How to Improve Television Antenna Signal

by Quinten Plummer

    Maybe you're just too far away from television stations to receive solid signals, but those interference-laden broadcasts you've been receiving may benefit from some optimization on your end that could improve your viewing experience. Don't give up on your TV antenna's reception; instead, try reinforcing your signal's quality with four time-tested solutions.

    Boosting Power

    Incorporate a signal amplifier into your setup to boost the power of your television antenna's output. Signal amplifiers run in-line on the coaxial cable between your antenna and television, employing a power adapter to boost the antenna's signal as it passes through the amplifier. Signal amplifiers are compatible with installations featuring antennas that already have power amplification.

    Limiting Cable Length

    Limiting the length of your coaxial cable runs and splits minimizes the degradation of your television antenna's output. Roughly 30 percent of a television antenna's signal is lost for every 100 feet of coaxial cable it passes through, and it loses up to 50 percent for every split, according to Antennas Direct.

    Strong Sense of Direction

    Use an online locator to learn exactly where nearby television stations are located (see Resources), and then use a compass or signal strength meter to adjust your antenna accordingly. Signal strength meters enable you to peak the incoming signal by monitoring the meter's gauge as you tweak your antenna, while a compass can help you align your antenna to a television station's coordinates, supplied by the station locator utility.

    Perfect Aim

    Back up your signal strength meter or compass tweaking using a motorized rotator. Rotators can fine tune an antenna's aim, and are invaluable in pointing a directional antenna at different television stations. For example, if you want to pick up a station north of you earlier in the day and then switch to one to the northeast later, an antenna rotator can make the adjustment in seconds and keep you off of the roof.

    About the Author

    Quinten Plummer began writing professionally in 2008. He has more than six years in the technology field including five years in retail electronics and a year in technical support. Plummer gained his experience in music by producing for various hip-hop acts and as lead guitarist for a band. He now works as a reporter for a daily newspaper.

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