A long-range antenna allows you to enjoy quality pictures from a transmission tower at least 60 miles away.
With such an antenna, you don’t have to worry about trees and foliage. But how do you know if you need a long-range outdoor antenna?
Also, how far can it cover, and is a bigger one always better if you need it to cover a very long distance?
Read on to learn the answers to this and more. Also, tips on how to make a long-range outdoor antenna stronger.
Table of Contents
- What’s a Long-Range Outdoor Antenna?
- When Would You Need a Long-Range Antenna?
- What Is the Longest Range For a TV Antenna?
- Is a Bigger Antenna Always Better for Long-Range Transmission?
- How to Make Your Long-Range Outdoor Antenna Stronger
What’s a Long-Range Outdoor Antenna?
A long-range antenna has a design enables it to transmit TV signals over long distances.
So as the name suggests, it can capture signals from transmission towers that a standard short-range antenna would not.
More to that, it’s able to pick up weak signals. So it will pick the faintest of signals but only as long as you align it to the line of sight of the signal coming from the transmission tower.
Features of Long-Range Outdoor Antennas
Here’s what makes these antennas unique:
- Minimal interference: With outdoor long-range antennas, interference from trees, heavy foliage, and structures is minimal. Hence, the signal you receive has the same quality as was originally intended when it left the transmission tower.
(Caption: Antenna installation in area with heavy foliage)
- Preamplifier: Often, these antennas have a preamplifier to enhance the strength of a weak signal. But you can always attach an additional preamplifier if you want to.
- Harsh environments: Usually, long-range antennas can transmit signals over 70 miles, even 100 miles. That’s also because their design supports working in harsh environmental conditions.
When Would You Need a Long-Range Antenna?
If you’re unsure about whether you need a long-range antenna, the following are factors to consider:
Undoubtedly, you need a long-range antenna if the signal you’re receiving from the transmission tower is weak.
Thankfully, there’s no need for speculation over this. Simply check on signal report sites to have an idea of the signal strength you can expect.
Then you’ll be more equipped to decide what type of long-range antenna you need.
Alternatively, you can opt for a dual antenna if you’re receiving signals from various broadcast transmission towers because such an antenna is ideal for picking up signals of varying ranges.
Thus, with a dual antenna, you’ll increase the range of signals your TV receives.
And this is possible regardless of the reflections and multipath interferences, as expected when there are multiple towers around you.
An antenna’s reception is highly influenced by its shape, size, and ability to maneuver away from obstructions.
Now long-range antenna manufacturers consider this when designing the antenna, giving it a shape that allows it to stay in the line of sight of the transmission tower.
Another factor is the maximum distance the signal travels to your TV antenna.
Here, two things come into play. First, of course, the actual distance the signal must travel from the transmission tower to your antenna.
And second, the type of antenna you’re using in that different antennas pick up different signals.
For example, with internet antennas, the range is much smaller (just 10 miles for a long-range antenna). In contrast, for a TV antenna, 50 miles is short-range.
Simply put, this is how much data the antenna must transmit.
And because long-range antennas can handle obstructions, they can receive huge amounts of data without loss of signal quality and with minimal noise.
What Is the Longest Range For a TV Antenna?
Often, antenna brands promise ranges of 100 miles, even 200 miles. However, the truth is that transmission deteriorates after 60 miles.
See, as the distance the signal travels increases; the signal loses energy as it passes through space or air.
Furthermore, obstructions, absorption, scattered reflection, and interference weaken the signals.
When the signal weakens, it travels a shorter distance, certainly not 200 miles.
Is a Bigger Antenna Always Better for Long-Range Transmission?
Yes, especially if you live in rural areas where you’re likely to be far from the transmission tower.
A bigger antenna has a surface area that can accommodate more sensing elements. Thus, it has an increased capacity to intercept signals.
That said, even with a huge antenna, the rule on height remains. Therefore, you must install the antenna at an appropriate height above the ground.
That way, the antenna stays well above objects that could obstruct the signal.
Also, it minimizes or prevents signal absorption or reflection, improving antenna performance.
How to Make Your Long-Range Outdoor Antenna Stronger
Here’s how you can make your long-range outdoor antenna stronger:
Use a Large Antenna
See, such an antenna can accommodate several sensing elements. As a result, it increases the capacity or range of signal reception from towers located far away.
Place Antenna High
Install your antenna at a sufficient height (at least 10 meters above the ground). Also, ensure it’s away from obstructions and interference. When you place an antenna high enough, it is able to receive low-angle signals more efficiently. And this makes it receptive to weak signals.
Know Broadcast Transmission Tower Location
In case you’re wondering how to do that, you can check signal report sites. When you know the location of the broadcast tower, it makes antenna placement easier.
Aim the Antenna Correctly
Aim the antenna toward the clearest path to the transmission tower: Typically, you should place the antenna in the same line of sight as the incoming antenna.
And to do that, you can use an antenna alignment tool.
Do Short Coax Cable Runs
See, using a long cable increases the resistance of the conducting material. As a result, there’s a loss of energy in the signal, compromising the quality of the signal from the antenna to the TV. In contrast, a short cable helps eliminate such resistance.
Use a high-quality Coax Cable
Undoubtedly, a quality cable is vital in signal transmission. That’s because it helps maintain the quality of the signal with minimal degradation.
Typically, every 100 feet of cable can lose 1.5 to 5dB, based on the frequency you have tuned your TV. In turn, this makes the signal sharper.
Ground the Antenna
Besides safety from lightning strikes, grounding helps minimize noise that can cause a decline in signal quality.
Use a Network Tuner
If you have multiple TVs and devices, use a network tuner and an Android streaming box to smoothen and streamline the antenna signal.
Also, a splitter ad distribution amplifier will help maintain the quality of the signal transmitted to all the TV screens connected to the splitter.
What Are the Two Types of Outdoor Antennas?
The two types of outdoor antennas are short-range and long-range. Generally, the difference comes as far as the distance they can transmit a signal.
So long-range antennas can receive a signal from as far as 60 miles. On the other hand, short-range antennas receive and transmit signals over short distances.
How Far Can an Outdoor Antenna Reach?
As mentioned earlier, an outdoor antenna can receive an antenna from a maximum of 60 to 80 miles.
However, any distance beyond this will mar the signal’s quality. Longer distances induce signal loss due to the reflection or absorption of the signal.
Also, there may be interferences, which also reduce the distance a signal can travel.
Does Longer Antenna Mean Longer Range?
Yes, it does. In fact, longer antennas have better signal reception than short ones. Therefore, the longer the antenna, the longer the range of signal reception.
Long-range outdoor antennas are especially vital in areas with rich foliage cover and trees or are far away from transmission towers.
And it’s no wonder that these antennas have preamplifiers to enhance signal strength, minimal interference, and can work in harsh environments.
But before you can run out to get one, consider the factors mentioned above, like signal strength, resistance, and optimal throughput, to help you determine if you need one.