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Do - it - yourself TV antenna installation.
Sharing 30 years of experience

Posted by Denny Duplessis. 

Read this before you decide to install a TV antenna. 

Hi, my name is Denny. Welcome and thanks for visiting us. If you would like to learn more about our company visit the About Us > page.  The goal here is to share with you the equipment needed to complete the antenna installation.  If after you finish on this page and want to know more about how to do the installation visit the Product and Knowledge section >

Before we start I want you to seriously think about safety. Ask yourself, can I safely do this job? The highest priority is " your safety ".  

 I believe everything you need to know about TV antenna installation can be found on this website. Just like over - the - air TV viewing, the information offered on this website is free.

1. It starts with the TV antenna

Antenna selection is crucial. If the antenna doesn't work good nothing else matters. Do your best not to let hype sway your decision when selecting the antenna. A few things to watch out for. Exaggerated reception range >, breakthrough technology and antennas that claim to receive all digital channels when in fact the antenna is not designed to do so >

The truth is, only a handfull of high performance, high quality antennas exist anymore. Antennas that work as advertised are few and far between. Marketing departments are selling antennas today. More than half of those who "cut the cord" will go back to pay TV within the first year. Not because of available programming, but because of poor antenna performance. If in doubt feel free to use our antenna recommedation service >

2. Mounting the TV antenna

After you select a good antenna the next thing to consider is mounting the TV antenna.  I assume you want to do this right and get years of free TV service for your effort. My two favorite antenna mounts are the tripod mount > and the eave mount >. Both of these mounts offer a stable and strong antenna mounting option.  There are more antenna mounting options available >. Every installation is a little different. Select a mount that will work for your particular situation. 

3. Amplifying the TV antenna signal

Not all signal amplifiers are created equal and more amplification isn't always better. Correct signal amplification, not too much, and not to little, is the formula for success >.  At times when the TV signals are very strong a signal amplifier can make matters worse. No matter what you may read elsewhere the fact is this, No amplifier can amplify a TV signal into existence that the antenna is not receiving. Amplifiers are used to maintain the quality of TV signal on it's journey from the antenna to your TV. The longer the coax cable run(s) are from the antenna to the TV(s) the more likely signal amplification will be needed. Also, the more TVs that are supplied by the antenna increases the need for signal amplification. It doesn't matter if the TV is on or off the amount of signal amplification required remains the same. There are two types of signal amplifiers >. Preamplifiers and distribution amplifier. Both types of amplifiers do the same thing, both amplify the TV signal. We call the amplifier a preamplifier when the amplifier is located near the antenna. We call the amplifier a distribution amplifier when it's located indoors and is used to distribute the TV signal. See: designing a TV signal distribution system >

4. Coax cabling

The TV signal will travel many miles to reach your location.  Don't let the last short distance the signal travels from the antenna to the TV ruin the journey.  Look for coax cable that has a solid copper core center >.  Most retailers offer copper clad coax cable. Copper clad is a steel wire coated with a thin copper coating. It works but not as efficiently.  Copper clad is less efficient and not nearly as flexible meaning if the cable is bent a few times the center wire of the cable will break. Make sure the cable clearly states. "solid copper core". If in doubt use a magnet. If the center wire of the cable attracts to the magnet it's copper clad cable. Use compression type cable fittings. Compression cable fittings offer watertight connections and hold securely onto the coax cable. Fasten the cable securely using screw clip cable fasteners >.

5. Grounding the TV antenna system

In most cases grounding the antenna system > will not improve the TV reception. However, it may make the antenna system safer.  There is a lot of controversial advice about grounding. I always recommend you follow the antenna manufactures advice when grounding. The two most important grounds are the antenna mount ground and the coax cable ground. The active parts of the antenna can not be grounded. The antenna mount is grounded by attaching a ground wire to any metal surface of the antenna mount. The wire can be connected to the mast pipe or the antenna mount. This wire is run to a suitable ground. In most cases a ground rod that has been driven into the ground. If it's convenient this wire can be attached to the existing electrical service ground rod or you can drive a more convenient separate ground rod specifically for grounding the antenna system.

The second ground is the coax cable ground. This requires a ground block sometimes called a static discharge unit. This device is a coax cable feed through device. The coax cable screws onto one side of the ground block and a second coax cable is screwed onto the other side of the unit and then feeds into your home. The ground block is installed near to the location where the cable enters into your home. A ground wire is run from the ground block to the ground rod. 

For more information be sure to use the embedded links within the above. As always, you can contact us > with any questions you may have. 

A simple diagram is located here > at the bottom of the page.