Have you been frustrated at times with your HD antenna reception? Do some channels come and go and are not as strong as they should be? There also might be a few channels that are out of reach by your current antenna setup. By combining two HD antennas together you can increase your current signal strength and channel coverage. In this article, I will explain how to set this up and what are the benefits of a two over the air antenna system.
Combining Two HD Antennas Methods
Like I stated earlier, combining two HD antennas can have a positive impact on your signal coverage. In many cases, it can improve weak signal strength. Let’s look at three methods to combine your HD antennas. One method will be used to increase your current signal strength. The other method is used to gain channels from towers located in different directions and the last method called antenna stacking can help with those hard to get stations. In all cases, your location to the broadcast towers will be a factor. In some cases, the towers may be too far away to obtain any channels. You can use our Station Locator Tool by clicking on the icon below to determine how far away the broadcast towers are from your location.
Cabling, Cable Lenght and Rescanning
With all of these setups, cable length and the style of cabling is very important. Make sure the cables coming from the antennas that are going into the combiner or joiner are the same length and are identical. If not, it could cause phasing issues because the signal from the antenna will not reach the combiner at the same time. This can cause the tuner to not properly lock on to a channel. Make sure that you rescan the tuner each time you make a change to the antenna setup. This will ensure that you are receiving the proper channels. It can also help to use the signal strength tool that most TV’s and tuners have in the menu option. This is useful to see what type of signal strength you have for each channel.
Two HD Antennas Pointing in The Same Direction
This method can be used to increase current signal strength to existing channels coming from broadcast towers in the same direction. By adding a second OTA antenna you can increase your signal strength. If you already have an amplifier to boost your signal a second antenna can help to increase the consistency of your coverage. Depending on how the signal is being sent, obstructions can interfere with the delivery of the signal path. Adding a second antenna can increase the signal path coverage and give you a more consistent signal. To accomplish this you will need a combiner or coupler that can combine the two antennas together. I would recommend that you use two identical antennas. This will ensure a balanced signal path and coverage. Try experimenting with placement and proper directional pointing.
Winegard CC-7870 Antenna Coupler
Pre-made Dual Antennas
If you don’t feel up to making your own dual antenna setup, many companies sell pre-made setups. Here are a few options to consider.
Antennas Direct 8 Element Bowtie Indoor/Outdoor HDTV Antenna
Xtreme Signal HDB8X 8-Bay VHF/UHF HDTV Bowtie Antenna
Two HD Antennas Pointing in Opposite Directions
This method will help if the broadcast towers are in different directions. If you are not sure where your broadcast towers are you can use our Station Locator Tool to locate broadcast towers in your area. The basic idea is to have each antenna pointing at different broadcast towers. This can help you obtain those channels that a single antenna could not reach. You could use a rotary antenna to solve this problem, but if you are splitting the signal to multiple TV’s this could be an issue. This would not allow others to watch different stations at the same time. With the two antenna setup, this can resolve that problem. Again the same rules apply. An antenna coupler or joiner will be needed. Below is a diagram by Channel Master explaining the setup using their joiner. It may take some tweaking to get the antennas pointed in the proper directions. Just be patient and rescan your tuner to see what channels you gained.
Images credit: Channel Master
Build your own using these components.
1byone Amplified Outdoor Digital HDTV Antenna
Channel Master CM-0500 JOINtenna TV Antenna Combiner
Doug Hall has a great video below explaining his setup for towers in different locations.
HD Antenna Stacking
Antenna stacking is the process of taking two HD antennas and placing one on top or near each other. This can improve your antenna reception for long distance towers. It is important to get the spacing and phasing correct for both antennas. It is best to use two different styles of antennas that will complement each other. You can try experimenting and built one on your own. The example below shows a rabbit ear style combined with a bow tie antenna to better capture the UHF and VHF bands. By combining these two styles of OTA antennas you can increase your overall coverage. This setup works quite well and effectively pulls in many channels.
Fairpoint Farms shows his HD stacked antennas in the video below. It allowed him to gain many stations from a long way out.
Pre-Built Stacked Antennas
The ClearStream 4V Antenna is essentially two antennas stacked. Each antenna is dedicated to UHF and VHF frequencies. This allows for greater coverage in less then ideal locations. It can mounted in the attic or on the roof.
ClearStream 4V Indoor/Outdoor HDTV Antenna
You can also buy one from Denny’s TV Antenna Service. They build custom stackers and have been producing them for many years with good success. Here are several examples of custom antenna stackers they have built (shown below). Again each antenna complements each other giving you good overall coverage of the UHF and VHF bands.
Images credit: Denny’s TV Antenna Service
Combining two HD antennas can have a positive impact on your overall channel coverage and reception. If you are looking to increase your signal coverage it may be worth experimenting. Please feel free to comment below for questions or if you have experimented with any of these types of setups. What were your results?