Is aerial installation needed for freeview TV?
If you want to access Freeview, you need an aerial. And while this might sound like bad news for those who finally want to upgrade, the good news is that you probably already have one.
Almost all homes have some form of aerial already installed, and unless your house has never contained a television of some kind, you probably don’t need to do a thing.
Should you upgrade your old aerial?
Now, most people will already be aware if they have an antenna or aerial installed in their house. If you’ve just moved in and are unsure, you should be able to check just by looking outside your home. Most have some form of metallic aerial pointing into the sky either on the roof or sticking out from the side of the building and – assuming it’s not rusty, broken or falling apart – this should suffice.
If you can’t spot one on the outside of your building, check your attic. Many households choose to place the aerial under the roof tiles for aesthetic reasons, though this can drastically damage the strength of the TV signal you need to pick up.
Once you’ve confirmed you have one, plug it in and give it a test. If it doesn’t work, you’ve got a problem and you may need to call a TV aerial engineer to figure it out. To rule out directional problems, however, check your aerial is pointing in the same direction as others in your area.
Set-top box aerials
For those who live close to the source of the signal, an exterior antenna might not be necessary in the first place. A set-top aerial will sit neatly next to your Freeview box and can pick up the signals you need. Irrespective of geography, however, these are much more susceptible to poor weather conditions and, due to their size, are not as powerful as their external counterparts.
On the plus side, set-top box aerials can be purchased cheaply from any major supermarket or electrical shop and require absolutely no installation. All you have to do is plug them in and switch your television on. And while it might take some time to pick up a reliable signal, once you find one, you’re done – you’ve just got to make sure nobody moves it again!
In order to maximise reception, we recommend you place your set-top aerial near a window and, if it comes with a retractable antenna, point it in the same direction as all other external aerials in your area.
Installing a new aerial
If you confirm that you need a new aerial, the good news is that this is easy to do. Contact a registered digital installer and make an appointment to have one fitted. Average costs are around £150 (though this depends highly on the specifics of your individual circumstances) and the set-up shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours.
And all it takes is one installation. Once you’re up and running, you will be for good. Head over to the Freeview website and check what channels you will be able to pick up in your area.