Teenager girl with remote control laying down and watching tv eating popcorn.

Tips For Setting Up Your Antenna For Best Results

Teenager girl with remote control laying down and watching tv eating popcorn.Now that you’ve chosen the best antenna for your needs, it is time to set it up. You’re going to need a few things, a ladder, drill, wrench, pliers and a coaxial cable.

However, the most important thing you need is patience; it can be a bit of a game moving the antenna here or there to find the right location with the strongest reception. Make sure you have plenty of time to do the job well the first time.

Though before we get started first make sure you can really get that channel you want with that antenna. Go to AntennaRecommendations.com and that site will show you what channels you can get with your antenna.

So now here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your antenna.

Things You Should Avoid:

Over the air TV reception is a lot like radio reception in that where you put your antenna will affect how well it works. What is located around the antenna can also affect how well it works. Make sure you avoid placing your antenna right next to these two things:


Metal will block your antenna’s ability to pick up signals. This problem may seem easy to avoid but you will be surprised at the many sources of metal in your house. One common, but little known, source of metal is the chimney. Most modern chimney’s have a metal lining that kills reception. While it may seem convenient to hang your antenna near your chimney, you want to make sure to put your antenna as far away from it as possible.

Other Electronics:

Avoid placing your antenna right behind your TV or around other electronics. It may seem logical to hide your antenna behind your TV, but TVs, game systems, streaming boxes, etc. all block over the air signals. Some stations will be powerful enough to punch through the interference, but it will make it harder to pick up weaker stations.

If you have one TV that picks up a station well, but another one that can’t pick it up at all, or just gets poor reception, there is probably something blocking the signal from your antenna.

Things You Should Do:

Go High:

The most important thing you should always do is place your antenna as high as possible. The higher your antenna is the more likely it is to pick up weaker stations and avoid obstacles that block over the air TV signals. Even placing the antenna higher within a room may improve its ability to pick up stations.

Get an Amplifier:

Amplifiers clean up and boost weak signals. Some are very small and can even run off the USB on your TV. However, if you are struggling to pick up a station a bigger amplifier will help greatly.

I have seen people get great reception with just a paper clip pushed into their TV; however, most people need an amplifier for their antenna as they do not live near their TV stations.

Get an Amplifier Splitter:

If you plan on connecting multiple TVs to one antenna we recommend a powered amplified splitter to help make sure the signal stays strong.


In short, make sure to go as high as you can, stay away from metal and other electronics as much as possible, and get an amplifier. As far as the best location for your antenna, it is a game of move it here and test it out, and then move it over there and test it out. After a few tries, you should be able to find the right spot with the strongest signals for your antenna.

As always before you buy an antenna or set it up I highly recommend visiting AntennaRecommendations.com to help make sure you know what you can expect.

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  • Phuq_Me

    tvfool.com is better

    • Pebo Bryson

      agreed, find a nice cluster of stations and their coordinates, use your phones compass app and line up the antenna accordingly

  • Pebo Bryson

    great info. the amplifier typically isn’t really necessary unless you have certain circumstances you’re dealing with. I have my Clearstream 2 mounted on a wooden bar stool on my front porch up high as possible (2nd floor) and it works great. Picking up stations from about 55 miles away.

    • Jan

      If you are greater than 35 miles away you should use an amplifier (15 db), and if greater than 50 a high gain amp (30 db).

      Many antennas have built in amplifiers, if you have to plug it in the wall power, it has an amplifier. Also, do not add another amplifier to your amplified antenna, it won’t work, and you can damage one or both amplifiers unless it is a powered amplifier splitter as most amplifiers inject voltage into your coax cable to power your amplifier (the cable does double duty of carrying TV signals AND power)

  • Angie Arickx

    I’m getting channels from 48 miles away with just a standard rabbit ears and loop antenna placed in a 3rd floor window connected to 2 amplifiers.

  • Jessie Collins

    We have an 50 mile Indoor HD antenna mounted high on a old plastic CD tower approx 15ft so that I can change angles for Weather. We do have the separate amplifier that came with the antenna. We get 50 or so channels, which keep changing depending on signal strength and weather. According to several sites we are 5-35 miles from most towers and they are all around us. We live in Cent FL so no real terrain issues. There are more channels out there we see, but can’t get signal strength to view. Is this a height or amplifier issue or both?