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Determining The Best TV Aerial For Your Home

A coaxial cable or a coax is a type of cable that is used as transmission lines for radio frequency, video, and data signals. Traditionally, they have been used as feed lines to connect transmitters and receivers with antennas, internet connections, digital audio and cable television signals. 

This is why such cables are used in almost every home for television and internet connections, as well as in industrial settings for Local Area Networks. It is one of the most preferred types of cable because of its shielding and resistance to signal interferences from motors and other electronic equipment. 

It has multiple layers namely an inner conductor, an insulating layer, a conductive shielding and an insulating outer jacket. Most coaxial cables even have outer jackets that are UV, chemical, halogen and flame resistant, making it the best option, even for industrial settings. Its shielded design even allows for quick data transmission without succumbing to the interference or damage from outside or environmental factors.

They work by carrying data into the centre conductor while the surrounding layers of shielding (which is collectively known as the shield, restrict any attenuation loss and help reduce EMI. The first layer, meanwhile, provides distance and insulation between the core conductor and the outer layers. 

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We rely on television for more than just entertainment. It is also a source of knowledge and information. That is why it is of utmost importance that we get the best TV signal possible. And that’s probably why you’re here: to find out what kind of TV aerial you need exactly in order to get the most out of your TV viewing experience. 

Nowadays, an HD TV or a smart TV already has a built-in Freeview TV tuner, which means it is much easier for TVs to access a wide range of channels, including HD channels when you have a Freeview HDTV subscription. However, because many still struggle to get good reception in their home, people find the need for additional TV aerials.

If you’re wondering what the best TV aerial is for you to get crystal clear picture quality, then you should know that it is not as simple as choosing what would be deemed “the best” by the market. Your location, the physical limitations of your home, and distance from the nearest TV transmitter towers or broadcast towers also play a part in determining what kind of aerial you will need specifically. 

That means you cannot only choose what kind of aerial you would prefer to use. It would, instead, depend on requirements that are unique to every hob. 

However, to put things simply, there are only three kinds of aerials for you to choose from:  Indoor TV aerials, outdoor TV aerials, and loft TV aerials. When would you need each kind of aerial, exactly? 

We’ve come up with a guide to help you figure it out! 

Indoor Aerials

Do you live within a 15-mile radius of a TV transmitter? If so, then you should be using an indoor tv antenna. Indoor digital aerials ensure the best possible reception for your TV, even with weak signals or bad signals. 

Indoor aerials are also best for areas which do not allow for aerial access, those that do not have enough space for rooftop aerials, and those that already have outdoor aerials lined up for another TV set.

Such aerials come in various shapes and sizes, but the one thing you will need to do to help improve the picture quality on your TV is by angling it or polarising it to match the Freeview TV signal that’s already being transmitted to your home. That is why you will have to make sure to take a look at the rooftop aerials in your neighbourhood to find out if you will need to horizontally or vertically polarise your indoor aerial for digital TV. 

Thinking of getting an indoor TV antenna to give your TV reception a boost? If so, here are the kinds of indoor antennas that you may choose from:

  • Monopole or Rod Aerials

This kind of aerial is omnidirectional, which means you can position it vertically or horizontally. 

  • Log Periodic Aerials

These are best for picking up weaker signals but will need to be positioned towards the transmitter. 

  • Loop Aerials

Such aerials are positioned on top of your TV. While these kinds of antennae are omnidirectional, chances are they will still struggle with weaker signals. 

  • Flat Panel or Patch Aerials 

By merely attaching these to a window or a wall, you may be able to absorb strong signals. However, the reception will still depend on how you position the aerial. 

Moreover, an amplified indoor aerial, or to put it simply, an aerial with a signal booster marginally increases the likelihood of picking up medium or low signal strengths, as compared to nonamplified aerials. 

Also take note that sometimes, signal boosters can cause picture interference. This usually happens when the aerial is placed too close to the TV or the set-top box. 

Outdoor Aerials 

If you are located within the 15-mile to 30-mile radius of a TV transmitter, then it would be best for you to use outdoor aerials or rooftop aerials. Such aerials are designed to withstand extreme weather conditions, so you wouldn’t have to worry about it breaking down because of a storm or strong winds. 

Additionally, outdoor TV antennas are best for receiving TV signals because being positioned at a height gives such aerials a better line of sight to the nearest transmitters or broadcast towers and with fewer obstructions like trees, buildings, walls, roofing materials, and many more. 

This, however, will require you or a professional to install and position your outdoor digital TV aerial on the roof. Many aerials for Freeview are outdoor antennas that are made with high-quality materials that are easy to mount. 

If you think you are better off using outdoor aerials, here are some types you may want to consider using:

  • Yagi TV Aerials

This type of aerial is most common in the UK and Ireland. It is a directional antenna which puts out a high gain, making it ideal for receiving lower strength signals. It has a relatively good range and filters signal noise.

  • Log Periodic Aerials

Such aerials are popular for digital TV. They reject impulse noises which could cause your TV signal to pixelate and break up. Because this aerial delivers a very flat frequency response, it is perfect for balancing TV signals.

  • High Gain Aerials

This type of aerial is designed to increase the signal strength received from a tv transmitter, thus helping it deliver more signal. This is best used in places with weak signals or in good signal areas where the signal is to be distributed between multiple TV sets.

Loft Aerials

Loft Aerials are starting to gain popularity as owners of new, modern houses opt to position their aerials in an area where it will not ruin their home’s aesthetic. An aerial like this will give you the best of both worlds as it will not ruin your home’s aesthetic and also make sure that you get crystal clear picture quality almost all the time. 

It is, however, essential to note that due to the building materials in your loft or attic, it is possible to lose some signal strength. The range could be lowered by 10-15 miles, so consider getting one of those amplified aerials or one with a broader range, and make sure to place your aerial at an optimal location. 

If you are looking for loft aerials, consider using an outdoor tv aerial for optimum results. 

Need help in finding or installing the best TV aerial for your home? Contact a professional aerial engineer today!



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