Digital World Solutions

01 Oct / TV Aerial Installation Top Tips

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Many of the problems reported to us by customers turn out to be related to their previous aerial system or satellite installation. Getting the right signal is key to good TV reception.

TV aerials are essential in most homes across the UK.  With the switchover from analogue TV, many people find themselves in need of a new aerial. Choosing a new TV aerial requires a bit of research, as there are many different types. The choice of aerial should be based on where it needs to be located, the type of reception in the area, and the features offered.  We do not recommended set top aerials as they rarely give good results.

 TV aerial installation waltham cross

Yagi TV Aerial

Yagi TV aerials are the standard type of TV aerial in the UK.  Yagi TV aerials are suited to areas of good to moderate signal coverage, but do not work well in areas with poor coverage. They can pick up the majority of digital channels in areas with good signal coverage, but not all available channels, because of their directionality.

High Gain TV Aerial

High gain TV aerials are designed for use in areas with very poor signal coverage and reception.  This aerial allows people in very low signal areas to receive at least some digital channels. In areas with very poor coverage, high gain aerials can be mounted on high masts to allow for better, unobstructed reception. They are not recommended for use in areas of good coverage, as a multi beam, high gain aerial may pick up interference, and the performance and picture quality may be affected.

Grid TV Aerials

Grid aerials are not suited for use in areas of moderate or low signal coverage. They are additions to standard Yagi TV aerials that improve the level of signal reception. It should be noted that these aerials are not likely to pick up all digital channels. They do pick up some digital channels in areas of good coverage when combined with an existing aerial.

Indoor TV Aerials

Traditional indoor TV aerials are not usually suited to picking up digital TV signals, because the reception area is greatly reduced. Newer models can pick up digital signals in areas of good coverage, but the number of channels differs from home to home, and is affected by directionality and interference from other devices, such as computers, microwaves, and washing machines.

Loft Mounted TV Aerials

Loft mounted TV aerials are best suited in areas of high signal coverage. They are not the best choice for areas of low coverage as roof tiles, plumbing, and any cables can have an impact on the quality of the reception. A high quality satellite grade cable can be used to improve the picture quality, as it transfers the signal without any further signal loss. A signal booster can also be used to enhance the signal and picture quality.


Our TV Aerial & Satellite Installation Tips

Here are our top tips for the best TV aerial/Satellite installation.

  • Buy the correct Aerial for your areas transmitter. A bench-marked and good quality branded aerial will carry a guarantee of quality both of performance and construction.
  • Ensure it is mounted securely, correctly aligned and has the right polarisation (elements vertical or horizontal)
  • Choose an aerial which includes a balun matching device if you live near a main road – it will help to reduce pick-up of interference from passing traffic.
  • Mount the aerial outdoors and as high as possible.  The TV network in the UK is designed to be received on outdoor aerials. Loft aerials only work well if signals are strong and the loft is clear of clutter. Certain roofing materials can make loft aerials far less effective, and more susceptible to some kinds of interference. Wet tiles can worsen matters further. Indoor aerials rarely work well unless you have clear line-of-sight to the transmitter.
  • Keep it well clear, by at least 75cm of other aerials and metalwork.
  • Avoid directing into nearby trees.
  • Use the best quality cable you can for the down-lead (eg. satellite-grade double-screened co-axial cable), secure it to the pole and route it into the home so it doesn’t flap about in the breeze. Avoid sharp bends around corners and under tiles etc, and keep it as short as is practical. CAI* bench-marked cables will carry a guarantee of quality.

If your reception has deteriorated recently, check the following:

  • If your aerial appears damaged or bent you should replace it.
  • If your aerial seems to have moved but is otherwise undamaged, have it re-aligned and secured.
  • If your down-lead looks cracked, feels damp or is going green inside the plug, replace it.
  • If your aerial is more than 10 years old, its performance may have diminished due to corrosion. This is common in coastal locations, where the effective life of an aerial may be less than 10 years. Consider replacing it, and the down-lead, at the same time.

Most of the above also applies to satellite installation.
Satellite dishes can move if they are not securely fixed, they can be damaged by wind and debris in exposed locations. Loose cables can move about and eventually break.

For help with installing your aerials and dishes contact us today.

If you enjoyed this article why not check out our free video on Aerial Installation

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DWS Ltd Digital Solution Specialists 40 Flamstead End Road, Cheshunt, Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire EN8 0HT 01992 622669
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