The installation of an antenna starts with the analysis of few things that are decisive in ensuring reception quality. First you must decide which type of antenna will be used. Choosing the antenna type for the requirement is crucial, as the antenna used generally requires a specific antenna for the specific use. Next you must decide on antenna positioning. Selecting a position that provides the longest range and incurs the lease ambient noise is a key factor. It is generally considered best to place an antenna in a location that is in its highest position with the least amount of physical obstructions, such as trees, buildings, and other radio wave sources.
The signals from the transmitting antenna will be received best when the transmitting antenna is in the line-of-sight of the receiving antenna. If there is an obstruction, such as a hill or a building between antennas, signal quality may suffer. The position of the antenna should be clear of any material hindrance or other object that will negatively affect the fresnel zone in front of the antenna.
The distance between the transmission and reception points directly affects signal quality. Longer distances provide an opportunity for more signal deterring factors to reduce the quality of the signal, as well as reduce signal strength. You can attempt to counteract signal degradation and weak signals by using a higher gain antenna and increasing power output. Higher gain antennas are generally longer antennas with more cross pieces attached. Increasing transmission power to the antenna may introduce additional noise or cause other issues, so be aware of this.
Indoor antenna installations, generally used for TV and radio reception, can be problematic mainly due to two factors, antenna altitude and the number of material barriers the signal will need to pass through. On a technical level UHF signals are more prone to amplitude and power reductions than lower band VHF signals.
Once the antenna is chosen and properly mounted in the optimal position, there is still some more work left in order to ensure clear reception. The antenna's boom should be positioned in the direction of the transmission antenna and the cross pieces must be placed horizontally or vertically depending on the direction of polarization of the transmitted signal. For television signals, you may experience video problems such as grains and ghosting. Grains are caused by a weak signal or due to some inherent technical glitch with the antenna itself. If you experience a grainy image, check your antenna for assembly and installation problems. Ghosting is due to the multiple arrivals of the same signal at the antenna. This is usually mostly due to reflection from the neighboring buildings or even an airplane passing overhead at that point of time. If you experience ghosting in your television picture, inspect the installation site, and determine if there is any barrier between the site and the signal source. You may need to move the installation location to resolve a ghosting problem.
It is generally desirable to attach your antenna to an adjustable mounting clamp to assist you with antenna adjustments in altitude.
Choosing the correct cable to connect your antenna to your transmission or reception source is the next step of an antenna installation. Always ensure you choose a suitable cable that covers your signal bandwidth requirements. For television signals it is advisable to use low loss coaxial cables instead of ribbon-type VHF cables, as the latter is not suitable for UHF reception. Ensure that your coaxial cables are of the shortest possible length, and that there are no cable ends that are open. Use splitters with the proper number of outputs, and remove cable segments that are no longer needed. Take care to form a half loop at the cable point of entry into the house so that rain water will drip off than flowing inside down the cable length. Secure the cable entry point by sealing it with a waterproof sealant.
As mentioned earlier the higher the position of the antenna, the better will be its reception capabilities. Higher altitude antennas have a higher probability of being struck by lightning. It is mandatory to provide a suitable grounding to the antenna. Make sure that the wire used for grounding has minimal change in directions and is free from any sharp bends.