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.

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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!