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How to connect a TV to aerial cable

Updated February 21, 2017

A television captures free-to-air broadcasts by connecting with a cable attached to an aerial antenna, either mounted outdoors or installed indoors, often with a built-in amplifier to boost the signal. A coaxial cable is used for this connection to transmit picture and sound to the television. Virtually all TVs, including modern, flat-screen sets, are equipped with a threaded RF coaxial jack for connecting a cable to an aerial. The set-up takes only a couple of minutes.

Check the length of the coaxial cable to ensure it will reach from the aerial, mounted either outside or indoors, and the back of the TV. Coaxial cable extensions are available at electronics stores.

Check the back panel of the TV to locate the appropriate jack for connecting the aerial cable. The jack will be labelled either RF IN or Coax IN and will have a small hole in the centre, with external threads for connecting a cable.

Insert the end of a coaxial cable onto the jack on the back of the TV, making sure the steel pin in the centre of the cable inserts straight into the centre hole of the jack.

Secure the cable to the TV jack by turning the coupler on the end of the cable clockwise and tighten by hand to the threads on the jack.

Tip

Use an amplified antenna indoors for improved signal quality.

Warning

Plug the TV and a powered antenna into a surge protector power strip, then connect the power strip to an electrical socket.

Things You'll Need

  • TV
  • Coaxial cable
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About the Author

James Clark began his career in 1985. He has written about electronics, appliance repair and outdoor topics for a variety of publications and websites. He has more than four years of experience in appliance and electrical repairs. Clark holds a bachelor's degree in political science.