Ways to boost outdoor tv antenna signal

Multiple reasons exist why your TV signal may be weak, but there are also a number of things you can do to help boost your outdoor TV antenna signal. Televisions have come a long way from the days of turning knobs to find channels and fiddling with rabbit ear antennas to fine-tune the reception. These days TVs are high-tech, and you can choose from a variety of connections to receive the signal you need to watch your favorite programs. An outdoor TV antenna is still a viable option, but sometimes you might need to troubleshoot your reception.

Determine the Type of Antenna You Currently Have

What type of outdoor TV antenna do you have? A directional antenna will give you a better option for receiving a long-distance signal. While omnidirectional antennas receive signals from every direction and would seem like the safest option, directional antennas only get a signal from the direction the antenna is aimed. This helps you boost your outdoor TV antenna signal when you’re in an area that more than likely only has one broadcasting tower nearby.

directional antenna

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Change Location and Direction of the Antenna

Sure, it may seem obvious, but check the location of your outdoor TV antenna. Is it in a good spot or do you need to move it? Look around your house and property to survey the surrounding area. Keep in mind that buildings, trees, or other towering objects could be obstructing your line of reception. Place your antenna as high as possible, especially if you live in a rural area, so the signal carries over any tall objects.

Likewise, the direction your antenna is facing also matters when trying to receive a good signal. Your outdoor TV antenna should be pointed toward the nearest broadcasting tower for the clearest signal.1 If you’re unsure where that is, check with the Federal Communications Commission, or FCC.

Check Connections and Condition of Cables or Wires

Check over the condition of the cables and wires that are used to hook up your television to the outdoor antenna. Look for possible damage, which can occur in bad weather or as the result of curious rodents or other pests.³ Examine the cables and wires from one end to the other, since damage can occur anywhere along the line. Inspect the connections of the cables and wires to make sure everything is tight and secure, in case they came loose at some point. Consider insulating the outdoor cables, if they aren’t already, to help protect them from any further or future damage.

electronic device with cables

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Reduce or Remove Interference

Reduce or remove interference that might be screwing with your reception to boost your outdoor TV antenna signal. This may or may not be feasible, since you can’t actually move mountains. But mountains, hills, trees, and buildings aren’t your only source of interference when it comes to capturing a TV signal. Other sources of signal interference include power lines, cell towers, and even LED lightbulbs.2 Test and move your indoor technology, such as WiFi routers, speakers, and any other Smart device that might be transmitting electronic interference.3 Most devices work better if they’re not on top of each other.

Reset Your TV Tuner

Similar to turning off and on your computer, or clearing out the cache from time to time, reset your TV tuner to see if it will boost your antenna signal. The digital tuner converts the signal from the outdoor TV antenna so your TV can read it, but sometimes the metadata changes, which could cause a hiccup in the reception. Restarting the tuner refreshes the incoming signal from your outdoor antenna. Read the instruction manual to find out how to reset your TV’s tuner according to your particular model and setup.

broadcast tower

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Use an Amplifier or Signal Booster

Use an amplifier or signal booster to enhance your outdoor TV antenna signal. Some outdoor antennas come with a built-in amplifier, others don’t. Amplifiers work by improving the signal coming from the broadcast tower so your TV antenna picks up more reception.¹ This could be beneficial if you’re in a rural or remote spot, and the nearest tower is a long way away. Keep in mind that amplifiers or signal boosters will boost anything coming to your TV antenna. So, they can also boost extraneous noise you don’t want, causing more interference.

Stack a Second Antenna or Buy a Larger One

To boost your outdoor TV antenna signal, this might be a case of the more the better, the longer the better, or the bigger the better. Stack a second antenna or buy a larger one. But just like with a signal booster, you could end up with more interference from the extra boost. However, if you live in a rural or remote area, you may need to multiply or go bigger to receive a signal from far away. Leave at least 2 yards in between your multiple outdoor TV antennas, and use a coaxial signal combiner to connect them.²

If you find you have a weak reception for your TV, try these ideas for boosting your outdoor TV antenna signal. If you continue to have problems or have no desire to climb up on your roof, call a professional to give you a hand.

Article Sources

Home Life Daily uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Black C. How to Boost an Outdoor TV Antenna Signal. Thetechlounge.com. Published Jun 1, 2021. Accessed Sept 27, 2021.
  2. Cavanaugh B. Antenna 101 What Causes Reception Issues? Getstreamwise.com. Accessed Sept 27, 2021.
  3. Conner DD. How to Improve the TV Reception in Rural Areas. Growingmagazine.com. Published May 24, 2020. Accessed Sept 27, 2021.