The Complete TV Aerial Installation Guide

Whether you have freeview or satellite television, you’ll discover that installing a new aerial TV will bring improvements to both the sound and picture, and will ensure that you can receive all of the available channels.

When looking for TV antenna installation, there are many things to consider, from what type of aerial you need, to the location of the tv aerial installation cost. We all love to watch television, and there’s a wider choice of stations available than ever, but if you have an old, damaged, or badly positioned aerial or TV satellite dish, you might notice that some channels become unwatchable.

How much does TV aerial installation cost?

TV aerial installation costs in the UK can vary, depending on whether it’s an indoor or outdoor installation. Indoor tv aerial installation cost ranges from £90 to £150, while outdoor aerial installation costs start from £150 to £220.

The length of the pole, the cost of cables, splitters, and amplifiers, and the skill level of the installer can affect the cost of the tv aerial installation. Try to hire a qualified professional with a good reputation to avoid unnecessary upgrades to save money on installation.

London, of course, is the most expensive area to have a TV antenna installed. You should expect to pay anywhere between £200 and £300 depending on the contractor and the required labour. If you live in northern England, Scotland or Wales, the TV antenna installation cost is considerably cheaper. The typical cost of installing a tv aerial in these areas is between £170 – £260. 

What is the digital switchover?

The digital switchover means that the UK’s analogue TV signal is being switched off and replaced with a digital one. To receive digital TV, you’ll need a digital box (from Freeview, for instance), a new TV with a built-in digital box, or a cable or satellite service like Sky.

After the switchover, you’ll receive more channels and features such as on-screen listings, interactivity and audio and subtitling for those that require it. On top of all those benefits, going digital will also free up broadcast space, making room for other services like wireless broadband, local TV and high-definition TV.

How do I know if I need a new TV aerial installed?

Before rushing out to get a new TV aerial installation for the digital switchover, carry out a quick test first; this could show that your current TV aerial will suffice. A test pattern is broadcast on Teletext page 284 on BBC, BBC2, ITV1 and Channel 4.

Make sure you try the test on each channel, preferably at different times of the day and during different types of weather. Who will give you a more comprehensive overview of whether or not you need to install a new TV aerial?

If more than four squares are missing in the test signal, randomly, then chances are you will probably need to hire a professional to check and replace your TV aerial. However, if the screen shows a full grid of white boxes, your aerial should be sufficient for the digital switchover.

Why hire a TV aerial installer?

If grainy pictures, crackling noises and jumping images are an everyday occurrence on your television screen, then it’s probably about time you have a new aerial installed. Some homeowners don’t mind facing this as a simple DIY job. Still, if you lack the experience or aren’t that confident up a ladder, then you are better off hiring a professional TV installer who can:

  • Securely mount and install a new indoor or outdoor TV aerial, whether it is in your loft, on your roof or elsewhere on the exterior of your property.
  • Position the aerial using their in-depth knowledge of the most local signal transmitters to make sure you and your family get the best reception possible.
  • Use all the necessary materials, including a mast, screws, bolts, ground rods and sealant, to successfully fit together with your aerial with the down lead (or co-axial cable) and TV set.
  • Fit new internal TV points or replace older, damaged ones in your home. They can even move a point across a room if you fancy repositioning the television set.

Where can I find a quality local aerial installer?

Here are some tips you might consider before selecting a TV aerial installer. You’ll want an installer with a good reputation, offers great value for money and provides a good after-sales service.

Tips for Choosing the Best Local Aerial Installer Near You:

  • Look for certified and experienced installers.
  • Check for customer reviews and ratings.
  • Ask for recommendations from friends and family.
  • Research the company’s reputation and history.
  • Inquire about their installation process and equipment.
  • Verify their insurance and warranties.
  • Check for after-sales support and maintenance services.
  • Compare prices from different installers and choose the best value for money.

Why is it important to hire a licensed aerial installer?

You must use a local, licensed installer as they are skilled and qualified to make digital TV installations. Digital TV reception requires higher skill levels to both install and identify reception problems. A registered installer will have all of the required skills to carry out the job.

The other advantages of using a licensed aerial tv installer are that they have been certified to work at heights, carry a minimum of two million pounds public liability insurance, and have also undergone a criminal record check.

How long will my new TV aerial last?

Modern TV aerials are built to last. You can expect a good-quality antenna to last between ten to twenty years. One thing to bear in mind, however, is the increasingly unpredictable weather that the UK experiences. Bad weather conditions (such as strong winds or rainfall) might damage TV aerials; if so, it is advisable to call professional installers and not attempt to repair it on your own. Your TV aerial installer can also provide TV aerial repairs, antenna re-alignment and much more.

Where should I place My TV aerial?

Your TV aerial must be situated where it can receive the strongest digital signal. Rooftops are the most common place to locate them, but the ideal position can be affected by the area’s geography. Finding the perfect location or alignment (strong and clear signal) for your satellite dish might take some time before the installation.  Ensure your aerial has some bad weather protection, and it will make water ingress less likely.

Digital TV aerial installation tips

digital aerial tv tips

Just as with an analogue aerial installation, you will need to carefully consider the following points when purchasing and fitting a digital TV aerial:

Hire an experienced aerial installer.

For best results, hire an aerial installer who has been on the job for around four to five years or more and who is fully qualified with an association like the Confederation of Aerial Industries (CAI). Experienced contractors have a good understanding of all the necessary materials you need to get the work done properly (including the mast, co-axial cable and internal TV point). They can usually work faster, too – saving you a bit of extra money.

Hire locally

Local contractors will generally have a good understanding of all the signal transmitters in the surrounding area. They will be able to position your new digital aerial or satellite dish to provide the best picture possible.

Make sure your new aerial is digital-compatible

That might sound like a silly thing to point out, but plenty of people purchase a new aerial without checking it is compatible with their new Freeview, Freesat or Sky or Virgin top-box. If you are also purchasing a new TV, you could always buy one with Integrated Digital Freeview instead – that way; you don’t have to worry about an aerial at all!

Check for a guarantee.

When purchasing a new aerial, you should always make sure you get a guarantee or selected warranty. That way, you can rest knowing that will definitely refund you for a shoddy job, and if any problems occur in the next couple of years, you won’t have to pay out all over again.

Compare quotes

If you want the best deal possible, always compare at least three different quotes from local professionals. Check with family and friends and see if they can suggest anybody who has done a good job fitting an aerial for them before – you might be able to get the aerial fitted quickly.

At a surprisingly low price, if you tell the contractor, they came recommended. The final cost of installing a tv aerial will differ from home to home, but generally, you should look to pay around £150 to £300 (including parts and an hour’s labour).


How can I watch TV without an aerial?

There are several ways to watch TV without an aerial. One option is to use a satellite dish, which can pick up a wide range of channels. Another option is to use streaming services, such as Netflix or Hulu. You can also use a cable or fiber optic connection to access TV channels. Finally, some smart TVs have built-in Wi-Fi, allowing you to stream content directly to your TV.

Does a smart TV need an aerial?

A smart TV does not necessarily need an aerial. Smart TVs can connect to the internet via Wi-Fi, allowing you to stream content from various online platforms. However, if you want to watch live TV broadcasts or access certain channels, you may need to connect an aerial or cable to your smart TV.

How do I setup my TV aerial?

To begin the process of setting up your TV aerial, start by identifying the closest transmitter tower to your home. You can use a signal locator website to assist you with this task. Once you have located the tower, assemble your aerial and connect it to your TV using a coaxial cable. Position the aerial towards the transmitter tower and scan for channels on your TV. Lastly, fine-tune the aerial’s position for optimal signal reception.

Can you watch free-to-air TV on a smart TV without an aerial?

No, you cannot watch free-to-air TV on a smart TV without an aerial. Aerials are necessary to receive the signal for free-to-air TV channels. However, some smart TVs do have built-in Freeview or Freesat tuners, which allow you to access free TV channels without an external aerial, but this is not the case for all smart TVs.

How do I connect my aerial to my smart TV?

To connect your aerial to your smart TV, first, locate the antenna port on the back of your TV. Then, plug the aerial cable into the port. Next, navigate to the TV’s settings and select “Channel Setup” or “Tuner Setup.” Finally, follow the on-screen instructions to scan for available channels.

How do I connect my smart TV without an aerial?

A smart TV allows you to establish an internet connection through Wi-Fi or ethernet cable. Giving you access to online content, such as streaming services and catch-up TV. However, If you wish to watch live TV, you will need to consider other options like installing a TV antenna or subscribing to a cable or satellite service.

Do smart TVs have built-in antennas?

Most smart TVs have built-in Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity to access online content, but they do not typically have built-in antennas for receiving over-the-air broadcast signals. However, some models may have the option to connect an external antenna for this purpose.

Do indoor TV aerials work?

Indoor TV aerials can work, but their effectiveness depends on several factors. The distance from the nearest signal transmitter, the type of wall materials and any potential sources of interference. In some cases, an indoor aerial may be sufficient to pick up a clear signal, while in others, an outdoor aerial may be necessary.

What is a smart aerial?

The One For All smart aerial is a contemporary chic television antenna that integrates innovative technology to deliver top-notch reception of unencrypted channels. This smart aerial is specifically engineered to be compatible with intelligent TVs and has a usage radius of 0-50km.

What’s the difference between an aerial and an antenna?

Both “antenna” and “aerial” are terms that are sometimes used interchangeably. However, in certain instances, “aerial” may refer specifically to a type of wire antenna that is elevated horizontally.

Do TV aerials still work?

Yes, TV aerials still work and are a popular way to receive aerial television signals for free. While many people have switched to cable or satellite TV, digital TV signals are still broadcasted over the air. Making TV aerials a reliable and cost-effective option for those who want to watch local channels without a monthly subscription.

What is TV aerial cable called?

The TV aerial cable is commonly called “coaxial cable” or “coax” for short.

Does an aerial need an amplifier?

The need for an amplifier when using an aerial depends on factors such as signal strength, distance, and interference. Sometimes an amplifier can improve signal quality, but other times it may cause more problems than the ones it solves. It’s best to seek professional advice or experiment with different setups to determine what works best for your situation. The TV aerial cable is commonly called “coaxial cable” or “coax” for short.

Can I run 2 TVs from 1 aerial?

It is possible, and relatively easy, to run multiple TVs from one TV aerial. All you need is the correct equipment. If your aerial is in total working order, there is no reason why you cannot run many TVs through it. Using a splitter means you lose signal on each output.

How do I know if my house has a TV aerial?

If you’re unsure about the availability of an aerial after moving to a new place, simply step outside and take a look around. Most residences have a metal antenna that points upwards, either situated on the roof or protruding from the side of the structure. If the antenna is in good condition and not deteriorating, you can be confident that it will work perfectly fine.

Do aerials need earthing?

Properly grounding an antenna can have a significant impact on its performance, while a deficient earth or ground connection can severely impair its capabilities. Ensuring that an antenna is grounded correctly not only makes it safe to use but also enables optimal performance.

A good ground connection can help maximize an antenna’s potential, while a poor one can lead to subpar performance. Therefore, grounding an antenna correctly is crucial for both safety and performance reasons.