How to determine TV antenna signal strength

Written by max power
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Since the strength of over-the-air television signals can vary by location, it can be frustrating trying to find the best spot in your house or business for your television antenna. Receiving the strongest signal has become especially important because of the conversion of over-the-air broadcasts to digital format because poor digital signals can result in the screen occasionally blacking out instead of just lessening the quality of the show's appearance. With the help of a signal-strength detector you can place your antenna in the best possible location.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Antenna
  • Coaxial cable
  • TV antenna signal meter

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  1. 1

    Purchase a television signal strength meter. As of early 2010, a television antenna signal-strength meter could be bought for less than £130 at electronics stores or online.

  2. 2

    Connect one end of a coaxial cable to the input slot on the antenna meter and the other end to your antenna.

  3. 3

    Place the antenna in the area you want to test for signal strength. Plug in your antenna's power supply if necessary. Turn on the signal meter.

  4. 4

    Select the desired testing option. For instance, certain signal-strength meters allow the testing of signals for several different channels at one time. This multichannel testing function is helpful in determining the strength of all the channels you need to receive at the same time.

  5. 5

    Read the results. The higher the number, the stronger the signal.

  6. 6

    Move the antenna and retest until you find the spot with the best signal.

Tips and warnings

  • When buying a strength meter, make sure it is capable of detecting a digital signal. Older meters may cost less but may not detect digital signals.
  • When shopping for a strength meter it is important to not confuse an antenna-signal meter with a satellite-signal meter. This is an easy mistake to make as satellite signal meters are offered at a significantly lower prices.

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