What do you need to get local TV channels: How to watch local channels without cable

How to Install an Indoor TV Antenna

More often than not many people complain of not getting strong signals for their TVs and most of them do not know what to do to improve the signal quality. Perhaps you are in the same pool but still not sure how to go about in solving this age-old problem. Who doesn’t like watching their favorite programs on TV without experiencing interruptions caused by a signal loss?

It is obvious that the underlying problem could be as a result of poor antenna connection, weak signal, type of antenna you are using or simply the location where your antenna is placed. Given that you can opt to have an outdoor antenna to enjoy strong TV signals, you can as well go for an indoor antenna that will equally enable you to enjoy uninterrupted signals for your TV.

Now that homeowners are turning to indoor antennas, there are some fundamental things you should know in order to maximize the quality of your installation. In this article, we’re going to tell you why you need an indoor antenna, its benefits and downside and finally show you basic steps for mounting your antenna right inside your house.

Why Install an Indoor Antenna?

An indoor antenna comes with its share of positive attributes ranging from being cost-friendly to easy installation all the way to its compact design among other factors. Even though it’s an indoor antenna, the underlying differences with the outdoor type of antenna are almost negligible given that both are built to help in receiving the signal from the transmitting towers nearby.

Even though there are a dozen designs for an indoor antenna, a common type used in many homes is the typical dipole “rabbit ears” antenna that is built to offer omnidirectional reception. This simply means that this antenna is capable of receiving TV signals from the nearby transmission towers within a radius of 360 degrees coverage.

With this classic indoor TV antenna, the set up or installation is effortless whereby it only requires you to take it out of its box and place it on top of your television or the TV stand. From there, you can easily adjust or spontaneously rotate it to make some improvement on signal reception.

Given that this model of indoor TV antennas picks up VHF signals only, there’s has been an increasing demand on the antennas that can pick up UHF frequencies broadcast. This new trend has been prompted by a worldwide migration from analogue to digital TV transmission hence the need for the modern indoor designs.

The new model of indoor antennas is normally built using delicate, plastic exteriors. Their designs target the cluttered household environment offering minimal spaces to fit an antenna.

The fact that their exteriors are aesthetic rather than being robust, it is likely that they are less resistant to the environment outside your house making them a perfect fit for indoor antennas. And their unique designs of solid square shapes allow them to fit innocuously and comfortably behind your TV or by the window.

TOSHIBA DUA-400 Indoor Antenna

Although they are smaller with less profile to enable them to fit easily in your house, its diminutive surface area means that its reception range is limited. That is why you are hereby advised to use an indoor TV antenna if you are living within the 25 miles of the transmission towers.

Luckily there are some modern indoor TV antennas designed to offer greater ranges as high as 100 miles away from the transmission towers. But it may require you to boost the reception using a built-in pre-amplifier in order to overcome the usual potential interference from ceilings, walls and household appliances.

What are the Benefits of Installing an Indoor TV Antenna?

Setting up an indoor TV antenna is a noble idea if you really want to access and enjoy free television programming in the comfort of your home. Whether you mount it on your closet, in a window, high on the wall or behind your television, this device gives you a reason to smile. Here are the great benefits of installing an indoor TV antenna:

You will save a lot of money…

The first benefit of installing an indoor antenna is that you will save some money every month. While other people are parting with substantial amounts of money to foot their bills on cable subscriptions, you will be enjoying free programs without worries of disconnection.

Also, it will not matter to you if you don’t get time to watch other channels knowing that your indoor antenna is helping you access your favorite programs at no cost. This is because most of the modern antennas are designed to receive signals from free-to-air channels without compelling you to dig deeper into your pockets to pay for the costly cable subscriptions.

You will have the liberty to select the channels you want…

Having TV that receives signals via an antenna gives you a better platform on which you can choose your favorite channels. This is not the case when using a typical cable subscription because you will not have the freedom of choosing the channels you want to view. It beats the logic to pay for what cannot benefit you when there are affordable and free indoor TV antennas at your disposal.

Regardless of the quality of the antenna you are using, you will still be able to access nearby local channels to watch your favorite programs. You will have access to channels you weren’t aware of their existence. Once you have your indoor TV antenna installed, you will be surprised to find that there are channels you never thought were in existence. A typical TV antenna, such as the Mohu Curve 50, is capable of picking up on the available conventional broadcast channels such as Fox, CBS, NBC, CNN, and PBS among others.

Mohu Curve 50 Indoor HDTV Antenna

In most cases, the antenna may receive signals from other channels not available on your local cable company. Some of these channels air classic movies, soaps, sports, documentaries, educational shows, showbiz and any other programs you may find interesting. Using a good indoor antenna will allow you to explore and discover new channels absolutely free. Additionally, little change to the direction your antenna is facing may even help you access more channels to add to your favorite list.

An indoor TV antenna is affordable and easy to set up…

Perhaps this could be the most interesting fact about these types of antennas. They are portable, affordable and easy to install. In addition to helping you save money on a subscription, an indoor antenna is readily affordable. In fact, it costs almost the same amount as what you would spend on monthly cable bills. Once you buy it, you will rest assured that no more charges when you have it installed in your house.

Apart from that, installation is easy and it doesn’t need some sort of expertise to set up. Neither do you need to look for a professional to help you in installing it just like you would do for a cable TV. It takes a matter of minutes to have your antenna ready for connection to your TV and before you know it, you will be scrolling up and down to find your favorite channels.

It minimizes the time spent watching your television…

It is a well-known fact that everyone loves watching TV regardless of age, status or gender. But it can lead to some form of addiction, denying you time to engage in more important matters. According to statistics, the average person spends about 24 hours watching television every week. In the real sense, that is a whole day of watching TV and it can turn out to be an obsession rather than a hobby. If you have an indoor TV antenna at home, you are likely to spend less time on TV and more time taking part in something productive.

What is the Downside of Installing an Indoor TV Antenna?

In as much as there are benefits in using an indoor TV antenna, you should also know its downside. Just like all other devices, there are disadvantages to installing this type of antenna in your home as explained below:

You will not access premium channels…

Although it is free of charge, installing an indoor antenna (and any other antenna) will deny you access to premium channels such as Showtime, Starz and HBO. The antenna limits you to accessing only free local channels found within your location. But for premium channels, you will need more than an antenna to access them so you may enjoy premium movies, sports and other TV shows not available on your local channels.

If you’re interested in pairing your indoor TV antenna with some great for-fee type services, I did a complete article that compares two of the very best premium streaming services out there, namely, Sling TV and Fubo TV. I did a complete article that compares these two services, so if interested you can check it out here after you’re done with this one!

There are challenges in finding signals…

However cheap indoor antennas may look, finding a signal is a challenging task. As a matter of fact, this task gets even tougher when your location has obstructions like trees, buildings, hills and so on. It may take you time and a lot of trial and error in finding the right spot within your house to let you pick up a strong signal. This could be frustrating and a waste of time but in the end, you may get rewarded through easy access to local channels.

Availability of channels will depend solely on your location…

Installing an indoor TV antenna will not give you a surety on which channels are available in a given location. It will all depend on your location and may force you to watch what your antenna can only pick up.

Your TV may pose some challenges as well…

The brand and age of your TV set can determine how successful your antenna installation will turn out to be. You may experience some difficulties especially when connecting the antenna to an older TV that has different connections. Consequently, you may be forced to stick to your old antenna or change to a modern TV set.

You will be forced to watch commercials…

Using an antenna to access free channels in your area will not exempt you from watching commercials. Only streaming services have the advantage of eliminating commercials, letting you enjoy your programs uninterrupted.

What are the Steps for Mounting an Indoor TV Antenna?

Mounting an indoor TV antenna should not be a problem especially when your location is within an urban set up. With the latest state-of-the-art TV antenna technology, it is possible to mount and use a high-performance indoor television antenna to enhance your digital TV signal pick up. Here are the steps you will need to follow:

What You’ll Need

  • An indoor TV antenna
  • TV connect cable
  • Male-to-male 75-ohm coaxial extension lead
  • Nuts and small screws (any size of your choice)
  • Pairs of pliers
  • Screwdrivers
  • Tape
  • Hot glue

Step #1:

Find the TV signal coverage at the location you want to install your indoor antenna. This way you will know the strength of the signal and exact direction to face your antenna.

Step #2:

After finding establishing the signal coverage, the next step is to set up your indoor TV antenna such as the ClearStream FLEX before connecting it to the television. This step should be easy although you will need to pay your attention to the expected results. To achieve this feat, you will need to mount your antenna on the window overlooking the general direction of the nearby transmitting tower.

Remember to place your TV antenna in the middle of your window and equidistant from the window frame to eliminate signal interference while improving optimal antenna performance. After you are done with mounting your indoor antenna, you may connect it to your TV antenna socket using a “male-to-male” 75-ohm coaxial extension lead. I recommend Mediabridge Broadband Coaxial Cable.

Step #3:

If the signal is not strong enough, you will need to find the right spot by moving your antenna around. But keep in mind that your window provides the best spot due to the fact that it is the place where your antenna can receive strong signals from the transmitter. From there, you proceed with switching on your TV in order to tune it.

Use the TV remote control to set channels by running the channel scan on your TV. After following all those steps, you should be able to receive crystal clear pictures on your TV set just in the same way you would when using an outdoor TV antenna. However, you can choose your indoor TV antenna from the following top indoor antenna brands to access quality pictures from your local channels:

Final Thoughts

Indoor TV antennas are increasingly becoming popular as the antenna technology makes it easier to access channels miles away from the transmitting towers. Besides being cheaper, they are also easy to set up and maintain.. Therefore, you should not have doubts when it comes to choosing and setting up an indoor antenna so may enjoy your favorite programming from your local channels.

Additional Reading

Well there you have it, my guide on how to install an indoor TV antenna! If you enjoyed reading this article and want to check out some more great articles right here on AntennaJunkies.com, check out these articles next: