How to improve a rabbit ears antenna

Updated November 21, 2016

Rabbit ear antennas are indoor television and radio antennas that have two rods which extend in the shape of a "V". Rabbit ear antennas have limited reception compared to outdoor antennas. There are however some things you can do to improve the reception quality of these antennas. However, in 2009 all television stations converted from analogue to digital, as required by federal law. As a result, rabbit ear antennas might not pick up a digital broadcast, no matter what you do. You might need to purchase a digital converter box before your reception will get better.

Move your antenna away from other electronic devices. If possible, place it high up near a window. Walls and electronics such as televisions and DVD players can obstruct the signal.

Tighten the screws that connect the antenna terminals to the television. If these are loose they can cause interference.

Wrap the ends of the rabbit ear antenna with tin foil. The foil will increase the signal received by the television through the antenna.

Change the direction the antenna is facing.

Extend both of the arms of the antenna as far out as you can and adjust the receiver dial if the antenna has one. Continually check the reception on your television while you adjust the antenna, checking for the best quality.


If you are using a digital-to-analogue converter box you will still require an antenna to receive Digital TV (DTV). Your rabbit ear antenna must be able to receive both VHF and UHF in order to properly receive digital TV signals. Combined VHF/UHF antennas have a wire loop receiver as well as the two expandable rods.

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About the Author

Maeri Claire specializes in oral and written communications, and has been writing technical and training documents since 2003. Claire graduated in 2000 from an academy in British Columbia.