A Comprehensive Guide for TV Antennas | Aerialforce
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A Comprehensive Guide for TV Antennas: How to Choose the Right Kind

Satellite TVTV Installation
Jun-2020 / 6 min read

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Cord cutters spend years perfecting their access to free TV channels. The two ways you can achieve this by installing a satellite dish or a TV antenna/aerial. The TV antenna is the most affordable option, but because of the accessibility, it is tricky to navigate the market. How do you choose the right TV antenna for your home? Take note of the following information:

What Does A TV Antenna Do?

Your TV antennas catch signals from TV transmitters near you. They use different radio frequencies to carry digital content to your receiver. Your TV receives those signals and converts them into your favourite shows. Viola! Free channels without a monthly subscription.

The TV antenna works with two different broadcasting frequencies: VHF (Very High Frequency) and UHF (Ultra High Frequency), however, that system of separate channels on different frequencies is not used in the UK anymore. Right now they use OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing) to bundle channels in multiplexes (MUX) and send digital content through radio waves. The new system is a more efficient way to send channels, and it improves the number of channels you can receive.

Analogue TV users, however, will not be able to receive digital terrestrial broadcasted shows and may need a setup box or digital TV. This rule also applies to people who want to watch HD channels. They need HD TV antennas and an HD TV set to be able to enjoy the format. It is a matter of matching the format of the content to the receiver.


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How Do I Select The Right TV Antenna?

With an overly saturated market, it is hard to find the right TV antenna. But make no mistake, these options work in your favour! The right TV antenna depends on a lot of factors. The set up of our home, the local terrain, the distance of the TV transmitters, and the type of TV you have are all variables you need to consider.

Where Are You? Urban Vs Rural

Identify your current location. Do you live in an urban area with tall buildings, compact living spaces, and lots of frequency traffic? The city has many things that can obstruct signal, but at the same time are relatively close to transmitters. You have to find the balance between enjoying strong reception but also deal with signal interference.

Rural locations may deal with distance or obstruction issues. Cities may be similar, but the countryside has more variations. Forests, mountains, and hills you do not know what could make or break your reception. Even a tree beside your home can affect your TV antenna. Break down the unique issues of your home. You can use your postal code to see what you should be able to access Freeview.

 TV Transmitters Near You

The next thing you need to be aware of is the distance between you and the nearest TV transmitter. Search online for the ones in your immediate vicinity, take note of as many as possible. The signals you receive from TV transmitters vary. You may be close to Tower A, but also have a lot of interference from 4G, 5G, or tetra. Tower B that is a bit farther but has no obstruction, can work better for you. Plot these out and figure out the range you need to access the most of them while staying in the mileage of most TV antennas.

Please bear in mind that TV antennas that promise an excessive range, around 50 miles upwards without being an outdoor TV aerial, is most likely a marketing gimmick. It will not deliver the results they promise, and that could be a couple of pounds down the drain.

 Indoor vs Outdoor TV Antennas

Not everyone has the option to install an outdoor TV aerial. You could be in a flat or a house where landlord restrictions are king. If they do not want anything mounted on the roof, you have no other option but to get an indoor TV antenna.

For the people who have the option of choice, consider the antenna range you need and the space to install your aerial. If you need 50 miles or more, get an outdoor TV antenna and mount it on the roof. If you do not want to mount it on the roof because of safety issues, you can try to install it inside your attic.

Your attic should be free from extra clutter. Those odds and ends crowding your attic can affect your TV aerial. Try to keep the TV antenna as close to the windows. Place it in the direction that has the least amount of obstruction outside. The height and less insulated walls make it easier to pick up signals, though aerials for attics cannot compare to those mounted on the roof.

If you live close to a TV transmitter, an indoor TV antenna is good enough. From the old rabbit ears moved now and then to the thin, sleek versions that can stick to your windows, indoor aerials have come a long way in design. You can take your pick depending on your home layout.

As a general rule of thumb, don’t fall for excessive ranges, but try to get more than the bare minimum required. Try to find that balance. You can check reviews about how different models perform with their promised range.

What Is The Best Antenna For Free TV?

There is no one-size-fits-all antenna for Free TV. You can get the most out of free channels when you pick up the best reception. The best reception needs the right angle and position. Amazon’s top pick for TV antennas is Easing’s Indoor TV aerial, and their pick of outdoor TV aerials is SLx DigiDome. However, the best seller listed on the site is Firmrock’s Indoor TV aerial. Both models have a 50-mile range and support digital TV.

Other top picks are Mohu ReLeaf HDTV antenna (or anything in their range) and AmazonBasics Indoor Flat TV antenna for indoors, and the Winegard Elite 7550 and the 1byone Amplified HDTV antennas for the outdoors. You can improve the output of these HDTV antennas by changing to an RG6 coaxial cable for good measure.

What Channels Can You Get With A TV Antenna?

There are over 70 channels available. You can check the Freeview’s TV guide for the channels available in your area and the schedule for the week. You can catch shows from BBC, BBC One, BBC Two, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, Quest, and Dave. You can get CBeebies, CBBC, Pop, and Ketchup TV for the children in your home. There are many channels available, and you could spend days exploring what is available in your area.

How Do You Get A TV Antenna?

TV antennas are easy to find you can find it from your local electronics stores. Or large chains like Amazon, Argos, and Currys. Models available may vary depending on the store, and the models you have researched might not be there. The prices of these TV antennas range from £ 10- £60, with outdoor TV aerials in the upper end. Check their online inventory or call ahead to ask about them.

You could also opt to work with professional TV antenna installers like Aerialforce. We can provide top of the range models that come with a 1-3 year warranty. You get to have the added experience of our engineers and enjoy the best reception possible.

Do TV Antenna Boosters Really Work?

When you are trying to improve your viewing experience, you can consider TV antenna boosters or amplifiers. Context is critical in using this device in the right way. Your TV antenna boosters do not give you more range. It does not improve your reception. TV antenna boosters are there to strengthen your existing signal which should be in the 50dB to 55dB, anything less is inferior and your booster will do nothing for you.

People who claim that the boosters don’t work, are merely using it for the wrong reasons. Boosters, when unnecessary, can ruin your viewing experience by amplifying false signals. The only time TV antenna boosters come into play are when you live far away or in areas with a lot of obstruction. Homes in the city may not need it outright, but homes in rural areas would benefit from having them. It is especially helpful in homes that use multiple devices.

Some TV antennas come with these boosters in the kit. You can buy your boosters separately. Be wary about the quality of your antenna boosters, and try to stick to recognizable manufacturing brands to stay safe. If the ones from your local stores work fine, then you can go with it. If you do not receive the results you want, you might have a faulty device and better get a replacement.

Hopefully, you are now fully informed about TV antennas/aerials, and that this answers most of your questions. The best purchases are made when they are well-researched. Apply all the tips mentioned, and you could find the TV antenna that best suits your home! To ensure that you get the best signal reception in  your house, call the professionals like Aerialforce! We guarantee quality and fast service.

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