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

5 Tips For Setting Up Your Antenna For Best Results

Teenager girl with remote control laying down and watching tv eating popcorn.Antennas can open up a world of free TV in great HD. Yet it may take a bit of work to set up your antenna to make sure you can get all the channels you should. So today I wanted to share 5 tips for getting the best results from your antenna.

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. Yet spending an hour setting up your antenna the right way can help you access a huge catalog of programs you would otherwise have to pay for.

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.

#1 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.

Also 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.

#2 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.

#3 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.

#4 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.

#5 Not All Antennas Are The Same

There is a difference in performance between an indoor and an outdoor antenna. If you are struggling to get the channels you want with an indoor antenna maybe consider buying a out door antenna for better results.


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 and what kind of antenna you need.

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11 Responses to 5 Tips For Setting Up Your Antenna For Best Results

  1. Fred Koot November 13, 2017 at 8:31 am #

    Don’t believe these antenna recomendation sites, they are only good for telling you where the Towers are. I was told to get any channels I would need a powerful roof antenna, so for years I did’t bother. I tried a $20 indoor antenna from Amazon, and it picks up all channels. My 2 keys were a long enough cable to reach the window and moving the antenna inch by in to p/u all channels.

  2. TV Barrington November 13, 2017 at 8:34 am #

    For my Tivo and home TV’s, I have an 8 Element Bowtie HDTV antenna that I purchased on sale from Amazon, and I installed it in my attic. Luckily, all of my big 6 channels (ABC, CBS, NBC, CW, FOX, PBS) are within 35 miles of my home. I do use a signal amp to help boost the OTA signal that I had to split three ways.

    A bulk of the channels arein one direction, but one is in a different direction. The 8 Element antenna has two positional arrays that make it handy for capturing TV signals from two directions. One important phone Android app that I installed to used for setting up the directions of the two arrays was “Digital TV Antennas” created by Nicholas Lichmaier. It’s on Google Play.

    There are other various web tools and phone apps out there, and the so use these types of tools to ensure that you are capturing the best signal for your needs.

    • Unique_Username99 November 13, 2017 at 3:03 pm #

      Don’t mean to be “that guy” but no such thing as an HDTV antenna. It’s just TV antenna.

      • TV Barrington November 13, 2017 at 5:33 pm #


  3. Fred Koot November 13, 2017 at 8:40 am #

    For kicks just did the Antenna link. Put in my address said 0 with indoor. 1 one with an outdoor. Guess what I got 56 with my cheap indoor antenna. Site is useless

    • Unique_Username99 November 13, 2017 at 8:52 am #

      TVfool used to be good but their results are screwy lately. Rabbitears.info is good site

      • Fred Koot November 13, 2017 at 9:02 am #

        Rabbitears is good. I use them through sattelite guys.

  4. Craig W November 13, 2017 at 8:51 am #

    I can add a couple more things if you are struggling with weak signal strength:
    Be sure to use RG6 cable and not RG59. You may be tempted to use some old RG59 cable that was leftover from an earlier cable tv installation but you shouldn’t. RG59 has less shielding and installation which could then pick up some interference that RG6 would normally block. It is usually clearly marked out the outside of the cable which it is.
    Try to use as few connections as possible. Example. Use a 75 foot piece of cable and not a 50 foot and 25 foot cables joined with a connector. Every connection cuts down on signal quality so fewer is better.
    If all you need is a 2 way splitter don’t use a 4 way that you may have around as open connections will cause weaker signal strength.
    Also not only is location of the antenna important but aiming can be critical. If you are using a directional antenna trying to pick up a broadcast signal from 45 miles away and your aiming is off by a degree or two in either direction you may not receive any signal at all.
    As Luke said patience is a must for people trying to pick up broadcast signals that are on the fringe. In the end though you will be rewarded with some great FREE TV programs.

    • Unique_Username99 November 13, 2017 at 11:07 am #

      A degree or two should be fine. Unless it’s a HIGHLY directional antenna like a yagi with 20+ elements or something then 5 degrees or even 10 degrees on either side won’t matter. The station in Nashville are as many as 12 degrees apart. The stronger a station the more you can be off so aim closer to the weaker one.

  5. Unique_Username99 November 13, 2017 at 8:54 am #

    About the amp advice. If you live in a strong signal are ado NOT use an amp as it can make the signals so strong is overloads the tuner and you won’t get stations in. That goes for either buying separate amp or an amplified antenna.

    • Fred Koot November 13, 2017 at 9:01 am #

      Good point, My hdhomerun, won’t work with the amp on.