Buying the right outdoor tv aerial can be tricky and there’s a lot more to consider than just the price. When choosing your aerial you must think about everything from your home’s proximity to a transmitter to the terrain of your area. Generally speaking a larger aerial will provide more gain, so if you’re living far away from a transmitter you’ll probably need to purchase something quite big. However, this really depends on the model.
The rollout of Freeview in the UK has led to over 1000 transmitters broadcasting across the country. If you are struggling to get a get signal, it’s possible you could have an issue with TV antenna.
NOTE: this article is merely a guide. The information could vary depending on your home’s location.
Checking your Signal Gain
One of the best and most simple ways of determining what size aerial you’ll need is to look around your neighbourhood and see what other people are using. Look at what direction their aerials are pointing; if they’re all facing the same way, then you most likely live in an area that gets a pretty decent signal. If they’re all pointing in different directions it could mean that you’ll have issues with reception and may need a signal amplifier. If you have more than one TV point in your home you will probably have to purchase a masthead amplifier; however, if you only have one, you may only require a distribution amplifier.
To find out how much digital signal you can get in your area visit dtg.org.uk. While this information will give you a rough estimate, it doesn’t take into account your surrounding terrain and building structure, so it may not be 100% accurate.
UHF and VHF Signal
Most aerials will receive either UHF signal, VHF signal, or both. There’s a common misconception that all digital channels fall within the UHF bandwidth; however, that’s simply not the case. While the UHF band contains the vast majority of digital and high definition signals, some are still present on the VHF band as well.
Before you purchase a new aerial, cross reference the frequency bands of the channels you want to receive with the bands that are supported by the device. Don’t just assume an aerial that is more expensive than another will support more channels.
Outdoor and Indoor Aerials
Outdoor aerials are more difficult to install and will often require help from a professional. Indoor aerials are much weaker, but with a little tweaking, they can often provide a decent picture. If you’re looking for a quick and easy solution, then buying an indoor aerial may provide satisfactory results.
Fundamentally, whether an indoor or outdoor aerial is better for you depends on your home in relation to the transmitter. Contrary to popular belief, while distance is important, it’s not a be all and end all. Digital signal travels in a straight line; therefore, you may have better reception than someone who lives closer if you don’t have any obstructions.
Installing an Outdoor Aerial
Installing an outdoor aerial is tricky. Unless you have the right tools and safety equipment for the job it’s definitely not recommended. A professional engineer will know exactly how to get the best possible signal and, most importantly, how to install the aerial safely. In addition, they will also install the relevant amplifier and cables so you can receive the maximum amount of digital signal.
What aerial is your neighbour using?
If you live in an area where there’s a good signal, you should see that most aerials on your neighbours’ houses are facing in a similar direction. If they are all in different places then you may be in an area where there could be issues with reception.
A number of things can cause signals to be disrupted so you may need to move or update your aerial or purchase a signal amplifier. If you have more than one TV point in your home you will probably have to purchase a masthead amplifier. But if you only have one, you may only require a distribution amplifier.
If you’re having trouble finding the right outdoor TV aerial for your home, then please contact ADS Digital. We can help you find the right one for your home.