What Is Television Antenna Gain?

By Adrian Grahams

A high-gain rooftop television antenna
i antenna 2 image by Madrider from Fotolia.com

Television antenna gain is the amount of TV signal picked up by an antenna. It's important to know the gain, or strength, of your television antenna because this effects the quality of your TV picture.


TV signals get weaker over distance, so the further away you are from a television transmitter, the higher the antenna gain you'll need to receive a good quality picture on your TV set.

Television antenna gain is also important if you need to route the signal from your antenna to more than one TV set, because the signal will diminish each time it is split.


Television antennas are usually classified as very high, high, medium or low gain.

Antenna signal gain is measured in decibels (dB) within a range from 0 dB for the lowest gain antennas to 32 dB for high gain antennas, although some of these may need a powered signal amplifier to achieve such high gain levels.

The gain of an antenna is determined by its size and the number of directional elements (the horizontal or vertical rods on the antenna). The higher the number of elements, the higher the gain of the antenna.


Good television reception depends on a lot more than the signal gain level of your antenna. The siting and cabling of the antenna is just as important as the signal gain and nearby features such as buildings, hills and even trees can dramatically affect the quality of your TV picture.