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Stallions Satellite and Antenna - TV Reception Solutions
TV Antenna Amplifiers

When over-the-air TV signals become weak you will need to boost the signal that is received by your TV antenna with an amplifier, but what type of an amplifier do you need? The following will help you determine the answer to this question.

In residential TV antenna systems, there are two kinds of amplifiers: pre-amplifiers and distribution amplifiers.


A Winegard Preamplifier

A pre-amplifier, often called a "booster" or "preamp", is a mast or antenna mounted amplifier that is used to boost the weak incoming signal at the antenna before the signal has had a chance to weaken through the coax cable running between the antenna and the TV.

Digital signals tend to be much weaker than the old analog signals. You either get a perfectly clear picture, "tiling" (where the signal is on the border of coming in or not coming in), or nothing at all. Most of the time the second two are caused by a weak digital signal which a pre-amplifier can greatly help with.

To determine if you need a pre-amplifier, first make sure that your antenna is pointed in the direction of your local TV station transmitters. Then connect only one TV to the antenna and make sure there aren't any splitters between the antenna and the one TV. If you still can't receive all of your local TV stations, then there is a good chance that you need a pre-amplifier to help boost the weak digital signals.

Preamplifiers consist of two parts: the actual amplifier that is mounted right at the antenna, and the indoor power supply. The indoor power supply sends low voltage through the coax cable to power the amplifier, so a separate power cable going to the amplifier unit is not required.

  View the preamplifiers that we sell

Distribution Amplifiers

A Channel Master Distribution Amplifier

A distribution amplifier is a type of amplifier that is mounted indoors and is used to overcome the signal loss in long cable runs and splitters (used to divide TV signals to multiple locations). In order for a distribution amplifier to work properly, you must supply a good incoming signal to it. In many cases, a preamplifer is installed to boost the weak over-the-air digital signal and then is connected to a distribution amplifier to ensure that there is enough signal to all of the TVs in the house or building.

To determine whether or not you need a distribution amplifier, first make sure that all of your channels are coming in on one TV first without any splitters connected (as described in the preamp section above). If after adding splitters and/or long cable runs you start to lose some or all of your channels, then a distribution amplifier will likely be needed.

There are different types of distribution amplifiers. Some are designed to amplify just over-the-air broadcast channels and others are designed to amplify over-the-air, cable TV and satellite frequencies. There are even some that have one, two and four output splitters built right into the amplifier.

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