How To Install An Outdoor TV Antenna

Outdoor TV antennas can be very helpful. They give you a chance of getting a few (or more) free TV channels without making significant sacrifices in terms of image sharpness or clarity. And, even though today’s most commonly used TV services are easy to set up, an outdoor TV antenna does require a bit more than that. There are a few things that need to be done if you want to use an outdoor TV antenna, but they’re pretty simple. We at SerifTV have developed a guide to help you along in the process!

Want to make your own antenna instead? We have a do it yourself guide here.

how to install an outdoor tv antenna

To help you, we’ve made a guide that explains how to install an outdoor TV antenna. We did our best to keep things simple, so even if you aren’t tech savvy, you can get things done as quickly as possible. One thing to note, though, is that your specific antenna may come with its own set of instructions. If it does (and chances are it will), make sure you have them ready so you can set it up properly, even with our guide. Let’s not waste any more time, and see how to install an outdoor TV antenna.

If you are looking to buy the best outdoor tv antenna click here for a guide.

You’ll need to do some research first

The first step towards getting those free TV signals is actually done from the comfort of your own home. Your antenna should be pointing towards a broadcast tower (or more) that’s nearby. This is how they work, you can’t just have it point in a random location and expect signals. If you have neighbors that have outdoor antennas, you could ask them where their antenna is pointing. This should tell you where you have an antenna.

Another option is to use a service like TVFool. These services allow you to enter your address, and they’ll tell you where the nearest broadcast tower is. This should give you a good idea on where you’ll want to point it, and with some fine tuning you’ll get it just right.

Oh, and also check out where you would put the antenna on your rooftop. Depending on how high it is, and how your rooftop is built, there are various options. Make sure you pick the one that works best for you and has the right benefits.

Prepare the bracket

Outdoor antennas are commonly mounted on brackets. These brackets are best assembled when you’re indoors, so you only have to install them when you go out. We’re pretty positive that you got assembly instructions in the box, so make sure you follow them, as they vary from bracket to bracket.

how to install an outdoor tv antenna

Once you’ve got it assembled, you’ll want to grab the tools you’ll need for roof installation, and get to work. The bracket commonly screws in to stay secure. If you want to add some waterproofing as well, you should apply silicone caulk on the screws. This should keep water out of the way.

Do any antenna assembly indoors, too

While most antennas come preassembled, there are some that will require assembly before you mount them. This is another thing that you could do indoors, and you’ll most likely have instructions with it as well. If you want your antenna to work as intended, do follow those instructions. As soon as you have it assembled, you can mount it on the bracket outside.

Attach the antenna pole and the antenna itself

That mounting bracket has a sleeve that commonly has bolts on it. Those bolts should be loosened in order to slide the antenna in. The pole should get to the bottom of the sleeve for a secure installation. Once you’ve done this, just tighten the bolts to keep everything in place.

The next step is to loosen the bolts on the sleeve of the antenna. The whole antenna should slide over the pole, until you have the pole at the top of the sleeve. This is where you should rotate the antenna for it to face the location of the broadcast tower. A rule of thumb is not to tighten the screws completely until you’re sure you have it pointing in the right direction and you’re getting a strong signal.

Test everything with a temporary cable

It’s a bit too early to finalize everything, as the antenna will certainly require a bit of fine tuning before it works at its best. If you have someone with a few free minutes, now would be a good time to ask for their help. Grab a coaxial cable, and run it from your TV setup to the antenna. You should be adjusting the antenna on the roof, while the other person is in front of the TV, so they can tell you what position works best. When you have it figured out, tighten those bolts you left a bit loose.

how to install an outdoor tv antenna

Finalize the coaxial cable setup

Remove that temporary cable, and get the one you’ll actually be using. You’ll want to ground the antenna, as this is a crucial safety step. Use a grounding block that’s connected to your house or building’s ground, and make sure you’re abiding by your area’s electric guidelines and codes. Make sure you take your time to secure all the wires. This should be done carefully, so don’t rush it.

A few safety tips

  • You should always do as much as possible inside your home, or on the ground. Do only what’s really essential on the rooftop itself.
  • Be wary of any power lines, and try to stay at least 20 feet away if you want to stay risk-free. In the case of your antenna making contact with the power line, seek a professional, don’t remove it yourself.
  • Make sure you grounded the whole setup properly, it is a big safety hazard. If you aren’t sure you can do this yourself, seek a professional.
  • Avoid windy days for installation. Wind is definitely not a friend when you’re on a rooftop, you’ll want calm weather.

Wrapping it up

As you can see, installing an outdoor TV antenna isn’t all that difficult. There are some precautions you’ll need to take, and a few things you’ll want to be careful about, but aside from that, you should be able to set it up easily!

About the Author Joseph Geizen

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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