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Improve Indoor TV Antenna Reception

Setting up an antenna for broadcast TV over the air can be difficult if the TV signals are weak in your area. Today I’m going to explain how to boost antenna performance, get more channels, and improve reception on your indoor TV antenna.

A digital TV signal arrives at your doorstep with a finite amount of power. One of the easier ways to quantify this power is noise margin. The noise margin, given in decibels (dB), is the amount of signal noise allowable before the signal can no longer be received.

The signal encounters noise on its way from the tower.  Any obstacles or interference between the tower sending the signal and the antenna receiving it is noise subtracted from the noise margin.

If the noise margin is greater than 0, it can be received by a television tuner to display the channel on your TV set. However, there is also noise in the line between the antenna and the TV tuner.  This noise is caused by the coaxial cable, signal splitters, and the tuner receiving the signal.

Any component between the antenna and the receiver has the potential to generate noise. If the noise is too great, it can lead to a negative noise margin and no reception.

HDTV Antenna Direction

Before deciding how to position your TV antenna there are 2 pieces of information you will need. First, which channels have a positive noise margin at my location? Second, in which direction are the towers generating the signal?

Using this signal analysis tool from TVFool.com will give you the table below.  It shows the noise margin (NM) and direction in degrees (“Magn” under Azimuth). I’ve also put together an episode of the Grounded Reason Podcasts that walks you through using TV fool.

There is also a bull’s-eye circular chart that shows the direction of the signal towers if you lack a compass.  Many smart phones have a compass app either installed or available for free download.

If all the channels of interest are in the same direction, then you may want to consider a directional antenna.  A directional antenna receives signals from one direction as opposed from an omnidirectional antenna which can receive signals from multiple directions.

The benefit of a directional antenna is a higher TV antenna “gain” than omnidirectional TV antennas.  This gain (also in dB) is added to the noise margin, counteracting some of the noise loss. This is different than gain from an amplifier, which will be addressed later.

Essentially, the more directed an antenna, the higher the TV antenna gain. The obvious drawback to a directional antenna is the need to re-point the antenna when switching the channel to a tower in another direction.  If all the towers are in the same direction, then this isn’t an issue. For more information on directional or omnidirectional antennas please see this antenna guide.

Indoor TV Antenna Reception

The noise margin in the table provides an estimate of the available noise threshold for that station at your location taking the terrain into account.  However it doesn’t account for trees or buildings need your house in the path of the signal

Typically TV signal towers are tall enough to ignore most of the buildings and trees in the way of the path to a TV antenna.  However a tree or building close enough to shadow your house and in the path of the signal will present a signal loss.

Generally, if you can look up at a 45 degree angle in the direction of the tower and see sky then there shouldn’t be an obstacle subtracting from the noise margin. A building in the way has shown to present a loss of 10-21 dB in various studies. If your antenna is in the shadow of a building, then angling the antenna toward the roof of that building will minimize noise loss.

Trees are another major noise contributor. This study on attenuation due to different types of trees from the University of Texas, gives an average UHF signal loss between 10-14 dB. This could be as high as 18.4 depending on the type of tree.

Once antenna gain (if any) and obstacles are accounted for, subtract 10 dB to account for inclement weather and various sources not covered.  There are too many noise potentials to list in this article and a noise buffer is wise to ensure reception in non-ideal conditions.

If the noise margin is above 35 dB after subtracting noise estimates, then this house is a candidate for an indoor TV antenna.  There are losses associated with passing through the exterior walls or roof.  The ideal spot for an indoor TV antenna is in front of a non-metal window with no screen.  A loss of 2 dB may be assumed in this ideal situation.

Otherwise an exterior wall can present an average of 10-15 dB loss to the signal, which is subtracted from the noise margin.  However, it is possible for this loss to be has high as 40 dB depending on the construction.  For more information on the attenuation due to noise and obstacles check out this reference.

Elliminate Noise in the Line

If there is enough noise margin left once the antenna receives the signal, we want examine the line to the television.  This signal loss is due to splitters, the coaxial cord and the TV tuner among others.  The standard RG-6 coaxial cable presents a loss 5.65 dB per 100 feet of cable.

There are more efficient, more expensive coaxial cables for indoor TV antenna installs if required. Wikipedia provides a great reference on coaxial attenuation.

Splitters also present losses to the noise margin. It doesn’t matter if the split is done with 1 or more splitters. The loss to subtract from the noise margin is the number of final outputs multiplied by 3.5dB. Even if an output isn’t used, it still counts as noise. For this reason, it is best to only split the signal as needed.

The connections from the antenna and tuner measure a loss of 1 dB.  The TV tuner also adds noise. If the information isn’t available in your TV tuner or televisions owner’s manual, a loss of 8 dB should be assumed.

In most indoor TV antenna installs, a preamplifier can be used. This device should be installed before any splitters.  It adds gain to the signal received by the antenna to compensate from noise between the antenna and TV.  Unlike the gain provided from directing the TV antenna, this device will not be able to increase the noise margin beyond what is initially received by the TV antenna.

Indoor TV Antenna Amplifier

There is a loss to the noise margin associated with an amplifier.  Since this loss is less than the loss generated by the TV tuner it makes sense to use an amplifier in many cases. For instance a TV tuner with a loss of 8 dB, and a 2–way splitter would amount to an 11.5 dB loss (8 + 3.5db for the splitter). Add a loss of 2.9 dB for an assumed 50 feet RG-6 coaxial cable, and then a 1 more dB loss due to the connection on either end brings the total loss to 15.4 dB.

If a 15 dB gain amplifier were added to the line just after the antenna, then the loss would be only .4 dB. However the amplifier also carries noise.  Let’s assume 3 dB bringing the total noise loss of the line to 3.4 dB.

However, if a 20 dB gain amplifier with the same level of noise was added it would not add 1.6 dB to the margin. It would simply cancel the loss added by the line to the TV ensuring the signal strength is unimpeded from the antenna to the television.  In other words, a pre-amplifier will not help a TV antenna pick up a signal already under the noise margin.

When Not To Use An Amplifier

There are situations when an amplifier is not necessary or even detrimental.  If all the stations you want to receive hit the antenna with at least 30 dB of noise margin and there is only 3 dB lost in the line, then there is no need to amplify. All the stations can already be received. Furthermore, if a signal is over amplified it could cause the tuner to not receive the station.

I hope this was helpful. If there are any questions, please leave them in the comments.

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Categories: Guides
Dennis Restauro :Dennis is the founder of Grounded Reason. He also hosts the Grounded Reason Podcast. Follow him on Twitter: Follow Dennis on Twitter

View Comments (85)

  • Could I be able to use a leaf30 antenna with a splitter so that two tv's could pick up different channels at the same time?

    • Yes, you can split using a coaxial splitter. Be sure to only use a 2-way splitter. A splitter adds a 3.5 db loss to the signal so if you decide to use an amplifier, make sure it's between the antenna and the splitter.

  • I have a channel master 3020 and my near by stations (10 miles away) have a 30db s\n level and the stations 70 miles away don't come in. I have the antenna pointed at them. These are the stations I really want. Can I add a pre amp to my setup and get the results I want or will my local station at 30db kill my tv tuner under pre amplification?

    • Overloading the tuner won't hurt the tuner. It will just cause reception issues. That said amplifying 30 dB shouldn't cause any issues. If you post your tvfool.com report I can tell you whether a pre-amp would help you out. Also let me know what the cable run look like. For instance, how may splitters, how many TV's, how long is the run from the TVs to the antenna? All these variables play a role.

        • An amplifier will only compensate for noise in the line. Your wiring is only going to be about 5-6 dB loss with the splitter included. The tuner on the TV can be anything between 3-10 db. I would give it a shot an see if it helps. The signal passing through your roof probably adds somewhere between 5-15 dB of noise depending on the material, so the signal should be making it to your antenna assuming there isn't a tree canopy shadowing that part of the roof.

          Is there any way you can get it on the roof. That would help the most.

      • Antenna is at 15ft in garage attic. I have a 50ft cable from antenna to 2 way splitter and 15 ft cable to TV1, and 25ft to TV2. Cable is rg6 quad shielded. Splitter is 5-1002mhz with -3.5 loss.

        • What's the Noise Margin from the stations that are 70 miles away according to TV fool?

  • I just got the Channel master 30db pre amp and it works awesome! More channels than I ever hoped for. Thank you for your assistance!

  • Rabbit ears antenna worked well upstairs, but could no get any reception on the main floor. Both TV are HD. Unfortunately, antenna cannot be raised, or moved from its current position.

    Channels of interest are within 20 miles, with signals ranging from 40 to 62 DB.

    Will a different type of antenna or an amplifier help?


    • Have you tried any of the Mohu products? You shouldn't need an amp if you are getting 40 - 60 DBs. Are the TVs downstairs on rabbit ears as well?

  • Trying to use tv in the basement of a commercial building. Don't know exactly whether above ceiling tiles is just above or below actual ground level. Installed a Walmart RCA flat omni amplified square antenna. It will get more than half of my local stations, however not consistantly. ABC and CBS are about 9 miles and NBC that is only 5 miles, I can't get. The antenna is about a foot above ceiling tiles against the outside concrete wall but only inches from a large metal air duct. Based on what I am getting can you recommend a solution that will work?

    • Can you post your TV fool report. It's hard to say without knowing the frequency.

  • I'm in Tampa and live within 16 miles of a tower farm from which nearly all my available channels are broadcast. I am using a Mohu curve (thanks for the discount!) with no amplifier. Here's a link to my TV fool report. I am having issues pulling in channel 10 (CBS). My lot and neighborhood have many large oak trees and the tower farm is across a large body of water. The noise margins, distance and direction for all the network channels including CBS are virtually the same. All other channels come in crystal clear. Any idea on how to pull in this one difficult channel? Would an amplifier be the solution to my problem?

    Thank you so much for this blog. It has been invaluable in helping our family cut the cable cord this year!

    • had a problem not getting CBS and ABC. Occasionally they would come very spotty and then disappear. I live in Northern Virginia in an apartment and am 18 miles (as the crow flies) from the TV transmitters and have a 50 mile amplified Mohu Leaf antenna.

      How I Solved the problem
      Place the antenna in the best possible location in the house (yes CBS and ABC still don't come there or they come spotty). Then I took an old 3 pin audio-video cable (one with the Red, Yellow and White pins on either ends which we used to connect to a VCR in the good old days!) and inserted the two red pins into two tiny holes on either side of the antenna. Actually Mohu Leaf antenna already has two pinholes to hang it on a wall, I pushed the Red pins into those. Voila! it worked and with amazing clarity. I get ABC, CBS with super strong signal and stability. Even the other channels that I was already receiving are significantly more stable now.

      Well the reason this hack worked is because of the copper wire in the AV cables which pulled in weak TV signals closer to the antenna. If you don't have a AV cable use a simple electric wire to push into those two pinholes.

    • This issue is a bit technical. That station is Hi-VHF. Most digital signals operate in the UHF range. While the Curve is rated to pick up VHF within 20 miles this channel may be pushing it. An Amplifier may solve the problem by compensating for the noise in the line allowing 10 to come through. If not, you can get this station by using a VHF/UHF joiner. You just plug the Curve into the UHF side, and then connect the VHF side to a pair of old fashion rabbit ears, like these. There is no indoor antenna better suited for VHF than rabbit ears. There just aren't many VHF stations anymore. Let me know if any of this works out.

      Thanks for your question. I think I have enough here to write a post based on it.

  • I currently get CBS, ABC and CW on a clear day fine with an occasional break up but nothing to distract from the show. However, I am unable to get NBC or FOX. I live in Charlotte, NC so there are trees everywhere.

    The situation is:
    I use a mohu antenna that has a range of 30 miles and worked good in the last few places I have lived.

    The antenna is on the second floor. However, there are trees in the direction of the towers but they don't shade the wall where the antenna sits.

    I have 3 coaxial cables connected using just the one way connectors to reach the TV. In total there is about 50 or so feet of cable from the antenna and the TV. It is connected to a Channel Master DVR+ (highly recommend one).

    Here is the TV Fool report

    What are your suggestions to get a stronger signal and possibly getting FOX and NBC?

    Could the hack RCMAX mentioned in his post about the RCA audio cables in the holes of the antenna work? If so, I didn't quite understand how he did it.

    • Those channels shouldn't have a problem coming in. Do things improve if you point the flat panel East? From there I would try to use one cable with no connectors. There could be a bad connection somewhere generating a larger loss than normal.

  • I tried facing it due East and moved it around some but still not getting a very strong signal. My signal quality jumps around a fair amount. Is there a way to getting better signal quality? I have my antenna placed on the ceiling nearly 30 feet off the ground. There is a thick of trees just behind my home and in the direct LOS.

    • I did not do well with the RCA flat antenna either because I was constantly having to run the channel scanner and not knowing what would come in as a result.

  • I have the first television that I have had in years. The last one I had was an old analog one which was so super heavy that I could not lift it even though I could get my arms around it. This means that I am new to making television work in Orlando since I have never had one here before. I am getting multiple PBS stations but none of the major networks.

    I bought a flat indoor antenna and then another one bearing some resemblance to the old rabbit ears because that is what the salesman at Best Buy recommended. I am getting a better signal now, but the stations are still pretty much the same.

    I cannot put up an outdoor antenna because I am a tenant, and the corporate landlord is even fussy about television dishes and has charged tenants plenty for dishes which the corporation which owns this complex considered improperly installed. I am not going to have a cable guy come out here and drill holes in the walls which I do not own.

    I am thinking that my next step should be a coupler, but two electronics stores near my home do not even carry them.

    What is the best coupler or other means to get decent reception with a theme park nearby to create interference and so forth?

    • Oh, and another thing I perhaps should mention is that I am getting multiple PBS channels from University of Central Florida, but the programs are different on each channel. What I want is to pick up the major networks so that I can watch the news and know what is happening outside these walls.

    • According to the station -finders, I should have a strong signal for 16 channels, nothing with a moderate signal, none lacking any signal, and 10 with a weak signal. I live in zip code 32819. I messed with hooking the signal enhancer to the Insignia rabbit ear antenna last night. That supposedly got me 8 channels, but many sputtered. Because I am disabled and cannot get around well, I rely upon the TV for companionship when people are doing things which I can no longer participate in so frustration is setting in.

      • I'm sorry you are having so much trouble. What antenna are your currently trying to install?

    • Hi Mary,

      Do you have a TV fool report for your area? Without seeing a signal report any advice I give will be guesswork. You can make a report from the instruction in my TV antenna guide.

  • Hello Dennis. Thanks for your great blog! I cut the cord a while ago and invested in a Fire Stick and use PS Vue (which has given us no trouble and we even get a couple of local channels). My problem though, is that I just can't get a good signal, if any, from my MOHU Leaf 50 Antenna for NBC or ABC or PBS... very frustrating. I even tried RCMAX suggestion with the audio-video pins... ;) I'm linking our TV Fool report. I will admit that I do not really understand the complexities (they are complex to me, anyway) so hoping you might be able to shed a bit of light on my situation. We do have lots of tall trees in the neighborhood. I'm thinking it might be better if I move to a roof antenna - but would need to have someone hook it up and not sure who to call for that? Is there a job title for such a thing that I can search for? Thanks very much!

    TV Fool

    • Home Advisor should be able to find an certified antenna installer in your area. Their number is 888-605-2759. As for your signals, they are very strong. Do you have a Window facing west? If so, try putting the leaf in that window and see if the reception improves.

  • Great write up! We recently moved to zip code 20165 and are trying cord cutting for the first time. I'm using a Mohu Leaf 50 and Tablo DVR. We're getting most networks fine, but occasionally have trouble with NBC. Based on where it gets picked up on the channel scan, it seems to be on the edge of the frequency range of the Tablo tuner (last channel picked up). It's a solid picture when connected directly to the TV, showing about a mid-level signal strength there. Sometimes it will just drop out on the Tablo with no obvious reason (antenna not moved, no weather in the vicinity, etc.). On the Tablo site, they suggested that there may be a digital cliff due to the internal splitter for the dual-channel recording.

    My question is: could a pre-amp help this, or would it just overdrive all the other channels we're getting just fine? Any issues with the using a preamp in addition to the one that comes with the Leaf 50?

    Thanks for any help...it's so close to working that I would really like to get rid of these frustrations.

    • Yep. Essentially no reception for anything without the amplified antenna. Getting decent coverage with the Leaf 50 built in amp on all channels for all DC channels and a couple of Baltimore ones. When connected directly to TV, getting 5/10 bars for NBC and anywhere between 5-7/10 on other channels.

      • You should be getting better reception than that. Something seems strange. Unfortunately it's very hard to troubleshoot without being there.

    • That's odd. NBC has a very strong signal in that area. You really shouldn't even need an amp. Have you tried not using it?

  • Hi there. I have three TV's in my living room entertainment center in a second floor apartment in Zip Code 49829. Very rural. The 32-inch Samsung is the one I have put an RCA outdoor antenna on, but it is hanging in the window (cannot put it outside due to landlord). I hooked up the RCA preamplifier and have short RG-6 cables. A few feet to the right is a Vizio 32-inch Smart TV that's hooked to cable television through an HDMI cable. And on top of that is a 40-inch RCA (older one) hooked also to an HDMI cable. The problem is with the TV that I hooked an antenna to. Depending on time of day, I get PBS from across the lake from Sister Bay WI (35 miles away) and a slew of stations from Green Bay, WI. But when I turn on the Vizio TV, every station goes away on the TV with only an antenna attached. I've changed surge strips and which outlet these TVs are in, and no dice on keeping the two HDMI-cable TVs and the antenna TV going. Turn off the other TVs, the antenna TV comes in fine (most of the time). I know these are weak signals, but any advice? Thanks and great web site...I am new at this!

    • It sounds like there is some electromagnetic interference coming off the TV. I would troubleshoot by moving the Vizio TV farther away to see if there is a "safe distance." Does the cable wiring touch the antenna wiring at any point? While coaxial is shielded, it can still catch interference from other wiring.

  • Thanks Dennis! I'm in 92653 (48 miles from the broadcast location) so we're right on the edge of being able to pick up some of the stations we want (@15 dB). Your blog is very informative and has given me lots of options in improving our reception.

    • If you have 15 dB of noise margin then I'd recommend going with a high gain directional outdoor antenna. That would be your best shot at getting reception.

  • Hello Dennis,

    I live in zip 55733 and recently cut the cord and DirecTV, couldn't be happier! using SlingTV for my favorite cable channels and have a Roku for streaming all of it. OH and a Tivo Bolt so I can record my favorite OTA channels. I have a Mohu Air 60 antenna on our rooftop, in the same place our DirecTV dish was. Used their cable (not sure if it's an RG-6 or not) to hook up the antenna, then I have a Channel Master 4-way amplified splitter to feed 4 TV's in our house. I have been able to pick up all the channels on 3 of the 4 TV's (only 1 TV doesn't get one of the stations, which it perfectly fine), I was pretty impressed with my results to begin with, but recently, the Duluth, MN area channel numbers have changed for CBS and NBC, and I have also noticed that most of the local stations are pixelated quite often, which wasn't the case when I first hooked everything up. It's been very annoying trying to watch a show and it cuts out because of pixelation. I tried just unplugging the amplifier to the Channel Master 4-way splitter and can still get some of the channels, but not all of them. On the TV Fool report, it says all of the local channels have LOS, so i am wondering if I should try a directional antenna since all the towers are in one direction and within 15 miles of my house. I'd hate to spend money on another antenna because the Mohu Air 60 was $150 and I figured it was the best one to get. Anyway, wondering if you have any suggestions as to how I can improve reception on these channels? it seems all of them get pixelated when just a few months ago it was only NBC that was giving me grief. Thank you!!! Appreciate your input! love your information!

    • Thats really odd. Do you know exactly what has changed in your area? Those network channels should be no issue with the Sky. I'd recommend checking the antenna to make sure that it hasn't taken any damage. Since you have a Tivo Bolt you might also look into connecting the antenna directly to the bolt and use a fire tv stick to view it on other TVs.

  • RCMAX - great tip !!! I have been trying to pull in the major tv networks -abc,cbs ,fox and nbc and could never get more than 2 at a time for over a year now using mohu leaf 50.I do live 47 miles from some of the stations. Instead of the rca cord i used a thicker gauge copper wire( for car speakers) about 2-3 feet long through the top mounting holes for the antenna and now get all 4 with 1 very slightly pixelated. I have tried 4 different antennas with not much difference and was skeptical about this tip as i have tried others that have not worked but this was great. Recommend everyone give it a try. It saved me my next step of trying preamp.

  • We installed a TV antenna from circuit city for over a hundred dollars. We can get all channels but have to move the antenna different ways by hand. Also sometimes the shows we are watching goes in and out. Is there a remedy for that?

    • I would need to get a look at the TV Fool report, the type of antenna, and the stations that are giving you issues to have an idea.

  • Thank you Dennis, this is a wonderful, informative web site.
    I live at 55417. Long ago, before everything went digital, I installed both a combination VHF/UHF antenna, similar to the Channel Master CM 3016 UHF/VHF and a separate UHF antenna as those tower signals were roughly 45 degrees apart from one another (334 deg and 26 deg). The antenna height is roughly 25 feet above ground. I recently turned both antennas to 25 degrees and that seems to pick up most of the channels we watch. But I'm wondering if I'm loosing some signal strength by having both antenna's pointed in the same direction? Should I remove the UHF antenna and keep the combination VHF/UHF antenna because everything is now digital, is it even necessary to have one or the other? I have no idea what the signal radius is on the combination antenna I have, but if it is similar to the Channel Master I referenced above, (which does not list a signal radius as well) should I point my antenna due north to pick up signals from both towers (334 deg and 26 deg)?
    Thank you.

  • I live at 28036 and I just bought two Mohu 50 Antenna that came with an amplifier. I put one down stairs in my house at a window that is facing kind of South East and was able to get about 28 channels (all the major networks). This TV is on the most Southern wall of my home. I then went up stairs and put the other antenna on the same wall of the house at a window but the upstairs location is on the Northern side of the house. I was only able to get about 10 channels and not the ones I really wanted (Fox, CBS, etc..) Any advice would be appreciated. Since most all of the towers are on the SE and SW of my home would that make that big a difference for the upstairs TV that is on the North side of the home. I thought for sure since it was upstairs it would do better than the one down stairs. No obstructions in on the exterior of the home. TV fool link TV Fool

    • I would try to isolate the issue. First, try the other antenna and see if you get the same results. If the other antenna works better, I'll call and explain the situation to Mohu. Second I would try to get the upstairs antenna in a situation where your near a window, either a longer cord or moving the TV. If you can't find a better situation it's possible that the tuner on the TV is the problem.

  • Great Website I have a Lava HDTV 2605 (Chinese ) antenna on 20' pole attached
    to my chimney. The rotation motor control box next to HDTV sends a low current
    through the RG-6 coaxial cable to rotate antenna. This control box has about a 5db
    gain control on it. I am getting over 70 HD channels so I'm happy.
    My question is can I add a 20db inline signal booster to help pull in those distant
    stations that are 70+ miles away?

    • It really depends. If those channels are getting to your antenna, but the noise in the line is preventing them from coming in, then an amp could help. An amplifier will not help you pull any channels that aren't making it to your antenna.

  • can attenuation loss be corrected with inline attenuaton before a amplifier?

    • If the loss is due to the quality of cable, splitters, and connection points then sure. Otherwise, there is only as much signal as the antenna receives.

  • I live at 27040. Trees around but 45 degree angle test shows open sky. Purchased a 70 mile DB8E multidirectional outdoor antenna that is mounted on roof of 2 story house about 35-40 ft above ground. House was built in the 80's with 2-3 outlets per room in 6 rooms. Stations range from 10 miles north to 35-40 miles southeast. Stations north come in(unless inclement weather then one breaks up), while southeast stations do not come in at all. Would a antenna preamp solve this problem or do I need to do something in the house to eliminate outlets that are not being used. Thanks

  • I'm surprised people still use wireless receivers for their TVs. Usually an external receiver that is properly aligned outside does the trick. Thanks for writing.

  • can anyone suggest what need, im new to this went to best buy n they sold me mohu leaf 50 n only channels i get is qvc n religion, i like to get my local 3 5 8. Im in canton ohio and im lost. cble bill went to 150 when twc merged with spectrum

  • Hi Dennis...Great information...Thank you so much for this post!
    Any help you can give me will be most appreciated. I have tried numerous antennas and I'm exhausted :-(. The stations I want are all less than 20 miles from the broadcast station, NM between 30.2 and 56.1

    I can scan up to approx. 30 channels (15 with good reception). PBS, MEtv, NBC, FOX, etc. However, the 2 channels I want don't have good reception and they are in the same range as the other channels. I gave one of the manufacturers my address and they said I have some obstructions between my house and the broadcast tower, but the Moho Leaf 50 should work for me. I know I need an omnidirectional antenna (stations are located in two directions) and the stations I want are VHF Hi and UHF. The Mohu Leaf 50 had all of that, but didn't pick up 2 channels that I really want.

    I bought a rabbit ear antenna (30 miles) and it works good upstairs in my guest bedroom. I get a lot of channels (including the 2 channels I want, CBS and CW50). Funny thing is that Mohu 50 didn't work well in the upstairs bedroom, but the rabbit ear did. Unfortunately, the rabbit ear antenna didn't work downstairs on the main floor, but the Moho 50 did (just not the 2 channels I want).

    I was wondering do you think I need to attach a different coaxial cable to the Mohu Leaf or should I try another antenna?

    Thanks in Advance

  • Iam using RCA rabbit ears and an EMERSON LED DOLBY HDMI flatsceen and am able to get at least 15 channel. But I have moved the TV around and can only get the signals in 2 places.My question is does other metal items like metal table and chairs, bronze or gold-plated nicknacks, or radio antenna on a boom box interfere with the TV signal reception? Thanks.

    • Yes metal can interfere in a big way. That's why I had my brother to move his metal cabinet in the other room. Metal acts as a shield stopping the signals from getting through. Wood, glass and plastic anything is just fine.

  • Can I connect the outdoor antenna to the existing cable connections outside the house? That would connect my 2 TVs without running anymore wires ... !

    • You could. However, if it's a sub-optimal coaxial installation it would impact your reception.

  • I live in Milwaukee about 10 miles away from our local broadcast towers and was wondering if it would be possible to pickup some Chicago stations located between 70-80 miles away with the same outdoor antenna? I was originally considering using a preamp, but it sounds like that may over amplify my local signals which I can pickup easily with an indoor antenna.

  • I have a MOHU antenna. With my old DVDr on, my TV comes in very good. If I shut the DVDr off or want to watch TV while recording, my TV comes in awful on most stations! Why is this & can I hook up an additional antenna to my TV, so, it will come in better, while my DVDr is off or recording & where would I plug it in, if so?? My DVDr is old & might not last much longer. Then what? Thank You!

  • Hello Dennis. Can I use both a digital signal amplifier and a indoor antenna amplifier? Do they serve the same purpose? I was thinking that the indoor antenna amplifier would allow me to receive more channels while the digital signal amplifier would help strengthen the signals for these channels. Would using both be beneficial or just plain overkill? I was contemplating buying both of these amps from a maker named ONN, sold at Walmart.

    • I would not use two amplifiers. It would be better to just get a more powerful amplifier. Also be aware that the amp just compensates for noise in the line from splitters, tuners, etc. If you have an amp that already covers the noise in the line you aren't seeing any benefit from adding another amp. Furthermore, the amp comes with a 1 dB loss for the connection.

  • Hi Dennis,

    I have great signal with my antenna upstairs in my house but.... I am unable to run a coax line from upstairs to the TV downstairs, its a very long run. Is there a way of broadcasting the antenna signal in the house?



    • Why not take a look at an HD HomeRun. It plugs into your router and sends the signal over the Network. You then use an app to watch Local TV.

  • I had an antenna that without amplifier and it receives two local closer TV channels. I bought an indoor antenna with 25dB amplifier. Once it is installed, I can receive NBC (channel 4) from NYC and a Spanish channel (don't care) without rest channels (ABC, CBS and FOX). From distance map, ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX are about 28.5 miles away. I have tried many times to rescan the channels from TV without success and moved antenna to windows that face West and East (NYC is at North East towards East side of my home).
    I see eBay sells 36dB standalone TV amplifier which is highest gain amplifier that I can find from eBay and Amazon. If I buy one, will it help to receive signals from ABC, CBS and FOX?

    • I would need to see your TV Fool to give better advice, but be aware that if you boost a signal too much it can overload the tuner and not come in.

      • Thanks, Dennis
        I can't paste the map to this message. Is image allowed to import to the web site?

  • My tv is in my living room (north). All the channels I wish to receive are between 191 and 238 degrees with 2 interior and an exterior wall in between. The only place I can put the antenna is high on the north wall next to the tv. Five of the stations towers are between 15.-17.5 miles apart. The other two 28 and 29.8 miles. These two also have the lowest NM rate of 20.7 and 20.1 and are UHF. The other channels have an NM between 46.4 - 54.4 but are VHF. What would work?

    • I would go with an outdoor antenna if possible. The ClearStream 2V and 4V are good at picking up UHF and VHF

  • Hi
    Great read
    Question for you.
    I have a duel bay out door at around 25 feet with a rotor.
    I live near Toronto On. Can.
    When I go for the distance buffalo channels, 2,4,7 etc, half the time I can tune them in just fine , but the other times when they are choppy , I can get good reception by touching outer of the cable connector at back of tv.
    I do have the antenna grounded outside and I do have a pre amp installed.
    I have tried grounding to water pipe , but nothing works like when I grab the connector at tv.
    Do You know what could help me to get this good reception with out touching the connector ?
    Running around 100 feet of rg6

    • It's tough to say. I would start troubleshooting the installation. What happens when you run without the pre-amp? have you tried grounding to the house ground? It could be a number a things.

  • Hi Dennis,
    Thank you for the informative blog!
    Question: Why is our reception good if my husband is on the roof standing by the antenna but when comes down off the roof we lose the 32 channels we find?

    • Basically, since we are about 80% water we do a good job of conducting electricity. It's the same reason aluminum foil on a set of rabbit ears can improve reception.

      • I have noticed that the signal would come in stronger when I'm standing near the antenna of a radio. So having our bodies made up mostly of water does make a lot of sense.

  • I have an outside antenna and I can watch NBC every morning without a problem but as soon as noon there is interference so bad that it distorts the picture and sound that you can't even watch it all afternoon and evening

    • It sounds like there is some interference being generated. I'd recommend having a professional coming out to look at it.