Does a loft mounted TV aerial work?
This is one of the TV aerial questions we are most often asked, and the answer is easy, “maybe”.
There are many variables when it comes to fitting a digital TV aerial in the loft.
- Local TV strength
- Roof construction
- Roof space
- Property alignment to TV transmitter
- Property and TV Aerial Height
- Loft contents
Whilst there is no magic formula you simply need the right combination of all of the above for a loft mounted television aerial to function correctly.
TV Signal Strength.
This is easy to check, just go to the digital UK website, enter your details and it will show what the TV signal strength should be at your property. Clearly for an internal aerial to work we need to be seeing strong or very strong signal strength.
Every type of material attenuates radio signals to a different degree, put very simply the thinner the material the better for you. Simple slate roof tiles will be a lot more invisible to RF than blocks and bricks. Metal trussed and metal sided prefab house can be very difficult to achieve a stable TV reception.
One of the worst materials is the aluminium backed insulation panels, kills RF for TV transmissions and home WIFI.
As a rule to counter the attenuation when fitting a digital TV aerial inside a property we want a reasonably large gain TV aerial, which means big. Locally we would be using something similar to a “Triax Unix 52” UHF TV aerial in the correct grouping for your transmitter.
You also need space to move around the aerial in situ without knocking it out of alignment. It is important to note that a lot of these TV aerial seem to be designed to injure the installer they have razor sharp edges and pointy projection, and when loft mounted these will be at head eye height, be aware!
Property alignment to transmitter.
Clearly when fitting this TV aerial you are going to need to aim it, the digital uk website linked above will tell you the best transmitter to use. It also has a bearing for you to use, grab a compass or look at Google satellite views and find the direction to the TV transmitter.
It helps with reception if this is simply pointing though the thin tiles of the roof, worse would be through the gable end. If this is going to be pointing through your gable end and a whole row of terrace houses then TV reception in the loft is probably not going to be an option.
Property and TV aerial height.
For digital TV aerial installation height is nearly always a good thing. For your internal aerial it is going to be relative height that we are looking at. Clearly fitting the TV antenna into a three story town house loft is going to be better than a bungalow surrounded by these town houses.
Not the most major consideration but worth mentioning, even with fully shielded components some impulse interference may be an issue if you have large RF emitting pieces of hardware.
Large water tanks and metal objects can also create reflections of the TV signal, if you do have a water tank we need the TV aerial far away from it for reflections. And in front of it, as water strongly attenuates TV signals.
As can be seen there is no definitive answer to the question of mounting a TV aerial inside a loft, hopefully the above will help you see if you have a fighting chance of successful TV reception.
We obviously can assist you in TV aerial fitting and if you contact us any time at Constables. We can survey and quote for supply and fitting your TV aerial system.