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Are you having problems with your TV aerial? If your signal is weakening, you may need to adjust or fix your antenna. Knowing how to fix this means first knowing how it works and functions.
Once you know this, you will have a better idea of the steps to take. Below, answer the question “How do TV antennas work?”
How Do TV Antennas Work?
The signal begins at a television tower. The broadcast company will put out a signal, either a VHF or UHF signal. The signal can travel a long way to reach an aerial, and carry on even further with a drop in quality.
TV antennas are made of metal. This allows it to easily pick up the analog signals in the atmosphere. It is held up by a larger piece of metal known as the boom.
The large boom has a series of rods that run horizontally across it. Receptors on the rods pick up the signal and transfer it down the boom to the television set.
This is sent through an AC cable and manifests as the sound and pictures on your television set. Most of the translation of the signal is done on your television set. All the aerial does is bring the information.
VHF or UHF
Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) and Very High Frequency (VHF) both have slightly different advantages and disadvantages. However, both are possible to pick up through a standard television antenna.
UHF ranges from 378-512 MHz. It tends to be a more suited signal for long distances. It suffers less interference from other obstacles and signals.
This is because of its ability to travel through steel, brick, and wood. This means it does not have to move around an object or have a clear line of sight to the signal.
In contrast, VHF can travel a very long way but easily suffers interference. Barriers, such as buildings, can weekend the signal. It is also susceptible to interference from other radio signals.
Gain is the term used to describe the antenna’s ability to pick up signals. The higher the gain rating on an antenna, the more likely you are to pick up better signals. The higher the gain, the larger, longer, and more pieces an aerial will have.
The front-to-back ratio of an antenna describes its ability to pick up signals from multiple directions.
For example, if your antenna only has a front ratio, it will only pick signals that are broadcast from in front of the device. Because of this, the higher the gain and front-to-back end ratio, the more channels you will get with better signals.
Grains and Ghosting
Grains are small flecks and distortion that appear in your picture. They are the result of weak signals or can be caused by a fault in the antenna itself.
Ghosting is when the same signal intercepted many times by the same antenna. It results in an overlay of faded images. It is often caused by the reflection of signals from nearby buildings.
TV Antenna Problems
Signals change when your antenna moves or changes direction. This is usually due to inclement weather, such as high winds and storms.
Channels will have stronger signals when your television aerial points towards the transmission tower. If this switches direction, the signal will weaken. This may show as static and produce a white noise sound on your television set.
As not all television channels send their signal from the same point, it can be hard to get a strong signal for all channels. This article can tell you about the main reasons you should hire a professional to set up your aerial for the best results.
TV antennas can have their power boosted. These devices work by increasing the beamwidth of the antenna. This added strength allows a much clearer picture and audio.
Antenna boosters work best when the TV antenna’s output is put directly into the booster. This should be before any additional lines or slitters are added. They also work best when installed as high as possible, such as on rooftop antennas.
Bear in mind that boosters can only boost the current signal. If the signal is not there at all, or very weak, it will have little impact.
Why Stick With Analog Signals?
While many people have installed satellite and cable television, there are many reasons people are returning to analog television. Part of this is that the programming available through an antenna is often free and plentiful. For example, all the major networks still broadcast over analog signals.
In addition, you can get many channels not available from a provider. Regional programming, including children’s programs, local news, sports, and interests, are not on cable and satellite. This gives it a very unique perspective from a broadcasting angle.
If you choose to install a digital television antenna, to receive local broadcast digital television, you will find some extremely strong signals. As they are not compressed like cable and satellite television, you will get a great picture on your television set.
Take Care When Adjusting
Now you can answer the question “How do TV antennas work?” the next step is to attempt to fix or boost your signal. This will involve going onto the roof, and this is not advised. Hire a professional to assist or make sure you have adequate safety equipment before undertaking the task.
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