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Getting TV in a Room Without an Aerial Socket - 3 Different Ways!

UPDATED MAY 2024

With the advent of Freely, the IPTV system set up by Everyone TV (Owners of Freeview), you can access Live TV through an EPG without needing an aerial! The TV broadcast is instead through your internet connection.

You don't get the full channel list, only the core 20 or so, but for those wanting the original live TV experience but without any Aerial needed, Freely might be your best alternative if you can sacrifice some freedom of choice (and a steep initial cost for a Freely brand-partner TV).

Learn more about Freely and the channel lineup here!

Original Article:

Live television is still going strong, and broadcast the nation over while a stable, fast internet connection for streaming services can't always be guaranteed (Or can be expensive!). Adding a TV for your kitchen-top, bedroom, attic or garden shed can enhance your whole routine and make entertainment more accessible than ever without needing any fancy internet prerequisites!

The best way to access this wealth of free entertainment is to use your home roof aerial. But what about when your aerial doesn't connect to your room? Here are 3 solutions:

Solution 1: Coaxial Aerial TV Cable Extenders

TV Signals are picked up by your aerial and carried through coaxial aerial cables to your TV. If you invest in the right cables with interference insulation then you can extend the aerial socket from the wall in the living room to wherever you like!

The cable which runs from the aerial to your aerial sockets is just the same, so you won't lose TV quality or suffer signal loss so long as you maintain the quality of the cable connection. There are a few ways to ensure the cable extension and adaptors are suitable.

Use Insulated Coaxial Aerial Cables. Insulated cables are lined with specialised metal to protect the wire inside from exterior interference. It's kind of a wire inside a wire! The TV signal is carried by the wire inside, while surrounded by a larger tube of insulation.

Use as Little As Possible! This is one of those "less is more" situations. While coaxial cable an carry signal a good distance with no distortion it is still true that all cables lose potency with distance. Therefore, for maximum chance at perfect signal, use as little length of cable as possible. If you need to run it over the roof and down into the kitchen then that's fine, but limit the amount of bends and distance covered where possible.

Use Adapters Only Where Necessary. Similar to the last point, coaxial cable adaptors can create a "weak spot" in a cable where two are joining. Ideally you want one cable running from your aerial socket to your TV. If this isn't possible then use secure adaptors and use as few as possible!

Solution 2: Portable Aerials

If you don't fancy redirecting your aerial socket through the house with adaptors and extensions, then maybe a portable aerial is more your style. Portable aerials are standalone devices which do the same as your roof aerial, they receive the TV signals from nearby transmitters.

Instead of using your aerial socket, you bypass it entirely and use a different aerial which will be dedicated to the TV you have in that room without an aerial socket. This way you can set up an aerial in the kitchen for a small worktop TV and leave the pair there indefinitely without any cables running room-to-room.

Make sure you test smaller aerials around the area you'd like to use, as not all areas in a house (particularly in highly dense housing) can receive signal this way. Aerials are simple and strong, but they are bound by the behaviour of TV transmissions as waves, so if your nearest transmitter is through a residential block and behind a hill then a portable aerial may not work.

Solution 3: Laptop, Smartphone and Tablet TV

This solution might sound like it'll suggest streaming and catchup services through your phone or tablet's data connection, but don't jump to conclusions!

In fact, there are a range of USB and USB-C TV tuners which plug directly in to your Laptop, Phone or Tablet devices. These tuners use inbuilt or portable aerials and provide a portable, plug-and-play way to access TV.

If you don't already have a TV picked out for the kitchen, then this solution can save you money by utilising your current screens! Simply leave the USB or USB-C TV tuner plugged in in the kitchen and slot into your Laptop or Phone when you need to watch there.

Conclusion: Yes, it's Possible!

It's more than possible to have TV in a room without aerial sockets, but there are a few bits of prep to do. The cheapest option is to extend the cables and adapt them to the new room, while the second cheapest is to pick up a standalone aerial just for the new room. Finally, the most investment is to set up a screen connected to your smart home and have it mirror the TV in the main room.

However you do it, enjoy all the Free To Air TV the UK has to offer!

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