still, if there is even a short-term boom in antennas, this is a rare bit of good news for the beleagured broadcast industry.
Perhaps rotary-dial phones will come back next…