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How to measure a TV antenna signal strength

Updated February 21, 2017

There are several reasons to measure your TV antenna's signal strength. For starters, it can help you diagnose problems with your TV's reception. It can also help you locate the optimal position for your antenna. While measuring a TV antenna's signal strength isn't necessarily convenient, it isn't impossible.

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  1. Plug your TV antenna into a signal meter. This small device is designed to measure the strength of the signal received by a television antenna. The antenna plugs into the meter as it would plug into a television set. Older signal meters cost a few hundred dollars, while top-of-the-line models may cost thousands.

  2. Get several antenna readings from around your home. The signal strength will be stronger the closer you are to the transmitter. Move your antenna around to a few different locations and get a signal reading from each new position.

  3. Do some math. Subtract the reading from the wall outlet in each new position from the telegraph pole's reading to determine signal strength. This can help place your indoor TV antenna.

  4. Call the cable company. If you don't want to purchase a signal meter, and don't feel like climbing up on the roof or telegraph pole, ask your cable company for your signal-strength reading. They will send someone out to test your signal.

  5. Warning

    Don't climb the telegraph pole outside your house unless you work for a utility company.

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Things You'll Need

  • Signal meter

About the Author

Stephen Lilley is a freelance writer who hopes to one day make a career writing for film and television. His articles have appeared on a variety of websites. Lilley holds a Bachelor of Arts in film and video production from the University of Toledo in Ohio.

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