How to Get Better Indoor TV Antenna Reception

You can cut your monthly costs by switching to an indoor antenna and free over the-air TV. It is important to ensure that you receive good reception. Just like real estate, indoor antenna reception is all about the location. This applies to both your location and the place you put your antenna.

Although we can’t give advice on the geography of the area, we can offer tips for how to make your home reception the best it can be.

An antenna can be easier than ever. Over-the-air TV signals have not lost their signal quality like analog signals. This means that antennas no longer need to be attached to rabbit ears with tinfoil in order to receive marginal stations.

You may be pleasantly surprised at how much better your antenna works once you get it set up properly. There are many local TV networks that you may be able to receive if you live close to a major TV market.

Outdoor antennas, especially those mounted on a mast or roof, offer the best performance, especially if you live far from any broadcast towers. An indoor TV antenna is more practical and easier to set up.

However, getting great reception from indoor antennas can be a combination of science and art. Here are the steps.

Compare Antennas
We tested top-selling indoor antennas and found that reception was largely dependent on distance from broadcast towers and terrain details such as buildings, trees and houses. While some models performed better than others it was difficult to predict which antenna would work best in a particular area. The tests were conducted at 10 different homes in the New York City metro area.

Many models can be oriented towards broadcast towers, as they are directional. Multidirectional antennas can be more effective for urban areas, but they may not attract the distant stations that a properly placed directional antenna might.

We were surprised to find little correlation between performance and price. Often, cheaper antennas performed as well as (or better than) more expensive models.

Here’s our suggestion: Test out a variety of antennas to find the one that works best. You can do this by purchasing from a retailer with a reasonable warranty and no-hassle return policy.

Raise Your Antenna
The antenna’s height is crucial for receiving good reception, according to our research. Roof-mounted antennas are more efficient than indoor models. This is also the reason you won’t receive good reception if your antenna is placed in your basement.

Your indoor TV aerial in nz should be placed in an attic, or another second-story location. It is possible for objects or roofing materials to interfere with signals so you might want to test different locations in your attic. You will need to run a cable through your house to connect the antenna to your TV.

Most people will place their antenna in the same space as the TV. Try placing the antenna in a higher location, such as near the ceiling. You can paint some of the more recent flat antennas (such as the Mohu Leaf) with a nonmetallic spray paint to make them blend in with your decor. Some flat models, like the Winegard FL5500A Flave Amplified Flat Wave Amplified are reversible. They can be flipped over, usually with white on one side and black on the other.

Point the antenna in the right direction
Antennas that are directional are sometimes called “unidirectional”, which means they must be pointed at a broadcast tower.

You can find the location of local broadcast towers in your area by visiting the FCC’s DTV Antenna Map. Click on the call letters for each station to see the source. This will allow you to see how many stations are available and the signal strength of each. Antenna Web also offers useful information and advice, including tips about outdoor antennas.

Once you have a good idea of the location of the towers, the antenna can be pointed in that direction. You may find that all major broadcast towers are located in the same direction if you live in the suburbs. However, you might need to reorient your antenna for different stations. A multidirectional antenna does not need to be pointed, but may be less effective in picking up signals from distant towers.

To find the best antenna, scan the channels on your TV.

Get the Bands on Board
In analog TV signal days, the majority of major broadcast channels, such as 2-13, were on the VHF band.

Since the switch to all-digital broadcasts, and subsequent spectrum auctions that saw many stations move locations, local channels have been on both VHF/UHF (channels 14 through 51) and VHF band. To ensure that you get the best stations, you need an antenna that works well on both VHF and UHF bands.

Stop interfering
Your reception can be affected by anything that is between your indoor TV antenna’s and broadcast towers. As long as you are not living in an apartment block where the brick wall is blocking your view, it’s possible to place the antenna near or in front of a window.

An external wall facing the broadcast towers is the second best option. Avoid a location where you might be blocked by large trees, sheds, garages, or other obstructions. To find the perfect spot, try a variety of windows and walls.

I discovered that an extra length of RG6 coaxial and a female to male coax joiner was helpful when testing indoor TV antennas. This allowed me to move the antenna around freely. To temporarily attach the antennas at different locations, I used painter’s tape.

Get an amp
An amplifier can be added to many models that we tested. This amp will boost the signal strength and pull in stations further away. An amplifier is also useful if you plan to split the signal between two antennas to feed multiple TVs.

However, our tests revealed that amplified antennas were not always more efficient than nonamplified models. They can also increase noise and distortion and overload stations closer to them.

You can try an amplifier with the amplified antenna turned off. If you get good reception, turn the amplifier off. If reception is good, you can turn on the amp and scan the channels again (see below).

Rescan Channels
Last tip: Make sure to rescan channels every so often. Even though the spectrum auction and subsequent shifting of channels onto new frequencies is complete, it’s still a good idea to rescan channels once a month to be able to pick up new stations you didn’t know about. Here are the steps to rescan channels. Although it can seem complicated, it is not difficult.

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