Have you just moved into a brand new home, and realised you’ve forgotten all about sorting out a TV aerial? Or maybe you’re fed up with your rubbish signal and have decided to bite the bullet and buy a new aerial but have no idea where to start.
When trying to figure out what TV aerial you need, it’s easy to get lost in the technical specifications of it all. But it doesn’t need to be such a scary task. Our guide is here to help you figure out what is the perfect TV aerial for your home.
Four Questions You Need to Ask:
You might have never considered anything other than the conventional outdoor TV aerial that you see sticking out of people’s roofs all over the place. However this isn’t the only kind of TV aerial out there, and it’s important to figure out what kind will be best for you.
#1 How strong a signal can I receive?
Location plays a huge factor in which kind of aerial you need and what kind of strength of signal you’ll have. The strength of the aerial you need is determined by the strength of the signal you get from your local transmitter and how close you are to it.
You’ve probably never given a second thought to where your local transmitter is, but it’s time to start! Don’t worry, it’s not as confusing as it may sound, you can use http://www.digitaluk.co.uk/operations/about_the_coverage_checker to check which transmitter you should receive the best signal from. This gives you a rough idea of how far you are from the transmitter, if you have a good/bad signal and which channels you should be able to get.
Once you’ve figured that out, you should be in a better position to pick which kind of aerial you need.
#2 Do I need an Indoor or Outdoor Aerial?
Although there has been a rise in popularity of indoor aerial, as many home owners don’t want to ruin the aesthetic of their modern build with an ugly aerial on their roof, this option isn’t practical for everyone. If you have a strong signal or live close to a transmitter, you can consider whether you want a traditional outdoor aerial, a loft aerial or a small indoor aerial. However if you do live far away from the transmitter and have a low signal, it may be that the only option that will be effective for you is to have an outdoor aerial.
#3 Are there any obstructions that may impede my signal?
If you live out in the country, or up the glens you may find that the landscape can affect the signal that gets to your aerial. You may notice this, particularly if your home is surrounded by trees, as the leaves and branches can ‘bend’ the signal stopping it from clearly reaching your aerial. A clear ‘line of sight’ is required to give you the best possible signal, so you may find that you have to move your aerial around, to find the best position on your roof. In this circumstance, asking the advice of an aerial and satellite expert is recommended.
#4 What channels do I need an aerial for?
If you’ve just bought a brand new Smart TV and are all ready to stream TV, you may be thinking do I even need a TV aerial??
The answer isn’t exactly a straight yes or no.
When deciding which aerial you need, it is important that you consider how you plan to use your TV. Aerials are required for Freeview or any live TV, so if you like to watch your programmes in real time then you definitely need an aerial.
If you’re only using your smart TV to stream on platforms such as Netflix or Youtube, then there’s no need for you to have an aerial.
If you stream on your Smart TV but also use ITV player or 40D, then you will need to have an aerial, but it doesn’t necessarily need to have a strong signal. Aerials are used by these platforms to provide your location rather than a signal. This allows them to ensure you aren’t watching their shows abroad and have the right content displayed for you. If this is what you want an aerial for then you might want to consider having an indoor aerial, which can be easier to install and is often cheaper.
You don’t need an aerial to use BBC iPlayer as this is streamed through your broadband.
Aerials we recommend…
We are always happy to help if you have any questions about which aerial you need, but if you’re looking to buy your own, we always recommend that they are CAI Accredited.
Overall, deciding on what aerial is best for you comes down to the strength and location of your home. If you need any help or advice, get in touch and we’ll be happy to give you a hand.