We’ve all been there, settling into one of our favourite TV shows then all of a sudden your picture dies, replaced by the same blood-curdling static that scared us to the core in the Ring films. Only this time, it isn’t a demon woman crawling through the TV – sorry for the spoilers, that film is literally 20 years old though – it’s simply a lack of signal from your antenna.
Loss of signal is one of the most annoying occurrences you can experience when watching the TV – or listening to the radio for that matter. Thankfully, fixing your signal isn’t too time consuming. That said, there are ways to increase your antenna signal strength to ensure you don’t experience loss of signal all that much.
The following will be an in-depth look at some of the best ways you can make your signal strength stronger. We’ll be running over all the most popular do’s and don’ts when it comes to your antenna signal, giving you the best possible chance to achieve entertainment bliss.
So, with all that in mind, let’s waste no further time and dive straight into it!
Table of Contents
Boosting Your Antenna Strength
For people who are struggling with antenna strength, fear not, there are literally a tonne of ways you can boost the strength of your antenna – all of which require varying levels of technical know-how.
If you aren’t particular tech-savvy, you’ll be glad to hear that most of the following methods are pretty straight forward. Even the more advanced steps shouldn’t be too off-putting.
The following are some easy steps that will help improve your antenna signal strength.
Find Out Where The Broadcast Towers Are In Your Area
Before doing anything, we recommend that you locate where the nearest broadcast tower is to your location. By doing this, you will automatically narrow down the region in which you need to be pointing the antenna. Despite not having complete access to your broadcaster's whereabouts, you’ll be able to get a general idea of where it lies and should be able to work from there.
Move Your Antenna
Once you’ve located your broadcast tower, let’s start with the most obvious; the metaphorical “have you switched it on and off” method for boosting antenna signal strength – repositioning it.
One of the most common causes of bad signal strength comes down to line of sight. In order to get the best possible connection, you’ll need to point your antenna directly at a transmission tower. Yes, that means as few walls, trees, and people as possible – I can’t tell you how many times I've told the wife to get out the way of the antenna.
Ideally, your antenna should be at the highest point of your property, unobscured from objects that can affect your signal strength. Ultimately, this will ensure the signal isn’t bouncing off buildings, trees, or any other scenic annoyances that might dilute your strength.
Reset Your Digital Tuner
Next up, we have the physical switching on and off of your antenna, resetting your digital tuner. For most people, if moving the antenna didn’t help to increase your signal strength, this should be your next step towards enjoyable viewing.
Resetting the digital tuner is a fairly straightforward task and takes around 5 minutes – depending on what antenna you’re using.
The digital tuner converts the incoming signal to a digital format that your TV can recognize. That said, every now and again, broadcasters will change their metadata which can interfere with your tuner’s ability to recognize and process that signal.
If this is the case, your digital tuner may be using this older data which won’t be receiving the correct channel data. Whilst many modern day TVs will recognize this and ask you to reset the tuner, not all will. Meaning the next steps are a sure way to get back up and running again.
Start by disconnecting the coaxial cable from your TV
Find and run the channel scan feature on your TV
Turn off and unplug the TV or converter box
Once the scan has completed, reconnect all the connections
Once reconnecting, rescan your TV for new channel data
This should help increase your signal strength and might even pick up some channels you didn’t realise you had.
Installing a Second Antenna
Installing a second antenna is a method many people have found success with over the years. If your antenna is working perfectly fine, it still might be receiving poor signal if it needs to collect multiple signals from different towers.
In this scenario, installing a second antenna will boost your signal strength exponentially. By doing this, you will be able to cover a number of signal towers, ensuring strong connections are made with both.
If you plan on doing this, however, be sure not to stack the antennae on top of each other. Doing this will lead to a whole host of other headaches that, let’s be honest, no one wants to deal with. In a perfect world, you would want at least 1 to 2 metres separating each antenna. Once separated, simply attach them both to a coaxial signal combiner to connect them together.
One thing to remember when using a dual antenna setup is; be sure to install and check both of the antennas independently before combining them together. Doing this will ensure that both have decent signal strength and won’t have you guessing if your signal is poor after combining.
All you have to do once the two antennae are combined is to run separate scans so that your TV knows to utilize both instead of just one.
Purchase A Booster
Even if you’ve reset your digital tuner and have re-positioned your antenna to the best of your ability, it still might not be up to the standards you’d expect. For those people, a booster might be exactly what you need to get the most out of your antenna.
Whilst many of the antenna boosters in today’s market are plug-n-play, they still need proper installation and setup to work efficiently – or at all.
Incorrect installation can only make things worse, causing new signal interference that didn’t exist before. Furthermore, incorrectly installing a booster can even knock a mobile phone signal out too – most certainly not what you need when the TV is already on the blink.
The boosters come with a full installation guide, however, there are professionals out there that will gladly come and install them for you.
Move The Antenna Away From Metal
To many people’s disbelief, metallic surfaces that reside near your antenna can cause interference with the signal and even block it completely. For example, placing the antenna near a window is ideal for line of sight, however, if there is a radiator near the window or metal bars around it, you could see your signal reduce dramatically.
If this is the case, simply test the signal strength by moving it away from the metal and seeing if you get any increase in picture quality.
So, there you have it, our comprehensive guide to the best ways to increase your antenna signal strength without breaking the bank. Hopefully this guide has given you the metaphorical tools to go out and win back that picture clarity you’re craving so badly.
For me, moving the antenna seems to be the most effective method when trying to get a better signal. However, all the above methods have been tried and all of them have an impact on your viewing quality.