How to Install a TV Antenna in the Attic
By Nichole Liandi
Updated September 28, 2017
Items you will need
Whether for aesthetic reasons or for practical reasons, you may find it necessary to mount a TV antenna in your attic. Given the right conditions and mounting, this can work almost as effectively as mounting the antenna on the outside of the house on a mast.
Determine the placement of your antenna. Place the antenna in the attic location that provides the best signal reception. Take the antenna and a TV to the attic, connect them with a short length of coaxial cable, and test different locations and aiming directions to determine the best location. Check for all the over-the-air channels you'll be planning on receiving with your attic-mounted antenna. Make marks or other indications so that you can replicate the location when it's time to mount the antenna.
Mount the antenna. Depending on where you've determined to mount the antenna, you may choose from a variety of different mounting methods. However you choose to secure the antenna, mount it with sturdy hardware so that the position will not shift. Most commercial television antennas come with mounting hardware. Use this, or supplement if necessary with hardware from your local hardware store. Mounting the antenna so that it is suspended from a pole secured to the rafters is an excellent way to make sure that the antenna is free from obstacles or interference and will remain in position without shifting.
Determine your cable run. Since you're in the attic, it's best to run the cable down the outside of the house and then patch into any existing television cable in your residence. Secure the cable every few feet with cable clamps to ensure it won't come loose from the effects of weather and time. Ground the cable and antenna with a lightning arrestor--consult your antenna's manual for more information if necessary.
Connect the cable into your existing cable runs with a cable connector, adapter or splitter. Higher quality connectors and splitters will give the best performance and are more resistant to weather, if your connection is outside. If you have connected more than one TV to the antenna cabling, be sure that you're getting good performance from all of the TVs. If not, work back along the cable runs to isolate where the problem may lie, then correct it and test again.
Test your antenna by tuning in your local channels on your TV. Make any adjustments to the antenna positioning at this time if necessary to fine-tune the signal. Ensure that the antenna mounting hardware is securely fastened, and that your cable is mounted with enough cable clamps to ensure that it will not come loose.
Use RG-8 cable for the best picture quality, particularly for long cable runs. If the cable goes outside, be sure it is rated for outside use.
Always ground the cable for lightning protection.
Based in Virginia, Nichole Liandi has been a freelance writer since 2005. Her articles have appeared on various print and online publications. Liandi has traveled extensively in Europe and East Asia and incorporates her experiences into her articles. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from West Virginia University.