What Is Television Antenna Gain?

by Adrian Grahams

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.

Significance

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.

Types

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.

Caution

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.

About the Author

Adrian Grahams began writing professionally in 1989 after training as a newspaper reporter. His work has been published online and in various newspapers, including "The Cornish Times" and "The Sunday Independent." Grahams specializes in technology and communications. He holds a Bachelor of Science, postgraduate diplomas in journalism and website design and is studying for an MBA.

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