In more recent years, this is a really common question as the family dynamic and access to technology increases. With many of my customers having TV’s in multiple family rooms, bar areas, media rooms, sheds and bedrooms, the desire for good signal across the whole house is certainly there. So how many TV’s can you have running off the 1 antenna???
Well, the answer varies I’m afraid. It will depend on a number of contributing factors such as:
- Signal strength and quality in your area
- Quality and condition of your antenna
- Quality of cabling
As a rough guide you could say that in a good signal area, with the right antenna and cabling, you could run up to 6 TV points off the 1 antenna. More common however is around 4 TV points running off a single antenna before you begin to experience degradation in the quality of picture. Some of my customers in more challenging signal areas, struggle running even 1 or 2 TV’s off the 1 antenna.
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In terms of the antenna, the age, type and brand of your antenna can play a large role in the quality of signal that you receive. Despite the hype, there is no such thing as a “digital” antenna, but the modern antennas are better at filtering out external noise, ensuring that the quality of the signal is maximised which is crucial to a good digital reception. There are many different types of antenna’s available all of which have a use and a role in this digital world. The different types of antennas along with their use will be covered in a future article.
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Then there is the cable to consider. You want to ensure that you have high quality RG6 quad shielded coaxial cable. Today’s digital TV’s require a certain signal level and quality in order to function at the highest level of picture quality. With only a finite amount of signal coming into the antenna, its imperative that there is minimal disruption to the cable between antenna and TV before it starts to lose signal and degrade quality. Some of the older air core RG6 and RG59 cables will experience greater signal loss and are more affected by other factors such as noise. It’s a much safer bet to ensure that you have good quality cable carrying a strong signal all the way to the TV points, with minimal interference.
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How will I know if I am getting the best quality picture on all TV points running off 1 antenna?
You will either notice picture quality issues (e.g. pixilation) or signal loss on 1 or all of the TV’s, which could be caused by this signal deterioration due to overload on the cable. Or you can ask your local TV antenna installer to test the signal strength for you.
What if I don’t have enough signal strength for the number of TV points I want to run off the antenna?
You could install a Masthead or Distribution amplifier to boost the signal level and support higher signal strength and better signal quality to the TV. This is a totally suitable solution for improving signal strength however does come with some considerations, such as additional cost and the need to have a power supply available.
If you would like further information or to book a service to get your TV picture up to scratch, give me a call.
I get so many questions and calls from customers who just want some help or advice relating to their audio visual technology. I thought it would be a good idea to start capturing some of the common questions and try to provide an online resource for people to get information. So, I hope that you will find some of the information contained in these articles useful. I will try to add as many new relevant subjects as possible to keep you all in the know. I really do want to make AV easy for you too.