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What Should I Consider When Buying an Antenna Amplifier?

By Erin J. Hill
Updated: May 17, 2024

When buying an antenna amplifier, you should take several things into consideration. The first thing to consider is the brand and type of antenna you are using. You should also keep in mind the size of your antenna, your budget, and whether an antenna amplifier will solve any issues you are having with your television signal.

An antenna is designed to help television sets receive signals to block out the “snowy” screen nearly everyone who lived before cable TV is familiar with. This “snow” is actually white noise that is picked up by most televisions. The antenna’s job is to pick up enough signal from a TV station to effectively overrule the static and provide a clear picture. Sometimes, the antenna is not powerful enough to do this alone, and an antenna amplifier must be used.

The antenna amplifier works to increase the reception by making the antenna more powerful. These can be used for not only television sets, but also for some wireless devices, such as mobile phones. Choosing the right kind can be tricky, but there are a few ways you can make sure you get the most for your money.

First, make sure you choose an antenna amplifier that is compatible with the device for which you are using it. This means not only choosing an amplifier designed to use with a television, but also being sure the brands and models are compatible. If you are in doubt, ask a salesperson at your local retailer and explain what type of antenna you have. You may also explain how bad your current reception is so they know how powerful an amplifier you may need. Choosing an amplifier that is the correct size is also important.

You should also stick to your budget when picking out an antenna amplifier. If you are unsure what amplifiers generally cost, figure out how much you can afford to spend and then see if there is anything available for that price. If there isn’t, you could consider saving up until you can afford the antenna you want. Remember, a name brand device isn’t always better than a store brand.

If you live in one of many areas where analog TV signal is no longer available, purchasing an antenna amplifier may not be what you are looking for. Even with a strong antenna signal, analog is no longer being shown in these areas. The only way to view TV is to subscribe to a cable or satellite service, buy a digital television, or purchase an analog to digital converter box. In some areas, these can be purchased at a discount with government vouchers.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Markerrag — On Mar 13, 2014

If you do plan on picking up digital television signals through the air, an amplifier may still be useful. Take, for example, those old roof antennas that were common when most people watched television through over-the-air signals. Back in those days, a signal that wasn't very strong might result in the "snowy" screen referred to in the article, but you could still watch a television program.

Digital signals are different -- they are either on or off. Instead of snow, you just get a black screen and perhaps a message stating there is no input to the television. An amplifier can strengthen those signals to the point where they are reliable and usable. And you can still use one on old roof antennas with no problem.

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