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How to Improve Poor HD Antenna Reception

An HD antenna is an excellent way to get free television. For some, it can get a little frustrating when your reception of certain channels is poor. More people are starting to rely on their HD antenna to provide content to their television. There are several ways one can fix a bad antenna reception. Here are some tips that should help you get better television reception.

Improve Your HD Antenna Reception

Antenna Placement

The most important way to get better reception is to place your HD antenna in the best spot. This can take some time to figure out. When I first placed my antenna, I realized that for the best reception I had to place it in the attic. In most cases, the higher you place the antenna the better the reception. This may not work for everyone, especially if you live close to the broadcast towers. You may get a great reception from your window. Trees and other houses can also be factors in reception. Try locating your antenna away from these areas if possible. You may have to experiment for a while. Each time you re-position your antenna you will need to re-scan the channels on your TV set. If you are having trouble positioning your HD antenna, I have written an article on how to choose and position your HD antenna.

tv station locator tool

Boost The Signal With An Antenna Booster

In some cases, if your signal is too weak, you can use a signal booster to increase the signal to your television tuner. This can help if your cable length is long from the antenna to your television. Most antennas come with a plug-in power booster that acts in the same way. If you live far away from the broadcast towers, a booster can help. I have noticed a vast improvement in mine. Try experimenting with the antenna booster on and off and see if that improves reception.

Winegard LNA-200 Boost XT Digital HDTV Preamplifier

 

The Winegard LNA-200 Boost XT digital HDTV preamplifier enhances any non-amplified antenna. It delivers a clearer signal, more range, and more available channels. It works with any passive/non-amplified antenna.

eBay:

Winegard LNA-200 Boost XT Digital HDTV Preamplifier

Amazon:

Winegard LNA-200 Boost XT Digital HDTV Preamplifier


Cell Phone Tower Interference

In many cases, cell towers can interfere with your antenna reception. This can be eliminated using an amplifier with filtering. Just place it in-line with your OTA antenna.

ANTOP Smart Boost Amplifier with Dual Outputs and Adjustable Gain

The ANTOP Smart Boost Amplifier is an adjustable gain amp. Not only does it filter out 3G/4G cellphone interference, but it also allows you to adjust the gain output to your television. This can come in handy if you are splitting your antenna signal to multiple TVs. In some cases, powered splitters can over modulate your signal. It is all or nothing and you have no control. This can allow the signal to your TVs to be too strong causing the TV tuner to drop channels. With this device, you can dial in the perfect gain, which can make all the difference.

ANTOP:

ANTOP Antenna Amplifier

Amazon:

ANTOP Antenna Amplifier


See our article on how to split an HD antenna signal to multiple televisions.

If you are looking for a simpler solution Channel Master also makes just the LTE cellphone filter.

Channel Master LTE Filter

The Channel Master LTE Filter is designed to clear your OTA TV signal path from the common interference created by mobile LTE signals.

eBay:

Channel Master LTE Filter

Amazon:

Channel Master LTE Filter

Replace Your Coaxial Cable

In some cases, swapping out your coaxial cable with a more efficient and better isolated RG-6 cable can give you more channels and better reception. Check to see if you are using poor quality RG-59 cable by looking at the cable itself. It should say it right on the cable. Using better-shielded cable like RG-6 will help with electromagnetic interference and signal noise. In most instances, you should see an improvement.

Quad Shielded RG6 Coaxial Cable

These RG6 cables consist of heavy quad-shielding consists of four layers of aluminum foil and braid shielding against electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI).

eBay:

Quad Shielded RG6 Coaxial Cable

Amazon:

Quad Shielded RG6 Coaxial Cable

Try Using Two HD Antennas

This step can get a little tricky, but I have heard of some people having success by combining two HD antennas into a coupler. If you have two or more antennas laying around you could experiment. Try placing one antenna in the direction of the weaker broadcast tower and the other towards the more powerful one. By coupling the signal you can focus the two antennas into one signal. Make sure to use a coupler and not a splitter.

Channel Master JOINtenna


The Channel Master JOINtenna combines coaxial inputs from two individual outdoor TV antennas. This allows for two HD antennas on a single coaxial cable.

eBay:

Channel Master JOINtenna

Amazon:

Channel Master JOINtenna


Winegard CC-7870 Antenna Coupler

The Winegard Antenna Coupler couples two 75ohm leads from any 2 antennas to 75ohm coaxial.

eBay:

Winegard Antenna Coupler

Amazon:

Winegard Antenna Coupler


See our article on how to combine two HD antennas for better reception.

Get a Better TV Tuner

Not all TV tuners are built the same. I have two televisions in my house. Both are different brand names and I noticed that one tuner picks up different channels better than the other. They are both using the same antenna with a splitter. Some TVs are equipped with better quality tuners. I would stay with quality brand televisions. Do some research on Amazon before buying a new television. You can also use a DVR tuner or the Tablo TV to supplement your bad tuner. These devices allow you to use your old TV and combine it with a better tuner. You can also record all your favorite over the air TV shows.

Channel Master:

Channel Master Stream+ OTA DVR and Streaming Box
Channel Master Stream+

For a Closer Look at The Channel Master Stream+ Click Here.

Tablo DVR for HDTV Antennas

Tablo DVR

See Our Review of The Tablo DVR.

Buy a Better Antenna

Another option is to buy a better quality antenna. You may realize that your current antenna is not large enough to obtain all of the channels you want. Maybe the quality of your antenna is not up to par. You can see my article on how to choose the proper HD antenna to make sure you have the correct antenna for your area.

how to choose an hd antenna guide

Conclusion

Poor antenna reception can be a real hassle. Once you figure out what the problem is, you can enjoy a clear viewing experience. Many of these problems can be avoided by using some of these tips.

Feature image courtesy of Vlado at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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June 11, 2021 0

ANTOP AT-500SBS HD Smart Bar 80 Mile Indoor Antenna

Last updated: Friday, June 11, 2021Finding a quality indoor over the air antenna can be hard. Many are not big or powerful enough to obtain any channels. They lack the strength to receive any channels on the VHF band. Let’s take a look at an indoor antenna that actually performs. The ANTOP AT-500SBS HD smart bar antenna is an over the air indoor antenna that meets most of these expectations. The ANTOP AT-500SBS HD smart bar antenna has a multi-directional pattern and an adjustable amplifier that helps to pull in TV stations. It is a bit larger than most indoor antennas, but its flat and sleek design makes it easy to mount on a wall or sit in its stand. ANTOP AT-500SBS HD Smart Bar Antenna ANTOP has been making [...]
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About Johan
I started this site to educate the public on alternative ways you can watch television besides subscribing to cable. I have been in the audio-visual business for over 20 years. I also have an extensive computer networking background. I am a Microsoft Certified Professional and CompTIA Network+ Certified Technician. I hope you will find my articles and reviews helpful in conscious uncabling.

39 Comments

  1. Great tip about using a thicker cable. TV kept scanning 2 of the 3 major networks. Found a better cable leftover from TWC years ago, and now it picks up all the majors! Would never have thought of this myself. Thanks!

  2. Thank you but where do I install the amplifier splitter after my antenna in other words antenna to antenna box to tv where do I split to other tvs

  3. Patricia Thompson January 6, 2017 at 7:57 am

    If towers are in close proximity to each other, why can I receive cbs and nbc, but not abc?
    GE Pro flat panel hd antenna.

    • It maybe the tuner in your television. I have two TV’s split from one antenna. They are different brands. One television will receive FOX and the other will not. Do you have another TV you could try? Not all tuners are built the same. Some TV’s have better tuners then others.

    • That antenna is for UHF reception only so my guess is your ABC affiliate is on the VHF band
      All of those cheap chinese made antennas advertise that they pick up VHF but they really don’t unless the tower is line of sight and very close.
      To pick up vhf signals the antenna would have to be at least 3-4 times larger

  4. Hi, I have been told that polishing the elements of a TV antenna improves reception., is this true? I was a Radio Ham for nearly 30 years before I moved. I have never heard of this, have I been missing something? Thank you. G4PJS

    • I am not sure. I have never heard of that. If you try it, would you let us know if it made a difference. Thanks.

      • Hi, Thanks for you’re reply. I now live in sheltered accommodation and use a shared satellite dish so I won’t be trying it, thanks again for you’re reply.

    • Nope, just another ham radio wives tale.
      This myth originated from the CB band where their vertical antennas telescoped inside each other and were clamped with hose clamps.
      No tv antenna is made that way.
      They are rivoted together or bolted and a good antenna like a Winegard should last many decades with zero service needed.
      As a ham for over 35 years I’ve heard em all.
      As long as the elements are still attached and not heavily corroded zero maintenance is needed.

  5. Can you give me a phone number to call to speak with someone about my antenna situation and what I can do to improve? I have a few questions.

    • I can answer any of your questions. Just leave your questions in the comments section and I would be happy to answer them. You can also send me an email. Just go to my contact page on this website.

  6. I live approx 30 miles northwest of chicago Close to ohare airport.my tv scrambles when planes go over,I have an antenna mounted on my roof aprx 6 feet up,any ideas?

    • That’s a tough situation. Generally, a directional antenna works better in these situations. It allows for the strongest signal possible from the broadcast towers. You want to select an antenna with the narrowest possible beam width in the vertical axis. Something like the DB4e 4-Element Bowtie Attic/Outdoor HDTV Antenna – https://amzn.to/2lvXz9H. This will help with the reflection of the signal from the aircraft. Hope this helps.

  7. I live in nyc and I was getting all the major channels but pix11 stopped receiving all of a sudden. I tried re-scanning the channels and this did not help.

    • I wonder if there might be some type of interference. I believe they broadcast from the Empire State building. How far away are you from their broadcast tower? Are you using an amplifier? If so it may be faulty. Another reason could be with the FCC rebranding they might be broadcasting on a different frequency with less power or maybe to close to another stations frequency causing interference. Have you checked with your neighbors to see if they are having the same problem?

  8. I have a new but not intelligent flat screen tv for the basement. I have tried several indoor flat mat antennas. Depending where I place them I am able to get 2 or 3 channels at a time. If I move the antenna, I can get a different set of 2 or 3 channels but never get all, Will a booster work with this type of antenna? I realize not getting the antenna above the concrete level is probably the biggest problem, please advise.

    • You will vastly improve your reception with a bigger antenna or placing your current antenna above ground. A booster can help. It will boost weaker signals. If you are using a flat indoor antenna, I recommend the ANTOP AT-601B Smartpass Amplifier with high gain & low noise booster.

    • No booster will pull in signals that aren’t already there.
      The ONLY way to fix your situation is to put a antenna outside.
      The worst outdoor antenna on the market will easily outperform the best indoor antenna

  9. Problem with interference from ozone generator on my hot tub unplug Ozonator signal goes up strongest interference on channel 13 Tampa fl what type filter would help

  10. Can i hook a pct multimedia drop amplifer to a antenna that has to have a power source because it has 360 rotation

  11. I’ve had a digital antenna for several years. It’s mounted on the roof of the house, and it has always had an amplifier connected from the antenna to the whole-house coax system. My living room TV was not giving good quality video or audio, while other TVs in the house were. I installed a separate amplifier feeding just the living room TV. Was this a mistake? It’s been about a week since I put in the new amp (which did improve that TV’s performance somewhat); and, now, my whole antenna feed has failed. There is no signal to any TV in the house.

    • If the second amp is powered you should place it after the antenna amp. A simple powered splitter would have been a better solution. Depending on the type of amp you used it could have caused a power surge that knocked out the antenna or its preamp. Try removing the second amp and check all of your connections and see if that helps. You could also just plug the antenna directly into one of your TV’s to see if it still works. Not all tuners are built the same. Some TV tuners perform better than others depending on the manufacturer. Hope this helps. Good luck.

    • Chances are you have a bad outdoor connection caused by moisture getting into it.
      Driving one amplifier into another one is never a good idea because it can cause interference to radio communications or burn the RF amplifier up in the tv.
      Replace your coax to the antenna and properly seal all outdoor connections with coax seal tape

  12. Any idea why all of todays TVs cause major interference with am radio frequency ?

    • It could be that the frequency bands are very close to each other. You could try a larger am antenna to help with signal strenght.

      • That’s because they are poorly shielded.
        And you should also use only heavily shielded HDMI and RCA cables to reduce interference to the AM broadcast band

  13. I have a simple Flat digital OTA antenna , laying flat, with an amp, and a splitter after the amp which feeds 2 TVs. I a having 2 issues and I have been troubleshooting for weeks.
    The airplanes flying overhead create interference, every 5 minutes during the day. Zipcode = 75204
    Also, despite the fact the ABC isn’t far away, I can’t get any signal for this one channel on either TV.

    • You might want to consider a larger outdoor antenna. It should help with some of the interference. It could lesson the multipath interference. ABC could be having temporary issues with its broadcast tower.

      • I have a antenna on my rv that supposedly has a powerd signal booster but have trouble getting any signals. What can I do?

        • You could try removing the signal booster and see if your reception improves. Sometimes the booster can over-modulate the signal. It could also be a faulty signal booster. Try replacing it with a new one. Also consider your location and line of sight issues. If your antenna is adjustable. Spend some time moving it around to obtain the best signal. Good luck.

    • You are surrounded by high power tv stations not far away but no indoor antenna is going to be reliable.
      And you shouldn’t need a amplifier of any kind at that distance.
      A Winegard “freevision” antenna mounted outside should get you every channel in the area without need for a amplifier

  14. Higher doesn’t always mean better.
    I get amuch better signal with the antenna 1 footofc the ground than 25 feet in the air.
    By moving any antenna just a couple feet up or down or side to side you can easily go from no signal to full bars so always test signals at different heights and various locations before deciding on a permanent location.

  15. I’ve got an antenna on the roof but my location isn’t very good – behind a few hills and the transmitters. I get a great signal (75-85) one second and nothing the next. The antenna is supposed to incorporate an LTE filter and I just added a Channel Master LTE/5G filter at the splitter going to the Dish Network receiver and directly to the TV. Every time a car drives by I loose the picture and sometimes loose it when there’s no cars around. Of course the longest drop outs happen at the best part of the programming. What can I do to get a more constant signal?

    • It looks like you are getting some drop-off from the surrounding terrain. You might have to adjust the antenna, move it higher or get a larger one if possible.

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