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TV Antennas are not a recent invention. They have been part of most households since the TV became a common house item. Most people are getting a TV for their homes, with the most popular choice being the HD digital TV as it offers a high-quality viewing experience.
However, with each purchase of a TV set comes an additional task – you need to install a high-quality digital TV antenna for you to enjoy high quality programming. You have two choices as far as installation is concerned – DIY or have an expert install on your behalf.
Many people prefer the former as it helps them cut costs. Install fees can be as high as three months’ worth of your cable bill! If you are the DIY type, and would like to do the hard work yourself, the section below will guide you on how to install a TV antenna.
Select The Right Antenna
Before we head over to the TV antenna installation process, you need to know how to choose the right antenna. There are many types of antennas to choose from for your specific needs. TV antennas can be categorised as indoor, outdoor or loft antennas.
Each type has a specific method of installation as well as pros and cons that you should be aware of before settling on one. The type of antenna you choose depends on the location you reside. Follow the steps below to choose an antenna for you home;
• Select an indoor antenna if you live in an area that is close to your signal transmitter.
• Select an outdoor antenna if the signal in your area is poor.
• Select a loft antenna if your area is far away from the signal transmitter, and the signal is weak.
Installing An Indoor TV Antenna
Installing an indoor TV antenna is the easiest of the three categories. All you need to do is plug in the coax cable from your TV into the antenna. Make sure the antenna stands next to your digital TV. If you fail to get a clear picture, move the antenna near a window to catch stronger signals.
The quality of your viewing will improve dramatically If you position the antenna such that it lines up with the transmitter. In this way, the antenna will not get obstructed, and will catch stronger signals.
You can achieve this by installing the antenna as high as possible, well above the tree line, if the law allows it. Note that you may have to re-run the channels whenever you reposition your TV antenna.
Pros and cons
The main advantages of this type of antenna are that it is easily portable, affordable. Also, its installation process is easy. However, this type of antenna will not work in areas with weak signals. If your home is made of concrete walls, the reception will be poor.
Installing An Outdoor TV Antenna
Installation of an outdoor TV antenna is quite involving. It needs proper attention and focus. Care is needed while installing this antenna on the side of your house or your roof. Adhere to all safety rules while you perform the installation. Follow all the instructions contained in the manual that comes with the kit.
If you have a hard time finding the correct position for your antenna, consult with a neighbour who has a similar installation. Remember that all antennas in an area face the direction of the transmitter to get good TV signals. Before you attach the antenna, make sure to check the quality of reception before you come down. If you cannot get good reception where you have installed it, get professional assistance from an antenna installer.
Types of outdoor antennas
If you opt for an outdoor antenna, here are some of the choices you may come across;
• Small multi-directional antennas, which are able to pick signals from all directions.
• Medium multi-directional antennas, which are long, powerful, and have wing-shaped elements.
• Large multi-directional antennas that offer great reception, and are a good choice if your area is quite a distance from the transmitter.
Pros and cons
A key advantage of using an outdoor TV antenna is that you will get strong and better-quality TV signals. This antenna works well everywhere regardless of the distance between the transmitter and your location.
However, it is quite expensive compared to the indoor type. It requires a lot of work to install than the loft or indoor antenna. You will need a longer coax cable to connect the antenna to your TV. The antenna also needs to be attached to the outside TV wall or chimney.
Installing A Loft TV Antenna
The loft TV antenna should be installed inside the roof of your attic. Make sure that you follow all the instructions in the manual. When you install a loft antenna, you need to pay special attention to the positioning and attachment of the aerial part. Ensure that it is present at a place where it does not hit your head whenever you enter the loft.
You can try various positions to get a clearer picture on your digital TV. Purchase the type that can work both as a loft and an outdoor antenna. It will be helpful because you can mount it outside if the antenna doesn't work in the attic.
Pros and cons
The loft antenna is easy to install because you do not need to climb up the roof. It lasts longest of the three types as it is installed away from the elements. You do not require a TV wall mount.
However, it is not a good choice for houses with metal roofs, and has been found to give weaker signals than an outside antenna due to obstruction by the ceiling above it.
Steps To Install An Antenna
If you are installing an antenna by yourself, follow the steps below;
Select the antenna
Once you have selected the correct antenna for your TV, you will need to install it properly. When choosing location for your digital TV antenna, ensure there is good reception by scanning available channels. After the installation, you are just a few steps away from getting access to your favourite tracks and enjoy a fuzz-free, clear and high-quality viewing experience.
Prepare for the installation
Prior to starting the installation, you need to know what channels you would like to watch and their corresponding compass headings. Also, check if the mounting bracket is secure in its place on the roof. Protect them against water by using roofing screws and silicon bolts.
Assemble mounting pole and antenna
If you have an antenna that is not a single solid piece, you might need to perform this step. To ensure successful installation of the antenna, assemble the antenna and mounting pole in their proper place and position.
The pole can also help in raising the antenna at higher where necessary. You can use screws and bolts to get the mounting bracket in its proper place. Loosen them as necessary once the antenna and pole attach. Do not tighten the bolts because you might need to adjust the direction for maximum signal reception during channel scanning.
Connect the antenna to the television
Use a suitable coaxial cable in the right length and material to connect your TV to the antenna. Attach one end of the cable to the output terminal of the antenna and the other to the coaxial input of the digital TV. You can adjust the direction of the antenna by turning it to face the direction that offers the best reception.
Make sure that the antenna is grounded correctly to prevent electrocution. You can do it by using a grounding block that connects to your building ground. Make sure that you follow all local electric codes. You can enjoy your favourite shows at any place in your house by connecting the coaxial cable to a splitter.
Find Professional Antenna Installer
If you find the installation process challenging or are not sure what to do, call a professional such as THG Electrical & Data to help. They understand what to do, and will figure out the best location for your antenna, depending on type, for the best signal reception.