Is your free-to-air (FTA) channel list shrinking? Do your favorite TV shows appear cloudy? Alternatively, is the audio lagging when you watch some channels? Regardless, all scenarios arise from one cause. You are facing signal issues. Your antenna may be losing its signal capturing abilities.
Consequently, some of your FTA channels become unavailable. Additionally, you experience continuous distortion of audio and video. So, how can you boost your indoor antenna signal?
You can employ different methods to ensure that your antenna gets better at signal capturing. Depending on the challenge you face, you can either add new equipment or troubleshoot the problem at no cost. Reading along will qualify you to eliminate the problem permanently.
Why is the signal so poor?
To remedy a situation effectively, you need to identify its cause. Therefore, you should be aware that indoor antennas will eventually suffer some form of signal loss. Keeping this in mind, you can start by checking if you are a victim of the below.
You lost your line of sight.
No, indoor antennas do not have eyes. Instead, they feature receptors that capture TV broadcast signals from the air. Their efficiency depends on the degree of orientation relative to the nearest broadcast tower. Furthermore, the concentration of broadcast towers will determine the signal strength of the area. For example, if the broadcast tower is atop your apartment building, your indoor antenna will work fine.
Similarly, if broadcast masts surround your apartment, you are more likely to receive a wider selection of FTA channels. Finally, it is not uncommon for digital TV service providers to use separate masts for their broadcasts. Therefore, you need to find the proper orientation to accommodate signals from different masts.
Additionally, new developments can affect your reception. For example, new skyscrapers in your area can interfere with the signal’s path reducing its broadcasting strength. Furthermore, the shape and type of building materials in its structure can either block or deflect the transmission.
There is too much noise.
How pure is the air around you? Do not panic. The majority of the composite elements are harmless. In addition, technological advancements continue to populate the air with a variety of signals for your convenience. For example, the indoor air in your urban home includes transmissions from mobile operators, internet service providers, radio broadcasts, and electrical impulses.
Additionally, your LED TV remote communicates with your TV via an infrared signal. Consequently, a high concentration of these signals can significantly affect FTA channel signals. For example, placing your indoor antenna next to your soundbar and router will interfere with your transmission.
Change your light bulbs.
You may be wondering what the connection is between your indoor lights and your LED TV’s indoor antenna. However, indoor lights produce radio frequency interference when in operation. Depending on their year of manufacture, their RF interference is enough to block your signal. For example, halogens consume lots of power depending on their wattage. Consequently, they produce immense RF interference to affect not only TV signals but also cell reception.
Similarly, prevailing weather conditions can cause disturbances in FTA broadcast receptions. For example, high-speed winds can distort the signal’s transmission path leading to a loss of reception when they occur. Additionally, lighting can also cause disturbances in signal strength. Keeping this in mind, each strike generates radio waves that interfere with other wireless signals in the strike zone. As a result, your broadcast may stutter following the strike and subsequent thunder.
Meteor showers and solar flares can also affect TV signals. Whenever either occurs, it creates disturbances in the ionosphere. For example, solar flares ionize atoms and molecules, increasing the electron density. As a result, the electrical surges can damage satellite equipment necessary for digital TV broadcasts and communication signals.
7 hacks to boost your indoor antenna signal.
Evidence shows that indoor antenna signals face many challenges, each of which affects your FTA channel viewing experience. Keeping this in mind, try the below methods to enjoy quality viewing every time.
Remove the extra aluminum.
A while back, adding aluminum foil to the tips of your dipole antenna (rabbit ears) was enough to guarantee clear reception. However, the hack only works with analog signals. Since the switch to digital TV, most indoor receivers can capture and decode transmissions without the rudimentary appendages.
Remove all unnecessary aluminum that did not come with the box. However, if you are still facing signal issues after trying this hack, try this next one.
Refresh the tuner.
Nearly all Smart TV you can now buy come with a digital tuner. However, you can still apply this hack if you have an external FTA decoder. TV service providers may sometimes reconfigure their transmissions to improve their service. Consequently, your receiver may not pick up the new signal parameters. Have a crack at this if you suspect this is the issue.
- Detach the coaxial cable from your TV’s ‘ANT In’ connection port.
- Perform an automatic scan on your TV or external digital tuner.
- Switch off the television or external tuner.
- Reconnect the coaxial cable. Then, rerun the automated scan.
If you did things right, your favorite channels should reappear with much stronger signals.
Switch things up.
Although the manual emphasizes that antenna placement is inconsequential, switching things up maybe what you need. There are three ways of executing this hack. Firstly, you can place your indoor antenna on a different surface to enhance signal capture. For example, placing it next to a window increases its blast radius allowing for better signal reception. Additionally, a higher platform brings you nearer to the line of sight with the transmission tower.
Reorient your indoor antenna.
Alternatively, you can reorient your antenna. Regardless of type, indoor antennas work best when directly facing the signal mast. Additionally, signal upgrades can result in frequency changes and mast migration. Either way, here is how to boost the signal in less than five minutes.
- Obtain the latest signal chart from your local communication authority. You can get it online or ask your local authorized digital TV distributors. However, be wary of their attempts to coerce you into a subscription.
- Use the chart to find out the FTA channels available in your area. Additionally, make a record of the signal strengths, digital channel numbers, and orientation angles.
- Then, use the information to configure your indoor antenna accordingly.
How about a second antenna?
Finally, if none of the above hacks provides a solution, you can add a secondary antenna. You may be a little confused by the practicality and installation procedure. However, the process is very straightforward.
- Place the second antenna in a separate area of your TV room.
- Use a two-way splitter to connect both indoor aerials to your TV. Connect both antenna terminals to the splitter’s side that has two input ports. Then, attach your TV’s coaxial cable to the splitter’s remaining input port. Furthermore, ensure that the connections are secure to prevent accidental cable detachment. Loose connections severely affect signal quality.
- Rerun your channel scan and check for an increase in signal strength.
Introduce a signal amplifier or booster.
So, nothing seems to work at this point. What else can you do? Well, adding a signal booster or amplifier to the setup can improve the situation. First, contact your digital TV provider and check the available boosters and amplifiers in their inventory. Then, install the booster as you would the second antenna above.
Signal boosters and amplifiers enhance your indoor antenna’s reception range. Consequently, your antenna can now identify a wider variety of signals from greater distances.
Alternatively, you can also upgrade to the latest models of indoor antennae. Most modern indoor antennas come with built-in boosters and signal amplifiers. Furthermore, they can decode digital transmissions at varying resolutions. For example, the Gesobyte Amplified HD DTV antenna has a signal reach of 200 miles and interprets broadcasts to 4K quality.
Call in the experts.
Unfortunately, sometimes the problem may be beyond your DIY skill set. Therefore, calling in a technician will save you the headache. Several digital TV service providers include indoor antenna configuration in their repertoire. Identify one within your area and let them handle things for you. However, only seek these services from providers with authorization from your communication regulation authority. Doing so guarantees you a high-quality solution for your troubles.
Signing things off.
As you can see, there are several ways on how you can boost your indoor antenna signal. Try any of the above methods to continue enjoying free quality programming. Additionally, keep it here for more quality hacks and the latest in LED TV technology. You will not regret it.