30% of households in the UK use an indoor aerial or antenna, according to the Research Institute for Consumer Affairs (Rica). For a lot of people, they use it for a second or third TV, but for some it is the only source of TV signal. But does it make sense for you to have an indoor aerial? Like any technology, there are advantages and disadvantages to indoor aerials.
Easy to install
Unlike outdoor aerials, you only have to plug in an indoor aerial to get it working. It might take you a few attempts at positioning it properly to get a good enough signal, but once you’ve done that you’re good to go.
A quick and cheap solution
An indoor aerial is a lot cheaper than an outdoor aerial, as you won’t have to pay for installation costs and all the different cables that come with it. What’s more, you can just go out and buy one straight away without having to make an appointment with an aerial installer.
You need a strong signal
Rica tested a variety of indoor aerials, and all of them received digital TV if you have strong enough signal. But that means you need to live close to a transmitter and your room faces it with a clear path. It’s highly unlikely that you are in this position, but if you are, then you should get a good signal from an indoor aerial.
There could be practical problems
When Rica tested some of the most popular internal aerials on the market, they found that a lot of them had issues like the cables were too short to put the aerial up higher for better reception. Some of them also had weak joints or loose screws, and some even fell over because they were top heavy or had heavy cables.
Overall, unless you want a quick and easy solution for a second or even third television in your home, it’s probably worth having an outdoor aerial installed for your main television set. Whilst it will cost more, you will benefit from a much stronger signal and better quality without having to move the aerial around for each channel.
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Rica – Indoor Aerials