Best Indoor antenna for TV reception

April 3, 2023
Cutting the Cord - Attleboro

Get the best performance out of your attic mounted HDTV antenna.

Before you install Determine the following:

  • Are some TV signals too weak to be received with an attic mounted TV antenna?
  • What building materials will the TV signal have to penetrate to reach the antenna?
  • Is there enough space in the attic for a suitably sized TV antenna?
  • How much signal will be lost when compared to mounting the antenna outside?
  • How to select the best TV antenna for my attic.

Building materials play a role in determining the success of an attic mounted TV antenna. A while back I connected a TV antenna to my field strength meter. A field strength meter measures the signal strength of any individual TV signal. I grabbed a piece of 7/8" OSB particle board and tested the signal strength of several TV channels without the board in front of the TV antenna. Then I placed the board at a distance of about 6 feet in front of the antenna. I found that on every channel the signal strength decreased from as little as 10% to as much 30% with the board in front of the antenna. The closer I moved the board to the antenna the weaker the signal became, as I moved it further away the signals became stronger. Keep this in mind when placing the antenna in the attic. The further you can keep the antenna from any signal obstruction in front of the antenna the better.

Do you have a metal, brick, masonry or tile roof? If the station transmitter direction requires the signal to penetrate any of these materials your chances of success are diminished. However, if the TV transmitter direction allows the signal to penetrate through wood, common roofing or vinyl siding to reach the antenna you should be okay. A plywood roof covered by a single layer of asphalt shingles is best. Many homes have a 2-3 foot wide metal stripping that can't be seen installed under the roof shingles at the bottom edge of the roof. Always install the antenna above this point so the transmitter signal line of sight to the antenna is above or below the metal stripping.

Do the attic sidewalls have metal siding, foil faced insulation, brick, or masonry of any kind? All of these materials are nasty signal blockers. It;s best to try to place the antenna in a position so the line of sight from the TV transmitters to the antenna is not block by any of the above mentioned materials.

Signal loss attic installation VS. outside. By now you know that the building materials are a big factor. TV antenna elevation will also play a role in signal strength. The extra antenna elevation that can be gained by mounting the antenna outside above the roof line must be considered. Weaker TV signals and TV signals from a greater distance will be effected most by antenna elevation. Will the extra outside elevation place the antenna above surrounding signal obstructions such as neighbors homes, hills etc.

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