If you want to cut the cord, you need to know these five important TV antenna tips.
Cutting the cord can seem like a chore to some people who haven’t done it yet. There’s just so much you have to learn before you install your antenna and enjoy free TV. The Solid Signal blog team knows this. My colleague Stuart Sweet has written hundreds of thousands of words on the subject of cord-cutting. I’ve contributed to that with a handful of blog posts of my own. Since you haven’t even cut the cord yet, we decided to limit this post to the five most important things you should know.
1. Bigger Antennas Aren’t Necessarily Better
Bigger vehicles, bigger houses, bigger boats… it seems like most Americans subscribe to the theory that “bigger is better.” That’s not necessarily true when it comes to TV antennas. There are times when getting a large antenna can be bad. For example, if you live close to the broadcast towers in the community, a large antenna will pick up a lot of unnecessary “noise” along with those channels.
Generally speaking, huge antennas are best for people who live far from the broadcast towers. We’re talking about those low-signal areas out in the country, in deep valleys, etc. People who live in the cities tend to do best with indoor antennas that hang inside their windows. Bottom line: Get the right antenna for your specific situation, not necessarily the biggest one.
2. The Right Antenna Cables Make a Difference
The cables you use attach your antenna to a receiver, and a receiver to your TV. You might think it’s as simple as getting the most affordable cable and hooking it up, but it’s not as simple as that. There are all different types and sizes of coax cables. There are also a variety of weatherproof connectors. You need to know the size and type of cables and connectors you need. You’ll also need to know how to install them. This is just as important as the type of antenna you use.
3. Antenna Height, Antenna Height, Antenna Height!
This is so important that we had to mention it three times. Simply put, the higher the antenna, the better the reception. Look, no one lives in locations that are ideal for TV reception. Many people have trees around their homes. Other people have nearby homes, buildings, and even billboards around their homes or apartments. All of these things can interfere with their TV reception if their antenna isn’t installed high enough.
There are a variety of masts designed to put your TV antenna where it needs to be to get signal. The antenna mast you need depends on a variety of circumstances. Your solution could be a simple J-mount or something more complex like an antenna tower. Just like the advice we’ve already given you, it’s important to get the right mast for your installation.
4. Use a Distribution Amp for Multiple TVs
We don’t know many cord-cutters who only want free programming on one TV. They want to share the love with every TV under their roof. If you’re planning on doing that, you’ll need the right distribution amp. One thing to know about these devices: they amplify everything, good and bad. (Just like the large antenna example above.) To reduce the chance of amplifying antenna noise, you have to get the right distribution amp and install it properly.
5. Call the Antenna Experts at Solid Signal!
This is the most important point of all. Why? Because it puts all the other points into perspective. Think about it! Throughout this post, I’ve been telling you to make sure you get the right antenna, cable, mast, and distribution amp. Since I know you haven’t cut the cord yet, I don’t expect you to know what you need for a successful installation. This is why I recommend giving our US-based customer service team a call.
One of the things our team does is offer TV antenna recommendations. You give them your address, and they’ll calculate exactly how far you are from your local TV transmitters. They’ll also factor in any obstructions between you and those towers. From that and other information, our reps will recommend the ideal antenna for YOU! It’s the same for everything else you need.
You can reach Solid Signal’s customer service team by calling 888-233-7563. If you’re reading this post after our business hours, just fill out the form below and someone will get back with you. Solid Signal is here to make your first cord-cutting experience a success!