How Do I Hook Up My TV to an Outdoor Antenna?

Written by richard may
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How Do I Hook Up My TV to an Outdoor Antenna?
An outdoor TV antenna can improve reception. (tv aerial. image by bluefern from Fotolia.com)

The picture quality of your television relies on how well your antenna receives its signal. Indoor antennas work well in areas where the television signal is strong, but reception deteriorates if tall buildings block the signal or if your home is in a valley. Connecting your television to an outside antenna can improve reception and allows you to put your set in locations where indoor antennas can’t receive a signal. With a head for heights you can install and hook up your TV to an outside antenna without the cost of hiring a contractor.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • External antenna
  • Antenna pole
  • Wall bracket
  • 2 lengths of RG6 coaxial cable (length will depend on cable run)
  • Cable clips
  • Drill
  • Masonry drill bit
  • Wood drill bit
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Electrical tape
  • Grounding block
  • RG6 weather bushing
  • 10-gauge grounding wire
  • No. 10 copper grounding wire

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Drill the fixing points for the antenna pole bracket at the chosen location with the drill and masonry drill bit. Push wall anchors into the drill holes and secure the bracket with 5/16-inch masonry screws. Slide the antenna pole into the “U” bolt and secure with the nuts supplied and an adjustable wrench. Attach the antenna to the antenna pole following the instructions provided.

  2. 2

    Connect the RG6 coax cable to the antenna and tighten the coax connector with an adjustable wrench as brands of connectors vary in size. Twist the coax around the antenna pole with one complete turn per foot and secure with electrical tape. Fix to the exterior wall with cable clips spaced 1 foot apart. Keep the coax as straight as possible.

  3. 3

    Attach a grounding wire to the antenna pole’s ground connector. If the pole has no ground connector, loosen a nut on the antenna pole “U” bolt and wind the wire around the thread before re-tightening. Keep the grounding wire running as straight as possible to the grounding block.

  4. 4

    Drill the antenna cable's entry point into the building with the drill and masonry or wood bit, depending on the material being drilled. Make the entry point as close to the television as possible.

  5. 5

    Secure the coax grounding block to the exterior wall as close to the antenna cable's entry point as possible. Attach the coax to the lower connector with an adjustable wrench. Make a 3-inch loop in the coax to prevent rainwater collecting at the connection. Screw the ground wire to the grounding point with a screwdriver.

  6. 6

    Attach the second section of coax to the top mounting point on the grounding block and feed through an RG6 weather bushing, then into the drilled entry point. Push in the weather bushing.

  7. 7

    Connect a grounding wire to the grounding block, pushing it through the grounding point connector hole. Tighten the securing screw. Use No. 10 copper grounding wire and connect to the building’s central ground.

  8. 8

    Connect the internal coax to the television’s “RF in” connector and tighten with your fingers.

Tips and warnings

  • Keep the length of cable from the antenna to the television as short as possible and at least 4 feet from external power cables to reduce signal loss and interference.
  • If you are not sure where the building’s central ground is located, ask a qualified electrician to check for you.

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