Homes don't typically have TV antennas on their roofs as commonly as they did, as many people prefer the variety of channels and picture quality of cable television or of a satellite dish instead. However, a TV antenna can be used if you don't have cable yet installed in your area or don't want to pay the price for these packages, or if you want to improve the signal quality of high-definition or HDTV. Note a few commonly asked questions about antenna installation for your home if you're thinking of this option.

1. Can an antenna be installed indoors?

If you don't like the unsightly nature of an antenna or if you live in a rented home where you cannot put an antenna on the roof, note that they can be installed indoors. Many TV signals are strong enough to penetrate the wood and other building materials of a home and some antennas are made specifically for indoor use. However, keep in mind that a thick metal roof and metal backing on fiberglass insulation can interfere with the quality of the reception. It may be recommended that you remove certain types of insulation in your attic if you install an antenna indoors, and remember that you still need to point the narrow end of the antenna to the transmitter to the TV station. 

2. How far can an antenna be from a transmitter to get a good signal?

In most cases, the terrain between an antenna and a transmitter is going to be a very important factor in the quality of your reception. Antennas will vary in their strength when it comes to distance but when signals need to curve around hills, or if your home is in a valley where signals might not naturally dip and reach, your antenna may not get those signals so readily no matter how close you are to the transmitter. In those cases, you may need to invest in a stronger or more powerful antenna that works harder to get those signals.

3. What is a bow tie antenna?

A bow tie antenna is somewhat self-explanatory; the rods are shaped in two triangles that look like a bow tie, versus rods that are simply horizontal. This triangular shape actually increases the bandwidth of an antenna so that it may more readily pick up signals from the entire UHF band. If you prefer more channels on your TV that are within the UHF listings, a bow tie antenna can be a good investment.