Boosting TV Aerial Signal in 5 Steps
| Reuben Howe
Our thorough showcases and technical blogs are a great way to learn about a product before buying, but sometimes you need a good ol’ numbered list. To that end, here’s 5 things to try if you need to boost aerial signal for Freeview TVs, Set Top Boxes or USB Tuner Sticks.
#1 Point Your Aerial the Right Way
As complicated as the entire broadcasting system can seem, an Aerial is a simple part of the process. A portable aerial is just a grounded base with a metal rod sticking out, with various engineering and powered quirks (More on that in step 3…) to make it receptive to Radio and TV electromagnetic waves.
With that in mind, one of the main adjustments you can make is to physically reposition the aerial, and you can try these solutions without needing to buy an aerial booster.
If you take a step outside and look at everyone’s rooftops you can probably work out the right way!
If you can, angle the aerial towards your nearest transmitter. You can find out the nearest Freeview aerial with the official channel checker in “Advanced” mode. Simply supply your post code and you’ll see which transmitter is closest!
#2 Position the Aerial Near a Window or Open Space
Following the theme of repositioning, the height and location of your aerial can make a huge difference. There are plenty of ways that the position of your aerial really matters; From moving out the way of interfering electronics to removing physical barriers like walls from between the aerial and transmitter by getting in a window.
Remember: Re-Scan / Re-Tune your TV or Radio every time you move your aerial! It may not have a visible change in real-time and may require manual re-scanning / tuning!
Experiment with positions and have the aerial as close to the outside, and as high up, as possible. If you’re out camping or caravanning then make sure the aerial is on a magnetic object (If it has a magnetic base) to boost signal, and if possible, get to the top of any nearby hills which can vastly disrupt signals.
#3 Use an Amplified / High Gain Aerial
If you are still having Freeview problems then upgrading to an Amplified Indoor TV Aerial is a sure-fire way to get high gain, using mains or charged power to provide an extra boost to signal strength. Indoor TV aerials can suffer from interference and have their ranges greatly reduced by the density of buildings nearby.
An amplifier uses mains or charged power to add gain. “High Gain” aerials are more directional and reach transmitter towers from much further away. Make sure you abide by steps 1 and 2, then your amplified aerial will outperform unamplified counterparts even deep within buildings.
#4 Use a Filtered Aerial
For professionals and business owners, or those who live in dense housing with lots of neighbours, a filtered Aerial is a great way to increase Freeview reception. An LTE Filter is a piece of engineering that removes the background wireless signals used by mobile phones and 4G data networks.
In a workplace, café, restaurant or hotel lobby the public will be flooding the area with phone signals. If you suspect the area that you need Freeview signal is in a 4G hotspot, investment in an LTE filtered aerial could save you a lot of disruption.
#5 Check Your Cables
Aerial connections use special cables called Coaxial Cables. There are many different types as we discovered in this guide to Coaxial Cables, but all of them work in a similar way. The signals from your aerial are carried through an insulated piece of wire surrounded by a metal cylinder. This provides a strong resistance to outside interference and nearby metallic objects.
If you’re having to use coaxial cable adaptors to use the aerial, these weak links could be the cause of the interference. Where possible, use a single coaxial cable of appropriate length with the correct ports to not need an adaptor.
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