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Have you been thinking about cutting the cord, swapping your pricey cable service for an indoor HDTV antenna – texnikoi tileoraseon – and free over-the-air television? Then you’ll want to make sure you can get decent reception. And just like in real estate, indoor TV antenna reception is all about location, location, location. That goes for both where you live and where you place your antenna.

We can’t help with the geography, but we do have tips on how to get the best reception possible in your home.

Troubleshooting Antennas

Let’s face it. Dealing with electronic equipment can be challenging. Antennas are especially so, as their simplicity and lack of direct feedback make them a hit or miss proposition.

Most people hook up their antennas and they just work. Others get almost no channels, with little indication as to why. It doesn’t help that most manufacturers provide minimal guidance in the form of paper manuals and troubleshooting steps. We just have to trust everything will work after installation.

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Assessing Symptoms

Symptoms of bad reception come in different forms. Is it just some random pixelation during a strong wind gust? Or did the picture go out completely and now you have a blank screen?

There are many potential causes for signal disruption, but overall they’ll come from either outside or inside your home.

Causes of TV Signal Disruption Outside the Home

A variety of geographical, environmental, and man-made factors can interfere with radio frequency signal propagation and disrupt television reception.

For instance, hills, trees, and tall buildings in the line of sight from your antenna to the source of radio transmission signals can significantly weaken radio waves. Atmospheric pressure systems can shift radio signals, and severe weather conditions can cause fluctuations in broadcasts. Lastly, urban electrical interference such as local street lamps turning on or off can momentarily disrupt viewing.

1. Increase the Elevation of Your Antenna

For reception to work best, your antenna should have a clean “line of sight” to the transmission towers. This means, ideally, it should be pointed directly at the towers with zero local obstacles (like buildings, mountains, and trees) standing in the way.

Obstacles will create opportunities for radio frequency signals to split as they bounce off of surfaces and arrive “out of phase” with each other (this is known as multipath interference).

2. Your Antenna is Properly Aimed

Uni- and multidirectional antennas (and even some omnidirectional antennas) offer powerful reception but they must be accurately pointed at the source of radio frequency signals. If your reception is poor, try to re-aim the antenna towards transmission towers. Even a few degrees’ difference can help.

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3. Change the Position or Location of Your Antenna

As with re-aiming, slight changes in your antenna’s position can also make a difference. Try moving it only a little bit over to a new spot. If this doesn’t work, relocate it to a new area entirely on your home.

Moving your antenna might work because of the physics of signal transmission and the fact that small distortions caused by obstacles in the antenna’s line of sight (e.g., trees, tall buildings, hills, etc.) might be hindering reception in the antenna’s current position.

4. Reset Your Digital Tuner

A digital tuner converts incoming TV signals into digital format for display on your television screen. It’s usually found either inside your TV or it’s external (such as in your set-top or converter box). The tuner also stores channel information that allows you to switch channels. You may try clearing the tuner’s memory cache in order to refresh this channel information.

5. Secure Your Antenna and Components Against the Elements

Rain, wind, and even the hot sun can wear down and erode outdoor equipment. An antenna may have a sturdy and waterproof frame but if individual parts such as screws and connectors are of cheap quality, they won’t last.

6: Protect Against Power Surges

It’s well known that power surges caused by thunderstorms can damage household appliances. Even the build-up of static electric charge on your antenna during storms may damage any connected devices, including amplifiers, converter boxes, or your TV.

Though you may not live in a lightning-prone area, you’ll still want a strategy for dealing with inevitable power surges. So you should ground both your outdoor antenna and the coaxial cable that’s connected to it. This will protect your TV equipment from both indirect lightning strikes and other, more common issues caused by thunderstorms such as static electrical build-up.

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