If your TV has ever had poor signal and connections, you’ll want to consider getting a new aerial cable installed.
You’ll get a clearer picture, better reception and won’t have to deal with any more blackouts.
But if you’re looking to get a TV aerial installed, you might be wondering how much you should pay before contacting someone who can help fix it.
This article will cover the sorts of costs you can expect to pay, what can affect the price and other common questions surrounding the installation of a TV aerial.
Average TV Aerial Installation Cost
We received quotes from 25 different contractors across the UK. Prices quoted are an aerial install into one room, with a standard cable run and aerial. Prices include VAT.
|TV Aerial Installation||Cost|
|Typical Range||£90 - £200|
There are additional items that may also increase the cost. These include:
|Extra Points||+£25 - £45 per TV|
Factors Affecting the Cost of TV Aerial Installations
These are common factors that can affect average quotes from contractors.
- Is the fitting internal or external? Expect to pay roughly £70 less for an internal loft fitting compared to an external roof fitting.
- Will an amplifier be needed? On rare occasions, an amplifier needs to be fitted to raise the signal to a satisfactory level. A contractor should be able to check the signals with a test aerial and out meter first.
- Is there a bad line of sight between aerial and transmitter? For example, tall buildings or trees may affect the reception. This can affect the amount of work required.
- Height of the building? Most aerials can be installed from a ladder. However, if a platform needs to be erected, this will add extra cost.
- Location. Labour costs in the South and London are generally higher than the rest of the country and further north. A company may charge extra if your property falls outside of the zone they typically service.
Costs of Removing a TV Aerial
As time goes on and your TV aerial gets older, it may be worth getting it cleared away. This will ensure it doesn’t fall off the roof during bad weather and cause damage. Plus it improves the look of your house and can help save you money.
Expect to pay approximately £50 – £100 for a professional to remove it. However, this can vary depending on the type of aerial and how long the professional expects the job to take.
Can you Do It Yourself?
If you have the correct equipment, this is something that could be done. However, as you’ll likely have to go on the roof, you’ll need the right safety equipment.
Although you can do it yourself, we would recommend getting a professional in who has done this before. They’ll ensure that the setup is correct, that you get the best signal and most importantly, don’t put yourself at risk doing the TV installation.
What to Look For in an Aerial
The Confederation of Aerial Industries (CAI) benchmarks all aerials. This involves testing and evaluating all aerials from all manufacturers and then applying a benchmark standard of 1 to 4, according to their stringent quality guidelines.
Buying a standard 1 or 2 aerial will improve Freeview reception compared to standard 3 and 4 types. Standard 1 aerials work best in weak Freeview reception areas. At the same time, standard 2 antennae provide good reception in mediocre signal areas. They can be smaller and less liable to movement, especially if installed outside in poor weather conditions.
Most buildings will have aerials fitted to their exterior, usually on the roof or attached to the chimney stack if the building has one. Whether you choose to install an outdoor aerial yourself or hire a contractor to do it for you, there are a few things you need to take into account.
Things to Consider Before Installing an Outdoor Aerial
- Direction of the Transmitter – Find out which direction the nearest transmitter is. If you’re doing the installation yourself, take a peek at which direction the aerials on other rooftops in your street are pointing and follow suit.
- Wire Length – Make sure you have a long enough coaxial cable to run from the roof or outside wall to reach your television.
- Fittings and Brackets – Read instructions carefully and get advice on the correct type of wall fittings and bracket for the type of aerial you’ve chosen.
Pros of External Aerials
External aerials offer viewers many advantages compared with internal aerials. These include:
- Better reception of digital signal without walls and roof obstructions.
- Able to be located on a building’s highest point.
- There is a choice of shapes and sizes of antenna based on its function. For example, a unidirectional antenna looks like an arrow, while an omnidirectional aerial looks like a grid or small plate.
- External aerials can be installed in many different ways on different parts of the house. Most DIY stores will stock the right kit for each installation.
Cons of External Aerials
External antennae also come with some disadvantages. These include:
- There are several safety implications of installing an aerial externally. At height working, power tools and electrical wires are all potentially life-threatening hazards.
- Outdoor aerials need to be grounded to ensure they do not act as lightning detectors.
- You will require longer coaxial cables compared to internal installations.
- External aerial installation is more expensive.
Before deciding whether to install a loft aerial or install externally, there are many things to consider to make sure you’re making the right decision.
Things to Consider Before Installing a Loft Aerial
- Loft Materials – Understanding which materials make up your loft will determine whether you can install a loft aerial. If your attic contains foil lining, it will reflect the signal away and not reach the aerial.
- Where the Nearest Transmitter is – Loft aerials are most suitable for buildings no more than 15 miles away from the nearest transmitter. Make sure you use an antenna to pick up a signal from the transmitter. In addition, know where your local transmitter is in relation to your house and place the aerial in a location that will receive a signal.
- Are there Sources of Interference? – Metallic objects in the loft can cause interference that could end up detuning the aerial. For example, copper water tanks and piping is likely to be a source of interference. In addition, impulse noise interference is a common problem with loft aerials, which would affect the quality of the picture you receive. Log periodic aerials have been designed to protect the signal from interference from behind and on the side of the antenna.
- TV Location – Understanding the distance between your antenna and television will determine the amount and type of coaxial cable required to connect your aerial to the TV or set-top box.
- Type of Antenna – You will want to buy an aerial that blocks out as much interference as possible and can pick up weaker signals. High gain aerials or periodic log aerials are the best on the market for loft installations.
Pros of Loft Aerials
The changeover from analogue TV transmitters to digital transmitters has produced stronger signals. This means that loft aerials are much more likely to receive a good signal than previous years. This means that loft aerials can be an excellent option in the following scenarios:
- You don’t have permission from your landlord or management company to install an external aerial
- You don’t like the appearance of an external aerial on your property
- Installing an external area would be unsafe or highly costly due to accessibility issues
As well as the safety and cost benefits, installing a loft aerial can help the aerial last longer due to not being exposed to harsh weather and wind conditions.
Cons of Loft Aerials
Of course, loft aerials also come with drawbacks. Any decision to install one will need to be carefully considered, with pros and cons weighed up according to your circumstances. Some of the disadvantages of installing a loft aerial include:
- You will not receive the same signal strength with an external aerial. The roof and walls will dampen the signal slightly.
- It can take a considerable amount of time to find the correct position in your loft to gain the optimal signal level.
- Many objects commonly found in an attic can affect the quality of the signal, for example, Wiring, pipes and fluorescent lighting.
Installing an External Aerial
When installing an aerial externally, the best place for them to be placed to gain optimal signal is on the rooftop. If your house has a chimney stack, this is usually the most accessible place to install it.
Some tips to take into account when installing a rooftop aerial:
- Make sure you have appropriate mounting hardware. You will need a bracket to hold the aerial mast and make sure it provides some space between the brickwork and the mast to reduce the likelihood of interference.
- Choose a galvanised bracket where possible. These are more durable than painted or powder-coated steel brackets.
- Make sure the load is spread out. Putting too much strain on one section of brickwork can dislodge bricks.
- Always drill into the centre of a brick as this is the strongest part.
- Only use screw fixings if it’s not possible to use lashing.
- Use appropriate fixings; ordinary wall plugs and screws will not be strong enough in most external settings.
- If you have the choice of installing the antenna in more than one location, survey to see which gives you the strongest signal.
- If trees or a hill obstructs the line of sight between the transmitter and aerial, try slightly elevating the antenna’s angle.
- When using more than one brace, leave a space of between 12 and 14 inches to ensure the mast will not move in the wind.
- Make sure the antenna is at least 10 feet above the highest peak of your roof.
Installing a Loft Aerial
When installing an aerial inside a building, as with rooftop aerials, you’ll want to find somewhere as high as possible to give yourself the best chance of receiving a strong signal.
Installing an aerial internally is much safer than externally due to the reduced risk of falling from a rooftop and injuring yourself. If your building has an attic, installing the antenna here will usually be optimal.
Some tips to consider when installing an aerial internally include:
- Be aware of where you locate the aerial. They’re much more prominent in reality than they appear on someone’s roof and the last thing you want to do is risk poking yourself in the eye every time you go into the attic.
- Take a portable digital compatible TV into the loft to help accurately find the location that provides the best signal on all channels.
- Use a loft aerial bracket to secure the antenna and ensure it doesn’t fall, compromising your signal.
- Use the weakest TV channel signal to optimise the position of the loft aerial. Once you get a good picture on this channel, the rest will fall into place easily.
Long coaxial cabling and splitting the signal between more than one television in your house can lead to signal loss. It is well worth buying an aerial amplifier or signal booster for the aerial system in these circumstances.
Many TV aerials will come with built-in or separate amplifiers to work with an outdoor aerial.
Be warned, though, that amplifiers and boosters may not be required, so don’t add them to your system for the sake of it. They can amplify noise and electric interference, significantly reducing your viewing experience.
In addition, amplifiers will not convert a bad signal into a strong, reliable one. You may wish to speak to a contractor before buying or installing an amplifier or booster to your system to check that it will have the desired result.
Selecting the Right TV Aerial Contractor
Although installing a TV aerial yourself is possible, there is no substitute for a professional aerial installer’s expertise, particularly in external installations.
The CAI is the association for aerial installation professionals, and all recognised contractors are fully approved.
Find a CAI accredited contractor to give you peace of mind that a thoroughly trained and certified contractor is undertaking your installation. Many contractors will be able to take you through a consultation and help you choose the suitable aerial for your location to prevent any costly mistakes.
They will make the installation a stress-free and safe process, completing the process with the minimum of fuss and giving you the maximum quality of service.
Although hiring a contractor to install an aerial for you is costlier than doing it yourself, the assurance that they will get it right the first time is priceless.
Most reputable contractors will offer a warranty or guarantee on their work so that if it’s not quite right, they’ll be able to rectify it at no extra cost to you.
Get Prices on TV Aerial Installations Near You
We’ve done our best to give you a good idea of what you can expect to pay for a TV aerial installation.
However, our guides are not a substitute for a fixed written quote specifically for you.
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