How to Boost an Aerial Signal

Written by joshua smyth
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How to Boost an Aerial Signal
A typical home aerial (antenna 2 image by Madrider from Fotolia.com)

Broadcast TV signals have many advantages. First and foremost, an antenna can pick up broadcasts for free. All such signals are now digital, which increases video and audio quality. Using an aerial for TV reception can also be a frustrating experience. If you live far from the broadcast tower, if your antenna is degraded, or if you are in a bad location for reception signals can be weak, leading to fuzzy screens and scratchy sound. In these circumstances, though, it is easy to boost your signal with simple devices.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Pre-amplifier
  • Distribution amplifier
  • Antenna rotator
  • Coaxial cable

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Install an outdoor antenna. Indoor aerials are vulnerable to interference from walls, electronic equipment, and people moving around in the home.

  2. 2

    Install an antenna rotator. This allows you to point your external antenna in the direction of the tower transmitting the station you are trying to receive.

  3. 3

    Switch to coaxial cable. Some older antennas send their signal to the house through twinlead cable (with 2 pins at the end). Switching to higher-quality coaxial cable (with one pin and a threaded connector) will boost signal strength and degrade less over time.

  4. 4

    Install a preamplifier or "booster". This is a powered unit that is mounted below the antenna unit on the mast and strengthens the signal before sending it to your TV. The power supply is mounted inside the house, powering the preamp through the coaxial cable that connects it to the house TVs.

  5. 5

    Install a distribution amplifier. Splits in the cable degrade the signal, so if you have several TVs in the house, run the cable into a distribution amp first and from there run individual cables to each television. This will boost the signal that the split degrades.

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