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Digital TV Aerial or Antenna installation for scratch free pictures

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With the digital migration underway in Nairobi and its environs thanks to Communications Authority of Kenya – CAK. This post is about how to install your antenna or aerial professionally to get good quality Digital TV with scratch free pictures during any weather condition. This information will come in handy for all Nairobi residents when the Digital Migration starts officially on the 31st of December 2014 or is it 1st January 2015? Let us hope we have seen the last of the many court cases surrounding this issue because there are lawyers who can make the dates postponed indefinitely again.

Now here are the important tips.

First never mount an aerial on a wooden pole. The technically correct way is to mount it on a metallic pole, the best type being aluminum for the obvious reason that aluminum does not rust. By the way this is the same material used to make your aerial. Its very important that pole should also have a circular cross section like the picture below. I prefer to use Sparko High Tech Black RTV Silicon. Its used for gasket making and as an adhesive sealant in motor vehicles. It is easy to apply and cures fully in 24 hours and if applied properly to clean surfaces, it creates an air and water tight connection.

Secondly the antenna must be fixed tightly on the pole to avoid play. A well installed aerial should not sway in the wind at all. Fix this whole system on a wall roof or whichever appropriate place and make sure there’s no play too. In fact if a crow should land and take off from your antenna without shaking the aerial at all. Sudden aerial movements are what actually cause pixilation or scratches to appear on the TV picture.

If the system is steady then you should get a qualified technician to ground the antenna pole to your supply ground terminal. This prevents lightning from damaging your decoder or expensive digital TV in case lightning hits your antenna.

Very important don’t use a white coaxial cable this type of cable gets damaged quickly by weather elements. Use a black cable instead; it withstands harsh weather conditions for a long time. Also very important the cable must run uncut from the antenna to the decoder. The best cable to buy is the Black in colour ASTEL or JACOBS Coaxial cable; it may be expensive but totally worth it during the long run. Do not do those juakali connections with insulating tape or in extreme cases cello-tape and nylon paper. These joints take away a percentage of the overall signal quality.

Use the correct length of cable, it should not be rolled inside your house or ceiling. Cut the excess cable so that your decoder or digital TV will receive the maximum signal it should receive.

I have seen some antennas like the Mesh Jetta Antenna being sold with a very thin white coaxial cable. This antenna is good but the cable is of very low quality replace it immediately with an Astel or Jacobs black in colour cable like I mentioned above.

Weather proof your connections at the antenna by using silicon or tar (the stuff used to seal leaking iron sheet roofs). This keeps away moisture and spiders from your terminals giving you constant signal strengths during any weather.

To make the whole system better install it in such a way that you can rotate the aerial freely on its axis. This enables you to lock on the strongest signal level easily.

Now you can enjoy the best Digital TV signal right in your living room or Bar or Club.

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  • Paul Mwago

    I have a problem in Kahawa..So many scratches on TV.. I suspect the signal is poor..Which is the best aerial to go for?

    • Get the Ellies mesh type of antenna, it goes for about Ksh1000 and if combined with an Astel coaxial cable it will get rid of all scratches. Alternatively you can also buy the Jeta antenna but replace the cable and use everything supplied in the package.

      • Alois Njenga

        Where is the best place to buy this stuff?

        • The best place to buy is any electronics shop near you but if you lack some of the items then make a trip to Luthuli lane in Nairobi.

          • Tristan Purvis

            Can you recommend a technician who can follow these standards (in South c area)?

  • Pingback: Finding a Good TV Aerial Installer in Preston - IDM Terbaru()

  • Sebastian idalia

    hi. I have a sony digital tv (model no. KDL32CX520), but I can not receive any digital signal. I stay in Nairobi eastleigh area. I even recently bought a new aerial and coaxial cable but whenever I such for stations I cannot receive a single channel. however I was able to receive many channels using a friends bamba tv decoder on the same aerial. what could be the problem. regards, sebastian

    • Its either one of the following problems. Your TV tuner is damaged or my biggest bet, your Sony TV is a dvbt TV and not dvbt2 which is currently what we use in Kenya.

    • ahmedkaisha

      are you sure your tv is digital?

      • Sebastian idalia

        Yes it is digital, just confirmed the specs of that model on the internet

        • Its true your TV is digital but its not a dvbt2 TV.

          • Sebastian idalia

            thanks Dominic, I guess I just have to buy a decoder after all

  • Mchambuzi

    Where can I get a good digital signal booster in nairobi…..or the STBs dont reqiure them. I live in a fringe reception area

  • Bernard Baraza

    Thanks Dominic for the educative material on Digital TV, in fact i just came to learn about this site like a day ago. There are some few tips that i would like to share for these who are having challenges like i had. I stay in a very remote area where digital tv signal is very weak and i dont believe anyone will be putting up a transmitter any sooner. The area is Magadi and we use the Nairobi frequencies 120kms away. I have tested almost all the antenna boosters and used antenna without booster and came to discover that the best antenna for a very weak signal is the Jetta, but after you replace its cable with an astel Coax-cable as you pointed out. This is because there is practically to distance between the antenna and the booster giving it a maximum amplification. Try using nippon or whichever booster and the signal strength will not be the same. Hope this will help these living in areas with very weak signal.

    • Thanks Bernard for those great tips, its true the Jeta aerial is well constructed but the accessories that come with it especially the cable and connectors are of poor quality.

  • joseph

    which aerial is best for lg digital tv 32lb552u

    joseph

    • Any well installed aerial will work. If you want a quality and durable aerial, get an ellies aerial.

  • Faraz Hussein

    Hi I’ve gone through a number of setup tips and procedures…. No one seems to have mentioned the best place to face the antenna I belive there should be a general direction like ngong hills or something of the sort.. any suggestions?

  • Faraz Hussein

    Very helpfull.. I was shopping around found an ADN box (African digital network) any info about it

  • Aisha K Bagha

    Which aerial would be best for a lg43LF631V? It has a dvb-t2 tuner

    • Get an Ellies mesh aerial with a good astel coaxial cable. The aerial goes for around Ksh1,000

  • Davi Kapchanga Kenya

    the best fta receiver currently (2016). I need a motorized dish system where can I get it and whats the approximate cost

    Free to air decoder
    – FULL 1080pixels HD MPEG 4 DVB-T2 H.264
    – USB PVR
    – Output HDMI, YPbPr
    – OSD (On Screen Display)
    – EPG (Electronic Program Guide)
    – Remote
    – Blind search
    (Also ask which is best decoder)
    Motorized Dish System
    – Dish 120cm or 90cm (offset)
    – Satellite Motor and parts
    – DiSEqC switch 1.2 or 2.2
    – Coaxial cable (RG6 and above, check if they have Astel or Jacobs)
    – Ku Band LNBF (high performance, universal, check if they have Lazer Gold of Inverto Black Ultra, do they have any better than these?) + has more than two outputs

  • Davi Kapchanga Kenya

    whats the best fta receiver currently (2016). I need a motorized dish system where can I get it and whats the approximate cost

    Free to air decoder
    – FULL 1080pixels HD MPEG 4 DVB-T2 H.264
    – USB PVR
    – Output HDMI, YPbPr
    – OSD (On Screen Display)
    – EPG (Electronic Program Guide)
    – Remote
    – Blind search
    (Also ask which is best decoder)
    Motorized Dish System
    – Dish 120cm or 90cm (offset)
    – Satellite Motor and parts
    – DiSEqC switch 1.2 or 2.2
    – Coaxial cable (RG6 and above, check if they have Astel or Jacobs)
    – Ku Band LNBF (high performance, universal, check if they have Lazer Gold of Inverto Black Ultra, do they have any better than these?) + has more than two outputs…

  • Julius

    Is it good to use the Go TV aerial for digital tv ,coz my TV has very few channels compared to my friends,am in githurai or should I go for another type of aerial my TV is hiteq

    • Hi Julius, its Okay to use it. As long as its installed properly, it will definitely work.