How to Get Better TV Reception With an Antenna

By J. Johnson

Throughout modern history, entertainment has been constantly evolving. Even since the introduction of television sets in homes, major transmissions have been made, such as the switch from black and white to color. More recently, televisions nationwide are no longer using analog transmissions to broadcast signals. This means that the old rabbit ear antennas are no longer effective at picking up TV signals or at improving reception. Signals are now broadcast using digital transmissions, and for those people who do not subscribe to a cable service, a different kind of antenna is now needed to watch television.

Step 1

Read the product description for the antenna carefully. To get better reception for digital television, the antenna needs to be able to pick up two kinds of channels: VHF and UHF.

Step 2

Check to see if the antenna has amplification. This will help improve reception with VHF channels especially.

Step 3

Move your antenna outside into as high a location as possible. Even though they may be advertised to receive signals indoors, the reception of your antenna can be affected by your geographical location, as well as possible signal obstructers, including tall buildings, trees and even elevation.

Step 4

Aim your antenna in the direction of the nearest group of television towers. Use the "DTV Reception Maps" page of the DTV.gov website to find out where your local signal towers are located.

Step 5

Adjust your antenna as needed. At different times, different elements may be affecting your signal, such as weather or the strength of competing signals. Moving your antenna slightly can often make a big difference in the quality of your TV reception.

Tips & Warnings

  • Before moving an antenna outside, be sure it's an outdoor use antenna that will not be affected by things like rain or wind.