How to Buy a TV Signal Amplifier
Sometimes a TV needs an antenna or an antenna signal amplifier. This TV signal amplifier will increase the signal strength so that a better signal can be viewed.
However, when considering the purchase and installation of an antenna amplifier, there are many points to consider so that the best antenna amplifier can be purchased and installed to provide a better picture and better TV reception. Choosing the wrong antenna amplifier, or if the antenna amplifier is not suitable for a particular situation, then a TV signal amplifier can make things worse.
What is a TV signal amplifier?
A TV antenna or TV signal amplifier is an amplifier that increases the signal level of the received TV signal so that a better picture can be received.
As the name suggests, a TV signal booster or amplifier is a unit that amplifies the incoming signal before it enters the TV.
The purpose is that when the signal level is low, the amplifier will be able to boost the signal to a sufficient level for the TV to receive a good picture and thus be able to provide a good picture.
One of the reasons an amplifier might be needed is that if the signal is good enough, the attenuation of the coaxial feeds can mean they are too weak to provide a good picture, as the signal is closer to the background noise level of the TV's RF section.
If the signal is amplified at the TV antenna, the amplifier has better signal amplification and the noise level remains low.
Amplifying the signal on a TV won't improve it much because the strength of the signal may already be so low due to the loss of the coaxial signal that the background noise level means they won't recover properly.
TV signal amplifier buyer's guide
There are a few things to consider when shopping for a TV signal amplifier or antenna amplifier.
It's best to take a closer look at the entire TV system with something like its antenna. In this way, needs can be properly assessed.
Check the antenna cable first: Before installing the TV antenna signal booster/amplifier, check that the antenna coaxial cable has been installed for some time. If the cable is for an external antenna, and it has been installed for a while, it is likely that moisture has entered the cable. This will cause the cable to attenuate or reduce signal strength - this attenuation happens slowly, and the incremental increase in loss will be ignored until the system becomes unusable.
Even if the antenna has a housing for the connection, it's hard to keep moisture out of the coax. Sealing the ends of coaxial cables helps keep moisture out and slows cable degradation. Even without this, the presence of sunlight and toxic gases in the air can cause cables to degrade over time, so regularly updating TV antenna installations can ensure performance is up to the required standard.
In this case, installing a new boost amplifier for the TV won't solve the source problem. In some cases, cable losses can be so high that even the use of a signal booster cannot overcome the losses in the cable. So it's always good to check cables before considering a TV antenna amplifier/booster.
Do you need a splitter/amplifier or booster: In some cases, it will be necessary to power multiple TVs from a single antenna. When this is done with a passive splitter (i.e. one without an amp/booster), the signal level drops because it has to be distributed. To overcome this, an amplifier/booster splitter can be used. Boosters typically amplify the signal to a higher level than the original, rather than compensating for the losses of passive splitters.
Internal or external: Antenna boosters are usually for internal use. They have a common cable entry point and power cord. For external use, the power is located next to the TV, and the power is transmitted through the antenna coaxial cable. Also, the unit will be waterproof as it needs to withstand harsh weather. Any moisture that gets into the amp/booster can cause damage and eventually cause it to fail.
Don't get too much gain: One of the key parameters of any antenna booster/antenna amplifier is the level of gain it provides. This is usually expressed in decibels. Usually, it's probably around 10 to 12 decibels, although some offer up to 20 decibels, or even more is best. Too much gain can overload the TV input and cause a worse signal. So never put two amplifiers/boosters on the same antenna.
Can estimate what is needed. As a broad rule of thumb, there is 1 dB of signal loss for every 5 meters of cable. Therefore, a 10-meter cable requires a 2dB gain, and a 20-meter cable requires a 4dB gain. It's amazing how many cables are used to carry the signal from the TV antenna to the TV.
It's important that TV antenna boosters don't provide much gain. This can overload the TV input and provide more problems than it solves. Some TV antenna amplifiers have adjustable amplifiers, so the amplification can be adjusted to get the correct signal level.
Place the booster close to the antenna: As mentioned above, it is always best to place the TV signal booster as close to the antenna as possible. It is for this reason that if an external antenna needs an amplifier, it needs to be located on the outside close to the antenna.
External amps, if they are well made and last, are expensive. They are usually mounted inside a weatherproof box with rubber gaskets etc. to keep out any weather, moisture, etc. They also have special fixtures so that they can be attached to the mast.
However, if the amplifier fails, it means that the amplifier needs to be recycled and replaced, and since it may not be accessible, this can be expensive. It may be worthwhile to consider a higher gain antenna first.
Cell phone filters: With digital TV signals now transmitting in most countries, it is already possible to free up some spectrum for other uses. Digital TV systems are much more efficient in terms of bandwidth and signal spectrum usage.
Usually, the released spectrum has been used for mobile telephony/mobile communications. Therefore, sometimes interference may occur, especially if the mobile phone is close to the TV antenna. To help overcome this problem, many modern TV antennas or antenna boosters include a filter to help remove these signals. Before investing in a new TV antenna booster, it's worth checking to see if it has one of these filters if it might be a problem in your country. They may be labeled 3G, 4G, 5G, or LTE filters.
The above details some methods of choosing a TV signal amplifier. If you want to buy a signal amplifier, please contact us.
SOMI is a professional custom antenna accessories manufacturer. We have our own engineers, so we can design and produce products according to customers' requirements. All products are produced by automatic machines and thoroughly tested to ensure the quality of our products. We have adopted the ISO9001:2008 quality management system as the rule for all our company activities. Some products have passed CE certification.