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How Long Do TV Aerials Last?

Are you looking forward to doing an aerial installation for your TV, but you are not sure of the antenna’s lifespan? Usually, there isn’t a straight answer to what you seek, as many factors could influence the lifespan of a TV antenna. In the course of this post, I’ll be exposing you to some of the factors that can impact your TV antenna’s lifespan.

How Long Should A Rooftop Aerial Last?

A high-quality, professionally installed TV antenna can last for as long as between 10 and 20 years. And guess what? Your TV aerial can last you for a longer period. Some TV aerials last for more than that. If the aerial of a TV has not been installed professionally, several things could go wrong, leading to a possible reduction in the antenna’s lifespan. In many instances, fixings and cable are some of the things that could get bad before the antenna.

Inexpensive Aerial/ Antenna

Your aerial is as good as the quality you are using. You cannot install a low-quality antenna and expect it to last long. A low-quality antenna will not last close to 10 or 20 years. That is why you have to be conscious of the quality of TV aerial you are buying. Some of what is sold to people in all-purpose markets are not fit to be called TV antennas. Hence, time is one good factor that will help you tell if a TV aerial has long-lasting prospects or not.

It’s worthless trying to cut corners when buying an antenna for your TV. The only antennas that are cheap are the ones that are of low-quality. Unfortunately, low-quality external TV aerial components hardly survive extreme weather conditions such as gales and high winds. So the only way to ensure a long-lasting TV aerial is by getting a high-quality set that can withstand the impact of such extreme weather conditions. An easy way to know what quality of antenna you are buying is by staying away from the ones that have elements that look like bacofoil. Rather, go for products of high-quality TV antenna manufacturers like Antiference, Vision, and Wosely.

Aerial/ Antenna Not Been Fitted Correctly

You must understand that it is not good enough to buy a high-quality antenna if you want the TV aerial to last for a long time. Some requisite guidelines should be observed when installing an antenna. If these guidelines are compromised, the lifespan of the antenna will be put on the line:

Thunder Storms / Lightning Strike

Although the chances are very slim, there is a possibility of your TV aerial getting damaged by electrical storms. A high-voltage discharge due to electrical storms can ultimately damage your antenna, leaving you with the only option of getting a new one. Electrical storms are much dangerous; they can destroy much more than just your antenna. The safety of your indoor items can be at stake too. In these scenarios, there is nothing anyone can do to have averted the loss. And such damages are not covered in the guarantee, regardless of when the antenna was installed.

Aerial Installed Extremely High

If you intend to set up your antenna on a big aerial mast, it could be a way to stay clear from trees. You should use brackets that are capable of supporting the height of the pole. A golden rule is to use a bracket spacing that is one-sixth of the total mast height. If you intend to go with an antenna with high gain, employ a minimum of a bracket spacing, one-quarter the overall mast height. You should equally consider a mast with thicker diameter. Two inches diameter poles for masts that are tall is a good practice, as it will aid in ensuring its longevity.

Top U Bolt Over-Tightened

An over-tightened ‘U’ bolt is an act that has facilitated the weakening of many masts, but many people do not know this. If a TV aerial is installed and the top U bolt is over-tightened, leading the pole to be in a bent shape, there’s a good chance that that point of the mast will fail with time. Sooner than later. Top U bolts should be fastened with great care. Ratchet spanners are an easy way to over-tighten your U bolt, so avoid using them.

There are many other installation practices that can shorten the lifespan of a TV antenna such as aerials installed wrongly, waterlogged aerial cables, lashing wiring snapping (usually with age), chimney failing, loose bricks on the house and so on. 

Loft Aerials Last Longer

Lofts are not as high as chimneys/ Fascia fixings/ Gable end; this may reduce the quality of the signal you will be getting. If you install your TV on the loft, you may have lots of interference to contend with. However, the good part is that when your TV aerial is installed on your loft, it will not be as exposed to natural elements as the ones installed on high positions like chimneys and the likes.

Loft antennas are protected from weathering and high winds. That is why they tend to deteriorate relatively slowly compared to others that are installed in the open. Therefore, loft aerials tend to last much longer compared to those installed outside.

Technological evolution

A change in technology can simply render your antenna old-fashioned. We have seen that a couple times in the past, like it was in the case of the VHF/UHF migration, as well as the digital change. In stark contrast to popular opinion, there is nothing like a digital antenna, so your old antenna could possibly work with digital channels too. Frequency changes are there to deal with, or there may be a new building close to you that might be distorting your TV signals, which means you may be switching to a high TV antenna installation, or adopt a satellite dish altogether. There is a good chance that all our TV content will be served via the internet in the nearest future. While that is a possibility, I think we are not there yet. That is because we still have services like BT Vision, Freeview, as well as TalkTalk TV, which are received via TV aerials. Nevertheless, I may be wrong about the timing because we already have providers like Sky who are working on offering dish-less Sky TV services very soon.