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Install the right TV antenna system

The most common cause of poor TV reception is the antenna you use. Follow these steps to install the right TV antenna system.

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Step 1: check the location

Check the location settings for the address on mySwitch  including:

  • the TV transmission tower that provides the best coverage to your location
  • the predicted level of coverage
  • channel frequencies
  • antenna set-up information, including antenna type, the vertical or horizontal orientation and direction

Do a new site survey. Walk around the property and neighbourhood. Check for trees, hills, mountains and new or tall buildings. This will help you design and install the best antenna system for the location.

Always plan for:

  • the level and quality of available signal in that location
  • strength of the TV reception in that location
  • how close reception is to the ‘digital cliff’
  • possible interference from power lines or fading of the signal
  • the best location for the antenna - it may not be the existing location
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Step 2: source the right antenna and equipment

A single, right type and properly installed outdoor antenna should get you all free-to-air TV channels. A good TV antenna:

  • can receive the signal in a specified direction (called 'antenna gain')
  • does not need a signal booster
  • reduces the reception of other unwanted signals
  • has a 4G filter installed to reduce the impact of signals from mobile phone towers
  • is strong enough to cope with bad weather and large birds

Most Australian-designed and made antennas are suitable for Australian conditions. Antennas made for overseas markets are not generally suitable for Australian conditions.

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Step 3: install the antenna

Do not climb on the roof. Climbing on the roof is extremely dangerous. Get a local antenna specialist to check your antenna is safely and correctly installed.

Your antenna should be installed:

  • outdoors
  • up to 5 metres high for urban and suburban areas
  • up to 10 metres high for some rural areas or areas with marginal coverage
  • pointing towards the TV tower than provides the best television coverage for your area
  • installed horizontally or vertically to match TV signals in your area
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Step 4: maintain your antenna

Once properly installed check your antenna regularly:

  • do a quick visual inspection of your antenna from the ground
  • do a visual inspection of the connectors and fly lead next to your TV receiver
  • make sure all your devices are connected properly to your antenna, especially if you are using multiple devices
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Step 5: set up a signal booster

Unless you live in an area with poor or variable coverage, a good, correctly installed TV antenna should not need a signal booster. A signal booster, also known as an amplifier, can cause interference. Too much gain will also cause reception problems. 

If a signal booster is necessary, check you:

  • installed the right amplifier for this location
  • set the gain of the amplifier at the required level
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