Moving into a new build home can be an exciting time. With everything brand new, you likely want your entertainment setup just right. A vital part is deciding how you will receive TV signals and channels. For many homeowners in the UK, installing a rooftop aerial or satellite dish is a top priority. Here is some crucial information on getting TV aerials and satellite dishes installed on a new build home.
Getting Developer Permission
Before installing any external aerials or satellite dishes on your new build property, you must obtain permission from the building developer. Most new homes come under planning restrictions that limit external changes to the facade. The developer must approve any additions like aerial poles or satellite dishes. Some may have standard guidelines on placement and installation that must be followed. Getting developer approval in writing is essential before hiring any aerial installation company.
Loft Aerial Option
Consider a loft aerial installed inside the roof space along with rooftop aerials. These avoid the need for external poles or masts. A loft aerial picks up terrestrial signals through the roof and attic space. Installation is minimally invasive, and wiring can be hidden. Loft aerials work best on homes with good signal levels and minimal interference. Developers are more likely to approve internal loft aerials compared to external poles.
With new build homes, planning for any aerial or satellite installation is best. This allows cables and connections to be set up neatly during construction. Retrofitting cables after walls are finished can be much more difficult. When meeting with your builder, inquire about including essential cabling and connections for aerials/dishes in the initial build. This small investment upfront can save significant hassles down the road.
Aerial vs Satellite Dish
One of the first decisions is whether you want a traditional aerial or a satellite dish. Aerials receive free-to-air digital TV signals broadcast terrestrially. They can access all the leading UK broadcast channels like BBC, ITV, Channel 4, etc. Satellite dishes receive signals from pay TV providers like Sky or Freesat. These require a subscription but provide more channels and features. If unsure, having both installed offers maximum flexibility.
A sturdy pole is attached to the roof and wired into your TV connection point for a rooftop aerial. The aerial can be omnidirectional or directional, depending on the signal strength in your area. Any external cables are neatly run through the attic or eaves spaces. Installation is relatively quick, and aerials are maintenance-free. Just be sure to hire a reputable aerial installer to get the positioning and angles right.
Satellite Dish Installation
Satellite dishes are usually 45cm or 60cm wide and mounted on a wall or rooftop with a clear view of the southern sky. The dish is wired to your interior TV point, and a satellite box manages the signal reception and channels. Installation is best left to professionals as the dish needs to be carefully positioned based on your location. Unlike aerials, satellite dishes require periodic adjustments as satellites move in orbit. Trees or other obstructions can also interfere with signal reception over time.
For homes under planning control, restrictions may exist on placing aerials and dishes on the property. This is especially true in conservation areas or listed buildings. Check with your local authority to determine if planning permission is needed before installation. There are strict rules governing satellite dishes in particular. If planning permission is denied, alternatives like concealed dishes or communal systems may be required.
Some new build developments offer a communal TV system rather than individual aerials/dishes. This involves a shared master system installed by the builder with distribution to each home. At the same time, homeowners share convenient maintenance and upgrade costs through service charges. Picture quality can also degrade the further your home is from the communal antenna. Communal systems offset visual clutter but do not offer the same flexibility as private aerials/dishes.
Installing a quality TV aerial or satellite dish requires planning and hiring reputable installers. Following planning rules and minimising external cabling maintains the look of your new home. With the correct setup, you can enjoy excellent TV reception and viewing flexibility well into the future.