Do I Need a TV Aerial to get TalkTalk TV?


Getting set up with a new TV service can be incredibly exciting. It’s the promise of a new world of TV entertainment – hilarious comedies, gripping dramas and some of the best films that we have to offer. However, before all the fun can start, we need to get you set up.

For new TalkTalk TV customers, that means grappling with a bunch of questions around the setup of their device. The bad news? TalkTalk don’t do a great job of explaining some aspects of the set up for your new TalkTalk TV box. In fact, one of the most common questions we’re asked is whether you need an aerial for TalkTalk TV?

Well, in this guide, we’re going to answer that question and tell you everything you need to know about aerial requirements for your TalkTalk TV.

Is a TV aerial required for TalkTalk TV?

The simple answer to this question is yes, you absolutely need a TV aerial to watch live television through your TalkTalk TV box.

All Freeview channels and information from the TV guide is broadcasted to your TV via a TV aerial, so you need to plug your TalkTalk YouView box into an aerial if you want to pick up Freeview channels.

If you were picking up a good, reliable Freeview TV signal before you got your TalkTalk TV box, you should be perfectly fine getting it on your new system.

TalkTalk’s streaming channels are delivered through the Internet, and therefore do not require an aerial to view.

Which kind of aerial is best for TalkTalk TV?

If at all possible, use a rooftop aerial. They pick up the best signals and therefore deliver a smoother, cleaner audio-visual experience to your TV, as well as the broadest range of channels.

Alternatively, you can opt for an internal aerial, but positioning of these can be tricky and signal tends to be somewhat weaker. Loft aerials present another option for customers, and can have some positive results. If you live near a transmitter and get a strong signal, you might be okay with a portable set-top aerial.

If you need to have a new aerial fitted, always ensure you hire a professional aerial engineer. You can find a registered and qualified aerial fitter with the Confederation of Aerial Industries (CAI) trade association or the Registered Digital Installers licensing body.

Will a satellite dish work?

If you’re coming from Sky, you’re likely wondering whether your old satellite dish will function as an aerial for your TalkTalk TV box. Sadly, the answer is no. Because satellite dishes are only designed to receive signals beamed from satellites, they can’t pick up the digital terrestrial signals used for Freeview transmission.

Can I use a signal booster to improve my signal?

Signal boosters have something of an uneven reputation, with some claiming they’re little more than a con. However, that’s not the truth. Signal booster can indeed improve your TV signal.

Signal boosters connect your aerial to your TalkTalk YouView TV box and are most effective in areas with a large number of obstructions, like tall trees of buildings. Before buying a signal booster try following some online guides to improve your signal first.

Can I get TalkTalk TV with a communal aerial?

If you’re living in a place with a communal aerial, whether you can get TalkTalk TV depends on the strength of signal that you receive individually. An excellent indicator of this is how strong your current Freeview signal strength is.

If your current picture has good sound and clear video when watching Freeview channels, it’s highly likely that you’ll be able to get TalkTalk TV. If your signal isn’t strong, you should speak to your landlord of housing association about improving signal quality.

I don’t have an aerial, what can I watch on TalkTalk TV?

An aerial is required to watch all live Freeview channels (a list of which can be found here) and any Freeview based catch-up TV services. You can, however, watch any internet streaming channels which are sent to the box via your router.

To get the most out of your TalkTalk TV box, an aerial is highly recommended.

What if my aerial doesn’t work?

If you need a new aerial or your current aerial replaced, you need to contact a professional aerial engineer. Attempting to fix an aerial yourself is not recommended and can cause serious damage to yourself of the aerial.