5 Tips for Better Digital TV Reception

5 Tips for Better Digital TV Reception

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We are witnessing a drastic transition from analog TV to digital TV (DTV), because it is simply far superior. DTV offers better visual and auditory quality, and more channels of programming without fading or interference. Thus, it should not come as a surprise most viewers have decided to go digital.

If you are one of those who consider cutting your cable cord and getting an indoor antenna and free-over-the-air TV, you first need to ensure that you get decent reception. With DTV, a weak signal can cause problems with reception. At times, you can either pull in a TV station or not – it’s the “all-or-nothing” nature of digital TV that you need to deal with in exchange for quality and clarity.

When it comes to having the best digital TV reception, there are several factors that come to play. Although some of these factors are simply out of your control, there are certain things you can do to acquire a better digital TV reception. Take note, however, that these handy tips may not always work like magic for everyone, but you won’t lose anything if you tried.

It’s All about Location

Where you install your antenna is one of the most critical factors for a good reception. So, make sure that the antenna is set high and is free of obstruction, because DTV signals can be bent, deflected or weakened by obstructions like trees, houses, buildings, etc.

Nonetheless, not everyone is allowed or can install an outdoor antenna. If you are utilizing an indoor antenna, try the higher locations of the room. It is all about finding the right spot. It can be your ceiling, by the window or even laid flat on the floor!

Correct Positioning Counts

Now that you have found a good spot for your antenna, it’s time to point it straight towards the broadcast tower. Most antennas are directional (otherwise called “unidirectional”), so these need to be positioned towards the signal source.

You may check out online station finders to know where local broadcast towers are located, and point your antenna to that direction. However, you may need to re-position your antenna for different stations. This is where a multidirectional antenna comes in. This can receive signals from several directions, but this may not reach distant stations which can otherwise be received by a properly positioned directional antenna. You will have to do a channel scan on your TV to check what works better for you.

Avoiding/Eliminating Interference is a Must

As mentioned earlier, physical interference such as trees, houses and buildings can potentially downgrade your reception, so it would be best to avoid these when installing and positioning your antenna. If a longer cable is required to reach areas with better reception, do so. Otherwise, do not waste money on unnecessary longer cable because, technically, a cable that runs more than 25ft can reduce the antenna’s performance.

Another thing to eliminate is electronic interference, as nearby appliance or electrical equipment may affect your reception. It would be advised to perform a simple test. If your TV is positioned near several electronic devices, try shutting these off and see whether or not there is an improvement in your reception. Then, if you want to pin-point the particular device that is causing the interference, then turn on the electrical devices one at a time and observe for interference.

Better Cable is Recommended

When using coaxial cable, you may encounter “RG59” and “RG6.” It is highly recommended to go for an RG6 (preferably a quad-shielded cable with gold-plated connectors), because this has better insulator, thicker conductor and better shielding. Because of these construction specifics, it results to better frequency range which is often guaranteed to work up to 3Ghz. Simply put, it is more digital-friendly than RG59.

Getting Amplified is Not Always Better

If you are located far from broadcasting towers, or if you wish to split the signal from one antenna for two TVs, an amplifier would make for a better performance. Nevertheless, if you are near different stations, then an amplifier would not be necessary. In fact, this may even cause an overload of receptions that would make the situation worse.

If you have an amplified antenna, try to turn it off. If the reception is better, then it should be left that way. If not, try to turn it on and check whether or not you are getting better results.

There you go – the five handy tips for better digital TV reception. Again, there are several factors that affect DTV reception which may be beyond your control. However, try following these tips to achieve a better viewing experience.


Debbie is a technology enthusiast and has written several articles about it as the lead content curator for Australian Antennas. She loves movies, computers and basically everything that help improve our lives.

Editorial Team
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