Where do you put an antenna amplifier? Sometimes, due to reception interferences, the signal reception with your TV is poor.
If that’s the case, then you need an antenna amplifier.
You can choose a distributional or preamplifier compatible with your indoor or outdoor TV antenna.
But the question is, where do you place it for the best reception? Here’s an in-depth look into antenna amplifier placement.
Table of Contents
- What Is an Antenna Amplifier?
- Do You Need an Amplifier for a TV Antenna?
- Types of Antenna Amplifiers
- Types of Antennas
- Where Is the Best Place to Put an Antenna Amplifier?
- Where Is the Best Place to Put TV Antenna
What Is an Antenna Amplifier?
An antenna amplifier is an electronic device that amplifies or boosts an incoming signal before distributing it to your TV.
That way, the signal is better and you can enjoy a better viewing experience.
What it does is it balances the noise and signal (S/N) levels before the signal reaches the TV’s receiver.
By doing that, the antenna amplifier creates a signal that’s receptive to the TV.
The amplifier increases the signal’s gain (ability to increase the power of a signal) by concentrating the signal to one small area that the TV receiver can detect.
Do You Need an Amplifier for a TV Antenna?
Usually, there are two primary reasons you might need an amplifier for a TV antenna.
First is if you’re using a splitter, which is usually the case especially when using distributor amplifiers, as we’ll see below.
Unfortunately, these devices weaken the signal, necessitating the use of an amplifier.
The second reason is if there’s attenuation (reduced signal strength) in the coaxial cable that runs from the antenna to the TV.
In such a case, you need an amplifier to contain the attenuation. The amplifier will amplify the signal while adding the least noise.
Thus, the TV will receive the stepped-up standard signal reception ensuring clear viewing.
That said, it’s only in some instances that you may need an amplifier for your TV.
In fact, the best antennas don’t require you to use an antenna amplifier.
Also, if you live in an area with a strong signal, an antenna amplifier may cause more harm than good.
That’s because it will increase the gain of the already strong signal to the point of overloading your TV receiver.
As a result, it will create distortions and unwanted interferences.
Types of Antenna Amplifiers
There are two types of antenna amplifiers:
Usually, this type of antenna amplifier gets mounted outdoors on the mast of the antenna. It amplifies the signal coming directly from the antenna.
Therefore, it taps the signal at its strongest point as it comes off at the antenna.
(Caption: Antenna on antenna mast)
With the preamplifier, the best use scenario is when dealing with long cable signal transmission that has a weak signal.
Sometimes, it’s necessary to duplicate input signals to distribute them between two or more devices.
In such cases, you need a signal splitter. Also, a splitter adjusts signal levels or converts them to a suitable format.
But this ability comes with a caveat. It weakens the signal level, and that’s where a distribution amplifier comes in.
With a distribution amplifier, you can ensure that each receiver gets a signal reception that’s as strong as the original.
Types of Antennas
Undoubtedly, the type of antenna you use will determine how much you need an antenna amplifier.
Below is an outline of different antenna types:
As the name suggests, the design of these antennas is for indoor use. Another feature of these antennas is their relatively small size.
Also, these antennas come in different shapes and designs. Here are two classifications of indoor antennas:
- Omnidirectional: Now this indoor antenna radiates radio frequency signals in all horizontal directions in a flat, two-dimensional plane. Often, it’s sufficient for achieving all-around coverage in an indoor setup.
- Panel: These antennas are flat and have an adhesive pad that enables you to mount them on a flat surface, such as a window, wall, or stand. With these antennas, the configurations get concentrated within the flat casing for full-range antenna functionality.
With these too, as the name suggests, they’re for outdoor use.
Because they face the direction of the transmitter, they have less interference from walls or other obstacles.
Thus, they have better reception than indoor TV antennas and you’re less likely to need an antenna amplifier.
Below are two distinct types of outdoor antennas:
- Omnidirectional: Like indoor omnidirectional antennas, outdoor omnidirectional antennas receive signals in all directions simultaneously. Thus, it reduces the need for precise aiming or pointing. And this eliminates the need to keep rotating your antennas for better reception.
- Yagi: Unlike the omnidirectional antenna, this one emits signals in one direction. See, it has a single reflector and several elements that act as directors. With such a structure, it can propagate electromagnetic field energy in the direction running from the driving element toward the directors in a specific direction.
Where Is the Best Place to Put an Antenna Amplifier?
Now there’s no one ideal place to position an antenna amplifier. Usually, it will depend on the type of antenna and where you’ve installed it.
For example, say your location has a good signal and wants to split the connection to three or four TV sets.
Typically, you’ll need a medium-gain distributor amplifier, which you’ll place indoors. And the best place to put it is before the splitter.
But generally, the best place to put an antenna amplifier is close to the TV.
And as for a preamplifier (outdoor antenna amplifier), place it as close as possible to the antenna.
Also, ensure there are no devices between the preamplifier and the power supply. Otherwise, you may get a low signal.
That said, keep in mind that an amplifier only solves the problem of a weak signal, not a low-quality signal.
Where Is the Best Place to Put TV Antenna
Undoubtedly, for the amplifier to produce the best output, it matters where you place the TV antenna.
How to Position Outdoor Antenna
First, place the antenna as high as possible, at least 30 feet above the ground.
That way, you’ll have the clearest connection with the local broadcast tower.
And chances of reception interference from walls, buildings, trees, and other obstructions are much lower.
(Caption: Communication tower)
Also, the direction matters. So ensure the antenna faces the direction from which it receives the signal.
For example, many yagi antennas receive the signal from only one direction.
Thus, all you need to do is turn the antenna in the direction where you get a good signal.
Unlike yagi antennas, omnidirectional ones can pick up signals from multiple directions.
So with these antennas, you want to use a smartphone app that will give you real-time signal strength.
Now signal strength is in decibels. And the lower the dB value, the stronger the signal, and vice versa.
Further, attach the antenna securely. Also to ensure it’s safe from breakage or damage, you might want to install it on the roof, wall, or a pole.
How to Position Indoor Antennas
For indoor positions, the primary factor to consider is the number of rooms and where you mount it.
If it’s one room, the center of the ceiling will do. For multiple rooms, you’ll need a directional panel antenna on the wall of a long, narrow corridor.
Then to determine exactly where you mount the antenna, consider the signal strength, and building materials the walls and floors comprise of.
Note though that in many cases, one indoor antenna may not work for several rooms.
Often, you need additional antennas, splitters, and a distribution amplifier to increase the signal coverage.
Can You Put 2 Amplifiers on a TV Antenna?
Yes, you can, usually when you have multiple TVs connected to the same antenna.
You can install a preamplifier to strengthen a weak signal from the transmitter to the antenna.
Then, pass this signal through a directional amplifier. That way, you step up the signal from a splitter circuit.
And this ensures the TVs receive a signal of equal strength as that from the preamplifier.
How Do You Connect an Antenna Amplifier to a TV?
First, unscrew the TV cable. Then connect one end to the input of the amplifier and the other to the antenna.
Next, connect another cable from the antenna amplifier output to the other end of the RV.
Finally, plug the amplifier into the power source.
Where Does an Antenna Preamplifier Go?
Undoubtedly, the best place to install the preamplifier is between the antenna and the TV receiver.
So where do you put an antenna amplifier? As discussed, factors such as the type of antenna and where you place it matter.
Now you know the different types of antenna amplifiers and where you should install them.
Just consider the factors outlined above and enjoy the best TV reception.
But remember, even if you use an antenna amplifier, you still need a high-quality signal.