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How to Set Up and Connect a Digital Antenna to Your TV

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what to know

  • Connect your digital antenna to the coaxial antenna input on the TV.
  • Find the Cable/Antenna option in your TV’s settings menu and change it to Antenna.
  • If you have an analog TV, you will need to connect a DTV converter box between the antenna and the TV.

This article describes how to set up a digital antenna and connect it to your TV.

How is the digital antenna configured?

If you have a digital TV, setting up a digital antenna is an easy process. Digital antennas are connected using the same type of coaxial connectors that were previously used for analog antennas. If you’ve ever set up an analog TV antenna, you’ve probably found the installation process very familiar.

Do you have an old analog TV? You can still use a digital antenna, but you will need to connect the DTV converter box to the TV first. You can then watch digital TV channels on your analog TV.

To set up a digital antenna:

Choose and install an ideal location for your digital antenna.

A digital TV antenna mounted on a window.

Some digital antennas are designed to be mounted on roofs or attics. Others can be placed on a shelf near the TV, or attached to a window with suction cups.

Find the coaxial antenna input on your TV.

Antenna input and USB port on TV.

Connect the antenna to the antenna input.

Connect to the TV's digital antenna.

If you are using an outdoor or attic antenna and have wired internet or cable TV, do not connect an outdoor digital or attic antenna to your home’s internal coaxial system. You need to install a new coaxial cable between the antenna and the TV.

If you are using an active antenna, connect the antenna to a power source.

Active digital antenna connected to the TV's USB port.

Sometimes you can connect a USB powered antenna to a USB port on the TV. Check to see if the USB port on the TV can supply power, as ports designed for data will not provide enough power.

Turn on the TV and find set up menu.

search for one Cable/Antenna Configure and select antenna

Find a automatic program either scan channels option and select it.

Wait for your TV to search for channels.

If your TV can’t find the channel you’re interested in, see the next section for information on where to place the antenna.

Your TV is now ready to use with your digital antenna.

How to get digital antenna signal?

Local TV stations broadcast free over-the-air (OTA) signals that you can receive using a digital antenna. Since it’s a free service, all you need to do is connect the digital antenna to the TV and use the TV’s settings menu to search for channels. If there are stations in your area that your antenna can pick up, your TV will automatically find them.

If you’re not close to a TV channel, or your local channel signal is weak, you may not be able to receive anything with a weak indoor antenna. Placing the antenna in the best possible location is critical to maximizing your chances of receiving the channel in this situation. If it is a directional antenna, remember to point the antenna in the correct direction.

To install the digital antenna:

Navigate to FCC DTV Receiving Card, enter your address and click go

Go on the FCC DTV host site.

Click on any station that interests you.

A station on the FCC DTV chart website.

Check the map to see where the station is relative to your current location.

FCC DTV map site with station addresses.

Place or mount the antenna on the side of the house closest to the station you are interested in. If you use a directional antenna, remember to point it in that direction.

Repeat steps 4 to 8 in the previous section and check if you can receive the missing channel.

If you still cannot receive the channel you want after changing the antenna position, the station may be too far away, there is too much interference, or your antenna is not strong enough.

Why can’t my digital antenna detect channels?

Several factors come into play when a digital antenna cannot pick up the usual channels. For example, the TV channel may be too far away or the transmission signal is weak, there may be interference, the signal may be blocked or your antenna may be too weak. If you don’t have a TV station near your location, you may need a strong outdoor antenna instead of an indoor one.

If your digital antenna cannot receive the channel, you can try the following solutions:

  • get digital tv† Look for words like the letters DTV or “digital ready.” If your TV was made before 2006, it’s likely analog. In this case, you need a converter box.
  • Make sure your TV is set to use your antenna† When you search for channels in cable mode, your TV will not find OTA digital channels. Make sure to set it as an antenna and scan again.
  • Check if the antenna is connected correctly† Make sure connections are secure and check the coaxial connector label on the TV. Some TVs have one input and one output, and some TVs have two inputs. If you see such a label, connect to the input labeled Antenna Input, or if they are numbered, input first.
  • Change the position of the antenna† If you have a directional antenna, try moving and pointing your antenna using the method described in the previous section.
  • Get a more powerful antenna† Make sure you choose the best antenna for your area. If the local TV signal is weak, you may need a stronger antenna, or even an external antenna on the roof.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How to increase the signal of digital antenna?

    There are several tricks to amplifying a digital TV signal. For example, make sure to use RG6 coaxial cable, which is generally more compatible with digital technology than RG59. You can also try re-adjusting the antenna or buying a TV signal booster.

  • How to choose a digital antenna?

    Determine the type of wireless HDTV antenna that works best for your location. When using the FCC’s DTV receiver card, check that most channels in your area are UHF or VHF to determine if you need a UHF or VHF antenna. The antenna must be suitable for at least the distance to the farthest transmission tower.

Content

How to Set Up and Connect a Digital Antenna to Your TV

Watch free local television channels

What to Know
Connect your digital antenna to your television’s coaxial antenna-in connection.  
Look for the cable/antenna option in your television’s settings menu and switch it to antenna. 
If you have an analog television, you need to connect a DTV converter box between your antenna and your television.

This article explains how to set up and connect a digital antenna to your television.

How Do You Set Up a Digital Antenna?

Setting up a digital antenna is a straightforward process if you have digital television. Digital antennas connect using the same type of coaxial connector that was analog antennas previously used. You will probably find the setup process quite familiar if you ever set up an analog TV antenna.

Have an older analog television? You can still use a digital antenna, but you need to connect a DTV converter box to your television first. You will then be able to watch digital television channels on your analog television.

Here’s how to set up a digital antenna:

Select and install an ideal location for your digital anntenna.

Some digital antennas are designed to be installed on a roof or in your attic. Others can go on a shelf near your television or mount on a window with suction cups.

Locate the coaxial antenna input on your television.

Connect your antenna to the antenna input.

If you’re using an exterior or attic antenna and have cable internet or cable television, do not connect your attic or external digital antenna to your home’s internal coaxial system. You will need to install a new coaxial line between the antenna and your television.

Connect your antenna to power if you’re using a powered antenna.

You can sometimes plug a USB-powered antenna into a USB port on your television. Check to make sure the USB port on your television can deliver power, as ports designed for data won’t provide enough power.

Turn on your television and locate the Settings menu.

Look for a Cable/Antenna setting and choose Antenna.

Look for an auto program or channel scan option and select it.

Wait for your television to scan for channels.

If your television doesn’t find the channels you were interested in, check out the next section for information about where to place your antenna.

Your television is now ready to use with your digital antenna.

How Do I Get a Digital Antenna Signal?

Local television stations broadcast free over-the-air (OTA) signals you can receive with a digital antenna. Since it’s a free service, all you need to do is connect a digital antenna to your television and use the settings menu on your television to search for channels. If there are any television stations in your area your antenna can pick up, your television will find them automatically.

If you aren’t close to any television stations or your local stations put out weak signals, you may have trouble picking anything up with a weak indoor antenna. It’s essential to position your antenna in the best place possible to maximize your chances of receiving channels in that situation. Remember to aim your antenna in the right direction if it’s a directional antenna.

Here’s how to position a digital antenna:

Navigate to the FCC DTV Reception Map, enter your address, and click Go.

Click each television station you’re interested in.

Check the map to see where the stations are in relation to your current location.

Place or install your antenna on the side of your house nearest to the stations you’re interested in. Remember to it in that direction if you’re using a directional antenna.

Repeat steps 4-8 from the previous section, and check to see if you are able to receive your missing channels.

If you still can’t receive the channels you want after repositioning the antenna, the stations may be too far away, there may be too much interference, or your antenna may not be strong enough.

Why Is My Digital Antenna Not Picking Up Channels?

When a digital antenna fails to pick up the usual channels, several factors may be at play. For example, the TV stations may be too far away or send out a weak signal, there may be interference, the signal may be blocked, or your antenna may be too weak. If the television stations aren’t close to your location, you may need a powerful exterior antenna instead of an interior antenna.

Here are some fixes you can try if your digital antenna isn’t picking up channels:

Make sure you have a digital television. Look for the letters DTV or words like “digital-ready.” If your television was made before 2006, it’s probably analog, in which case you’ll need a converter box.
Make sure your TV is set to use your antenna. If you search for channels in cable mode, your television won’t find any digital OTA channels. Make sure it’s set to antenna, and search again.
Check to verify the antenna is connected correctly. Make sure the connection is tight, and check the label of the coaxial connector on your TV. Some TVs have both an input and an output, and some have two inputs. Connect to the input marked antenna-in if you see such a label, or the number one input if they are numbered.
Reposition your antenna. Using the method described in the previous section, try repositioning your antenna and pointing it in the correct direction if you have a directional antenna.
Obtain a more powerful antenna. Make sure you’ve selected the best antenna for your area. If the local television signals are weak, you may need a stronger antenna or even an external roof-mounted antenna.
FAQ

How can I boost my digital antenna signal?
There are several tips for amplifying a digital television signal. For example, be sure to use an RG6 coaxial cable, which is generally more digital-friendly than RG59. You can also try realigning the antenna or buying a TV signal booster.

How do I choose a digital antenna?
Determine the best type of over-the-air antenna for HDTV for your location. When you use the FCC’s DTV Reception Map, check to see whether most channels in your area are UHF or VHF to determine whether you need a UHF or VHF antenna. The antenna should be rated for at least the distance from the farthest transmitter tower.

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