Antenna Installation Guide: 9 Tips For Installing a Home Antenna
31 October 2019
Although we now have a flurry of internet-based services like Netflix and Stan, many homeowners still want to be able to pick up free to air terrestrial based TV channels (TV channels from an antenna).
One of the reasons for this is that terrestrial TV allows you to watch sports and news channels, in some cases for free. According to statistics, 78% of millennials still have access to traditional TV, specifically for this reason.
If you want access to free to air TV, you will need to do an antenna installation.
Which is where we come in. Installing an antenna is a process, and you must do it right, otherwise, you might end up with a hole in your wallet and still no TV signal.
To ace the installation of your antenna, read on to pick up these 9 installation tips.
1. Think Carefully About Indoor vs Outdoor Antenna Types
The first tip is to consider whether you need an indoor antenna or an outdoor antenna.
Indoor antennas don’t generally work in Australia. They are best suited to areas that have very strong station coverage. They also might be your only option if you live in an apartment where you can’t access the roof to install an outdoor antenna, or can’t run a new TV point from the building’s existing TV system.
In almost all cases, indoor antennas yield weak signals and pixelated pictures.
If you are in any doubt as to the strength of the signal in your area, or you just want perfect reception, you are probably best off going with an outdoor antenna.
If you choose an indoor antenna, the installation is pretty much out of the box. For an outdoor antenna, the installation is a little more involved.
Read on for more tips on how to install an outdoor antenna.
2. Research Your Reception
The next thing to do is to research the channels and reception that you get in your area. A great way to do this is to use the MySwitch website, which covers all of Australia. Simply input your address and you will be able to see what kind of coverage you have in your area.
Besides this, you can also talk to your neighbours and people in the area that have free to air TV installed to find out what channels they can access and the reception strength they get.
3. Buy High-Quality Cabling
To ensure a great picture, pick up some high-grade coaxial cable (the cable that runs from your antenna to your TV). Try to aim for satellite grade or quad screened coaxial. This is especially important if you are going to be sharing the reception from the antenna among multiple TVs.
4. Assemble Your Materials and Tools Beforehand
Before you start installing your new antenna, assemble everything you will need beforehand.
This includes tools such as a hammer drill or ordinary drill, drill bits, wire cutters, and a ladder for accessing your roof or wherever else you are mounting your home antenna (please note that if you choose to access your own roof, we highly recommend completing a height safety course and using all necessary safety equipment, including a harness, in order to prevent any injury).
You will also need your antenna, screws, a mount, cable, cable ties possibly, and splitters if you are planning to split the connection up to two or more TVs.
There is nothing worse than starting a job only to find that you are lacking supplies or the right tool. Therefore, get all this and anything else you might need before you start the installation.
If you feel unsure of this process, then it might be a good idea to get someone in to do an antenna installation for you.
5. Test for Reception
Once you are up on your roof, test for reception before you mount your antenna. For this, you will need a DVB-T spectrum analyser (also just called a TV meter) to measure signal strength and quality. If you are looking to do this yourself, you will need someone at the bottom to search for channels and gauge the signal strength coming through to the TV.
6. Place Your Antenna Away from Power Lines
When selecting the spot to mount your antenna, make sure that it is situated away from any other cables running to or over your house, as these cables can interfere with the reception.
7. Spy on the Direction That Your Neighbors Are Facing Their Antennas
If you are unsure in which direction to point your antenna, take a look at your neighbours’ antennas. If most of them point the same way you can assume that some of the best reception in your area comes from that direction.
8. Keep the Antenna Away from Metal Objects
Additionally, try to mount your antenna away from other metal components on your roof. If you have solar power system, for example, try to get as much distance between it and your antenna as possible. You don’t want your solar panels to be impacted by the shadow of the antenna (at any time of day) and you don’t want the solar inverters radiating RF signals that can seriously impact your TV reception.
If you have a tin roof, you will need to consider mounting your antenna on a tripod, a chimney mount, or on a high mast in your backyard.
9. Consider a TV Signal Booster If Your Signal Is Weak
If you have a very weak signal in your area, or you are experiencing problems thanks to splitting or a long coaxial cable, you can consider getting a TV signal booster, or antenna amplifier.
Do not, however, use a TV amplifier just for the sake of it because improper use of an amplifier can increase other unwanted signals and create additional ‘noise’ into your reception. Beware that low signal levels is just one reason why your TV may not be getting a good quality and reliable picture.
Use These Tips to Ace Your Antenna Installation
Tackling an antenna installation can be tricky, but with these tips in mind and a little know-how, it is completely do-able.
If you do not have the time or the expertise to put up your antenna, you can also call us in. We specialise in professional antenna installation and take all the hassle out of the process.