How to Receive Better Television Reception Without Cable or Satellite

By James Werning

An old-fashioned antenna is still a practical way to receive television signals today.
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If your television reception is poor and you are not hooked up to cable, satellite or Internet TV, you have just one option: maximizing the reception you receive through your antenna. If you live in a low-lying valley or in an out-of-the-way place that broadcast signals barely reach, your television quality will always be limited by the strength of the signal that reaches your antenna. Still you can try a few simple remedies to improve your reception.

TVs with Indoor Antennas

Step 1

Rotate the antenna or relocate the arms while watching TV to see if the reception improves. Move the antenna away from computers, media equipment and other electronics that might interfere with the broadcast signal.

Step 2

Detach the antenna’s coaxial cable from the back of the TV and attach a longer coaxial cable to allow you to position the antenna higher up and further away from the TV. Try setting the antenna next to a window.

Step 3

Detach the antenna’s coaxial cable and install an antenna signal amplifier between the antenna and the TV to strengthen the signal, particularly if the coaxial cable is more then a few feet long.

Step 4

Hit the “Menu” button on your television or your digital converter box. Select “Channel Scan” or “Auto Scan” to automatically locate all stations with the best reception.

Step 5

Consider installing a rooftop antenna if your reception is still poor.

TVs with Rooftop Antennas

Step 1

Turn on the television. Ask an assistant to go on the roof and rotate the antenna until you locate the position that gives you the best reception.

Step 2

Inspect all antenna cables and connections. Replace defective cables with new ones, if necessary.

Step 3

Disconnect the cable from the antenna on the roof. Attach an antenna signal amplifier between the antenna and the cable.