If you don’t have cable television or a satellite dish in your home, you may need a TV antenna. This will allow your TV to get strong-enough signals so that you get a clear picture on the screen; without an antenna, you may get nothing but snow and static, even if your TV has an internal antenna. Choosing and installing an antenna is not as simple as it sounds, as there is a wide variety from which to choose. Note a few quick tips when you’re ready to choose and install a TV antenna for your home.

1. Interior versus exterior

An interior antenna is easy to install; you can usually just take it out of the box and place it at the highest point in your home with a few screws and be done with it. However, you need to ensure you invest in a high-quality interior antenna, as signals may not easily make their way through metal framing and other building materials of your home, and a low-quality interior antenna won’t pick up these signals so easily.

An exterior antenna is a bit more precarious to install as you need to climb onto your roof for installation. You usually also need added grounding with an exterior antenna in case it gets struck by lightning. However, the advantage of an exterior antenna is that you may pick up more signals, even weaker ones, when the antenna is outside. You can also choose an omni-directional antenna, which picks up signals from various directions. This can be needed if you’re trying to get signals from towers or TV stations that are on opposite sides of your house.

2. Installation

Your interior antenna may need nothing more than a few screws to mount it to the wall or keep it securely on the floor; floor-mounted varieties may come with a type of bracket or stand to actually keep them off the floor so that they don’t build up static. You may then only need to point the antenna to the direction where you will receive the most signals. Install an interior antenna as far away as possible from any type of metal such as outside downspouts, as these interfere with TV signals.

When installing an exterior antenna, you might opt for a tripod installation. A tripod is stronger and more rigid and may hold your antenna in place better than a base mount. Opt for the highest point on your roof but ensure that the antenna is away from power lines or trees to avoid the risk of branches falling on or hitting the antenna. Consider how high winds might smack tree branches into your antenna and choose its location accordingly.

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