What is an Outdoor TV Aerial?
An outdoor TV antenna is a huge metal antenna that is situated on the highest point of your house and receives electro-magnetic signals that transport TV channels.
In the years since the UK Freeview rollout several years ago, more than 1000 transmitters have broadcasted at your residence. However, in order to use this service, you must have an antenna required to receive the broadcasts.
There are both indoor and outdoor TV aerials that are available. However indoor models are less powerful and have fewer channels and lower picture quality.
Although outdoor aerials are more costly and difficult to set up The benefits outweigh the disadvantages in comparison to their indoor counterparts.
How Does an Outdoor TV Aerial Work?
An antenna or TV aerial is a steel structure constructed to take in UHF as well as VHF signals sent by the TV channel using specially designed transmission towers that are usually situated on the top of their stations or in another area that is benefited by elevated ground, such as an elevated hill.
The antenna takes in the signal that will be converted into images or audio through your TV set. This makes sure that signal is delivered to your TV set in a safe manner and properly.
Types of Outdoor TV Aerial
As we’ve mentioned before, there’s a variety of outdoor TV aerials available on the market that are suitable for different types of homes and needs. We’ve given an overview of the major kinds, so that you can decide on the best one for your needs.
A Yagi or an Yagi-Uda TV is the most popular type of antenna used for TV reception, however they can be also used to connect radios with ham radios, and to connect Wi-Fi points to each other. It’s the kind of antenna that most people in the UK are familiar with and believe to be an aerial for TV.
A Yagi aerial is the long rod called a boom. when you are at a right angle you’ll see smaller pieces of metal that function as conductors, or elements that receive the signal and then send it to your TV. The more compact and close the components are, the greater the frequency they receive.
These kinds of aerials are specifically designed to take in a broad beam, and are directed in a single direction, which allows them to be better able to receive weaker signals. Because of their simple design they’re usually at the lower end of the spectrum when compared with other antennas.
The disadvantage of Yagi aerials lies in their limited frequency and bandwidth; they are less flexible than others.
Log Periodic Aerial
Since the digital Freeview changeover, Log Periodic aerials have been extremely popular, despite barely ever being used prior to the switch to digital.
Aerials with log periodicity are a favoured option to receive digital television channels because of their ability to block out signals that cause pixelation, causing loss of signal on your TV.
Because of their appearance, people frequently confuse a log periodic aerial with an analog aerial but they’re different.
They’re great for areas with good signal strength but don’t lend themselves to areas that don’t; instead, high Gain aerials are recommended which we’ll cover later in this section.
High Gains Aerial
An aerial with a high gain is made to boost the output of the transmitter, which can deliver stronger signals than an Yagi as well as a Log Periodic aerial.
If you reside in a location where there is a decrease in signal strength and weak signals, then a High Gain aerial could be the solution to your concerns. This antenna comes with a long boom section, big back reflectors that can withstand any signal interruptions or nose and an arm for the boom to stop the massive antenna from becoming bent as time passes.
This kind of aerial is great for areas with low signal however it requires a professional installation because of the particulars needed for its positioning to prevent any elements from affecting other antennas.
X Type Aerial
An X Type aerial Type aerial can be described as a form of high Gain aerial which is popular in homes. Their name comes from the dipoles that make up the shape of an X inside the housing. This also boosts the gains.
Some models include more than 100 elements and many models use full-wave dipoles to enhance the ability to match.
Bow Tie Aerial
Bow Tie aerials are exactly like those of the X Type but are arranged in the “Bow Tie form rather than an X.
Another high-gain TV aerial is the Multi-boom, which has multiple booms that can be angled in different directions, with the components connected.
These antennas are able to include more elements to them, thereby increasing the signal strength that is delivered to your TV.
But, these aerials face an issue that is common when they are attached to brackets that aren’t strong enough to support them.
If the bracket isn’t able to hold the load of an aerial they will tend to gradually point towards the ground making the bracket useless.
To make things easier, the majority of TV aerials installed are referred to as Wideband Aerials or WB Aerials since they function on the majority of TV receivers.
What is often not considered is that a grouping antenna of the same size actually provides more signal strength and eliminates any unwanted signals from other transmitters.
In order to reduce the frequency range the aerial can be in a position to accept, group aerials are not compatible with all TV transmitters. they must be matched to the one you prefer.
With ever-changing broadcasting frequencies it’s not a viable option for those who cannot modify their own equipment, however, it’s something you should be aware of if you feel you could be better off with a group aerial.
It is possible to be excused by not being able to recognize Grid aerials to be TV antennas because they’re flat and have all the components hidden inside.
Grid aerials are not very common due to issues with analog signals being used the same aerials on digital televisions. They are also not able to benefit from the high gain and are therefore useless in signal-poor areas.
Best Outdoor TV Aerial
We’ve looked at the ways that an outdoor TV antenna operates and the various types that are available. But, which are the most effective products that are available today? These are the five top products!
Optima L20F Compact Wideband 20 Element Log-Periodic TV Aerial
If you reside in an area such as Bedfordshire which has strong signal strength and numerous channels, the Optima 20F might provide the solution to all your needs.
Technically speaking, it’s a broadband aerial since it picks signals from all over the spectrum, yet it offers only a small gain in signal. You must therefore have the proper place to utilise it, but should you be in one of those regions, the OPTIMA is the ideal choice for you.
Vision – V10-32 LF
This is essentially an enhanced variant from the OPTIMA L20F that is suitable for areas with a decent but not the best signal. Optima is owned by Vision and it’s no surprise that they have so many similarities.
If you require a bit higher power output than OPTIMA L20F This is a great choice for you.
Antiference Aerial Extragain XG8
The build quality of this aerial is exceptional and, even though it’s only easily available within Group A it’s good enough to be included. The centrally mounted boom arm is incredibly balanced and guarantees that it will not bend over time.
Additionally, there is an automatic signal balancer that ensures that the service is reliable and safe. The aerial installation process is slightly more complex than the others, however you should get your aerials set up by an expert for all kinds and brands.
This is a true all-rounder that can meet every need.
SLx Outdoor Digital TV Aerial Kit
If you’re in search of an aerial with a powerful punch, then you should consider this mighty SLx aerial. It can detect signals from any location, and has an amplifier for signal and a central boom to provide stability.
The design is top of the line and the weight and size are similar to those available. If you are suffering from weak signals, this could be your top choice!
Lab Gear Tri-Boom Mast Digital Aerial
The High Gain aerial has become among the most sought-after products available, with a plethora of rave reviews for it.
It’s perfect for those who have good but weak signal strength. Not just does it look the part, but because of its well-balanced construction it is sure to last for quite a while! It’s on the upper end of the market, however it’s worth every cent!
Cost to Install an Outdoor TV Aerial
TV antennas are typically difficult devices to install and properly set up. So, it’s always recommended to seek the assistance of experts who are knowledgeable not only about how to install your antenna in a safe manner, but make the most of the capabilities.
Many people believe that it’s cost-effective for an expert to do this type of job, but in reality, the cost is actually quite low.
If you’re fixing an aerial or want an aspect replacement it is possible to pay between £80 and £100. But, if you are looking for an entirely new installation, the cost will typically be around £200.
These prices are subject to change in accordance with the region you reside in and the scope of work as well as the additional materials and signal strength in your region. However, £200 is a good number to aim for.
For more information on the process of installation and the cost you’re likely to be charged go to our complete TV aerial installation guide.
What outdoor TV aerial do I need?
There are different aerials for different areas and requirements. The best thing to do is to follow the detailed descriptions earlier in this article, to work out which type best suits your needs.
You can also reach out to TV aerial installation experts and seek some advice that way.
Why won’t my TV aerial work?
There are a variety of reasons why you’re aerial may not be working, such as faulty wiring, weather, damage to your aerial and many other things.
If you’re having problems with your aerial, an expert may be able to deduce what is causing the problems. They also may be able to suggest a way to resolve the issue.
How long does it take to install a new aerial?
A new aerial can be installed in around 2-3 hours depending on the size of the job and aerial. It doesn’t take too long but the installer may need to fine-tune the aerial to ensure it’s performing at its optimal capabilities.
Why is an outdoor aerial better than an indoor aerial?
Outdoor aerials have a better vantage point and suffer from fewer obstructions, giving a clear line of sight for the signal to reach the receiver from the transmitter.
The more obstructions in the way, the harder it is for the antenna to full receive the transmission.
How do I find out what aerial I already have installed on my home?
Aerials can be hard to identify but if you’re interested in finding out what already stands atop your roof, take some time online to search for pictures of the types of aerial we explored earlier in the article and see which features match yours.