Successful over-the-air antenna placement for quality reception and optimum performance of your over air antenna is all about location, location, location!
This guide is all about helping you to find the ‘sweet spot’ in your home for proper placement of your HDTV antenna to allow you to scan for channels on your TV and receive all the over air channels in your area for free.
Hindrances to OTA TV Reception
If you’ve done your homework by checking out what channels are available in your area, and you know you are supposed to be able to pick up 20 channels of free OTA TV, but you’re only getting half of that, there may be factors working against you.
When I first tried the Mohu Leaf 50, I had to try multiple placements with subsequent channel scans to find just the right spot to get all my available channels.
The first place I tried; high in a window facing the farthest tower from my location, didn’t succeed at getting all the expected channels. After about a half dozen attempts, I found the best spot for my OTA antenna was at the center of my single level home about 3″ from the ceiling and about 7′ from the connected HDTV.
Factors that can negatively affect over air TV reception include…
Factors such as surrounding terrain can affect your signal strength.
Geography: trees, mountains, and in urban settings, tall buildings between your antenna and broadcast towers can affect channel reception.
Adverse Weather: heavy rain or snow, and strong winds can all muck with over air reception; however those are temporary and when your neighbor’s satellite or cable TV is still out after the storm, you’ll still have TV with your OTA antenna.
Range of OTA Antenna: the distance from your location to the broadcast towers in your area should be less than the established range of your antenna. For example, a Mohu Curve 30 has a range of 30 miles. If all of your local OTA broadcast towers are within 30 miles of your location, this antenna is a great choice for you.
Construction of Your Home: this doesn’t happen a lot, but in some homes where a lot of metal is used; around windows for example, OTA antennas can be challenging to use.
Placement at Your Location: it can take time to find the right spot, but the effort will be worth it when you’re watching all the major networks for free in HD.
How To Successfully Place Your OTA Antenna
Trial-and-error will help you find the best location possible for your HDTV antenna.
Research how many OTA channels you are likely to receive at your location and the distance of the broadcast towers from your location.
Purchase an OTA antenna that has a range equivalent to or exceeding the range of the OTA broadcast tower furthest from your location.
Make a short list of possible placements for your antenna (front window, behind TV, over fireplace, etc…) and begin trying each location; placing the antenna and doing a subsequent channel scan on your HDTV afterwards and taking note of all the channels received.
Decide which antenna placement gives you the most channels and the best reception. Please note that it may become necessary to rescan for channels every now and then to provide you with optimum OTA antenna reception.
While indoor OTA antenna placement can be tricky, higher placement of the antenna is generally more successful. It’s important to be patient and take your time when setting up your antenna. While it can be a frustrating and time consuming process to properly setup an OTA antenna, your rich reward will be gaining all the available stations of free TV in HD and cutting the cord with expensive cable TV bills forever!