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How to Boost an Outdoor TV Antenna Signal

Updated On July 28, 2020

If you have faced antenna reception problems in the past, you are not alone. Antennas can be quite frustrating at times, especially when you've spent so much money and what you get in return is a bunch of weak signals that don't even allow you to enjoy your favorite movies and shows.

For this reason, we are going to give you a first-hand experience guide of the best ways to boost your outdoor TV antenna's signal without spending a single cent. The tips mentioned in this guide have been obtained after several hours of research and trial-and-error. 

By the time you read all of the tips and reach the end of this guide, you'll be equipped with crucial knowledge of boosting the signals of ANY kind of outdoor TV antenna.


Direction of Antenna 

Most of the TV antennas of today need to be faced towards the signal source in order to receive the strongest possible signal. If your antenna is facing the wrong way, then your signal will not be at its best and you may face reception problems. The question now is, how to figure out the ideal direction of antenna? There are a number of things you can do for this:

Check Other Antennas

This is the most basic method to identify which method your antenna must be dealing with to get the greatest signal. Have a look at other antennas in your area and keep in mind of which method they are dealing with. You can then take a respectable guess at which instructions you need to deal with the antenna on your home.

Find Transmitter’s Location

You can utilize this tool on the antenna's direct site here. Simply enter your postal code and the map will reveal to you where your regional TV transmitter is.

Utilize the Signal Strength Indicator in Your TV

This strategy isn't the most convenient, as it requires having somebody to assist you and some TVs can be sluggish and time-taking to update their information. However, it does work and can be a nice option if you want to know whether your hard work is paying off. Essentially, you need to figure out where your signal strength is displayed in your TV settings and then keep changing the antenna's direction until the signal's strength is at the highest level.


Change the Location 

TV signals can't travel through opaque objects effectively, so the next thing to inspect is if your antenna has a clear line of vision to the TV transmitter.

If it is obstructed by anything on your home, then change its location and mount it somewhere with a clear view if possible. The best area for a TV antenna is typically as high as possible on your roofing.

If you live in an area where your view to the transmitter is obstructed by trees, tall buildings, or hills then you are going to need to have to try a combination of what we've mentioned in this guide along with several locations to find out which one works the best.

Although not necessary, purchasing some coax cable and inserting a temporary line to your TV might work in this case. Move the antenna around to various locations on your property/roof and have somebody keep a watchful eye on TV's reception. Find the area with the most reliable/strongest signal. You can utilize your TV's in-built signal strength indicator as a guide for this.

How to Boost an Outdoor TV Antenna Signal

Check your Cable's Condition

The manner in which the signal travels from your antenna to your TV is through the cable. So it is critical to make sure that the cable remains in good condition and any connections in between your antenna and TV offering an excellent electrical connection.

If possible, examine the whole cable and search for the following indicators of problems:

Exposed cable: If the outer sheath of the cable is damaged then it is most likely deteriorating your TV signals. Search for damage by birds (part of it), sun damage, and unexpected damage. If you discover any, then changing the whole cable would be a good idea.

Make sure to not add joins to a cable e.g. in the above case you might want to replace the damaged part with a new part but that'd mean you have to create a join. Joins can cause weakness of signals and poor reception so they're not worth it at all.

Twisted or Coiled Cable: A quick rule to remember is that if the bend of the cable has actually altered the size or the shape of the cross-section of the cable then it should be changed.

Rusted Cable: If moisture enters the cable due to any reason such as via a damaged or exposed part, rust can begin to develop and this can signal problems. This is usually easy to spot by making sure the cable doesn't have a tarnished or corroded appearance.

Improperly Fitted Connections: Inspect all connections and ensure that they have been linked effectively. A typical error made is when a coax cable's shield is in contact with the center conductor. This can cause significant weakness in signal reception and strength.

How to Boost an Outdoor TV Antenna Signal

Get an Amplifier 

In some cases, a fast and simple solution to weak antenna signals is to fit a signal amplifier. These devices re-linked inline on the coax cable and they can improve both the signal strength and reception to a considerable degree.

However, they are not magic and will not do you any good if the signals are super poor. You ought to relocate the antenna or change the cable in that case.

Conclusion

Almost every antenna user, at some point in their life, has encountered signal problems. The important point to remember is that these issues are common but easy to fix. All you need to do is identify the hindering factor and eliminate it. For some, it may be the direction of the antenna, its location, damaged cable or just a bad area to be living in e.g. mountainous or somewhere surrounded by trees and tall buildings.

If nothing works, calling a professional is your best bet. However, the techniques we've mentioned in this guide are guaranteed to improve your signal strength and reception to an acceptable level.

One thing to consider though is for you to choose the right antenna based on your location. There are those outdoor tv antennas that fit in the rural areas and you can even check also some of the best long-range tv antennas to make sure you have it all in place.

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About the author 

John Temple

Joseph is an electrician with 10 years of experience he moonlights as a writer and works for Serif TV on some key articles.


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