How to guide:
TV aerial and Sky fitting for a new build property.
If you have just purchased and moved into a new build property you will probably want to get the TV working as soon as possible, normally this will involve installing either a TV aerial system for freeview and/or a pay TV system such from either Virgin media, BT vision or Sky
We are experienced in setting up TV systems and Sky distribution for pretty much every national new home builder in the UK, and luckily house building seems to be full steam ahead once again.
So here I will break down the options and show you how to fit a basic TV aerial in a new build for freeview reception and how to deal with fitting Sky to a new build house.
I do not suggest this is a DIY guide for aerial installation more a guide for you to get estimates and quotes from either us at constables or other professional installers from a more informed position.
You may wonder why house builders donot fit TV systems and aerials to new builds, you can read about that here.
What are my build TV sockets?
As a bare minimum most new builds will have a TV point in the main room with two “sat” sockets, one “TV”, one “FM” (or ”radio”)and one marked “return”.
This is called a quadplexed TV socket (four feeds) and will look similar to that pictured here:
And in some or all of the bedrooms will be a standard TV point such as this photo:
As a minimum, the main TV socket will have 3 COAX cables going in to it, and the extra room TV feeds will just have one.
The other ends of the TV cables will be in the loft void, hopefully all nicely labelled by the loft hatch, but probably just coiled up together under the first layer of insulation.
Using new build properties TV sockets.
The point of this system design is to allow every room in the property to watch any freeview channel independently plus share the same Sky channel; you also have the capability to control the Sky box from the extra rooms. And, if required, FM or DAB reception at all sockets.
So if installed correctly the main room will watch freeview via the TVs built in digital decoder and view the Sky box via a HDMI lead, the other rooms will
watch freeview via the same method then turn the TV over to analogue tuner and watch the current Sky channel via a radio signal created by the Sky box
This is not full glorious HD viewing but should be more than acceptable for secondary viewing rooms. If you do require Sky in full HD in the extra rooms it
can be distributed via the pre-installed COAX cables but is still reasonably costly at around £200+ per room, this would be called a HDMI over COAX
Whilst this system is clearly designed for ease of Sky TV distribution we can utilise it to distribute pretty much anything you can view on the TV, for
example, remote viewing of a freesat PVR, DVD player, BT Vision or Virgin Media STB.
Aerial equipment needed for watching TV in new build house.
The equipment you will need to have installed for this system will be:
1. TV (UHF) aerial
2. FM/DAB aerial
3. Sky dish
4. Sat/UHF/FM/DAB combiner (triplexer)
5. Distribution system
The TV and radio aerials will probably be installed externally using high grade aluminium and galvanised hardware, then correctly aligned and cabled in to
the loft void via the soffits or facia boards.
You may be able to fit all the external TV and radio aerial components neatly in the loft for a TV, but only if signal levels are quite high in your area
and the property alignment and roofing structure allows it. A good local TV aerial installer may be able to advise via the telephone or a quick site visit
whether a loft TV aerial for your new build is going to work.
Sky dish for new build home.
The Sky dish however defiantly needs to be fitted externally and point towards 28.2 degree east of south. A good independent sky installer will be able to
advise on fitting location options and install your Sky dish utilising the preinstalled cabling system. Two feeds from the Sky dish need to be cabled in to
the loft void.
DO NOT use Sky to install your new build sky dish, they may be free but there installers do not go into lofts and they will not use the cabling the
builders have fitted for Sky distribution. They will cable externally then drill through your wall leaving the cables loose along the floor to the main TV
point, why would anyone want that on a new house? I see it all the time and I am amazed why a new home owner, who has just invested £100k’s, would do that
just to save a couple of pounds on a proper install.
So, we then combine the UHF, Radio and ONE of the Sky sat feeds using the triplexer and send that down the correct cable to the quadplexed plate, the extra
Sky feed is connected directly to the other quadplex feed.
Once the Sky box is set op for remote viewing then the return feed in the loft can then be distributed to the other rooms using either a passive splitter
or a powered distribution amplifier, this choice depends on signal levels.
Using Sky magic eye in new house
If you wish to control the Sky box from the other rooms then we will need to fit a powered IR PASS amplifier, some other names for
these are Sky link or TVlink amplifier. You will also need to purchase a “magic eye” for each room you wish to control the Sky stb from.
Then connect the TVs to the other sockets with a good quality fly lead and, with the Sky box turned on, simply carry out a new installation or retune on
What is a “Loft Box”?
If you have been getting quotes or advise you may have heard mention of a “loft Box” these are pieces of hardware that combine all the loft hardware of
Sat/UHF combiners and a Sky pass amplifier in one. This PDF clearly explains the method of installation Loft Box instructions.
“That’s great, but I only want a Freeview aerial fitted for my new build!”
Ok, so if that all seems a little OT and you do not wish to have any paid for TV systems then no problem; most of what is written still stands.
As a most basic system I would install the TV aerial as stated above then a simple passive UHF splitter in the loft, connected directly to each of the
bedroom feeds and the correct feed to the main viewing room.
What is the cost of a TV aerial and Sky installation on a new build?
TV aerial installation is a pretty cheap business even when carried out as we do using the best equipment available.
As a broad estimate these prices are what you should be looking at, ranges dependent on how many being carried out at the same time and property type.
- New TV aerial to a new build property: £120 – 220
- FM/DAB aerial installed £50-75
- New Sky dish, quad lnb and two feeds for new build: £85-120
- 4-6 Way distribution amplifier, supplied fitted and set up: £45 -75
- Sky magic eyes, supplied and fitted: £9
DIY TV aerial for new build?
Probably best not, I would suggest the competent DIYer will easily be able to carry out a loft aerial installation and room feeds. But a proper and all weather
stable Sky install requires decent test equipment, finding and separating all the loft cables may well be an all day task without the correct skills and
As always contact us your local TV installers any time for free estimate on any TV aerial or Sky reception work.
New build snagging service.
If you are purchasing a new build property in London or the south east it may well be worth you employing a snagging surveying company such as Constables Homes
A snagging service is similar to a homebuyers report for a new build, but is much more focused on the finer details.
Every new house we have carried out installation on has had defects, be it with the decoration and finish or the actual build. The first week in you new house move should be spent relaxing watching your new TV system not finding snags and defects and trying to get the builders to fix.
A snagging report carried out before you move in will high light all defect issues, lay them out in a clear and concise report for ease of rectification by your builder.
Why not contact your local snagging surveyors.