Choosing an aerial can seem as simple as finding the cheapest one, but there is a lot more to consider. There are a lot of factors that determine what aerial you need, so make sure you have all the information to decide on the best aerial for your property.
Proximity to the transmitter
If you’re far away from a transmitter, you may need to purchase quite a large aerial. This is because a bigger aerial will provide more gain, but ultimately it depends on the model of aerial you select.
Check your signal gain
A good way to determine which size aerial you need is to look at your neighbours’ roofs and see what they are using. If their aerials are all facing one direction, you probably get good signal. But if they’re all pointing in different directions you might have a problem with reception, and you could need a signal amplifier. The type of amplifier you need will depend on how many TV points you have in your home.
UHF and VHF signal
Aerials receive UHF signal, VHF signal, or both. You may have heard that all digital channels fall within the UHF bandwidth – this isn’t true. UHF does contain the majority of digital and high-definition signals, but some are still available on the VHF band. Make sure you check that the aerial you want supports the frequency bands of the channels you want to receive. And don’t just assume that a more expensive aerial will support more channels.
Outdoor and indoor aerials
Installing an outdoor aerial is, of course, more tricky than an indoor aerial. Indoor aerials provide a much weaker signal, but if you have the time to adjust it they can produce a good picture. If you just want a quick solution, you should be happy with the result from an indoor aerial.
Whether you can use an indoor or outdoor aerial depends on where your home is in relation to the transmitter. Digital signals travel in a straight line, so if you don’t have any obstructions you may get better signal than someone who lives closer to it.
Making sure you have the right aerial for your home will ensure that you get the maximum amount of signal you can receive. A professional aerial engineer will also install your aerial with all the relevant cables so you can make the most out of your signal.