You’ve heard about all of the glorious high definition channels that are freely available via over-the-air broadcasts and you’re ready to reap the benefits. You’ve got your indoor TV antenna, you’ve followed all of the antenna installation instructions and you’ve told your TV to scan for all available channels. You wait with bated breath, and you get nothing but static. To learn more about how to get the best TV antenna reception, keep reading!
A common question we hear at HowtoWatch is how to improve indoor TV antenna reception. Follow this guide for tips and tricks to help your indoor TV antenna to deliver the goods.
1. Get a Better Indoor Antenna
If you’ve still got the bunny ears with some tin foil wrapped around the ends, its time to upgrade. Modern indoor TV antennas are much more powerful now than they used to be. Plus, they are small, discreet, and in some cases, even attractive.
The Mohu Leaf is one of the best reviewed indoor TV antennas on the market today. Boasting a paper thin design, a 50-mile range and a premium construction, this is our top recommendation. If you don’t already own an Internet streaming device, consider the AmazonBasics Indoor HDTV Antenna which is being bundled with the excellent Amazon Fire TV for a hefty savings.
2. Figure Out Where to Place It
Most of the popular indoor TV antennas are directional. This means that they have to be pointed in the direction of the broadcast signal in order to ensure the best reception. During TV antenna installation, you’ll want to keep this in mind. To figure out where your over-the-air stations are being broadcast from, head to websites like the FCC’s DTV Antenna Map, TVFool or AntennaWeb.
Once you pop your details into these sites, you will find a geographical map that will illustrate where TV stations in your area are broadcasting from relative to your location. Then, simply point your indoor TV antenna toward the signals point of origin for better reception.
3. Ensure A Clear Line of Sight
Over-the-air television works on the “line of sight” principle, meaning that obstructions in the path of a television broadcast can negatively impact your TV antenna reception. With that in mind, you want to make sure that you eliminate all of the obstructions that you can.
Obviously you can’t cut down trees or move mountains in order to improve your indoor antenna reception. However, you can move your indoor TV antenna on to a window or an outward facing wall.
4. Be Mindful of Metal and Wireless Devices
Metallic objects and wireless transmitters like Wi-Fi routers can cause interference and even block your indoor antenna’s reception completely. Try and keep as much distance away from these as possible when deciding where you will place your antenna. Antenna’s Direct recommends a distance of six feet or greater for the best results.
5. Get It Higher to Maximize TV Antenna Reception
Indoor TV antenna reception can increase dramatically by simply placing your antenna in a higher location. Keep this in mind during TV antenna installation. If you decide to go with a flat antenna like either the Mohu Leaf or the AmazonBasics Indoor HDTV Antenna, consider placing them on the ceiling. Both can be painted over to match the color of your ceiling, making them less conspicuous.
If you do decide to place your indoor antenna at an elevated position, you may need to invest in a longer coaxial cable. If so, get the RG6 option as it is better insulated and a thicker conductor.
We hope that you enjoyed our guide! Head on over to our TV streaming guide to learn more about cutting the cord.