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The latest Tablo news along with tips to maximize your free TV experience. 

Over-the-Air TV Antenna – Where to Place and How to Install

OTA Antennas

Along with the TV antenna you choose, your location, avoiding obstructions and interference, the next important consideration that impacts your ability to receive free Over-the-Air TV is the location you place or install your antenna. The quality of your Over-The-Air signal reception is highly dependent on this location choice, so take the time to discover the best installation spot for your TV antenna.

where to place and how to install your over the air tv antenna

In fact, the ideal location for your antenna within your home may not be near your TV, but instead on the roof, off your garage, in your attic, in a bedroom window, or on a balcony.

(Thankfully there are ways to get your antenna’s signal to your TV, even if it’s not in the same room. More on that below.)

So, when searching for the ‘sweet spot’ for OTA TV reception in your home, keep these considerations in mind:

TV Antenna Positioning Consideration #1 – Height

Over the Air TV Antenna Height

By far, the most critical factor for TV antenna placement is height. The higher you can get the antenna either inside our outside of your home, the better your TV reception will be.

For outdoor TV antennas, the best locations are on your roof or garage. If your attic is accessible and you don’t have a radiant heat barrier or metal roof, you can also try installing an outdoor TV antenna within your attic.

If you don’t feel confident in tackling a roof or attic mount installation yourself, a quick Google search can connect you with a local TV antenna installation expert.

Alternatively, a balcony or other outdoor space can be a great location to install your TV antenna, especially for those living in condos or apartments.

Over the Air Antenna placement in condos and apartments

You can even purchase pieces of flat coaxial cable that make it easy to thread the antenna’s cabling through a window or door.

(Cord cutters living in homes governed by Home Owner’s Associations, Condo Boards, or cranky landlords are protected by FCC regulations which give you the right to install a TV antenna in ‘exclusive use areas’.)   

Indoor OTA antennas decor

Indoor TV antennas are easier to position and install and are designed to blend into your decor.

Try a spot near a window or patio door. If your home has multiple stories, an upstairs window is preferable. Be sure however to avoid windows or doors with metallic mesh coverings or reflective coatings as these can block the TV signals.

TV Antenna Positioning Consideration #2 – Antenna Direction

Over-the-Air TV antennas will perform best when they face the source of the signals – your local broadcast towers.

Choose a window or outdoor location with a view towards the towers, free from obstructions.

Omni-directional or flat panel TV antennas don’t necessarily need to be pointed beyond this, but you may see marginal improvements by playing with the positioning by a few feet or even a few inches. Using a compass can be helpful when pointing directional TV antennas.

As you make small directional adjustments, remember to use the ‘rescan’ option within the Settings screen of your TV or Tablo app to help find the ‘sweet spot’ for the strongest signal for the TV channels you want most.

TV Antenna Positioning Consideration #3 – Distributing OTA TV Antenna Signals

What happens when the best place to put your antenna isn’t anywhere near your TV (or DVR)?

There are a few options to get your TV antenna signal from point A to point B, each with its own benefits and drawbacks.

Option A – Run New Coax Cable

Coaxial cable

Yes, you can certainly get a spool of coaxial cable and run it from your antenna to your TV or DVR. However, unless you’re comfortable drilling holes in walls this can be at best, unsightly and at worst, a tripping hazard.

Plus, the longer the coaxial cable run between your TV antenna and the tuner (either on your TV or your Tablo DVR), the more likely it is that your OTA signal will degrade.

Option B – Reuse Existing Coax Cable

Dish OTA antenna TV channels

If you’ve recently had satellite or cable TV, you may be able to reuse the existing wiring to connect your antenna and your TV or DVR.  However, you’ll still see some signal degradation, especially if you don’t terminate unused endpoints.

Option C – Distribute TV Signals Over Your WiFi Network

tablo network ota antenna signal distribution

By connecting your TV antenna to a network-based tuner or OTA DVR like Tablo, you can put your antenna virtually anywhere in your home and use your home WiFi network to distribute the OTA TV signals.

While costlier than the first two options, network-based distribution enables a single antenna to deliver video and audio to every screen in your home while avoiding potential cabling nightmares. It also makes it easy to add services like an on-screen TV guide, DVR and out-of-home streaming to your antenna signal, replicating a cable or satellite TV experience without the hefty monthly costs.

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How to restart your phone/tablet

Sometimes, just restarting your smartphone or tablet can clear up issues with apps. The links below will provide detailed instructions on how to force close your Tablo app. 

Apple iPhone

Android smartphones 

Most Android smartphones and tablets can be restarted by holding the POWER button and then selecting RESTART or POWER OFF and RESTART from the POWER OPTIONS menu.

NOTE: Newer Samsung devices require you to hold the POWER/SIDE button and VOLUME DOWN to make the POWER OPTIONS menu appear. On the Google Pixel 6, hold the POWER and VOLUME UP buttons.

How to force close your Tablo app?

Sometimes, just restarting the app can fix things. The links below will provide detailed instructions on how to force close your Tablo app. 

Apple iPhone/iPad

Android smartphones/tablets 

Need help with the final steps?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.  Follow the steps in the video below for a full walkthrough of the remaining parts of the Tablo setup process.

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Getting your channels...

You can get channels for free!
( over-the-air channels and streaming channels )

This is an estimate only. Actual broadcast TV channels received may vary based on TV antenna location, reception, topography, and other obstructions. Streaming channels require an internet connection. View the Channel Details Report for specifics of each channel and to help determine what antenna is needed. 

Reception alert:  Based upon the location you entered, you may not get many of the major networks.  As a result, Tablo may not be the best fit for you.  Please enter your full address above for best accuracy. 

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