With many new build homes, it is part of the agreement that TV aerials are set up within the loft. However, there may be plenty of neighbouring properties with their antenna on the chimney stack or fixed to an outside wall or gable end. Why is this?

Firstly, TV aerials or antennas get their transmissions from land based transmitters. So as aerial fitters in Lancaster region, that would be either the Kellet transmitter or the Winter hill transmitter.

​When set up correctly, the aerial should be able to receive both a strong signal and one of good quality. However, this is hard to do without the right equipment that measures both signal strength and quality. A signal meter is used for this and is an aerial mans best friend. It is vital for lining up aerials so they receive the optimum signal from the desired transmitter.

Aerials installed within a loft

If the signal strength & quality is good enough, it is very possible for an antenna to receive a very good signal from within the loft. However, there would need to be a way of measuring that from within the loft. This is where the signal meter comes into its own. There can be many locations within a loft that do not get a good quality signal. Whereas other areas that do. It’s only by testing using the meter, that this can be ascertained.

Sometimes though the signal isn’t quite strong enough. This doesn’t always mean an aerial cannot be fitted in the loft, since there are options available to remedy this. By installing an amplifier and connecting up the aerial, the signal will be strengthened and in many cases the quality too. If however, this doesn’t improve the signal enough, then the next option would be to fit it on the outside of the property somewhere.

Is it better to fit the aerial outside on the roof?

​For signal strength and quality, particularly in areas where the signal isn’t quite that good, having the aerial installed outside is better. This can because the signal within a loft is reduced due to the roof material etc. In locations where the signal strength is strong, this doesn’t make much if any of a difference. But, in poor signal areas it makes a big difference.

Benefits of an aerial fitted outside

  • The Antenna can be fitted on a long mast raising it in order to get a better signal
  • It gets a better signal with less interference
  • Can be easier to run extra points from

Benefits of an aerial fitted within a loft

  • It never gets affected by the weather
  • It doesn’t detract from the look of the property
  • Easier to access if required


So, the answer to whether an aerial always has to be fitted on a roof is not always. However, it really depends on the location of the property and the available signal strength in that location. There are many good reasons why it can and cannot be installed within a loft. One way to find out would be check with a neighbour as to what they have. However, for a definitive answer it is best to ask a local aerial installer for his expert opinion. More info on watching TV without an aerial.

Digitec Aerials
19 Wolseley Street
Lancaster, Lancashire, LA1 3PH
01524 489188