Sometimes televisions need an antenna or aerial amplifier /booster. This antenna amplifier will enable the signal to be increased in strength so that a better signal can be viewed.
However when thinking about buying and installing an antenna amplifier / aerial booster, there are a number of points to consider so that the best antenna amplifier can be bought and installed to give a better picture and better TV reception.
Pick the wrong antenna amplifier, or if one is not suitable for the particular circumstances, then an antenna booster or aerial amplifier can make things worse. Get the right one working under the right circumstances will make a big difference.
TV antenna booster buyers guide
There are several points to consider when buying TV antenna booster or antenna amplifier.
- Check the antenna cable first: Before installing an antenna signal booster / amplifier, it is worth checking the antenna coax cable is this has been installed for some time. If the cable is used for an external antenna, and it ahs been in place for a while, it is quite likely that moisture has entered the cable. This will cause the cable to attenuate or reduce the signal strength. In cases like these, installing a new booster amplifier for the television will not cure te source issue. In some instances the cable loss may be so high that even with a signal booster it will not overcome the losses in the cable.
- Do you need a splitter / amplifier or booster: In some instances it is necessary to supply more than one television from a single antenna. When this is done using a passive splitter, i.e. one without an amplifier / booster, the signal levels drops because it has to be split. To overcome this, amplifier / booster splitters can be used. The booster normally amplifies the signal to above that of the original signal, more than making up for the loss of a passive splitter.
- Internal or external: Very often antenna boosters are made for internal use. They have an ordinary cable entry point and power leads. For external use a power supply is located by the TV and power transferred up the antenna coax lead. Also the unit will be waterproof as it will need to withstand the rigours of the weather. Any moisture entering he amplifier / booster will cause damage and ultimately lead to its failure.
- Not too much gain: One of the key parameters of any antenna booster / antenna amplifier is the level of gain it provides. This is typically expressed in decibels, dB. Normally around 10 to 12 dB is what is best. Too much gain can overload the TV input and cause the signal to be even worse. So never put two amplifier / boosters on the same antenna.
- Locate the booster close to the antenna: It is always best to locate the TV signal booster as close to the antenna as possible. As the signal travels along a cable it reduces in strength as a result of the attenuation of the cable. This brings it closer to the background noise. This means that when it is amplified later, the increased level of noise will always be there and the signal will not be as good. Amplifying it at the antenna means that the signal to noise ratio is kept as good as possible.
There are normally several different TV antenna boosters or TV antenna amplifiers that are available. Choosing the right one should be relatively easy, but have a look at the reviews and check how reliable they are. Also check on their performance.
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