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How to point an indoor TV antenna

Updated March 23, 2017

The three primary ways to receive television signals at home are satellite, cable and over-the-air (antenna) broadcasts. If you do not want to pay for cable or satellite programming, your next choice would be over-the-air broadcasts. If you live in an area that restricts outdoor antennas and you do not have an attic, an indoor antenna will be your only option.

Newer antennas designed for digital televisions have improved considerably since the days of a simple pair of "rabbit ears." Many of today's indoor antennas have built-in adjustable gain amplifiers, and can receive both VHF and UHF broadcasts.

Connect the antenna to the television's antenna input with the RG-6 cable. Turn on the television. Use the remote control to select the antenna input as your source.

Plug in the power transformer for the antenna if one was included. Connect the power plug to the power input jack and turn on the amplifier. Set the gain to the middle position and aim the antenna, following the directions on the resource's website.

Set your television to the auto-tune feature, if available. Refer to your television's instruction manual. If the auto-tune feature is not available, slowly change channels on your television. Write down the channel numbers you receive along with basic information about the channel. If you have an amplified antenna, adjust the gain up and down and see if the picture improves.

Use the television's instruction manual to activate the television's signal-strength meter, if one is available. Slowly rotate your antenna until you find the highest signal level.

Repeat the signal-strength test for your favourite channels. If you had to move the antenna for different channels, you will need to pick a direction that gives satisfactory reception for the majority of the channels. If you do not have a built-in signal-strength meter, you should rotate the antenna slightly in each direction and select the best overall position.

Tip

Buy the best indoor antenna you can find. It should have a built-in amplifier and be designed to receive digital broadcasts. Commercial television programming no longer uses analogue broadcasts.

Warning

Make sure that the television is fully supported if you have to turn it to locate the antenna input jack. Televisions are heavy and they can cause considerable damage if they fall.

Things You'll Need

  • Indoor antenna
  • RG-6 cable
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About the Author

Phil Altshuler has written award-winning ad copy and sales-training literature since 1965. He is an expert in conventional and sub-prime loans, bankruptcy, mortgage loan modifications and credit. Altshuler was a licensed mortgage broker in California and Arizona, as well as a licensed electrical contractor. He has a Bachelor of Science in electronic engineering from California Polytechnic State University.