The key criteria for amplification is that you have an existing signal being received by the antenna.
If the antenna has a signal then amplification could be a cure for intermittent signal loss. If it doesn’t then amplification almost surely won’t fix your problem.
Amplification isn’t a guaranteed fix for every poor TV reception scenario but it is an option. It also isn’t a fix for getting a TV signal when one isn’t there – meaning an amplifier doesn’t extend the range of the antenna. It merely gives the signal a push along its way from the antenna to the digital tuner (TV, DTV converter, etc). Hopefully, this push is enough to get a good signal to the TV tuner.
Amplified products typically cost more than non-amplified products. So, it’s always a good to troubleshoot some typical scenarios that can lead to signal loss before going to the store and spending your money on a product that may or may not fix your reception issue.
If you use an outdoor antenna then look at the type of coaxial cable connected between the antenna and line going into the house. Your coaxial cable could be the cause of a poor signal coming into the house.
This signal loss is referred to as attenuation, which is a measurement of signal loss over a distance. In the case of coaxial cables, we’re referring to RG59 and RG6. Simply put, RG6 is more digital-friendly than RG59.
In other words, RG59 attenuates more or has more signal loss than RG6. RG59 cable could be the cause of your poor signal. Changing your cable to RG6 (preferably quad-shielded RG6 with gold-plated connectors) could fix your reception problem without using an amplifier.
Of course, buying a cell phone signal amplifier as an amplified product is probably easier than changing out the coaxial cable in your house.
Amplifiers or TV signal boosters are most common in antennas, but you can buy them as stand along products too. Product packaging usually advertises amplified or powered antenna. If you see a db rating then you know it’s amplified.
The hard part is that it’s difficult to gauge what’s too powerful for your tuner. Some experts I’ve spoken to recommend amplification around 14db.
If you buy an amplified antenna then be sure to go to Antenna Web to make sure you have you antenna properly aligned before connecting the power.