Everything You Need To Know About Outdoor TV Antennas

Everything You Need To Know About Outdoor TV Antennas

Did you think that TV antennas were discontinued? You are utterly wrong. Not only do they still exist, they are now available as upgraded accessories to replace your cable TV.

If you’ve had enough of paying money for the programs nobody at your home likes to watch, purchasing and installing a reliable TV antenna is a one-time investment to watch all your favorite shows on major networks.  

Why Do We Need TV Antennas?

TV antennas are great for users who receive a good share of broadcast stations in the area they live in. This way they don’t have to pay for satellite or cable service.

Let’s take a look at why and how a TV antenna is the best accessory to own today.

Save Money

Without a doubt, TV antennas save a great deal of money since they are built to get free TV. When users sign-up for a monthly cable service, they have to pay for all channels whether they like to watch them or not.

Piggy bank on a pile of money.

By setting up an affordable TV antenna, you can cancel your cable TV subscription and never have to pay for anything unwanted.

Receive A Wide Range Of Channels

Not only TV antennas save your precious money, they give you plenty of entertainment. Did you know that quite a few broadcast stations also provide a sub-channel?

When you install a TV antenna, you can also receive these sub-channels that include several public television channels along with program specific stations. However, sub-channels may vary according to a locality.

Enjoy Uncompressed HD Signals

There is nothing better than enjoying your sports game or weekend movie in HD. We all know that broadcast networks transmit an uncompressed signal whereas satellite and cable providers compress theirs.

Naturally, there is a stark difference in quality when you get uncompressed high-definition signals.

No Interruptions

Satellite subscribers are likely to experience mediocre reception. Since satellite signal often disappear in times of bad weather conditions, it is common to receive a bad reception during a tornado and the wintry season.

Most types of advanced TV antennas are built to sustain harsh weather conditions. All items are built out of weather-resistant materials to make sure there are no glitches in performance due to a bad weather.

How TV Signal Works?

TV Transmitters

Have you ever wondered why you have to shout louder to call an individual at a distance? Naturally, louder noises produce larger sound waves that are potent to pass through further before getting interrupted by trees, bushes and the nearby clutter.

The same goes true for radio waves. You need a powerful transmitter to generate strong radio waves that carry radio and TV images many miles from a broadcasting station to a receiver’s home. Hence, you require a powerful transmitter; in the form of a huge antenna. This transmitter is generally located on top of a hill to transmit signals as far as possible.

However, not everybody is able to receive TV signals that are sent through the air. Cable TV subscribers get TV pictures that are ‘piped’ into their homes through a fiber-optic cable placed under their streets.

Users who possess satellite television receive picture that bounces into the space and back so they can move from one side of the country to the other.

Conventional television broadcasting send picture signals in an analog form where each signal passes through as an undulating wave.

A large number of countries have now switched over to digital television that functions the same way as a digital radio.

TV Transmitter.

All signals are coded numerically and a wide range of programs can be sent this way. Users also get a superior picture quality since the signals are less vulnerable to intervention as they travel.

TV Receivers

Once the TV signal reaches your home, the rest is history. Whether the signal comes through a cable service, a satellite dish or an aerial antenna; regardless of how it has traveled.

Different types of TV sets have unique mechanisms process signals. A receiver is usually incorporated in your TV set and grabs radio waves for processing them back to video electric and audio signals so they can be played.

Different Types Of TV Antennas

TV antennas are available in various sizes, shapes and specifications. A few models are also manufactured to serve a specific purpose. Thanks to a recent surge in the popularity of outdoor TV antennas, quite a few brands have stepped into the production of inventive TV antenna products.

Some models are narrow focused whereas other antennas are engineered to be multidirectional accessories to cover various range capacities.

If you don’t know how to find the right kind of TV antenna to enjoy free broadcasting networks; it is important to explore the different types of designs and types that are currently available in the market.

Not every TV antenna functions the same way in all localities. The performance of a model depends on several factors including the user’s location and surroundings.

For instance, any individual living in the suburbs and hoping for a superior HD transmission does not need the same TV antenna that is required by someone who is vacationing in the mountains.

Here are the common and most popular types of TV antennas that are currently in use by thousands of people.

Indoor Antennas

Indoor products are commonly used since they are fairly convenient to set up. Users simply have to plug them into their TV sets and accomplish impressive results with minor tuning. All indoor TV antennas are generally placed on an entertainment center on top of the TV.

Most of today’s indoor antennas feature an aesthetic design so they can easily blend into any kind of home décor. Some users like to mount indoor antennas to the wall.

The best people to benefit from an indoor antenna preferably live in an urban or suburban area.

However, the models are vulnerable to damages caused by radio signals that are present inside the home.

Antennas Direct ClearStream 2V

source: antennasdirect.com

Outdoor Antennas

This is another popular type of TV antenna that is engineered to pick up more signals from farther away. Outdoor TV antennas are larger than the indoor models. Sometimes, you need to put in considerable effort to install an outdoor antenna.

However, brands continue to deliver products that now feature a hassle-free setup and installation process. But be careful to install these antennas since they might require various screws along with mounting hardware before you could enjoy your favorite shows for free.

Most products also come with a cable of appropriate length to reach from the antenna to the television inside the home.

It is recommended that you mount an outdoor antenna as high up as possible to enhance reception. This way you will get the highest quality and quantity of the incoming signals. An outdoor antenna is commonly set up on a large pole or on the roof of a house.

Multi-Directional Antennas

If you live in a densely populated area that receives multiple broadcast signals, it is best to invest in a multi-directional antenna to receive signals from all directions.

Multi-Directional Antenna.

A multi-directional antenna is designed to pick up signals from multiple directions simultaneously, without experiencing any interruptions.

These models are also the perfect accessories for vacationers who are travelling in an RV. Since it is capable of picking up signals from all directions, you can enjoy free networks coming from all directions.

However, multi-directional TV antennas may have a limited range since they are not concentrated on one direction or another.

Directional Antennas

Directional antennas are engineered to focus on all the signals coming from one direction. Unlike multi-directional antennas, these models possess a longer range and also deliver good reception. The best people to benefit from this type of antenna live in rural areas since it allows them to pick up all the networks available nearby.

It is also a good idea to concentrate entirely on one city and the broadcasts it has to offer. Rural dwellers can receive the same kind of reception as a multi-directional TV antenna located right at the city's center.

Amplified Antennas

You can always enhance the quality of a signal when it is too weak. Users can amplify a broadcast signal to enhance its effect. These amplifiers do a great job at electronically strengthening and reinforcing signals without any complications.

An amplified antenna works by taking a weak TV signal and adding external power to the frequency. It outputs the same signal with more intensity and clarity. You can easily find amplified versions of each of the antenna types available in the market.

Outdoor TV Antenna Installation

As soon as you mount the antenna and plug it into the appropriate source on the DTV or digital tuner, the users need to perform a channel scan. This channel scan must be performed once again to ensure correct alignment in case the antenna is moved.

All outdoor antennas perform best when they are mounted on rooftops. Users also get a good performance when the antenna is installed in the attic. However, this can lead to a loss of signal strength.

It is beneficial to face the antenna towards the transmitting tower. If you are wondering about where your towers are, a great way to discover them is through the antennapoint website. When you successfully mount the antenna and connect the cable, you are ready to run the cable to your digital TV, tuner or HD satellite receiver.

Outdoor tv antenna installation.

Uses should also consult their TV instruction manual to perform the channel scan. With most digital TV’s today; it’s all or nothing.  If you note any ‘fuzz’ then you are tuned to an analog broadcast. Once the antenna acquires a digital signal, the user receives a perfect picture.

It is best to avoid using the antenna mounted amplifier in busy areas. It is also recommended that you seal all connections, particularly the antenna using a weatherproof sealant. Since, any humidity can lead to water droplets; it can corrode the connections.

How To Connect An Outdoor TV Antenna With Multiple TV’s?

For installing an outdoor TV antenna, you can bring the cable from your antenna in through any exterior wall of the house. However, bringing it into the attic of your home makes it easier to share the picture with multiple TV’s.

You can add a signal splitter to benefit more antenna outputs. In case a user brings the cable in through a room other than the basement or attic, he may need to run the cable to one of those locations before he splits the signal.

Now, run cables to each television set. In case the house is not wired for TV, the user will need to drop cables into the walls to hook them up to wall plates. Now, attach them to the signal splitter safely with a modifiable wrench.

Users should check reception on every television. In case a TV is unable to receive good reception, you need to ensure that the cable has not been damaged or is safely attached at both ends.

When some of the cable runs are very long or you intend to run the antenna signal to a large number of TV’s, you can also consider purchasing an active splitter, which features a signal booster. An active splitter is the best solution to get rid of a fuzzy picture in some of your rooms.

There are also a few selection tools built-in channel detection features found on modern television sets that enable TV users to use a single antenna input for accessing multiple channels on various TV’s. This allows viewing in multiple parts of a business or home without needing a separate antenna for each TV.

Purchasing a high quality outdoor antenna is a fantastic way to receive free reception without having to pay for satellite service. Not only they are free, they also provide uninterrupted fun to the whole family.

How To Protect Outdoor TV Antennas During Bad Weather?

Although, many of today’s outdoor TV antennas are built with only high quality materials to ensure durability. It is recommended that you invest in the best outdoor TV antennas that are built with water-proof materials.

TV antenna after the storm.

For protecting an outdoor antenna and to ensure your TV and signal quality remains unaffected by harsh weather conditions; it is important to install a windproof antenna. Since strong winds can turn the direction of your antenna to point it in the wrong direction; never buy a cheap product that does not offer a tough exterior.

You can also enjoy your favorite programming no matter how bad the weather is by following a few simple tips.

Secure Your Antenna

It is important to ensure that your outdoor TV antenna is safely placed to the roof. Sometimes, a user needs to purchase the right installation brackets and tools to fix the antenna in the transmitter’s direction. A signal meter is a great way to locate the ideal direction to the transmitter.

Waterproof All Entry Points

Since plaster deteriorates over time, water can reach the inside of your antenna to cause significant electrical damage in the TV points. Make sure the hole where the cable enters your home is sealed with a good quality waterproof sealant.

Make sure you seal and waterproof the points of the antenna.

Make Sure The Antenna Is Installed Properly

In an ideal situation, an outdoor antenna is installed at the point where you get the strongest of signals.  However, this is often not the case. The antenna is usually mounted where users are able to make easy adjustments. Users generally prefer locations such as the attic or the roof.

However, one of the most important considerations for receiving crystal clear reception is to carefully orient the antenna and to modify its height. This way you can overcome many of the problems that arise due to a weaker signal.

Ideally, users should locate a point where you get a usable signal and quick access to the antenna. Since, buildings and large trees can cause interruptions; make sure there are no obstacles to interfere with the transmission.

An attic or loft is the perfect place to install an outdoor antenna to keep it safe from external elements and stormy weather conditions. You can also install an outdoor antenna on the roof.

By following these tips, you can enjoy a smooth and better reception during bad weather conditions. If your outdoor TV antenna has sustained significant damage due to a storm or harsh weather; you can also benefit from your model’s warranty and check with the manufacturer’s customer service.

How To Boost TV Signal?

Eliminate Or Reduce Interference

People who own outdoor TV antennas receive an enhanced signal from their equipment by taking care of interference from other systems. It also helps to keep multiple antennas as far apart as possible to avoid using multi-switches that do not feature integrated signal boost technology.

Multi switch for TV antenna.

Since splitting the signal considerably reduces its strength, sophisticated multi-switches connect to power systems to take care of loss of signal strength. Hence, they are smart choices for homes that run devices off the same antenna.

Adjust The Antenna Position

You can also add some beneficial antenna mounting gear on the sides of buildings to reduce signal loss. This gear can also be added at the top of other freestanding structures.

When signals pass through the line, they lose up to some percent of their strength. When you keep the antenna setup as close to the receivers as humanly possible; you can successfully eliminate this loss to get a clearer signal.

There are many helpful sites including Antennaweb that serve as great tools to optimize your antenna’s position for getting maximum results. Users simply have to type in their address and some information regarding their antenna height. Antennaweb consults its database for information on all available signals nearby your location.

Add An Amplifier

One of the most popular ways to boost a signal is to add an amplifier. These amplifiers boost the signal’s strength and result in clearer images with a crisp audio.

Powerful accessories also feature specialized splitters to allow for multiple connections without altering the signal strength. Adding an amplifier is a great solution for hundreds of homeowners who have trouble relocating antennas.

Reconfigure

When you have an outdoor antenna that has its sensitive ends points towards the origin of the signal, there are fewer issues with the strength and quality of the signal. You can easily reconfigure the aim of an outdoor antenna manually to make it easier for the receivers and transmitters to work with the incoming signals.

In case most of the signals are coming from a single location, for instance a nearby city, you can successfully increase audio and video quality transmitted through the antennas from each of the stations. This help devices and television to deliver better results.

Connect A Motorized Rotator

Although, adding an amplifier enhances the signal strength to an impressive extent, there are other ways to further boost the strength of a vague signal.

You can add a motorized rotator to fine-tune the position of the antenna to get the best possible signal from a single source. A few popular motorized solutions feature remote controls so t hat users don’t have to climb ladders for reconfiguring the antenna directions manually.

Conclusion

Entertainment is the best release from the daily strains and struggles of life. If you can benefit from a one-time investment to receive multiple networks for free, what more can you ask?

Despite the overwhelming influence of the internet, thousands of people still prefer to watch TV. Every home has a TV and installing a high quality outdoor TV antenna is a great way to enjoy safe and uninterrupted transmission.

The Ultimate Buying Guide To Purchasing The Best Outdoor TV Antenna

Now that you know how you can get the best out of an outdoor TV antenna, it is recommended that you check out our inclusive buying guide to select a good product. There are all types of designs and specifications available to help the modern user make the right choice.

We have compiled our list based on the capabilities in terms of specs, durability, adjustability, affordability and resistance to bad weather.

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