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How to Adjust an Outdoor Antenna to Receive TV Signals

Updated April 17, 2017

The alignment and position of your outdoor television antenna can make the difference between a strong digital-television signal and no TV signal at all. Digital-television video drops out completely when signal strength falls below a certain level, so accurate antenna alignment is essential for satisfactory TV reception.

Mount your antenna above the roofline with an unobstructed view toward the television transmitter. Find out the correct direction of the TV transmitter from your location with an "antenna pointer" television-reception website.

The easiest and most accurate way to align your television antenna is with a digital-television signal meter.

Disconnect all television-receiving equipment from the AC power supply.

Access your antenna safely with a ladder, steps or a raised platform.

Find the mast clamp on the television antenna.

Use your wrench or screwdriver to loosen the bolts or screws on the mast clamp by just enough to allow slight rotation of the TV antenna.

Use your compass to find the correct bearing for the TV transmitter.

Attach the digital-television signal meter to the TV antenna, following the manufacturer's instructions.

Gently move the antenna to point in the correct direction.

Monitor the signal strength reading from the signal meter. Slowly adjust the antenna until you get the strongest signal level reading on the meter display.

Secure the antenna in the correct position by tightening the bolts or screws.

Disconnect the television signal meter.

Tip

To align your antenna using just a compass, make sure you have the correct bearing for the television transmitter. Directional antennas need precise alignment to get a strong signal. Omni-directional antennas receive signals from many transmitters at different locations and, therefore, require less precision.

Warning

Always disconnect all TV equipment from the AC power supply before working on your television antenna. Place your ladder or platform on level ground. Ask a friend to steady it while you climb.

Things You'll Need

  • Wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Compass
  • Digital-television signal meter
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About the Author

Adrian Grahams began writing professionally in 1989 after training as a newspaper reporter. His work has been published online and in various newspapers, including "The Cornish Times" and "The Sunday Independent." Grahams specializes in technology and communications. He holds a Bachelor of Science, postgraduate diplomas in journalism and website design and is studying for an MBA.