High-definition antennas allow you to receive quality digital programming free of charge. HD antennas come in indoor and outdoor varieties, ranging from standard rooftop models to sleek, indoor powered versions. Properly selecting and mounting an HDTV antenna will make the difference between bright, clear video and unwatchable, distorted images.
Mounting a Rooftop Antenna
Lay out the rooftop antenna on the ground. Organize the included nuts, bolts and other hardware in a nearby location for convenient access.
Assemble the antenna following the instructions in the user guide. Use the appropriate screwdrivers, wrench and pliers as needed. Setup procedures vary from one rooftop antenna model to another. Keep the element array loose enough on the mast to allow for rotation as you dial in the signal.
Find your orientation relative to local broadcast towers using an online guide such as AntennaWeb.org.
Extend your ladder to the section on the roof the greatest distance from adjacent metal structures, trees and power lines. This location will minimize the chance of signal bounce and multipath, which may distort high-definition broadcasts.
Have your assistant hold the ladder. Climb up to the installation site with the antenna, drill, caulk, mounting hardware and socket wrench. Make as many trips as necessary to ensure that you are safe and stable on the ladder at all times.
Place the mast anchor on the rooftop. Drill through the mounting holes on the anchor. Secure the anchor with the supplied bolts and your socket wrench. Apply silicone caulk around the edge of the anchor and each bolt to make the installation watertight.
Insert the mast into the anchor. Stand the mast and antenna upright. Secure the mast using the supplied U-bolt and socket wrench.
Screw one end of the RG-6 cable to the matching transformer dongle on the antenna. Drop the cable down to your assistant and route it through a door or window temporarily while you test for signal.
Connect the other end of the RG-6 cable to your HD tuner or high-definition television. Point the antenna toward the broadcast towers, using your compass and the data gleaned from AntennaWeb.org.
Stop rotating the elements when you think you are aligned with the broadcast towers. Have your assistant perform a channel scan on your tuner to check for reception quality.
Adjust your antenna as needed in 5-degree intervals. Perform a channel scan after each adjustment.
Lock your antenna in place with the socket wrench after you have successfully received all of the available stations.
Re-route the RG-6 cable along the roof or eaves toward your HD tuner. Drill a hole to pass the cable through at floor level. Re-connect your cable to the tuner. Seal the holes inside and out with the silicone caulk.
Mounting an Indoor Antenna
Find your location relative to local broadcast towers using AntennaWeb.org or your stations' websites.
Choose a location nearest a window or away from brick, steel and other obstructing materials. The window should generally face toward the broadcast towers.
Insert the element into the mast, until the guideline indicators line up. Experiment with vertical and horizontal positioning to determine which works best in your environment.
Connect the cable leading to the antenna's amplifier to the back of the mast. Screw the RG-6 cable into the threaded port labeled "TO ANTENNA."
Plug the AC adapter into an available outlet. Turn the amplifier switch to its "ON" position.
Point your antenna toward the towers based on the information gathered from your antenna locator website. Perform a channel scan on your HD tuner.
Adjust as needed, performing a new scan each time. Mount the antenna to its permanent location using hook and loop fasteners or double-sided tape.
- Gutters and downspouts are good for hiding antenna cable runs. You can also paint the cable to match your building exterior if desired.
- Never install an outdoor antenna closer that two times the radius of the elements. Doing otherwise presents a potential fire or shock hazard.
- Phillips screwdriver
- Computer with Internet access
- Extension ladder
- Silicone caulk
- Socket wrench
- RG-6 coaxial cable
- BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images