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TV Aerials Installation: Separating Fact from Fiction

Its human nature to seek the opinions of others when it comes to parting with our cash, nowadays that particular habit is made all the easier by reading online customer reviews or referring to specific forums. The trouble with seeking information and validation online is that there’s often no way to prove authenticity, and find out what is true and what isn’t.

This difficulty in proving accuracy occurs everywhere, even when it comes to TV aerial installation. With that in mind, we’ve listed some of the myths debunked by aerial experts below.

‘Digital TV aerials’ are required to watch Freeview

This is one of the most popular myths flying around today. The truth however, is that digital TV aerials do not exist. The types of aerials you can find include YAGI aerials, grid aerials, high gain aerials, log periodic aerials, grouped aerials and wideband aerials.

What to these all have in common? They’re all equally capable of receiving digital and analogue signals without any issues, meaning your old wideband aerial can work perfectly without any need to shell out more cash.

Freeview picture quality is improved with higher gain aerials

This particular rumour is why many people are fixated on higher gain aerials, while in reality the gain of an aerial has no effect over picture quality at all.  Digital picture quality is, essentially, binary: it’ll either work or it won’t, with very little middle ground.

There is a specified range of signal strength required for high picture quality but this will need to be coupled with good signal-to-noise ratio (SNR).  A strong signal with low SNR will still cause viewing difficulties, regardless of the aerial gain.

During TV aerial installations, experts focus on ensuring that SNR is as high as possible and that the signal strength can cope with occasional fluctuations.

TV aerials should be located in the loft or attic

This is (or should that be ‘was’?) true to a certain extent for analogue systems but even with these setups, the property itself needs to be within a good signal area.  With digital Freeview, the roof and/or gable will lead to signal loss and interference resulting in a poor quality signal. Unfortunately, amplifying the signal is not an option as it will only lead to amplifying the noise as well as the TV signal. Which takes us back to that SNR issue mentioned before…

With TV aerials, like anything else you read on the internet, you should seek the opinion of experts where possible before making a purchase. This could mark the difference between recognising a myth, like those listed above, and dropping money on something that doesn’t work.




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