How Do I Install a Digital TV Antenna? Your Questions Answered
Congratulations! So, now, you've bought your new HD TV Antenna and you want to get started with the installation process. You're now wondering how do I install a digital TV antenna?
Will it deliver what the site has promised? Did I make the right decision? Won’t this be another device dumped in the attic in the next few months?
Let me start by saying that you made the right decision just like everyone else who has done the shift from cable to HDTV antenna. Don't worry, we are here to help you go through the steps with the how’s,and where’s to install your new device.
Installing a digital TV antenna is pretty easy and anyone can do it; hence, the term "do it yourself" (DIY TV antennas). Your TennaZ Ultra-Thin HDTV Antenna is easy to install.
But before we go into the steps in installing your digital TV antenna, it would be best to understand how this works in order for you to create a well-informed plan before you proceed. If you want the best of what you can get out of your device, read through until the end.
Understanding Your HDTV Antenna: How Does it Work?
HDTV antennas are the revolutionary solution towards the costly and overrated cable bills. Gone were the days when cable companies took its hold on the market because now, we can get better service with better antennas. Further, you get better service without luxurious costs.
Now, with better transmitter towers and HDTV antennas, instead of cable, we have the new free TV antennas.
Approximately, ninety percent (90%) of the United States Population is already within reach of at least one (1) DTV antenna. This means, that there is a high percentage of likelihood that you will be able to get a signal within the US. That's a good thing.
An excellent way to check for signal availability within your place is by visiting FCC DTVmaps.
Address and Location
This is the main website of the Federal Communications Commission. By following my instructions below, it will provide you with an update as to the availability and strength of the signal in your location. It is better to click on or copy the link I have provided in order for you to be directed to the exact page.
Once you're in the main page, just scroll down and there is a box that would allow you to type in your address.
Type in your address and it will give you a list of networks available in your area with their corresponding signal strength. To get more accurate results, follow their "DTV reception map tips" located at the left side of the box. Now that you know the signal status in your area, and got positive results (which is very likely), the next thing to consider is:
Location- the purpose of an antenna is to catch the signal and direct it towards your television. Where you place the television is for your own convenience and preference.
The antenna is a different thing. So, where you place your antenna does not depend mainly on the location of the television. It is placed where it can best catch the signal. You need to locate that "sweet spot" within or around the house.
Finding the Right Area for the Antenna Location
Now, how do you locate that "sweet spot"? Indoor antennas don’t mean, "limited to" indoor installation. But unlike the old antennas before, the new ones work pretty much well indoors too. Now, you need to take note of three things: height, obstruction, and direction.
Height- This is the most important thing. The higher the location of your antenna, the better. The attic, an upstairs room or window, would be excellent.
If the signal in your place is good, it might be fine for you to place your antenna anywhere within your houses like the living or dining room. However, if you are aiming for that "sweet spot", height is always better.
Obstruction and direction- Your antenna picks-up it's signal from the tower. Know the nearest tower of your place. The FCC site I have provided above is your best tool. For additional reference, you can go to antennas direct and check for available transmitter towers near you.
It is a mapping tool that allows you to locate and view the available transmitter/s in your area. All you have to do is type in your address in the box provided. The more specific you are with the address, the more accurate the result/s. By clicking on the available towers, you will get valuable information like the affiliate, band, latitude or longitude, and heading for each transmitter.
It also provides you with information such as the type of antennas that are advisable to use in your place, the available channels, and the kind of transmitters there is. Once you’ve found the nearest transmitter, check if it caters to HDTV signals. The last thing you want to happen is aiming for the direction of the wrong tower.
The nearer you are from the tower, and the lesser the obstruction, the better the service. You need to look out for trees, buildings, or anything standing between your antenna and the tower.
The lesser the obstruction, the sweeter nearer you get to that “sweet spot”. However, the site only provides you with information about the distance between you and the nearest tower. Don’t worry, you don’t need to travel and conduct an ocular inspection of the vicinity. The website provides you with a toll-free number for assistance.
They will be able to give you information as to the geography and any other possible obstacles between you and the available transmitter.
For further assistance, visiting Antenna Web also does the trick. Just type in the address of your location, and the height of your antenna. It will show you the calculation of signal strength that you will be receiving from each station relative to your location. Sounds cool right?
If what you bought was an indoor antenna and there are buildings between you and the tower, you might want to change it to an outdoor/rooftop model. This is always an available option.
This way, you can have it installed on your roof, and avoid such obstruction/s. This can be dangerous though, and it is always best to contact a professional. You can never be too careful.
How Do I Install A Digital TV Antenna?
Okay, now that I have an idea on how it works, how do I install it?
Looking for a signal is easy and installing your device is much easier. In comparison to what you have done before this, the second one is much easier. You technically just passed the harder part.
Let’s focus on the device at hand. After opening the package, get familiarized with its parts and the how’s in installing your device. HDTV antennas come in different forms. What you have is an Ultra-Thin HDTV antenna offered by us and this is by far the best there is.
You made the right choice my friend. Your package should include the user manual, remote control, the antenna, and wire connecting the antenna to your television. It may or may not include an amplifier.
What is the Best Way to Set-up Your Antenna?
One thing that you need to remember is that, when setting up an antenna, there is no exact rule/s. In any given house or building, there are other buildings around.
Taking into consideration that you have taken the previous steps that we have discussed earlier, you have to consider the type of signal that your antenna is getting, and is able to transmit to your television depending on how you install it. What I’m saying is, you need to consider doing trial and error if you want to get the best out of the available signal.
However, there are general guidelines. What you need to do is revisit antennas direct.
Once you type in your address, it will show you the transmitters where you are at and its direction relative to your location. It is best to look for windows facing the same direction. Don’t forget, higher is always better.
Consider an Amplifier
Your antenna is omnidirectional. That means, it can pick-up any signal wherever it may be facing. The important thing is that you choose the right spot and the direction to which the transmitter is located. Some people would want to use amplifiers to enhance the reception.
However, there is one thing you should know; amplifiers do “amplify” the signal received by your antenna and transmitted to your television but it does not improve the quality of the reception.
Using an amplifier when the signal is good would degrade the signal sent to your television. Don’t use amplifiers when not necessary. Take for example, when you are at less than 50 miles distance from the transmitter and your antenna is designed for 50 miles reception rating, an amplifier would do more harm than good.
Installing the Device
Now that you have picked the spot, get your device mounted. Please remember, the best spot could be:
- Closest to the towers
- In a window
- In the highest free area of a wall
- Outside ( Just make sure that no rainwater flows through the wire inside your house)
Take extra notice of the type of material that you are mounting your antenna into. Different materials may need different ways of mounting to be effective.
Now that you have picked out your locations, don’t mount it permanently. Not yet. Based on your findings at antennas direct, you should know how many channels are available in your area.
Follow These Steps:
- Check your TV antenna's connection. The most current type must have an F connector. Chances are, your television should have the same. If not, you can check the nearest store for an adapter. That should solve the problem.
- Connect and set up. Now, connect the line from your antenna to your television. Turn it on and go to the user menu. You can consult your TV's user manual for this but most of the time, it's not necessary. The remote control should already have a button that directs you to the user menu. When you're on the user menu, choose the option that says “antenna”.
- Next, start scanning for channels. You might want to give them some time. It's the first time for your TV and antenna to work together in a new paradigm, just be patient.
- Check for channels. See if the available channels correspond with the number of channels shown at antennas direct. If not, this is where trial and error works and the reason why I advised you not to mount permanently. Take your time in finding the right spot. You don’t want to be changing the location of your antenna from time to time after you had it mounted permanently.
- Customize your channels. That’s right. When you have found that spot that captures all the available channels, it’s time for you to customize your channel list. Your freedom to choose and customize based on your own preferences. You can delete channels that you have absolutely no interest in, and/or arrange them in a certain sequence that suits you.
You have just installed your new TennaZ antenna. This is a whole new chapter of your TV-viewing life. Our guide on 'how do I install a digital TV antenna?' should get you viewing HDTV in no time.
Start enjoying free viewing with high-quality channels unlike before. Here are the benefits that you get from using an HDTV antenna instead of cable.
If you'd like any help or advice, get in touch with us for more information.