How Does a TV Aerial Work?

With the ever increasing availability of tech, we’ve all had to become more adept at dealing with various technical issues in our homes. Sometimes it can be hard to keep track of how everything works and how everything needs to be fixed.

As experienced audio visual consultants, we have extensive knowledge about the technology and equipment in your home; this includes TV aerials.

You don’t necessarily need to know the ins and outs of a TV aerial to sit back and enjoy your favourite show. However, it can be helpful to understand how they work in case things start going wrong and your TV’s picture quality isn’t up to your standards.

For the curious mind, we’ve put together a quick summary of how a TV aerial actually works!

What is a TV Aerial?

Essentially, a TV aerial or antenna receives broadcasted television signals from the TV station. Aerials are split into two categories: indoor and outdoor. Indoor antennas are usually located next to or on top of your television set, while outdoor antennas are mounted on top of your house and are exposed to the elements. 

The type of aerial you have can often depend on where your house is located. Outdoor aerials are more appropriate for fringe or rural areas that are far from the transmission stations and therefore more likely to be blocked by natural obstructions like hills and forests. 

You probably don’t give much thought to your television aerial, but they are essential to your viewing experience!

How Does it Work?

So you know where it is, and that it receives signals from the TV station, but how does an aerial actually work?

A TV aerial is made out of metal which allows electromagnetic waves to carry TV signals to the aerial and induce small electrical currents. Your television will then select the appropriate audio and visual information from within the signal.

An aerial is made up of a series of rods and parts. The dipole is the main part that picks up signals and sends them to your TV through the aerial cable.

The directors, as their name suggests, perform the task of directing the signal towards the dipole. The more directors there are on an aerial, the more signal will be directed towards the crucial point; some aerials have between 50 to 90 directors.

The final main part of an aerial is the reflector, also known as the wing. There are usually two reflectors between the dipole. This part of the device both stops the signal from being directed past the dipole and prevents unwanted signals from being received from the back end of the aerial.

What Affects Aerial Performance?

As mentioned before, it is always useful to have a basic understanding of how things work so that you can get the most from them and realise when things have gone wrong!

Many things can affect your aerial’s effectiveness and therefore your TV’s performance.

If your aerial becomes unaligned by poor weather, it will affect the signal you receive, thus interfering with your TV’s picture quality.

Issues like this can be hard to spot and fix on your own, so speaking to a trained engineer is your best bet if you think alignment issues might be your problem.

The aerial cable can also become disconnected or faulty. When you get that ‘no signal’ message on your TV, it could be that your cable has just become loose. This can be remedied easily by making sure it is plugged in securely. If cable problems persist, you may need to replace it.

find your perfect home cinema

Here at JL Audio Visual, we are committed to giving you the best at-home visual and sound experiences. To find out how we could help provide aerial solutions for your home, contact us today!

Where to Position CCTV Cameras at Home

Keeping your property safe and secure is a top priority. There can be nothing worse than feeling unsafe or insufficiently protected in your own home.

For many, the installation of CCTV cameras outside, and sometimes inside, their house is an excellent way to deter potential invaders and provide their family with the comforting knowledge that steps have been taken to ensure their safety.

With many years’ experience in CCTV installation, we know how important it is to get home security right. Knowing the best places to position your cameras will be crucial for an effective CCTV setup.

Poor positioning can mean that your cameras will not pick up movement outside of your house or that the picture will be corrupted. If your camera’s view is blocked, any footage will become useless.

Our quick guide outlines some of the best places to position your CCTV cameras for optimal home security and peace of mind!

Number of Cameras

Before having your cameras installed, it will be helpful to think about how many you will require for your security needs. When you have identified the areas that are most at risk, you will be able to figure out the minimum number of CCTV cameras needed. 

When you have settled upon the areas that need protecting, it is a case of finding the best position for your security camera for optimal clarity within that section. 

Main Points of Entry

Securing the doors and windows in your house is essential when endeavouring to achieve the best home security. Outside CCTV cameras will need to be installed high enough above entryways to ensure that intruders cannot disturb or damage the camera feed.

Lower-floor windows that don’t face the street are also particularly vulnerable to potential intruders, so CCTV cameras that include these areas in their scope can prove invaluable.

A security camera overlooking a garage door

Garage Protection

Garages or outhouses that are separate constructions from your home are especially vulnerable. Burglars assume that they are less likely to be protected because you will be in your house, oblivious to anything happening outside.

A camera should be placed high above your garage door to catch any intruders or deter them from breaking in. 

Back Door

Many people neglect to protect their back door because they feel that it is protected by the garden or outside fences. This is not true, as thieves will still invade your home through this entrance. Again, a camera placed above a person’s reach will be your best bet to prevent things from being thrown at it, resulting in damage. 

Covering Large Outside Area

Using wide-angle lenses to monitor your whole garden, driveway or neighbouring streets may also be a good idea if you are particularly worried. These cameras have a larger scope and can be placed high for a more complete view. 

Two different types of cameras attached to a wall

Discrete Cameras

Using a combination of discrete and obviously-placed cameras across all of these locations will also be something to consider. The obvious presence of CCTV will deter some intruders, but in the event that your cameras are destroyed, more stealthily-placed or disguised cameras can provide backup.

Lighting

When deciding on the exact position of your camera, you should be conscious of potential lighting issues. Excessively bright daylight or overpowering street lamps can wash out the footage, preventing the cameras from being effective.

Installation

Correct installation will also be key in ensuring your camera’s effectivity. Without being installed correctly, your camera’s picture quality may be poor, or you may receive no picture at all. Having a professional install your home security system will be your best bet when it comes to making sure everything is set up safely and properly. 

Achieve complete home security

For more information about how we could help with home security and CCTV installation solutions, please get in touch. Find out how we could help today!

How to Improve Your TV’s Sound Quality

Picture this: you’ve just settled down for a cosy night in with a movie — the picture looks great, the snacks are top-notch… but the audio leaves something to be desired. For the best home cinema experience, good quality audio is a key component.

Whether it’s just for daily use or an immersive at-home cinema experience, you deserve to have your TV working at its best!

There could be a multitude of reasons why your audio is not up to scratch. Here, we take a look at some of the best ways to improve your TV’s sound quality.

External Speakers

Most modern TVs are slim and leave little room for speakers that can deliver the best sound. Internal TV speakers are often built into the bottom of the screen, which means sound is directed down rather than out into the room. The effect is that television dialogue can become muffled and big, explosive scenes are prevented from packing their intended punch. External speakers can help with this issue.

Connecting your TV to external speakers via a cable or the HDMI Audio Return Channel can help you bypass the internal speakers and achieve the sound quality that you are looking for.

There are plenty of external speakers and sound systems on the market for you to choose from. What will work best for you will depend on the kind of sound you are trying to achieve.

Soundbars

A soundbar is a form of external speaker that might be worth investing in if you want to improve your TV’s sound quality.

This slim device will sit under your TV or can be mounted on the wall and will effectively project sound into the room with virtual surround sound without the need for multiple speakers.

They are a simple and cheaper option for people looking for an upgrade from their sub-par internal speakers.

A TV with a soundbar

Surround Sound

This option is going to be more expensive than other desktop or soundbar speakers, but if you’re looking for the best quality sound, it might be something worth considering.

Most TVs will have the multichannel mix option, giving you access to five different audio channels that correspond to different speakers around the room. This will allow you to achieve an all-encompassing sound that surrounds you. A subwoofer channel may also be required to achieve the low, rumbling frequencies that help fully immerse you in a movie.

For those looking to enhance their home cinema experience to epic proportions, a set of surround sound speakers will be your best bet.

Recycle Old Speakers

If you’ve got old computer speakers gathering dust, now might be the perfect time to give them some new life. 

If you’re not quite ready to break the bank with a full surround sound system, then old unused speakers can do the job. Plugging them into your TV will help give your audio the boost it needs while you consider other, more expensive options.

A single speaker

Optimal Speaker Positioning

Having the best quality speakers won’t mean anything unless you’ve got them pointed in the right direction. Work out where to position your surround sound speakers based on where you will be sitting in the room. For soundbars and other smaller speakers, make sure they face out into the room and are unobstructed.

Setting Adjustments

If you’ve got the latest top-quality speakers and are still experiencing audio problems, then your issues may lie with your television settings. 

Adjusting the sound settings in your TV menu can be helpful when trying to achieve better quality dialogue or superior sound in general. Playing around with the sound modes, compression and equalisation settings should help improve sound quality. You may have to try a few different setting combinations depending on what you are trying to achieve from your TV audio. 

Someone using a remote on their TV

JL Audio Visual have years of experience in quality audio system installation. If you are considering your options for home cinema sound solutions, we can help. 

For more guidance or further information about our services, please refer to our website or get in touch today.

find your perfect home cinema

The Best Films to Watch on a 4K TV

There can be nothing better than kicking back with a bucket of popcorn and enjoying a great movie from the comfort of your living room!

Whether you’re a fan of action adventures or romantic tearjerkers, the increasing abundance of online streaming services and smart TVs has probably got something for you. 

Being in the comfort of your own home does not mean you have to sacrifice quality visuals! Ultra high definition and 4K televisions are becoming more popular and widely available. It is now more possible than ever to achieve the very best visuals and audio from home.

For more guidance on what 4K is and how it could enhance your viewing experience, check out our guide to high definition television. 

Here, we take a look at some of the best movies to watch on a 4K TV to help take your home cinema experience to the next level! 

Arrival (2016)

This one’s for fans of aliens, mystery and stunning visuals! This science fiction film will leave you thinking about language, metaphor and connection for days.

The film follows a linguistics expert, played by Amy Adams, who must learn to communicate with a group of mysterious aliens who have suddenly arrived on Earth.

With its melancholy colour pallet and exploration of language’s role in reality, Arrival is a bit of a slow burn, but it’s worth it in the end!

Deadpool (2016)

In the wave of traditional superhero movies, this film is a breath of fresh air. Prepare yourself, because the visuals on this one can get a little intense!

The action-comedy centres around Wade Wilson, whose life is transformed after a twisted scientist’s experiments leave him with whole-body scars and supernatural powers. We follow Wade on his quest to get revenge on his scientist nemesis; the journey is perfectly paced and hilarious.

As far as superhero movies go, this is a pretty unconventional one. With brilliantly-choreographed stunts and a catchy soundtrack, you won’t want to miss out on Deadpool!

A photo of the character Deadpool

The Martian (2015)

No aliens in this one, but that’s hardly to its detriment! This movie is intense in the best possible way.

Astronaut Mark Watney is abandoned on Mars after his crew presume that he has died in a storm. He must use what’s at hand to survive on the planet while those back on Earth plan for his rescue.

His laidback attitude makes for a comical watching experience, and you just can’t help but cheer for him.

Wonder Woman (2017)

We’ve already had a (sort of) superhero movie on this list, but female superheroes are few and far between. Wonder Women is a wonderful movie in its own right. 

Set in the First World War, the action follows Diana, princess of an all-female race of Amazonians, as she ventures into the world to stop the god Ares from masterminding the war. 

The beautiful period costumes and sets alone are worth watching!

This is another film with an awesome soundtrack. To get the most out of amazing movie soundtracks, it might be worth considering looking into sound systems. For more help in this department, check out our beginner’s guide to surround sound.

Somone turning on their TV screen with a remote control

1917 (2019)

For a more recent recommendation, we’ve chosen 1917. This stunning historical film also set in the First World War follows two young British soldiers tasked with the mission of delivering a message over enemy territory. 

1917 is unique in that you view it as one unbroken shot. You move through scenes with the characters without any cuts to black. To really do this technological feat justice, it is worth watching in 4K with high resolution. 

If you’re up for an incredibly immersive rollercoaster, this one’s for you!

A couple sat on a sofa eating from a bowl of popcorn

Here at JL Audio Visual, we are experts when it comes to home theatre systems. If you are considering upgrading your movie experience at home, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

find your perfect home cinema