How to Align a TV Antenna for the Best Reception

By Kristan Hart

The key to a strong TV antenna signal is the proper placement of your antenna. The spot where you mount the antenna and the direction in which you point it will determine if you have strong reception or a picture that comes and goes. Installing a TV antenna is much easier once you understand how those factors affect reception.

Step 1

Locate the broadcast station television towers in your area. If you don't already know where they are, go to AntennaWeb (see Resources) and enter information on the location of your home.

Step 2

Look for a spot on your roof from which you can see the television towers. If the towers are several miles away, this may be impossible. However, using your knowledge of the towers' location, you can still install the antenna in a place where nearby buildings and trees won't block the signal.

Step 3

Point your antenna so as to optimize the effectiveness of its design. The long, horizontal section of the antenna, called the antenna director, should point toward the broadcast towers. The parts that look like a fan on the back of your antenna, called the reflectors, open up toward the towers. When the television signal approaches your TV antenna, the reflectors catch it and bounce it to the director, which sends it down the line to your television set.

Tips & Warnings

  • If possible, mount your TV antenna more than 45 feet away from metal. Metal can interfere with the way your antenna catches the television signal.