How Much Does It Cost to Install A TV Antenna?
Whether you want to keep up to date with your local news station, give up cable television or simply enjoy high-quality, uncompressed signals, you need an antenna to tune in to over-the-air television broadcasts. Installing an antenna may seem like a relatively straightforward process, but it often involves working on the roof of your home with electrical equipment, so it's a much better idea to hire a pro than risking your safety with a DIY installation.
If you’re ready to save some cash and avoid a $150 cable bill, let us help you get in touch with local electricians who can help with your TV antenna installation.
National Install Antenna Costs
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Table of Contents
- TV Antenna Installation Cost
- Why Install A TV Antenna?
- How TV Antennas Work
- Types Of TV Antennas
- Advantages Of TV Antennas
- Disadvantages Of TV Antennas
- Dangers Of DIY TV Antenna Installation
- How To Install A TV Antenna
- Find A Pro
TV Antenna Installation Cost
Costs vary depending on your location, weather conditions, accessibility and the type of antenna you want. The cost for professional installation (including labor and materials) ranges from $190 to $368 with an average of $279, but your project could cost as much as $550 in some circumstances. Additional internal wiring, choosing an attic installation rather than a rooftop installation and introducing electric outlets, electrical switches or rotor remotes to control the antenna increase the overall cost.
If you want to complete the installation yourself, then the big cost is purchasing the antenna, which is usually $180 or less, but could go up to $300. Renting a ladder for the day could add another $50 to your project.
Why Install A TV Antenna?
Installing a television antenna lets you watch free, over-the-air broadcasts so you can keep up with current affairs from your local TV stations and enjoy some home entertainment without paying for cable, satellite or streaming services such as Netflix. Over-the-air signals are uncompressed, high-definition digital broadcasts. As cable and satellite providers use compressed signals, switching to an antenna has the potential to improve image reception, which is ideal if you are setting up a home theater system and desire the best quality for sound and visuals.
How TV Antennas Work
Roof-mounted TV antennas are comprised of long metal elements for receiving very high frequency (VHF) and ultra high frequency (UHF) transmissions. High buildings and mountainous terrain interfere with broadcast signals, so to get the best reception possible, the antenna must be located high up. Additionally, unidirectional antenna must face towards the local transmission tower. The Federal Communications Commission can help determine what kind of digital TV reception you have in your area.
Types Of TV Antennas
If you're investing time and effort into installing a new flat screen television and surround-sound speakers, then it makes sense to get the right kind of antenna for optimal viewing. There are several factors to consider when choosing an antenna:
- Indoor/Outdoor - Indoor antennas are small and affordable — less than $10 in some cases — but they have low range and aren't suitable for rural areas where broadcast signals are weak. Outdoor antennas are more powerful, but usually require professional installation because working on a roof is dangerous. Outdoor antennas can cost as much as $300 but are usually available for considerably less.
- Unidirectional/Multidirectional - Directional antennas have a strong range in one direction, but require careful installation for a good picture. Multidirectional antennas seek out signals from multiple directions, but are more likely to pick up noise distortion and often have inferior picture quality.
- Amplified/Non-Amplified - Amplified antennas are more powerful than non-amplified antennas, making them ideal for rural or mountainous areas. Amplified antennas are more expensive, and they require connection to a power outlet.
Advantages Of TV Antennas
TV antennas have several advantages compared to cable and satellite TV. The main advantage is that an antenna provides access to free channels with no subscription charges, making it a cost-effective option. Additionally, it provides access to local stations and news broadcasts, providing a service that caters specifically to the locality rather than providing national news that may not be relevant. Antennas receive uncompressed digital and high-definition signals, meaning they often get better picture quality than satellites and cable.
Disadvantages Of TV Antennas
Although TV antennas offer a wealth of benefits, they do come with several disadvantages you should consider before cutting your cable. An obvious drawback is the difficulty installing a roof-mounted antenna on your home. Once installed, antennas are difficult to adjust unless you selected a model with a remote controlled servo. Reception is likely to be poor in remote locations and may degrade even more if weather conditions are poor. Exposure to the elements may damage the antenna.
Dangers Of DIY TV Antenna Installation
A professional electrician knows the best type of antenna for your situation and can complete the installation in around three hours. By contrast, a DIY project is considerably more time-consuming and could take the best part of a day to complete as you experiment with the direction of the antenna and work out the best way to install the antenna securely. Spending a significant amount of time on the roof of your property increases the chance of an accident, especially if you’re not using the correct safety and installation equipment. Exposure to the elements could lead to illness.
Drilling through walls to install cables poses a risk of hitting existing wiring or water pipes, causing personal injury or property damage. If you don't install the antenna securely, then it may break free in high winds. When you employ a professional, the original installation is likely to last, reducing the future risk of problems and minimizing maintenance costs.
How To Install A TV Antenna
Installing a TV antenna is not as straightforward as it may seem. A professional undertakes the following steps:
- Assemble the antenna.
- Connect the lead-in cable to the antenna.
- Install the antenna mount in the correct location.
- Attach the antenna to the mast.
- Ground the antenna with aluminum wiring.
- Attach the antenna to the television.
Depending on the nature of your installation, additional steps may be necessary to program remotes or install switches and power outlets.
Find A Pro
Whatever your reasons for installing a home TV antenna, it can be a wise investment. Installing the antenna yourself may seem like a cost-effective idea, but for a safer, quicker installation, find a professional electrician and get the job done correctly. When a DIY project involves electrical components and working on the roof, it may cost less in the long run to hire a professional.
Last updated on Nov 3, 2016
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