When watching your favourite movie or TV show, bad reception — no matter how minimal — can ruin your viewing experience. As a result, you get frustrated and confused from not being able to follow the show’s story line.
To avoid going through moments like these, it becomes vital to install an antenna.
Choosing the proper antenna then installing it is a crucial process one should go through. To enjoy good reception, the key to success depends on hiring a reliable aerial specialist.
Indoor or outdoor antenna?
If you live close to a broadcast tower, an inexpensive indoor antenna may work for you. But if you don’t have any idea where the nearest broadcast tower in your location can be found, an outdoor antenna will be a better choice.
However, an outdoor antenna needs to be placed on the rooftop or someplace high, so unless you’re thoroughly knowledgeable and skilled in antenna installation, it’s highly recommended that you let a professional handle the installation completely.
Here are some guidelines for correct antenna positioning:
Near a window – A section without a metal screen works best.
- Closest to broadcast towers – Capture a direct signal rather than one reflected from a neighbour’s house.
- Behind the TV – If you have no problems with reception, you can place a small antenna right behind your TV.
- High on a wall – The higher the antenna is installed, the better reception you’ll get.
- Outside – Outdoor antennas function best as they have greater chances of capturing a good signal.
Tools and materials you’ll need for the installation:
- Metal roofing screws
- Adjustable wrench
- Nail gun
- U-clamp nails
- HD antenna with mounting hardware
- All-weather coaxial cable (72 ohms)
- HD TV with a built-in digital tuner
- Power drill
- Silicone caulk
- Grounding wire
Step-By-Step Installation Guide
1. Check your TV
If you already have an existing antenna, try connecting it first to your TV and see if you can get channels.
2. Choose an antenna
Locate the nearest broadcast towers in your area and find out which one works best for your location. You can visit a website that provides this information, then input your address to find out.
3. Prepare for installation
You can also search online for details such as lists of channels as well as compass headings. Use these details as a guide; a compass will tell you in which direction to point and place the antenna.
4. Install a mounting bracket
Read the instructions that came with your mounting kit and follow them. Secure the mounting bracket using metal roofing screws. Next, apply silicone caulk around the screws to seal and protect them from water penetration.
5. Assemble your antenna
Depending on the type of antenna to be used, it may come in a single solid piece or you may need to put several different pieces together first.
6. Attach your antenna pole
Loosen the bolts on your mounting bracket’s sleeve, then slide the pole until it reaches the sleeve’s bottom. To hold the pole securely in place, tighten the bolts.
7. Place your antenna on the pole
On the sleeve of your antenna, loosen the bolts. Over the pole, slide the sleeve until it meets the top. Rotate your antenna so that it faces the location of the broadcast tower. For the time being, leave the bolts loose as you may still need to adjust your antenna’s direction.
8. Run a temporary cable line
- On your antenna, connect one end of the coaxial cable to your cable output terminal.
- Run the cable line to your TV without securing the cable.
- Connect the other end of your cable line to the coaxial input at the back of your TV.
- Turn your TV on, then have someone watch it as you adjust the antenna.
9. Secure everything
Once you find an ideal antenna position, secure the whole antenna on the pole by simply tightening the sleeve bolts. Remove the temporary cable from your TV and run your grounding wire and coaxial cable across your roof. Make sure that you secure them along the way using insulated U-clamp nails and a nail gun.
10. Ground the installation
- Drill a hole across the siding of your house so the cable can enter inside.
- From the antenna, secure the coaxial cable to one end of your grounding block.
- Secure another length of the coaxial cable to another end of your grounding block and run the other end of this cable through a hole in your house.
- Connect one end of your coaxial cable’s grounding wire to the other end of your grounding block and to the antenna’s housing.
- On the grounding block, connect another grounding wire. This wire should go through one of your house’s cold water pipes. Alternatively, a grounding rod can be installed and connected.
- Secure your grounding block to the side of your house.
- Seal up all holes using silicone caulk.
11. Reconnect the cable to your TV
Run the coaxial cable to your TV and connect it to one of the coaxial inputs. Turn your TV back on and check if all channels are HD.
Installing an antenna requires observing safety measures and exercising patience as the installer works to get a good reception. Contact the professionals so they can perform the proper installation, share advice on ensuring the equipment’s long life (they may advise contacting your local pest control company to construct a termite barrier that will protect your electric wiring), and finally help you attain the best possible reception for enjoyable and hassle-free TV viewing.