How to Improve Indoor TV Antenna Performance

Written by kevin lee
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How to Improve Indoor TV Antenna Performance
If you can't find a clear TV channel, check your antenna. (girl with tv pilot image by krynio from

Snow looks great during Christmas, but not when that is all you can see on your television screen. When the nation's broadcasters switched to digital TV transmissions in 2009, reception problems did not disappear. Some television owners still experience snow, poor image quality and fading signals while trying to watch TV. If you use an indoor antenna and experience these performance issues, there are steps you can take to resolve them.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Power on the TV. Rescan the channels on your digital converter box. See the owner's manual that came with the box for assistance. If some stations have changed their broadcast channels, rescanning will locate them again.

  2. 2

    Switch the TV to a station that has weak reception. Move the antenna away from the wall slowly. Watch the TV as you move the antenna. If the reception improves at a particular location, place the antenna at that location. You may have to rearrange furniture or add a nearby stand to hold the antenna at the new location.

  3. 3

    Move the antenna slowly up and down, if moving it away from the wall does not help. Watch the television as you move the antenna. Note the antenna's location if reception suddenly improves. Place the antenna at that location. Sometimes moving an antenna higher or lower will allow it to receive stronger signals. If you still have reception problems, proceed to the next step.

  4. 4

    Move the antenna close to a window. If this improves your TV picture, place the antenna near the window.

  5. 5

    Point the antenna in the direction of a local transmitting station if you have trouble receiving a particular station. That station may be too far for you to receive a strong signal. Locate stations in your area by visiting the DTV Reception Maps website listed in Resources. Enter your zip code in the search box, and click "Go." A map will list stations near your location. Click a station to view its location on the map, and then point your antenna in that direction. Check the TV to see if the reception improves for that station.

  6. 6

    Purchase a different type of antenna if previous solutions do not improve your reception. Matthew Moskovciak, associate editor at Cnet, points out that digital TV antennas need to pick up UHF and VHF signals to be effective. When you visit an electronics store, ask for an antenna that supports UHF and VHF. Test the antenna when you get home, and return it for a different type if it does not solve your problem. Sometimes an antenna's type, rather than its price, determines how well it performs.

Tips and warnings

  • While experimenting and repositioning the antenna, it is important to move it slowly. As an antenna moves to a new location, it takes a moment for it to detect the signal.

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