Things You Need For A Successful Installation
Remember that where outdoor antenna installations are concerned, there can be a number of places and a number of ways you can install your device. For each particular place and way, there are specific installation kits present on the market.
So, the very first step includes gathering all your necessary tools and accessories.
Some of these things include a number of drills, screws, high quality cables, a transformer, a grounding block, the needed mounting kit, and your assembled antenna, of course!
If you dont have a pre-assembled antenna, assemble it before you climb the roof. Its not safe to stay up there for too long.
Installing An Outdoor TV Antenna
Outdoor TV antenna installation is the most work. Ensure you work carefully adhering to safety rules when installing an antenna on the roof or side of your house. Follow the instructions to the letter. To help find the right position for the TV antenna, take a peep at what your neighbours have done all antennas should be facing towards the transmitter. Always check the picture is clear before attaching it. If in doubt, always get a professional to carry out the task for you worth every penny to avoid the hassle!
- Stronger and better quality TV signal
- Works well in areas far away from a transmitter
- Installation is much more work than a loft or indoor antenna, as you need to attach the outdoor antenna to your outside wall or chimney
- Need to connect the antenna to the TV using a long coax cable and drill holes in wall
- More expensive
Assess The Digital TV Signal Available At Your Location
This can be fairly simple or quite complicated. The first step would be to look at what other houses in your street or suburb are doing. If they have a small antenna mount on their roof with a particular type of antenna, chances are that same configuration will work for you.
In other locations, particularly hilly or mountainous terrain, more work may be required. A good place to start is the Australian Government mySwitch website or check out the apps listed in my DIY Antenna Alignment article. These allow you to provide your address and a predicted reception quality will be given which takes into account the terrain and your distance from the Digital TV transmitters. It will also advise you on the band coverage and polarisation required in your area. You will need to purchase a TV Antenna with the correct band coverage and polarisation. Note there is so such thing as Digital TV Antenna, although for marketing purposes they are often labeled such.
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Point The Antenna In The Right Direction
Television signals travel in a straight line from the tower. You can use an online tool to find the direction of your nearest broadcast tower. Point your antenna in that direction.
Multidirectional antennas are available that dont require you to point the antenna in any particular direction. If there is a strong signal near your home or business, these might work well for you.
The Ultimate Guide To Choosing A TV Antenna
Published By Dennis Restauro
Over the Air TV signals are what many of us grew up watching before Pay TV convinced us all we needed cable. Did you know you can still watch OTA TV for free? Did you also know that broadcast TV signals are in crystal clear HD? Furthermore, its free! We can all watch local TV channels without cable. All you need is a TV antenna and a digital tuner. Dont be fooled by TV antenna manufactures. Any TV antenna will pick up over the air TV signals. The term digital antenna is a marketing term. An antenna from 1950 will work as long as you have a digital tuner. That antenna will even work for the new over-the-air digital TV standard ATSC 3.0.
The majority of you already have a digital tuner built into your TV. Any television made after 2007 has a built-in digital tuner, as mandated by U.S. law. If your TV is older than 2007 and you arent ready to upgrade, you can look into getting a digital converter box.
Before we continue, check if there is an antenna already on your roof. Find the cable coming off your roof, and locate where it comes in the house. Connect that cable to your TV and scan for channels. Be aware you should ensure the antenna is properly grounded. If you dont have an antenna or need a better one, read on. Click on any of the topics below to navigate to that part of the article.
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It’s Cheap Why Not Give It A Go
Indoor antennas are so inexpensive that my best advice is to just buy one, connect it to your TV and see what channels you pull in. and found that the best in an urban environment is the Channel Master Flatenna. In my testing I found that the number and strength of channels didn’t increase in a poor coverage area when replaced with a more expensive model, even with a gain amplifier. In other words, if the cheaper internal antennas don’t work, it’s likely nothing similar will. That’s because your location is the single biggest factor in whether or not you get reception — your antenna tech is a distant second, at best.
If you’re having trouble getting reception, you might get some improvement with an outdoor antenna. They cost more, however, and are significantly more difficult to install, because they typically require access to a roof or an attic and you may require professional help.
We haven’t tested external antennas at CNET, but and tech site Tech Hive start from $60. Try to get an antenna compatible with both UHF and VHF, for while most channels have moved to UHF with the advent of digital transmissions, some legacy stations are still using VHF.
Why Are Outdoor Antennas Better Than Indoor Antennas
There are a couple of reasons why both internal and external antennas enjoy almost equal popularity. But if you ask us, we prefer outdoor television antennas over indoor ones, and well tell you why.
As far as indoor antennas are concerned, they dont carry the added trouble of long installations with them. They are way easier to install. However, the most common problem associated with indoor antennas is their poor reception. They cause so much trouble when it comes to picking up signals that sometimes people even place them outside anyways! (Which may not be a good idea because indoor antennas may not be durable enough to last in the elements.
This problem is greatly avoided when you switch from indoor to outdoor antennas. Outdoor antennas, because of their position, offer superior signal reception. They come in a number of types, depending on the number of signals they can pick up.
For every different type, the reception differs, but generally speaking, all outdoor antennas offer excellent signals and provide you a good number of channels covering everything you need to have.
However, outdoor antennas are somewhat hard to install. You might bring home someone for professional installation, but through this article, well walk you through the process of external antenna installation!
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Where To Install An Indoor Antenna
To figure out if we can use an Indoor Antenna, we will first figure out the available Noise Margin after estimating the dB loss using the information above. To do this, locate the NM field and find the lowest number for all the stations you require.
Locate the bulls-eye chart to the left of the table pictured below. Figure out where your antenna will be mounted. It should be pointed toward that tower when possible.
- Optimally it will be near the exterior wall closest to the tower. If this is the case, only subtract 14 dB for home penetration otherwise, subtract around 34 dB to account for your house shadowing the signal.
- If there is heavy foliage that could cast a shadow on your antenna from the direction of the tower, subtract 10 dB
- If the adjacent house is in the direction of the tower and casts a shadow on the antenna, subtract another 20.
If you are left with about 12 dB or more after subtracting loss estimates, you should have enough of a signal to watch OTA TV. If you are below 12db, try and find a higher area to mount the antenna. This may be an upper floor or even the attic. You may want to consider the roof if possible. You can rerun the TV Fool report from a new height to test if it improves the signal.
UHF frequency runs at a higher frequency than VHF or Very High Frequency. Truth be told, there is little an indoor commercial antenna will do to pick up VHF that cant be done with just a pair of rabbit ears.
Prepare For The Antenna Installation
Before you begin the installation process, you have to know about the different channels and their corresponding compass headings.
Do note that the link above focuses on Australia as well as parts of Europe. Naturally, if youre located in New Jersey, Canada, Ecuador or elsewhere research accordingly or contact a local professional.
Next, make sure the mounting bracket is secured to the roof by following the instructions provided in the mounting kit. Use roofing screws and silicone bolts to ensure they are protected against water.
If you prefer to have your antenna installed using wall mounts, you will have to drill holes in the wall. In doing this, make sure you leave a space of about 12 to 14 inches from the brace on top and the one below. By doing so, the antenna pole will not sway when strong winds will blow.
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Run The Lead In Cable
From the antenna location, run RG6 Quad Shield Coax cable to either the only TV socket or to a central splitter location. Where this is will depend on your intended antenna installation, the number of points you want to install and the style of construction of the house. If you have a ceiling cavity, its usually best to install the splitter in there.
You can run a cable under a roof tile on a tile roof house. Alternately on a metal roofed house, a small hole can be drilled in the metal roof to be covered by a Deck-Tite. Liberal amounts of silicon sealant should be used to ensure no leaks.
On houses with raised floors, it is often easier to get access for TV cables from under the floor. In this case it is usually best to run the cable from the roof down the outside wall to a dry protected location under the floor to install the splitter. Be sure to firmly attach the cable to the exterior wall. This can usually be done with black cable clips.
What Is An Amplified Antenna
An amplified antenna is a regular antenna that has an amplifier to reach farther. The amplification itself doesnt go past the antennas reach, and this pushes the signal outwards, so it can go even farther.
This makes it easier to reach the TV stations transmitter. This tool is good for people who live far away from the station or live surrounded by buildings. These are things that can make it harder to get a signal and the amplifier is like a strength booster.
It also prevents the signal from falling. It cant stop it completely, but it does minimize the chance that it will happen. You can also use it to have 2 TVs use the signal instead of one.
Sometimes antennas already have an amplifier built in. However, you can buy them on their own as well.
Antennas search the air so that you can get channels for free. Most major networks offer over the air channels.
The channels you get depend on where you live and how close you are to a TV station. Usually the channels are local news, sports, cooking shows, and kid shows. The basics.
Depending on how strong your signal is, you can get a certain number of channels. Sometimes just moving your antenna around your house will offer you more.
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Finalise Your Antenna Installation In 3 Easy Steps
After you have the TV antenna in the right position you have to complete a channelscan to finalise the installation. In just 3 simple steps, you can be watching your favourite TV programme with a clear picture. Heres how:
Press MENU on your remote control remote control – its the one that changes the channels).
Select SET UP on the menu. If you cant find this option, please check your owners manual for specific instructions on how to rescan.
Choose ANTENNA, then CHANNEL SCAN or AUTO TUNE. Your TV will automatically rescan the available signals which may take a few minutes. Once completed, all your channels will be tuned-in. Dont forget to rerun the channelscan again if you move your TV aerial.
What Are The Benefits Of Installing An Indoor TV Antenna
Setting up an indoor TV antenna is a noble idea if you really want to access and enjoy free television programming in the comfort of your home. Whether you mount it on your closet, in a window, high on the wall or behind your television, this device gives you a reason to smile. Here are the great benefits of installing an indoor TV antenna:
You will save a lot of money
The first benefit of installing an indoor antenna is that you will save some money every month. While other people are parting with substantial amounts of money to foot their bills on cable subscriptions, you will be enjoying free programs without worries of disconnection.
Also, it will not matter to you if you dont get time to watch other channels knowing that your indoor antenna is helping you access your favorite programs at no cost. This is because most of the modern antennas are designed to receive signals from free-to-air channels without compelling you to dig deeper into your pockets to pay for the costly cable subscriptions.
You will have the liberty to select the channels you want
Having TV that receives signals via an antenna gives you a better platform on which you can choose your favorite channels. This is not the case when using a typical cable subscription because you will not have the freedom of choosing the channels you want to view. It beats the logic to pay for what cannot benefit you when there are affordable and free indoor TV antennas at your disposal.
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Scanning For Channels On Your TV
Now turn on your TV and go into the settings menu. Find the option where you can select between cable and antenna input and select antenna. Heres how it looks on my Sony:
Next, set your TV to auto-search for channels. Heres how it looks on my TV:
Hit OK and let your TV search for channels! Good Luck! You might need to re-run the search several times using different antenna configurations.
If youre still having problems, check my troubleshooting page.
Add An Aerial Amplifier
We recommend that you add an aerial amplifier or signal booster to your TV antenna system if you are experiencing signal loss due to long coaxial cabling or the splitting of signals to multiple TVs. Choose a TV antenna with built-in amplifiers or a stand-alone amplifier to work with your outdoor antenna. But dont use one for the sake of it if used incorrectly it not only boosts the signal but it also amplifies electric noise and interference. If used correctly, it can really enhance your TV experience.
Hey presto! Happy TV watching!
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The Complete TV Antenna Installation Guide
Todays online streaming services provide a wide range of entertainment options, but the rising cost can be prohibitive. And if you live in an area where fast broadband isnt available, you might not be able to use those services at all. A TV antenna installation may be just what you need.
If your first thought of a TV antenna is a set of rabbit ears and a fuzzy picture on the screen, I have good news for you. Things have changed a lot over the years. In this TV antenna installation guide, well look at how an indoor or outdoor antenna might be the best solution for your viewing pleasure.
Top Tips If You Still Can’t Get Good Reception
Even Best Buy indoor aerials sometimes can’t get good TV reception in your home. This can be down to a number of factors, such as where your house is in relation to other buildings.
If you still have poor reception, then there are a number of possible solutions.
- Install the indoor aerial in a higher location and, if possible, running an extension lead down to your TV.
- Wire an extension from a working rooftop aerial to your TV with poor reception .
- Get a rooftop aerial installed. Again, get a professional – check the Confederation of Aerial Industries for more on this.
- Use a video sender card to re-broadcast the Freeview signal from a working set top box in your home. These can cost around £25, but go into the hundreds for the top end models.
If none of that works and you don’t want the expense of pay-TV, Freesat is a subscription-free, digital satellite TV alternative. You get plenty of standard and high-definition channels at a one-off cost, although you’ll need to get a satellite dish installed if you don’t have one already. To find out more, head to our guide to what is Freesat?
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