Everything old is new again for cord cutters, at least when it comes to picking up free, over-the-air (OTA) television via an antenna.
Many individuals are quitting cable in favor of streaming TV and over-the-air television as they become weary of the escalating expenses of cable TV and all of the additional inconveniences that come with it.
Antenna sales have risen dramatically in recent years, with companies like Antennas Direct claiming enormous increases in sales.
“To put it simply, it’s nice to have an antenna again.”
Simply simply, having an antenna again is cool.
However, if there’s one disadvantage to dusting off the old bunny ears, it’s that correctly setting up your indoor antenna to pick up all of the channels in your region in crystal-clear HD may be difficult.
Finding a signal got more difficult when broadcasters switched from analog to digital in 2009.
This is due to the fact that with a digital transmission, you either receive a clear image or none at all.
For individuals who aren’t authorized or unwilling to place an outside antenna on their roof, it’s more important than ever to get the antenna in the appropriate location.
Even newer, more modern “flat” antennas that are multi-directional and don’t need to be “directed” at a certain angle, such as the highly-rated, popular Mohu Leaf, may take some time to get exactly right to pick up the best signal possible.
Fortunately, there are a few basic strategies that might help you obtain the best reception from your indoor antenna.
#1. Determine The Location Of Broadcast Towers In Your Neighborhood.
It’s possible to boost reception by aiming your antenna towards TV transmission towers.
Woodleywonderworks provided the photo, which was used under a Creative Commons license.
Before you begin trying to put up your antenna, you must first determine the positions of broadcast towers in your neighborhood.
This is something you should do before you purchase an antenna since it will help you figure out how strong the antenna needs to be to pick up the channels you want to watch.
TVFool.com and AntennaWeb.org are two fantastic websites for discovering TV signals in your region.
You may enter your street address into any of these online tools to view a map that shows the distance and direction of the numerous broadcast towers in your region.
The majority of transmission towers are situated southwest of the residence, according to this AntennaWeb data.
What is the significance of this? Let’s pretend you’re having problems tuning in to your local NBC station.
You can determine the direction the tower is facing using the map, and then place the antenna to the outside-facing wall that faces that tower.
It may also inform you what antenna strength you’ll need to pick up local channels.
If the majority of the towers are within 30 miles of each other, a 30-mile range antenna should suffice.
If you live farther away from the transmission towers, however, you may want a more powerful antenna with a range of 50 miles or more.
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#2. Hang The Antenna Near Or In A Window.
The less in the way of your antenna and the broadcast towers, the better.
And make no mistake about it: large walls and ceilings are definitely impediments.
As a consequence, positioning your antenna in or near a window is frequently the most effective.
If there isn’t a huge impediment outside the window, such as a large tree or your neighbor’s brick wall, this may often offer the clearest line of sight to the transmission tower.
There are a few things to keep in mind while installing your antenna in a window.
First and foremost, be wary of solar heat absorption.
The maker of the Mohu Leaf suggests that “the white side of the antenna faces outdoors so the antenna absorbs less heat from the sun.” Also, if you’re using a flat antenna, make sure all four corners are firmly taped to the window so it doesn’t flex or warp over time, which can affect reception.
#3. Shoot For The Stars
When you utilize the signal finding tools on TV Fool, AntennaWeb, or other similar sites, one of the things you’ll notice is that you’ll be prompted to enter the approximate height of your antenna.
This is for a very crucial purpose.
The higher you set your antenna, the better your reception will be.
This is why outdoor antennas tend to pick up a large number of channels.
In reception, antenna height is crucial.
(Image courtesy of TVFool.com)
With this in mind, attempt to position your antenna as high as feasible in your room (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 imply putting the antenna on a higher level or even in the attic, and it may need a little longer coaxial line.
Just make sure you don’t pick a coax cable that’s too lengthy, since extended cable lengths might weaken the signal.
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#4. Avoid Touching The Antenna With Any Metal.
Metallic objects near your antenna might 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 insect screen right outside the window, this might create problems.
Similarly, if your house has a metal roof, placing your antenna in the center of the attic is unlikely to provide beneficial results.
“Keep as much space as possible from these [metal] items (6 feet or larger is optimal),” advises Antennas Direct.
#5. Experiment With Various Antenna Positions.
While it would be lovely to plug in your antenna and start receiving every channel in your region in glorious HD right away, the truth is that you’ll most likely have to try a few various positions for your antenna before you discover the one that gives you the best results.
Try out a few different areas in your house with the help of the advice in this article.
Run a channel scan on your TV every time you move the antenna to a different location to check which channels are being picked up.
If you’re using a flat antenna, I propose temporarily securing it with transparent adhesive tape while performing your scans.
You should be able to achieve good reception with your indoor antenna with a little study and patience.
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