10 Ways to Improve Your TV Reception

By Greg Martinez / November 4, 2019
10 ways to improve your TV reception

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All was going fine and well with your new TV antenna.

A few weeks prior, you’d decided to follow through on your New Year’s resolution to cut the cord and receive free, HD-quality content by installing an HDTV antenna on your roof.

The first results were good; you’d spent quite a bit of time researching the right antenna for your needs, and once installed and properly aimed, it was capturing most of the OTA programming in your area. 

Many channels were coming in crisp and clear, although a few were understrength according to the reading on your TV tuner.

You also wondered why you weren’t getting all the channels that TVFool.com had promised.

Enough of the waiting. Let’s now investigate and improve your TV reception.

In this article I’ll give you some tips for troubleshooting and improving reception issues.

But first, bear in mind that improving a passive signal receptor like an antenna is really more art than science.

And results can differ dramatically from one location to the next.

Also, a word on tools. Some readers have asked me for tool recommendations for things like gauging signal strength.

There isn’t any one tool I’d recommend for these tasks, although the more technically minded may buy a multimeter to test signal strength along a coaxial connection to their TV.

The digital TV tuner in your television or set-top box will probably serve the average homeowner equally well, though.

There’s usually a screen, often on the settings page, that shows the signal strength of a particular channel in percentage terms. (Where this screen is located depends on the make or manufacturer of your device.)

All in all however, the most important tool or skill in your arsenal will be patience. This will allow you to calmly identify issues and work out possible solutions.

Troubleshooting Antennas

Let’s face it. Dealing with electronic equipment can be challenging.

Antennas are especially so, as their simplicity and lack of direct feedback make them a hit or miss proposition.

Most people hook up their antennas and they just work. Others get almost no channels, with little indication as to why.

It doesn’t help that most manufacturers provide minimal guidance in the form of paper manuals and troubleshooting steps.

We just have to trust everything will work after installation.

And it’s not just antennas. It’s the entire daisy chain of attached devices, from coaxial cables to splitters, from amplifiers to converter boxes.

Engineers refer to these as “single points of failure,” meaning a defect or malfunction in one can cause issues with your reception.

Assessing Symptoms

Symptoms of bad reception come in different forms. Is it just some random pixelation during a strong wind gust?

Or did the picture go out completely and now you have a blank screen?

There are many potential causes for signal disruption, but overall they’ll come from either outside or inside your home.

Causes of TV Signal Disruption Outside the Home

A variety of geographical, environmental, and man-made factors can interfere with radio frequency signal propagation and disrupt television reception.

For instance, hills, trees, and tall buildings in the line of sight from your antenna to the source of radio transmission signals can significantly weaken radio waves.

Atmospheric pressure systems can shift radio signals, and severe weather conditions can cause fluctuations in broadcasts.

Lastly, urban electrical interference such as local street lamps turning on or off can momentarily disrupt viewing.

Potential causes of signal disruption outside the home

Causes of TV Signal Disruption Inside the Home

Sources from within your home might also introduce interference and disrupt TV signals.

These sources commonly stem from insufficiently shielded cabling and wiring, some types of LED lighting systems, or faulty equipment such as amplifiers.

Potential causes of signal disruption inside the home

At first, you probably won’t know what’s causing the issue.

By applying the recommendations in this article, you might not only fix your reception, but also gain better insight into what caused the problem.

Video: 6 Possible Causes of TV Reception Issues

How to Get More Channels with a TV Antenna

Below I list steps and remedies to help pinpoint and address potential causes of poor reception, which will ultimately get you more TV channels.

Don’t forget to run a channel scan after following each step to update channels on your television or external tuner.

Speaking of tuners, as mentioned previously you should also check the signal strength indicator for channels to see how your efforts are going.

Tip #1: Increase the Elevation of Your Antenna

For reception to work best, your antenna should have a clean “line of sight” to the transmission towers you found on TVFool.com.

This means, ideally, it should be pointed directly at the towers with zero local obstacles (like buildings, mountains, and trees) standing in the way.

Obstacles will create opportunities for radio frequency signals to split as they bounce off of surfaces and arrive “out of phase” with each other (this is known as multipath interference).

In the days of VHF analog TV, such interference used to produce weird effects such as ghosting.

These days however, multipath interference is likely to produce pixelation or no picture at all.

For most households, having a clear line of sight to the nearest TV stations is unattainable, which is why antennas should be mounted both outside and as high as possible for the best likelihood of clearing local obstacles.

IMPORTANT: Safety should be your number one priority when working with an outdoor TV antenna. Make sure to read my guide on antenna installation safety before getting on your roof.

All things being equal, antennas on hilltop homes have better reception than those in a valley.

Also, the attic isn’t generally the best place for an antenna (though you may decide to install it there anyway).

Bestrillion High Reception OutdoorIndoor HDTV Antenna

Your roof typically offers the highest point on your home, and I recommend installing antennas at least 10-20 feet off the ground.

Tip #2: Ensure Your Antenna is Properly Aimed

Uni- and multidirectional antennas (and even some omnidirectional antennas) offer powerful reception but they must be accurately pointed at the source of radio frequency signals.

Unidirectional antennas for consumer use — such as the ones in the image below — are typically of Yagi or log-periodic design.

Yagi RCA ANT751R Compact HDTV Antenna with 70-Mile Range Review

If your reception is poor, try to re-aim the antenna towards transmission towers. Even a few degrees’ difference can help.

You can find the nearest transmission towers (including both their true and compass headings) via a website such as TVFool.com or RabbitEars.info.

You should pay attention to two things when orienting your antenna:

  1. Use the magnetic azimuth heading of the towers indicated on a site like tvfool.com to aim the antenna with your compass or compass smartphone app. If aiming towards a group of towers, you may have to experiment a bit to get the best reception from all of them.
  2. Your antenna mast should be vertically level. You can use a carpenter’s level tool to verify this; an antenna whose mast isn’t perfectly vertical from top to bottom will get poorer reception.

When re-aiming, it’s best to ask someone to sit in front of the TV to re-scan channels and report on how your efforts are going.

Communicating with a mobile app like Apple FaceTime is great for getting feedback in realtime.

Tip #3: Change the Position or Location of Your Antenna

As with re-aiming, slight changes in your antenna’s position can also make a difference. Try moving it only a little bit over to a new spot.

If this doesn’t work, relocate it to a new area entirely on your home.

Moving your antenna might work because of the physics of signal transmission and the fact that small distortions caused by obstacles in the antenna’s line of sight (e.g., trees, tall buildings, hills, etc.) might be hindering reception in the antenna’s current position.

Tip #4: Reset Your Digital Tuner

A digital tuner converts incoming TV signals into digital format for display on your television screen.

It’s usually found either inside your TV or it’s external (such as in your set-top or converter box). The tuner also stores channel information that allows you to switch channels.

You may try clearing the tuner’s memory cache in order to refresh this channel information.

This issue is that broadcasters may occasionally change their channel’s meta-information.

One example of this is the FCC spectrum repack where some stations will be reassigned new broadcast or real channels during a period from September 2018 to July 2020 (check rabbitears.info to see what’s changing in your area).

Normally you wouldn’t need to reset your tuner to get new channel information (just do a channel rescan) but if you’re having a hard time getting certain channels, this may be a trick worth trying.

To reset your tuner to clear existing memory and recompile the channel list, do the following:

  1. Disconnect the antenna coaxial cable from your TV or set-top/converter box
  2. Run a channel scan on your TV or set-top/converter box (with the antenna disconnected)
  3. Then turn off and unplug your TV or set-top/converter box and wait for several minutes
  4. Reconnect your antenna to the TV or device
  5. Plug your TV or set-top/converter box back in and turn it on
  6. Do one more channel scan

Tip #5: Secure Your Antenna and Components Against the Elements

Rain, wind, and even the hot sun can wear down and erode outdoor equipment.

An antenna may have a sturdy and waterproof frame but if individual parts such as screws and connectors are of cheap quality, they won’t last.

I recommend inspecting your outdoor TV antenna, along with any cables and other devices, once per year.

This gives you the opportunity to note and replace any rusted or eroded parts before they become an issue.

Weatherproof Cable Connections

You’ll want to especially check the connections between coaxial cables and equipment, and waterproof these if necessary. This is actually simple to do.

First, unplug a coaxial cable from its connection and clean and dry it.

After plugging it back in, you can carefully wrap moisture-proof tape such as Parts Express Coax Seal Moisture Proof Sealing Tape around the connection.

Alternatively, you can weatherproof cable connections with hardware using STUF Dielectric Waterproofing Grease.

You unplug the cable and apply the grease directly to both the cable’s core and its connector, before plugging it back in.

And it won’t interfere with signal flow — check out this page for more information.

Some antennas come with a weather or rubber “boot” that covers sensitive parts like transformers or baluns (that rubber part on the antenna covering where the coaxial cable emerges — you can find a balun for example on the  Winegard Platinum Series HD7694P).

If your antenna has a balun, inspect and replace it if it’s worn or broken (such as with a Coaxial F Boot — F81 Weather Seal Boot shown above).

Replace Worn Coaxial Cable

Beware old coaxial cables with worn or frayed outer sheathes; these can sometimes break open in places, allowing in moisture.

Make sure you’re using modern RG6 cable, which features tri or quad shielding to protect against electromagnetic interference.

For a good coaxial cable product, I recommend the 50-foot version from Mediabridge.

Fasten Down Your Antenna

Lastly, if you’re watching TV and suddenly have reception problems during strong wind gusts, make sure the outdoor antenna is mounted securely.

That is, fixed rigidly to its spot.

For instance, if the antenna is mounted on top of a pole that sways in the wind, this will cause poor reception since a moving antenna can cause signal drop outs.

When feasible, use steel guy wires made of galvanized steel to secure the antenna pole.

For such tasks you may want to use National Hardware N267-013 2573BC wire.

Tip #6: Check for Nearby Items That Cause Interference

Reflective surfaces around your antenna or electromagnetic appliances in your home can distort and weaken incoming radio frequency signals.

Below are some culprits that conspire to reduce the quality of your TV viewing.

Inadequate Cable and Wiring Insulation

At times you may observe one or more TV channels dropping out due to the activation of an appliance (e.g., hair dryer or LED light switching on). In some homes — particularly ones with older wiring that’s inadequately shielded — such items might generate radio frequency noise that seeps into the AC power system.

Besides issues caused by lack of insulated wires, thinly sheathed antenna cables (such as older RG59 coaxial) may also not provide sufficient insulation from electromagnetic interference.

You can test for noise effects by unplugging various appliances in your home and isolating the cause.

If for some reason you’re getting interference and believe it’s caused by noise from one or more appliances, you might consider installing a power conditioner like the Furman M8X2 Merit Series 8 Outlet Power Conditioner and Surge Protector.

Power conditioners are devices that provide both electromagnetic noise filtering and power surge protection.

Now, these devices are often employed by audio professionals who install them in a central rack, along with sound equipment such as amplifiers.

But they may also be beneficial for your situation. You might want to similarly put a power conditioner near your TV and plug your devices into it.

Reflective Surfaces around the Antenna

Another culprit for poor reception is reflective surfaces.

If you have a metal roof for instance, make sure the outdoor antenna is mounted at least one meter (about 3.3 feet) above it to reduce any effects of interference.

Beware too of radiant barriers if you’ve mounted your TV antenna in the attic.

Interference from Cellular Towers

If there’s a cellular phone tower in your vicinity, LTE signals might be interfering with your television signals.

Since 2009, the upper range of UHF frequencies has been re-allocated to cellular carriers due to growing demand for 4G and 5G.

In the electromagnetic spectrum, this puts LTE signals literally next to the frequencies used by television stations.

If your antenna line is amplified, this may exacerbate interference by LTE signals.

I’d recommended that you install an LTE filter, a simple device that you attach between your coaxial cable and other devices.

For example, instead of plugging the cable directly into your TV, install the filter between them.

A good example of a filter is the Channel Master LTE filter.

With permission from Channel Master

Tip #7: Protect Against Power Surges

It’s well known that power surges caused by thunderstorms can damage household appliances.

Even the buildup of static electric charge on your antenna during storms may damage any connected devices, including amplifiers, converter boxes, or your TV.

Though you may not live in a lightning-prone area, you’ll still want a strategy for dealing with inevitable power surges.

First off, I highly recommend grounding both your outdoor antenna and the coaxial cable that’s connected to it.

This will protect your TV equipment from both indirect lightning strikes and other, more common issues caused by thunderstorms such as static electrical buildup.

As an alternative to the complexity of grounding their antenna, some choose to simply install a surge protector (such as the Lightning Surge Protector F Female to F Female DC-3 shown below – note it’s “female to female”) on the coaxial cable between their antenna and TV or set-top box.

Lightning Surge Protector F Female to F Female DC-3 GHz 75 ohm with 90 V Gas Tube Surge Arrester (Lightning Arrester F Female to Female)

Keep in mind however, that surge protectors generally cover only one part of the equation — the grounding of the coaxial cable — and don’t provide grounding of the antenna mast itself.

Tip #8: Use an Antenna Rotator

If you own a unidirectional outdoor antenna and the transmission towers in your area are more than 90 degrees apart from each other in relation to you on the map, you may consider buying and installing an antenna rotator.

This enables you to re-orient your antenna towards the other towers as needed — without getting up on the roof to turn the antenna yourself!

Below is an example of a rotator, the RCA VH226F; note the control unit on the left (showing both memory and antenna position in degrees), the rotator box itself in the middle, and the remote control on the right.

Rotators come in different price categories, but they’re not something I’d scrimp on; you don’t want to buy a cheap rotator that breaks down after half a year, compelling you to get back on the roof to replace it.

Installing a rotator on an antenna mast requires a fair amount of DIY skills, but can make for a good weekend project.

You normally place the control unit near the TV and run electrical wiring from this unit to the rotator box up on the antenna mast.

Before buying a rotator you should verify that you’ll be able to install it given the diameter of your existing mast.

On the mast, it’s best to install the rotator as close as possible to the antenna itself in order to reduce the load-bearing weight that must be turned (thereby reducing rotor wear).

After installation, you’ll do configuration by doing an initial rotation and registering the locations of towers with memory positions in the control unit.

Afterwards you just use the remote to select a memory position to turn your antenna to get the corresponding channels.

As a caveat, keep in mind that if you have multiple TVs in your home, re-orienting the antenna will interrupt the TV viewing of others.

If you plan on recording shows with a digital video recorder (DVR), you would need to ensure your antenna is correctly oriented before recording begins.

Tip #9: Amp Up Your Reception

In some circumstances, your reception may benefit from amplification of the antenna’s coaxial cable.

This means attaching an AC-powered amplifier device — either a preamplifier or distribution amplifier (or in some cases, both) — to the coaxial to apply electric voltage to the line.

This boosts the TV signal travelling down the coaxial to your TV, perhaps strengthening the signals of a few channels that were weak to begin with, thus allowing you to view these.

To determine whether your situation warrants amplification, you need to consider the following:

  • Many antennas come with a built-in preamplifier, so you should check whether yours already has one. If you don’t need to plug in your antenna, chances are it didn’t come with a preamplifier.
  • What’s your distance from transmission towers? If you’re less than 10 miles away, signals should already be coming in strong and an amplifier might add interference or noise to the TV signal and be counterproductive generally. On the other hand if you’re more than 20 miles away, an amplifier may be helpful for strengthening already-received signals that are weak.
  • How long is the coaxial cable running from your antenna to your TV (including breaks due to splitters or other devices)? If it’s less than 50 feet long, chances are that signals aren’t being weakened along such a short length of cable. If the cable is longer, an amplifier might be effective.
  • Does your outdoor antenna provide signal to multiple TVs via a splitter device? A splitter typically weakens the signal as it distributes this to several televisions, so adding a distribution amplifier before the splitter (or buying a combined distribution amplifier/splitter device) may be beneficial.

The most common way to amplify an antenna is to install a preamplifier device on the antenna or nearby it. Don’t forget the preamplifier will need power supply nearby.

You normally need to install just one amplifier — either a preamplifier or distribution amplifier — on a line, but if one isn’t sufficient then you can try installing both. Just keep in mind that too much amplification introduces interference.

Tip #10: Mount a Second (Directional) Antenna

In situations where your antenna is working fine but is unable to pick up one or more towers in a different direction, installing a second antenna (also referred to as “stacking”) may make sense.

Having a second antenna may also be sensible if your first is either UHF or VHF, and you want to get a channel or two in the other frequency band.

In order to minimize interference between the two antennas, you should ensure that:

  • They’re separated by two to four feet of distance (especially if you’re mounting them on the same mast)
  • Each of their coaxial cables should have the same length to avoid phase problems

When setting them up, make sure to first install and connect each one individually to your television to ensure proper functioning, before joining them with a signal combiner like this Channel Plus 2532 Two-Way Splitter/Combiner.

Note that the signal combiner features two coaxial IN ports for the antennas, and one OUT port for the coaxial cable to the television or set-top box.

Does Foil Help Your TV Antenna?

There’s an idea floating around that putting aluminium on your TV antenna will expand its conductive surface area, allowing it to better pick up radio frequency signals and thus improve reception.

This was a popular trick from the old days of indoor rabbit ear antennas.

By attaching tinfoil, you basically changed the antenna’s reception characteristics.

If you were lucky (meaning: the foil happened to mirror incoming radio frequency waves or was able to block unwanted noise) your reception improved.

On the other hand, the tinfoil might’ve worsened your reception.

Roll of tinfoil

Wrapping your antenna in tinfoil is no guarantee of better reception.

If you’re determined to try it, this trick will work better with indoor antennas than outdoor ones, since wind and rain tend to wear away carefully placed tinfoil on the antenna.


These tips are a collection of strategies I’ve used over the years to improve reception, and I hope you find them useful.

Most of the time we can expect TV antennas to work, but if they don’t the causes can be challenging to diagnose due to the sheer variety of factors affecting signal reception.

jane peterson - August 11, 2019

I found out my microwave was leaky so I placed a cup of water inside it and turned it on for two minutes… then I took a fluorescent light bulb and slowly scanned around the door seal and around the microwave. It lit up so the microwave was leaking… I had it replaced and now get more channels.

    Greg Martinez - August 18, 2019

    That’s awesome Jane. I’ve never heard of that trick before but then there are myriad ways to improve TV reception.

Todd Rebisz - September 3, 2019

Is lightning rod a great add on when installing on the roof?

    Greg Martinez - September 3, 2019

    Hi Todd, I would say a lightning rod is probably irrelevant as your outdoor antenna, once installed, will act as a perfect one. Just make sure that it’s also grounded for safety and the preservation of connected equipment like your TV.

Faylinn - October 21, 2019

It was really amazing to read that one way to improve your TV reception could be by buying a rotator for it, and verifying that it is the right size. The other day my husband mentioned that he would like to have an actual TV service for our home. We will need to look for options that can satisfy his needs.

Renee Wustmann - November 13, 2019

You’re awesome. Thank you for sharing your valuable experience and knowledge. Didn’t know that reflective surfaces around the antenna or electromagnetic appliances at home can distort and weaken TV signals. or even a hairdryer or LED lights too!

Steven Marlowe - April 24, 2020

i have outside antenna closest tv get perfect reception -have long 75ft to next tv have pix and break up -put new rg6 cable-inline filter-tried cheap booster. done most everything except change tv. tv is older plasma that is 720p but still works fine got any ideas wife is driving me crazy as she has to watch local tv in bedroom which is only 25-30 ft lead in and it never has a problem

    Greg Martinez - April 26, 2020

    Hi Steven, it sounds like you’re getting interference from that long cable run, and improving things might involve some upgrades. You’ve got 2 TVs right? I’d swap them first to first establish if a better OTA tuner would make a difference (there can be performance differences with newer TVs). Then rescan on both TVs. If the 720p TV (previously farther away) is getting more channels, then it’s the signal. Otherwise the problem might lie with the tuner, in which case you might want to upgrade your old TV, or for a cheaper alternative get a converter box.


Thank you so much for taking the time to write this article. I have been using OTA TV for about a year but I am getting far fewer channels than I did when I started.
I raised the height of the antenna and will try some of your other recommendations.
One idea I had- the antenna I am using has aluminum blades. Is there a chance I could improve signal by somehow connecting the fins to the gutter on my house (also aluminum)? Maybe with some wire…

    Greg Martinez - May 7, 2020

    Sorry to hear of your OTA TV woes. An unfortunate fact about OTA TV is that you’re beholden to interference factors which may exist at your location. If these factors exist outside your control (like a thick forest or hills between you and the transmitter), there won’t be much to be done about it. I don’t believe that turning your aluminum gutter into a giant antenna will work. If you’re getting weak signals due to distance between you and the towers, or if you’ve hooked up multiple TVs to the antenna, a preamplifier might help.

      ALEXANDER F MAGNUSON - May 10, 2020

      Ok, thank you for the reply!

Joshua Sims - May 20, 2020

But even if you do all the things right to improve your signal some days are going to have bad reception but that’s just what antennas do malfuction sometimes.

    Greg Martinez - May 20, 2020

    Absolutely – although it’s probably not the antenna itself malfunctioning (it’s a simple passive receptor after all) but rather due to other factors that OTA TV is susceptible to. There are only so many factors we mortals can control.

Jennifer - August 2, 2020

Thank you for all the great suggestions. My problem is that over the past couple months I’ve started having trouble getting just one cluster of channels from a CBS affiliate. I’ve contacted the station and exchanged several emails with its OTA guru. He can’t understand why the channels from his station break up frequently, while PBS channels that are essentially on the same tower, and have significantly less power, come in perfectly fine. I’d appreciate any thoughts that you might have.

    Greg Martinez - August 2, 2020

    I take it you’re using the same antenna to get both CBS and PBS, but is PBS for instance on VHF while CBS is on UHF? On the one hand, I can’t think of any adjustments you’d need to make but on the other, there might be an issue with your antenna. The other thing is, has the station made any recent changes, either via tower maintenance or moving the CBS channel to another RF (physical) channel? Many stations/affiliates across the US have moved to a different channel over the last year and a half (and many of those have changed frequency type from UHF down to VHF). I’d confirm whether the latter has or hasn’t been the case.

Josh - July 21, 2021

Very insightful By the way tin foil works but is messy.
The signal amp may not work at all. If it comes with then it will.
Aiming into the sky and putting it in the same place is all you need to do. I was wondering if a pvr would increase my 11 channels. ???

David Powell - December 2, 2021

Despite doing considerable research and hearing that omnidirectional antennas are not truly omnidirectional, I bought a built-in-amplified one anyway and mounted it on a corner of the upper story with a clear line of sight to the east and mounted on the east side. This is because I was having difficulty getting the ABC stations channels and the transmitter was a little over 90 degrees east. Once re-scanning for channels, I found to my dismay that the NBC station’s channels were no longer coming in. Looking at the transmitter maps again, I simply moved the antenna of the south side of the same corner and now all of the stations come in nicely. And, in truth, I do get more of the other channels than before. Though the move was only a few inches, it suggests to me that these omnidirectional antennas have issues. And it would have likely been easier if the plastic flying saucer-like housing could be rotated 90 degrees left and right.

    Greg Martinez - December 3, 2021

    Interesting experiment; yes I agree omnidirectional antennas aren’t truly omnidirectional and tend to get better reception from certain directions. As with all antennas, you likely need to move them around somewhat to improve reception, which takes time and effort.

Miki E. - December 26, 2021

Here are some things to look out for, if your reception is not very good with local channels…..

1) Is your antenna correct for your channels? For example, to get Channels 2-7 (VHF), you need the poles to be longer, while they can be shorter for 7-13. Most people do not realize this. Also, you cannot get VHF channels with a UHF antenna and vice versa. Channel 13’s dipole length is 2.3 feet, while channel 2 is 9.1 foot. UHF antennae need to be loops or “bowties,” not poles.

2) Antennae need to be at least 10 feet away from power lines, not pointed at them. This can hinder watching some channels, even with digital HDTV. Same for trees.

3) There is no such thing as an “HD Antenna.” This is only a marketing gimmick.

4) More than likely, you need to plug into a wall and your TV, if an indoor antenna is used. This is especially true if you are over 20 miles from tower or antenna farm. Hint: the “Mini antenna” sold on TV for $19.99 that supposedly works “in the Gulf of Mexico,” will not work. it is only dipole, which will work for VHF…. However, it is too small to get anything. See #1 above, as the 6″ dipoles are way too short and do not plug into a wall.

5) Check all electrical sources in your home. Yes LED lights interfere with VHF signal easier, but can interfere with all DTV signals. Old VCR’s also can, just as your radio or stereo can, if tuned to some stations. For example of this… take FM 2 radios and tune them in. Take one of those radios/stereos and slowly tune it around the FM dial… You will lose the other radio’s FM station eventually. Same can happen with TV. As discussed above, a microwave can too. Blender, mixer, electric carving knife, vacuum cleaner, computer, etc. can all interfere. Many of you never think about this at all.

6) Outside sources like nearby airports and hospitals can interfere as well. Other radio and TV towers will also block signal, if you are close to them. Let’s not forget sodium and LED street lights too. Also, look out for 5G transmitting stations near your home. Neighbor’s metal siding, roofs metal barns, factories and solos also hurt signal if you are near them.

Now you have something to think about, when not getting your local TV stations in correctly, even though you are not too far from the towers.

The one thing that did work for me, as discussed within this article…. foil. I taped foil to me Leaf 50 antnnae (2 or them). I got my 2 VHF signals in… 11 and 13. Without the foil, I barely got 13. I am 15 miles from WTVG’s tower, about 16 miles from WTOL’s. I do not get channel 5 (WLMB) or 6 (WMDY) with the Leaf 50, but don’t watch either.

Kelley - January 21, 2022

LOL! Still, here’s what works around here. From indoor/outdoor antenna on shelf beside TV goes new coaxial cable. New coaxial cable leads to amplifier. Amplifier leads to TV via coaxial cable that came with it. Now for the fun part: 100% wire coat hanger, wrapped with foil (shiny side toward desired tower) is attached to one arm of indoor/outdoor antenna via twist ties, and binder clipped for tension to allow me to adjust it. The foil is paper clipped to the hanger. Onto the knob where the coaxial cable is connected to the amplifier, between the antenna and the amplifier, I connected a salvaged old-fashioned rabbit ear antenna by binder clipping the c-shaped tips to a paper clip that is in turn wrapped around the bare part of said knob. That allows the signal from the salvaged antenna to go to the amplifier. I also straightened the hook on another 100% wire hanger, wrapped that with foil in a manner similar to the other hanger, and binder clipped it to a metal knob on the black box that’s between the indoor/outdoor antenna and the amplifier. I tried to make it all as neat and even as sculptural as I can, but I do laugh when moving those hangers or the salvaged antenna makes a difference in the signal quality! Paper clips are my connector of choice for the foil because I read somewhere on the internet that you might get a signal by putting the straightened end of a paper clip into the coaxial cable jack itself. That’s not something that would work here but they make a difference. I also binder clipped 2 of them to each arm of the salvaged antenna, which also improved reception. Binder clips help because they are also metal. There are only 2 PBS stations I can’t pull in, but I get everything else that’s available here. I thought something here might help some reader improve their reception.

    Greg Martinez - January 22, 2022

    That sounds Rube Goldberg-esque but hey whatever works!

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