Homebuilt UHF Antenna for HDTV Reception

Today, Yufang and I went to Lowes for a few supplies.  We recently purchased a Samsung LCD TV, but we don’t have cable (except for Internet).  We figured it might be fun to watch real TV (as opposed to Hulu or whatever else might be available), so I did some research on the best inexpensive antennas for HDTVs.  Overwhelmingly, I found people talking about “coat hanger antennas.”  It was hard to imagine that something so easy and cheap to build could work so well despite the video evidence on YouTube (one instructional video with antenna in action can be found here).  Nevertheless, I decided to build one and see how well it works for myself.  I used the instructions available from Make Magazine here.  However, I decided to follow the lead of some folks in the forums who talked about better results with 12-gauge copper wire, which I used in place of the coat hangers.  All in all, it took about 45 minutes to build, and it cost me about $16.  And, the results?  Now, we have 30 HD channels to choose from (20 come in perfectly–the ones that don’t are from stations further away).