Since times are difficult, many of us are scrutinizing our expenses. Cable and satellite television are both considered luxuries. Fortunately, with an over-the-air (OTA) TV antenna, we’re rediscovering free television.
TV antennas are, without a doubt, a technical subject, and we must complete our homework. Who would say no to free TV for the rest of their lives?
Trust me, though, setting up a TV antenna can be a trial-by-error endeavor, which you may not get right the first time.
Maybe you’re not getting any of the channels you should be getting—if setting one up is even possible.
You may be tempted to go out and purchase some equipment, such as an amplifier, from a local big box store or order one online.
Locating broadcast towers in your area
You should have a fair idea whether or not there are any TV station towers nearby by now.
These tools are available on dedicated websites, which include the ability to generate reports that summarise your local TV signal strength as well as the distances and directions of transmission towers in your area.
This knowledge aids in determining the type of antenna you’ll need and the direction in which you should point it.
Although there are many such websites, RabbitEars.info is undoubtedly the most up-to-date.
Aim the antenna towards transmission towers
The front end of an outdoor TV antenna should face the tower and be pointed towards it, and it should be positioned on the side of your building.
Remember that TV antennas (both indoor and outdoor types) require a clear line of sight to a mast, with no obstacles such as hills or trees in the way.
Of course, when you have a group of towers all standing in the same position, it’s easier to find out which way to point an antenna.
Tv antenna types
If stations are close together, a Yagi-style unidirectional antenna may be appropriate (referred to as such) since they feature a single long metal axis with high gain in a specific direction).
However, you’ll also find that towers are spaced very far apart, so aiming in the general direction of towers (even if they’re separated by several compass degrees) will suffice in most cases.
However, if you notice that stations are located in different directions around you, a multidirectional or omnidirectional antenna might be the way to go.
However, since different manufacturers produce antennas with different reception beam widths, it isn’t easy to generalize exact separation distances that necessitate a specific antenna model.
Furthermore, different reception and interference factors in the vicinity of your antenna can affect your reception.
For example, a unidirectional antenna in a specific location facing towers more than 50 compass degrees apart can still receive all of the channels.
Let’s assume, however, that the towers at your place are clearly opposite each other. Mounting two or more antennas and stacking or ganging them is an option.
If mounted, a signal combiner or diplexer (such as Antennas Direct’s VHF/UHF Antenna Combiner—actually it’s a diplexer device) is used to combine TV signals into a single feed:
If you want to get a channel in a frequency band other than the one sponsored by your current antenna, you can install an extra antenna.
When you want to receive VHF channels but only have a UHF antenna, for example.
Often keep stacked antennas 2 to 4 feet apart to prevent interference, and make sure their coaxial cables are the same length to avoid phase issues.
Before combining their signals, it’s also a good idea to link each antenna to your TV separately to ensure they’re correctly installed.
Elevate your Antenna higher
You’ve heard it said that the higher the number, the better.
The higher you go with your antenna, the better your reception and the more channels you can receive.
This is because you’ll be eliminating potential interference-causing obstacles by raising your line-of-sight antenna as high as possible over obstacles.
Because your roof is the highest point in your house, it’s usually the best spot for an outdoor TV antenna.
If the antenna isn’t mounted on a perfectly vertical mast, you won’t be able to point it directly at transmission towers, and you’ll get lousy reception.
Since radio frequency signals are susceptible to splitting apart when bouncing off surfaces such as houses, tree leaves, and mountains, obstacles may affect reception.
This could cause them to arrive out of phase with one another, causing reception quality to be distorted.
Indoor antennas work on the same principle. If you’re watching TV in the basement, you’ll get better reception if you put the antenna on a higher floor or even in the attic rather than right next to it.
Place the Antenna at or a Near a Window
In some cases, mounting an antenna on the roof of your home or building isn’t possible, so you’ll have to settle for an indoor TV antenna.
You’ll get the strongest signal in areas of your home with the least amount of interference, regardless of where your antenna is located.
Note that walls and ceilings are barriers in and of themselves. The best results are obtained by placing the antenna next to or in a window, as this provides the most direct line of sight to TV stations.
Watch out for sources of interference close to your antenna
These come in many ways, and we can learn about them to boost your received TV antenna signal using homemade tv antenna amplifier methods.
Electromagnetic appliances in your home
Microwaves and hair dryers, for example, have unwanted features that can distort your TV signal.
Such interference is most often seen in older homes with old wiring systems with low electromagnetic shielding by today’s standards.
So, as soon as your daughter or wife turns on the hairdryer, you’ve just missed the game’s final half-minute.
If the image on your television blacks out at times, you can check the whole device, from your antenna to the coaxial cable connected to your TV.
Make sure they’re not running parallel or perpendicular to any electrical cables and that they don’t cross them.
To isolate the source, test your appliances’ effects by triggering them separately and monitoring the signal reaction.
You should add a power conditioner like the Furman M8X2 Merit Series 8 Outlet Power Conditioner and Surge Protector until you’re sure you’ve isolated the source of the interference.
This system can shield your television equipment from power surges while also filtering out electromagnetic noise.
You can place one near your television and attach all of your devices to it.
Reflective surfaces in the vicinity of your antenna
Radiofrequency signals in the area can be weakened or distorted as a result of this. Metal roofs are the most popular, and they can interfere with or even block TV reception.
If burglar bars and bug screens on your windows are made of metal, they can interfere with indoor antenna reception.
Maintain a six-foot gap between your antenna and these metallic objects.
Cell Phone signals
Cell phone signals from 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) may sometimes interfere with UHF channels and television stations.
An LTE filter, such as this one from Channel Master, can help prevent such interference.
You screw it on between the coaxial antenna end and the unit you’re attaching to mount it (like a TV or set-top box).
There’s a possibility that if you live near an FM radio station, the station could interfere with some of your weaker VHF TV stations.
FM traps are installed into several preamplifiers to block these signals.
However, before blocking that channel, make sure that none of your other TV channels are broadcasting on it.
Now that you know how to improve your antenna signal at home bear in mind that these measures can not be successful if your equipment is malfunctioning.
First, make sure your antenna, wires, screws, and connectors are in good working order. You’ll be well on the way to being rid of costly cable television.
How to get more channels on antenna?
Using your indoor digital TV antenna to get the best signal can be difficult. It’s a bit like playing “whack-a-mole”: when the antenna is in one spot, you get those channels; shift it to a different position, and new channels emerge, while the ones you had disappear.
Inside, as far up as possible, such as on your house, is the safest place for your antenna, but many people cannot mount an antenna on their roofs.
Experiment with different locations in your home
Your indoor antenna’s position in the room has the most significant effect on the number of channels you can receive, more than any other factor (including antenna form, amplifier presence, and so on).
A flat antenna, such as the Mohu Leaf, is best placed against windows or outwardly facing walls. Begin by scanning these positions on your TV for a baseline channel scan. During my scans, I prefer to use adhesive tape to position the antenna temporarily.
Go to the Station Finder and type your zip code or address to see which direction the TV signals are coming from. When the results are shown, click on the call letters of the stations in the left column to see which way the signals are coming from:
So, if you’re having problems with a specific channel, switch the antenna to the wall of your room that faces the transmitter tower.
Use a longer cable to reach that Window
While extending the antenna cable will reduce the signal level that reaches your television, it may be worth it if it helps you reach a window that faces the transmitter tower.
You might also try briefly shifting your antenna outside if you have a long cable to see if an outdoor antenna will be helpful. However, don’t use an overly long cable, as this will reduce your signal power!
Face it towards the transmitter towers
The angle at which your antenna is mounted, I’ve learned, may make a huge difference.
Both of Los Angeles’ transmitter towers are located on Mount Wilson near Pasadena. When I put my antenna against my north-facing wall (my east-facing wall does not face outside), I had trouble receiving CBS. I was able to receive CBS without difficulty when I angled my antenna to the northeast.
To determine where to point your antenna, use the Station Finder and click on each station’s call letters. When the antenna’s signals hit your antenna, you want them to have as much surface area as possible to land on (assuming you are using a flat antenna like the Mohu Leaf).
This may necessitate some elaborate mounting, but it may enable you to begin receiving your preferred channel!
Lay your Antenna flat horizontally.
I know it sounds crazy, but many people have said it works, so it’s worth a shot.
My Mohu Leaf antenna was taped to the wall in my previous third-floor flat, but it dropped to the floor one day. Surprisingly, it received better reception on the floor than it did vertically on the wall! This worked for a few readers as well! So, even if it’s on the concrete, consider laying your flat antenna horizontally to see if it helps!
I have a friend (and other readers) who swears by the Leaf antenna taped to their ceiling for the best reception! So, start with the prominent places (near windows and outside walls) and try laying it flat horizontally, mainly if you live near mountains, tall trees, or tall buildings. These obstructions can cause the TV signal to reach your home in unexpected and non-obvious ways.
Move it higher up
With my Mohu Leaf antenna on the second floor, I get 50% more channels than the first. Place your antenna as high as you can, preferably with a direct line of sight to the transmitters.
Put it in a skylight.
Do you have a skylight in your room? I relocated my Mohu Leaf to my skylight, which provided me with even more channels! It’s as close to getting an outdoor antenna as an indoor antenna can get!
Because the cable from my skylight to my TV will be too long, I connected it to a Tablo and used a browser or the Tablo app to watch live TV.
Use a better cable
“RG59” cable is included with the Mohu Leaf (and probably the antenna you’re using). It’s right there on the cable:
When this cable is replaced with the beefier “RG6” cable, several users record improved reception (more channels):
RG6 cable is also recommended by Mohu customer support, according to my sources. It makes sense because RG6 is built for higher frequencies and has a thicker conductor, more robust insulation, and shielding than RG59.
Eliminate electronic interference
Nearby electrical equipment is likely messing with your TV reception. Unplug all laptops, VCRs, DVD players, set-top boxes, stereo equipment, Wi-Fi routers, and everything else electronic or electric in the area as a test. Fluorescent and LED lightbulbs can also trigger issues. (Electric hair clippers, according to one blogger, knocked out his TV signal!) Except for electricity and the antenna, unplug all links to your television. After that, re-test. If the condition improves, switching on the other pieces of equipment one by one to isolate the source of the disturbance.
If you have a lot of electronic equipment near your TV, you may want to use a longer antenna cord to switch it away from the equipment and even into a separate space to isolate it from the interference. Wi-Fi routers can be highly inconvenient.
Plugging the offending device into the same power strip will often help. It can help to connect it to a different power outlet. You may get an HDMI cable with ferrite cores (or install them separately) to try to block the interference if the offending piece of equipment is connected to your TV via HDMI, for example.
Unplug your amazon fire TV stick
This is a subset of the previous item, but it has happened to so many people that it warrants its line item.
Some Amazon Fire TV Sticks, it seems, emit a lot of electromagnetic interference. Try tuning into a problematic channel while the stick is switched on, switching it off, or putting it in sleep mode. The stick is to blame if the intrusion disappears.
Wrapping the stick in tinfoil is a highly successful alternative by many people online. Yes, it is thriving! There have been no reports of issues with the remote or Wi-Fi after that, but you may need to leave a small gap in the foil if they stop working. Alternatively, connect the stick to a 10-foot HDMI extender cable and position it as far away from your antenna as possible.
Try removing the amplifier.
Remove the powered amplifier (also known as a booster) if you’re using an antenna system with one.
If you have a few strong stations, an amplifier will make it worse. The amp can cause the strong station to drown out the weak ones, resulting in poor reception. Remove the amplifier from your antenna if it came with one (i.e., if you plug it into the wall for power), and see if your reception improves.
Add an amplifier
On the other hand, if you live a long way from a station (more than 20 miles), an amplifier can help. If all of your stations on the Station Finder are yellow or red, or if all of your stations are flaky, an amp would work best. The Channel Master amplifier line is one that I recommend.
If you already have many solid stations and want to add a few more weak ones, an amp won’t help. In that case, it would likely do more damage than good.
Add some metal
If you have a metal antenna, try adding another piece of metal or wire to it. This won’t work for the Mohu Leaf or other flat antennas encased in plastic, but if you have a metal antenna, try attaching another piece of metal or wire to it.
I was watching the Olympics with my friends on the Cable Cutter Aerowave when it began cutting out. Since I’m supposed to be “the antenna man,” this was humiliating. I rushed to my closet and grabbed a wire hanger, which I connected to my metal antenna. And that’s it! The reception was outstanding once more!
After a few months of using an antenna, I found that when I did a new channel search, I would sometimes get new channels. Locations, networks, and transmitter power are all modified daily by television stations. Re-scanning is also advised regularly. There’s a chance you’ll get some channels you didn’t have previously!
Can you boost a TV antenna signal?
You may be having a bag signal for several reasons. From antenna location and angle to interference-causing materials in your house, we’ve got you covered.
There are, however, a few simple steps you can take right now to get a good antenna TV signal.
Ditch the foil
Although foil on your digital antenna was a cheap fix in the days of rabbit ears, it probably isn’t doing much good now.
In principle, applying tin foil to your antenna will improve reception by expanding the antenna.
This may have worked in the past if you were lucky, and the foil happened to represent incoming radio frequencies.
On the other hand, it was just as likely to compete with other channels’ reception.
Instead, it’s time to upgrade your antenna or follow the rest of this guide to improve your TV reception.
Reset your digital tuner
This fast-fix might be all you need to boost your TV reception.
Your incoming signal is converted into a digital format that your TV recognizes by a digital tuner. However, broadcasters change their metadata from time to time, which may interfere with your tuner’s ability to interpret the signal.
Since your digital tuner is using older data, it may not be receiving the correct channel information.
The best method for resetting a tuner is to follow these basic steps:
Remove the coaxial cable from your television.
Run a channel search on your television.
Unplug and switch off your television and converter box.
Re-establish all connections.
Repeat the channel scan.
With only a few steps, you may be able to solve all of your problems.
Raise that antenna
If a reset doesn’t work, it’s time to examine your antenna more closely.
The most common cause of signal loss is a clear line of sight between the antenna and the transmission towers.
Except for a lightning bolt, your antenna should be the highest point on your land.
This will prevent the signal from fragmenting due to bouncing off another house, tree, or mountain. Obstacles cause the signal to break and arrive “out of phase,” creating problems with your antenna.
An antenna should be mounted at least 10 to 20 feet off the ground, according to experts. And the best choice usually is your home’s roof.
Re-aim your antenna
Whether you’re using a uni- or multidirectional antenna, it doesn’t do any good if it’s not pointed at a transmission tower.
If you are experiencing poor reception, an easy fix is to readjust your antenna. Even a few degrees can make a difference.
Simply enter your address here and find your closest transmission tower.
Then all you have to do is aim your smartphone’s compass directly at the tower.
Finding the ideal location would most likely require some trial and error. However, if you have a straight signal, there should be no loss.
Try a booster
Even if your antenna has been heightened and straightened, it may not be enough. It’s possible that the signal is simply too small or too far away to get a good picture.
An antenna booster or TV amplifier can aid in this situation.
Although many devices on the market today are plug-and-play, proper installation is still needed.
Incorrect installation can aggravate existing problems or result in new signal interference, overload, and distortion. Besides, improper installation can cause cell phone signal interference.
Consequently, it might be appropriate to contact a competent installer to inspect the signal and installation.
Mount a second antenna
Perhaps your antenna is in good working order, but it cannot pick up a signal from several towers.
That means a second directional antenna must be mounted.
This ensures that you receive signals from several transmission towers, with your TV selecting the best signal for each channel.
It’s important to avoid piling antennas or build them too close together, as this can cause problems.
A distance of at least 1 to 2 meters between antennas is ideal. Then, using a coaxial signal combiner, you simply attach them.
To prevent phase issues, make sure you use the same length of coaxial cable between both antennas and the combiner.
Be sure to mount and test both antennae separately before connecting them to the combiner when setting them up. Simply combine the results of a channel quest for both.
This will train your television to use both signals when prioritizing the best of the two.
How can I boost my antenna signal at home?
All old is fresh again for cord-cutters, at least when it comes to picking up free, over-the-air (OTA) TV with an antenna. Many people are dropping cable in favor of digital TV and over-the-air television as they grow tired of the increasing prices of cable TV and all of the other hassles that come with it.
However, if there’s one downside to dusting off the old bunny ears, it’s that correctly set up your indoor antenna to pick up all of the stations in your area in crystal-clear HD can be difficult. Finding a signal became more difficult after broadcasters switched from analog to digital in 2009. This is because, with a digital signal, you can get a clear picture or none at all. For those that aren’t permitted or unwilling to mount an outdoor antenna on their roof, it’s more important than ever to get the antenna in the right place.
1.Find out where the broadcast towers are in your area.
Before you begin attempting to set up your antenna, you must first determine the positions of broadcast towers in your area. You can do this before you buy an antenna because it will help you find out how strong the antenna needs to be to pick up the stations you want to watch.
TVFool.com and AntennaWeb.org are two excellent websites for locating TV signals in your area. You can enter your street address into one of these online resources to see a map that shows the distance and direction of the various broadcast towers in your city.
What is the significance of this? Let’s pretend you’re having trouble tuning in to your local NBC station. You can see which direction the tower faces using the map and then shift the antenna to the outside-facing wall that faces that tower. It will also tell you what antenna power you’ll need to pick up local channels. If most towers are within 30 miles of each other, a 30-mile range antenna should suffice. However, if you live farther away from the broadcast towers, you can need a more powerful antenna with a range of 50 miles or more.
2.Place the antenna in or near a window.
The less in the way of your antenna and the broadcast towers, the better. And make no mistake about it: thick walls and ceilings are impediments. As a consequence, putting your antenna close or in a window always provides the best results. If there isn’t a massive obstacle outside the Window, such as a large tree or your neighbor’s brick wall, this will also provide the most precise line of sight to the broadcast tower.
There are a few things to keep in mind when installing your antenna in a window. First and foremost, be careful of solar heat absorption. The Mohu Leaf maker advises that “the white side of the antenna faces outside so the antenna absorbs less heat from the sun.” If you’re using a flat antenna, make sure all four corners are tightly taped to the Window so it doesn’t bend or warp over time, which will interfere with reception.
When you use the signal finder software on TV Fool, AntennaWeb, or other similar pages, one of the things you’ll note is that you’ll be asked to enter the approximate height of your antenna. This is for a very significant reason. The higher you position your antenna, the better your reception will be. This is why outdoor antennas appear to pick up a large number of channels.
With this in mind, try to place your antenna as high as possible in your space (keeping in mind that you still want it near an outside-facing wall and by a window, if possible). When the TV is in the basement or the broadcast towers are far away, this may necessitate putting the antenna on a higher floor or even in the attic. It may necessitate a slightly longer coaxial cable.
4.Keep the antenna away from any metal.
Metallic surfaces near your antenna will interfere with digital signals and prevent you from receiving them. If your antenna is placed in a window, but there are metal burglar bars or a metal bug screen just outside the Window, this may cause problems. Similarly, if your home has a metal roof, placing your antenna in the center of the attic is unlikely to produce positive results.
5.Test different antenna placements
Although it would be great to plug in your antenna and start receiving every channel in your region in beautiful HD right away, the reality is that you’ll most likely have to try a few different positions for your antenna before you find the one that gives you the best results. Check out a few different places in your house with the help of the tips in this post. Run a channel scan on your TV every time you move the antenna to a new location to see which channels are being picked up. If you’re using a flat antenna, I suggest temporarily securing it with clear adhesive tape while running your scans.
Homemade tv antenna booster
An indoor optical TV antenna picks up a radio signal that is broadcast over the airwaves. A simple antenna booster is needed to improve the signal intensity of the signal being received. When the TV antenna isn’t in use, build a homemade antenna booster that can also be used with a Wi-Fi antenna. Everything you’ll need is a metal bucket from a hardware store or a garden supplies store. There is no need for something unusual or specialized. The antenna booster can assist in the reception of a reliable broadcast signal by the indoor TV antenna.
- Place a bath towel in front of the television. Place the bucket on the bath towel upside down. Place the indoor TV antenna’s stand on top of the bucket.
- Switch on the television. Change the channel to a show you’d like to see.
- On the one hand, match the base of the TV antenna with the rim of the bucket.
- While watching the channel, move the bucket clockwise around the bottom.
- Stop shifting the antenna until the signal is secure; that is, the channel’s transmission is crisp and clear.
Does aluminum foil boost the antenna signal?
How do I use foil to boost my antenna reception? Wrap tin foil around your TV antenna. Wrapping aluminum foil around your antenna effectively increases the antenna’s surface area and conductivity, thus increasing the signal received by your television.
How to build a DIY antenna amplifier?
For a long time, users of TV antennas have had one big issue: range. The scope has a significant effect on the selection of TV channels and how well you receive them, so it has a lot of repercussions. Yeah, there are some pretty good outdoor TV antennas with decent range these days, but if you’re trying to save money, that’s not the best option.
We’ve developed a DIY guide on how to build a TV antenna booster to assist you. It can be used for indoor and outdoor antennas, and it is made from elementary materials. It also doesn’t take many abilities, so no matter how much DIY experience you have, you should be fine.
How do you know you need one?
To begin, if you have a directional antenna, check to see if it is properly adjusted. Perhaps it was pushed by the wind or bad weather and is no longer receiving the full signal? A quick readjustment would suffice in this situation.
If you have an outdoor antenna, you can physically check it as well. It could be impaired, or anything on it could block it or prevent it from accessing the full spectrum of frequencies.
So, let’s see how to create a TV antenna amplifier. Oh, and there’s something else to consider. Before you begin, make sure you read the entire guide to know exactly what you’ll need and what you’ll be up against.
What do you need?
Everything you’ll need is some cardboard and aluminum foil to get started.
If you’re going to use it indoors, you’ll want to cover it with something because none of these products is waterproof.
Everything you’ll need in terms of equipment is a pen or marker, as well as a sharp utility knife or scissors.
There is no special knowledge required; all you need to do is be vigilant and obey the letter’s directions.
The first step is to grab your marker or ink, as well as a piece of cardboard.
On the piece of cardboard, draw a circle.
Draw a pair of semi-circular projections after you’ve finished this. On either side of the circle, there should be two of these. They should be put just above and just below the circle’s midpoint. They shouldn’t be too big as compared to the circle.
The subsequent move is to get some more cardboard and cut another rectangle out of it.
The length should be slightly more significant than the diameter of the circle. On the other hand, the width should be slightly less than the circle, but it should stretch beyond the projections you drew at the circle’s ends. You’ll be making a reflector with this, so keep that in mind while you consider the sizes and how they apply to your antenna.
Cover one side of each of the two pieces of cardboard with the aluminum foil you have.
Fold the long piece of cardboard around the circular piece after that.
Fold the circle in half after that. The rectangular piece should have slots cut into it, and the projections on the circular piece should fit into those slots-like tabs.
When you’re done, the whole “device” should look like a semicircle to you.
The outer edge of the circle is then folded. You should make a lip that runs the length of the piece.
The foil-covered circle will be suspended in the other piece.
Cut a small hole in the middle of what was once a circle and is now a semicircle.
Make it as compact as possible – only the antenna can fit inside.
You’re ready to go once you’ve connected the amplifier to your antenna.