How to Aim a TV Antenna

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How to Aim a TV Antenna

Aiming an antenna has been the stuff of many comic scenarios, where people have fallen off their roofs trying to pick up a television signal.  It may look funny on cartoons, but it can be a very real problem when you’re aiming a TV antenna.  Here are some safe and easy ways to aim your TV antenna and get a clear reception.

Choosing an Antenna

An antenna is a device used to pick up radio frequency waves from the air, and transmit them to a receiver on the ground.  Antennas are useful for many devices that rely on radio waves, like radios, cellular phones, and television sets.

Before cable and satellite TV, TV stations broadcast their programming through radio signals sent over the airwaves.  Many TV stations, particularly community and local channels, still use signals broadcast over free space to transmit programming to television sets.

There are two kinds of antennas available on the market:

  • Built-in retractable antennas. Older TV sets have retractable antennas built into the television case.  The length of the antenna can be adjusted to get a stronger signal.  The main weakness of built-in antennas is that because it is built into the television set, many objects like walls and plants can get in the way of a clear TV signal.
  • External antennas. Modern antennas can now be attached to the television set through a cable, and are propped up on a secure location, preferably on the roof.  External antennas pick up stronger signals, and the signals are not blocked by too many obstructions.

Locating Signals

Aiming an antenna could be quite difficult, especially if the waves and signals of the broadcast are pointed at and broadcast through different locations.  Here are some tips that you can use when you’re aiming a TV antenna:

  • Broadcast waves weaken over a distance, so aim and position the aerial as close to the general direction of the broadcast tower.
  • Make sure that any branches, trees, or any other obstacles that get in the way of a good signal are removed from the receiving path of the antenna.
  • With somebody guiding you to check the clarity of your signal, align the antenna.  Keep moving and adjusting the antenna from a safe and secure position until your partner says that the TV signal is clear.
  • Secure the antenna on a stable location with insulated ties or wires.

Antennas may seem obsolete, but they are very effective ways to receive television signals from various locations.  With these tips, you can aim your TV antenna to get a clear reception wherever you may be.