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Antennas are a critical item for any wireless video solution, as they can have a big influence on the physical placement of transmitters and receivers. Some technologies can easily support omnidirectional antennas that broadcast equally in all directions, enabling great flexibility in device location. Other technologies use high-gain parabolic antennas, which must be properly aimed to permit communication. In between are a range of choices, including sector antennas covering various angles and multi-antenna solutions that deliver increased throughput using MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) antenna arrays.
Four common types of antennas:
- Omnidirectional antennas can send and receive signals in from any direction, but have the lowest gain and the shortest range.
- Panel and sector antennas use a more focused beam that provides higher gain and greater range. Many different types are available, covering angles from 10 to 180 degrees.
- Horn antennas provide higher gain and a focused beam, often down to just a few degrees of angle. Careful aiming is required to use this type of antenna, but they support long distance connections but have less range and less gain than its close cousin the parabolic antenna. Horn antennas have the advantage of a much smaller profile when compared to a parabolic antenna.
- Parabolic antennas provide the greatest gain and the most focused beam, often down to a single degree of angle. Careful aiming is required to use this type of antenna, but it can support the highest possible gain and the longest connection distance.