What should I know about aerials?

If you are lucky enough to live in an area with high signal strength, almost any aerial may give you a decent choice of channels; however, many of us still need one outside and high enough to get an unobstructed signal from the nearest transmitters, and it must be just right to work.

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Orientation

Typical aerials consist of a rod with cross pieces and small ‘wings’ at the rear end. In some locations, a longer aerial is advantageous. The direction in which it points is also important – flat, upright or between. The best position depends on the transmitter and sometimes upon nearby walls or trees that bounce the signal.

You can no longer just wave it around until the picture reaches maximum quality; for digital TV, you need other ways to find the right orientation.

Installation

Professional installers come with the local knowledge and equipment to choose the best aerial and correctly align it; working on ladders is not for an amateur. For Worcester TV aerial installation, try companies such as http://steveunettaerials.co.uk/services/satellite-repair-installation-worcester/.

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Do I need a new aerial?

Problems with reception are caused by many factors, including tuner faults, poor connectors, damaged cables, interference, bad weather, aerial movement, obstructions such as trees, and changes in the transmissions.

You can easily wiggle indoor connectors to see whether this helps; however, outside connectors and cables will require a professional.

If problems stop when bad weather passes, the weather was the main culprit; however, a better aerial might reduce the influence of the weather if other aspects of your installation are imperfect.

Interference from microwaves, aircraft, taxi transmissions and other electrical equipment tend to switch on and off sharply. If this is the problem, you need advice about shielding from a professional.

Freeview frequencies

Major changes to Freeview channels are scheduled for the next few years and Ofcom predicts that hundreds of thousands of homes may need to re-orientate their aerials or have them replaced entirely. Many others will need a small filter installed behind the TV to prevent interference from 4G mobile broadband signals, which are taking over the old frequency bands.

Many aerials have a colour marker to indicate that they are optimised for a narrow range of frequencies. If you see any colour other than black, you are more likely to need an installer to adjust or replace your equipment.

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