Installation of a Loft Aerial, Best Practice
Over the last few years there has been a boom in new build homes popping up in and around most towns and villages. This is great news for the local aerial fitter because as with most new homes, they will be fitted with aerial sockets, but no digital TV aerial. The cables from the TV points will be run in the walls internally which hides unsightly cable, and they finish in the loft, often coiled up near the hatch to the loft or attic. To get the TV points working, these cables need to be joined to a digital aerial. This is where a little knowledge helps & makes the difference between you getting a strong enough signal to be able to watch TV, and one that’s not.
Installing an aerial in the loft is ok and will work well in most cases. So long as there is no foil insulation on the inside of the roof, then there is a fair chance that a good enough signal can be received. There can be up to a 50% loss of signal from installing a TV aerial in the loft, but especially with new builds there is no other legal way since externally fitting one is against council planning.
When in the loft attach the aerial to a meter of some kind. This will help you to point it in the right direction and where in the loft the signal is strongest. By using a loft spike attach the antenna to the pole and firmly fix in place. Depending on the number of points that the house has will determine whether or not an amplifier or aerial booster is needed. Only by using a meter can this be discovered. If no amplifier is needed, then the use of a passive splitter will do the job of connecting the cables joined to the TV sockets to the aerial. This is all that is needed, and if all connections are fastened properly there is nothing else to do.
If an Amplifier is needed due to the signal being poor or there are more then 3 cables to join to. In this case the amplifier to use is then dependent on whether or not there is a power socket in the loft. If there is then a set back amplifier should be used. If there is no power, then a mast head amplifier is required and the power unit to this amp is to be connected usually behind the TV and connected via the TV socket. In both cases it is just a case of connecting the cables in the loft to the amp for the job to be completed