5 Tips for Setting Up Your Antenna for the Best Results

Antennas are the go-to for cord cutters who want to enjoy their favorite shows without a monthly subscription. Not only is the content free, but much of it is available in HD. Whether it’s a hit show from a major network, the local news, or the home team competing in your favorite sport, an antenna that is set up correctly will allow you to watch many national broadcasts with ease for an optimal viewing experience. 

First, check to see what channels are available in your area. A site like AntennaWeb will be able to tell you what stations are nearby and give you an idea of what type of antenna will work best for you.

After you’ve checked what channels are available in your area, now it’s time to physically set up your antenna. Nowadays TV antennas are more stylish than the “rabbit ears” of the past. These days they come in all different shapes and sizes, including big, small, flat, wide, thin, or smartbars. Making sure your antenna is positioned correctly will greatly determine how well of a reception you will receive.

#1 Positioning

Most antennas receive their best signal if they’re placed up high in a room. Higher is better since the higher up they are the more likely it is that they’ll avoid obstacles that cause poor reception. 

The only thing better than high placement inside of a room is to place your antenna near a window. If nothing is obstructing your antenna from the broadcast tower then placing it near a window should give you the best signal. However, if you place it in the window then there are a few things to be mindful about. Some antennas can be damaged if it gets too hot due to sunlight. Also, make sure your antenna is secured properly on the window, if not over time it may become bent or distorted which will affect reception.

If you’re still not picking up good reception, be patient, sometimes you have to find the right spot in the room to get the clearest picture. Simply, move the antenna to another location inside the room and that should yield better results.

#2 Avoid things that may cause signal interference

If moving it to a different location does not work then there may be something interfering with the signal. Simple household items like a microwave can block your over-the-air signals. A good rule of thumb is to not place the antenna behind your TV or near other electronics because they can interfere with the signal and often lead to a choppy reception or at worst, completely block it. Hiding your antenna behind your TV may be a discreet place to place it, but it’ll make it harder to pick up some of the weaker stations in your area.

Metal is also infamously notorious as a known signal blocker. The metal lining in chimneys can hinder your reception so do not hang your antenna near one. If possible, keep your antenna far away from metal objects as possible.

If certain TV stations are perfectly picking up, but you have a few that you cannot get at all or have poor receptions, then something is most likely blocking the signal and causing interference with your antenna.

#3 Amplify for a better signal

If those tips do not solve your issues then getting an amplifier should help. An amplifier can boost those weaker signals to give you a clearer picture. Those that live close to their local stations probably will not need an amplifier. However, if your local stations are far away from you then an amplifier can be the difference between watching a couple of boring channels to enjoying your most-watched shows. Most of the best indoor antennas are equipped with an amplifier with some being powered by the USB slot on your TV.

#4  Multiple scans

Doing a channel scan right after setting up your antenna is required because that’s how your TV establishes what channels it can receive. Did you know that doing multiple channel scans can give you more channels? Some TVs have a partial scan function that can add channels after your initial scan. Over time some factors may change that will cause your channels to get better reception, so a good rule of thumb is to do a channel scan every 90-days or so to see if anything has changed in your area. Look at it as a way of maintaining your channels with hardly any effort.

#5 Make sure you have the right antenna

All antennas aren’t made the same, so there is no one-size-fits-all method. On top of that, if you’re not getting the reception you want with an indoor antenna then you may have to go with an outdoor antenna.