The Best Freeview Aerials for Businesses, Bars and Offices
| Reuben Howe
Providing a stable, authentic TV experience at your business is vital to the happiness of your customers. From a little café in a suburb to a local sports bar or even an office workspace, there are plenty of reasons a company or public location might need Freeview TV signal. If the building only has a single aerial port or the furniture has blocked access, a smaller portable aerial that can be mounted to wall can be a lifesaver.
This guide will explore wall mounting options, amplification and boosting, directionality and overall quality to give the best aerials 2023 for your café, office, restaurant, doctors waiting room TV aerials and more.
The Top 5 Aerials for Businesses
Read below for an explanation of how we chose these aerials, or look over the top 5 best aerials for businesses, cafes, restaurants and waiting rooms / lobbies:
Can Small Portable Aerials be Long Range?
It might seem that smaller indoor aerials are inherently weaker, but this is very contextual. Out in the open, particularly at high elevation, a smaller aerial is not so different from a large rooftop one. It is deep inside interiors or when surrounded by other buildings and interference that smaller aerials can begin to fail.
To make sure your device is small and subtle (So it won’t get spotted by the public) while still giving you signal for your bar or waiting room TV, we need to explore the best ways to make small aerials more powerful.
You can use the post-code tracker here to see your closest transmitter or relay and work out which strength of aerial you may need. Remember, if you are hooking up a room that is fully enclosed you will need a more powerful aerial to get good reception.
What is a High Gain Aerial?
When using smaller, portable aerials for your business make sure you note the “Gain” of the aerial. Gain is a measurement in dBi for every aerial, and dictates the maximum potential range of the device. The higher the gain, the further away a device can receive TV signals.
However, gain is not uniform. What this means is a 0 dBi aerial will pick up signals in a spherical volume around itself, while a High Gain Aerial will stretch that sphere into an oval. This makes the aerial reach much further in cardinal 2 directions, while much less in the other 2.
What is a Directional Aerial?
This redistribution of scanning shape is what causes “directional” aerials. An aerial with enough gain can get TV receptionbetween15 miles and 50 miles in a single direction. This is powerful, but also very narrow. This means you must point the aerial towards the exact transmitter you wish to receive channels from.
In a business, it can be hard to have the freedom over this directionality. Therefore, if you don’t need very high gain to access the transmitter, lower gain is more reliable. It allows you to pick up signals for your bar or office without worrying about the angle and direction of the aerial, but make sure you’re very close to a transmitter.
If you are far from a transmitter then a high gain, directional aerial is the best way to go.
Boosted and Amplified Aerials
To even further increase the range, directionality and authenticity of your TV you can use an aerial with a booster or amplifier. A TV aerial with amplifier will scan in a much wider range, and often be a physically larger “flat aerial” unit.
Flat aerials take advantage of Gain and amplification to achieve high ranges of scan, some even omnidirectionally. This is why we have the DTA300 as one of the best aerials for your business.
A TV aerial with booster or amplifier will require power, however, in addition to the usual aerial connector. The mains power allows the booster / amplifier to work, so the extra stability and good reception does come with some extra set-up. If you have a location that allows you to access a mains power socket, then an amplified TV aerial is the easiest way to ger signal.
Wall Mount Aerials for Businesses
Once you’ve determined the distance to your nearest transmitter, checked your locale’s interference from nearby buildings or deep interiors and worked out if you have mains access for a booster, you can begin looking into how you are going to actually deploy the device.
A freestanding and Wall-Mounted indoor TV aerial is the best option for a business as you can hide freestanding aerials away or incorporate them into a design while wall-mounted aerials are above the customer eyeline and don’t draw attention.
Mounts can use 3M Sticky-Pads which are wall-safe and long-lasting, especially as aerials are lightweight. This is the most accessible option, but if you’re setting up a permanent fixture you can use a screw-in mount too. The DTA600 is the most adaptable aerial, being able to stand on its own cylindrical base, lay on its side, or mount to a wall!
The other factor that adds to the directionality and positioning is a telescopic and rotatable aerial. The DTA300 and DTA450 are powerful, flat aerials but are stuck facing their specific direction (Either horizontally or vertically). Conversely, a telescopic aerial can be rotated, extended and positioned precisely no matter where the base unit is positioned.
Best Aerial Connectors
All these aerials come as standard with a digital TV aerial cable, which will plug right into a set top box, TV, or other tuner. When you’re trailing cables through a café, office or business that’s not a great look, so it’s worth routing the cable to a wall and using an adapter or extender. An aerial cable extender adapter keeps the authentic digital Freeview TV signal quality intact while extending your aerial connection.
In addition to the aerial cable, amplified and boosted aerials need power. Using a power cable extension can grant more choice over positioning the aerial.
Remember that aerials like these are optimised for HD Digital Television from Freeview Channels and Freeview HD and will not be able to connect to Satellite Television boxes!