Should you put an antenna behind the TV?


There are some folks who think antennas are ugly. I’m not one of them, but then I’m a little different from your average TV watcher, right? So if you’re one of the people who look at a TV antenna and think “yuck,” if that’s the reason you haven’t cut the cord yet, you might be thinking of putting the antenna behind the TV in order to eliminate the look of too many wires and too many pieces. I totally get you there.

The problem is, it might not work. Your television has metal shielding that is designed to keep its electronic emissions from affecting other things in your home, and that same stuff will effectively block antenna signals. Most flat TVs also have a mirror behind the panel itself to make the image seem brighter, and that mirror does a great job of blocking antenna signals too.

If you’re smart and you’re able to… the one case where it could work is if the antenna could still face the broadcast towers. In other words, if all your TV signals come from the south, and you happen to orient the TV so you’re looking south when you’re watching it, then the antenna won’t be blocked by the TV at all and it won’t be a problem. Of course not everyone is so lucky or is able to plan so well.

Really, you are better off not planning to have the antenna behind the TV and finding an antenna that you can stand the look of. There are a variety of choices at and you can even get a free recommendation for the one that would be right for you. There are clear antennas like the one above and antennas of all shapes and sizes. Chances are that at least one of those antennas will be tolerable to all members of your family, especially when it allows you to bid farewell to the cable company and their $100/month bills.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.