Aerial installations – why we do what we do

In celebration of the humble aerial, by David Austin

Aerials have never been known for their aesthetic qualities. Strips of metal fixed together in a particular way and placed in high positions on buildings.

They are extraordinarily plain-looking devices that are rarely seen by the general public. Yet the job they have done for decades, and continue to do even in this digital world, underpins so much of our lives.

If your aerial is on the blink, you will know very quickly. Your life will be significantly disrupted because your TV picture won’t work. 

You’ll be calling aerial installation professionals, like us, to come and investigate as soon as possible! 

Just what are aerials?

Aerials are types of antenna that receive television signals via transmitted frequencies. They are positioned in lofts or on top of roofs in rain and high wind where they remain in one, fixed place. 

The reason we install aerials in high places is to maximise range and potential reception.

An aerial’s job is to just sit there, receive radio waves and convert them into tiny electrical currents. These are then relayed through wiring and can be split into several rooms if there is enough signal.

The signals are conveyed to screens via cable connections. Often they are used to increase the number of channels a property has or to access digital programmes. TV aerials provide the crystal clear picture quality and high resolution images we are all so accustomed to.

How playing with signals turned into my life’s career in aerial installations

I’d like to take this opportunity to celebrate the humble aerial, a champion of our times, and not just because this is my business!

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved all things tech and my hobby was CB radios. This was the period before Sky and mobile phones. It was exciting picking up signals from random strangers with strange CB radio nicknames and communicating with them from my bedroom.

My fascination with aerials grew and in the 1980s when a local aerial company advertised for an apprentice, it seemed the obvious thing to do. 

By the early 1990s, I was working as an engineer for Capital Aerials and it is here where I worked my way up through the ranks to become the owner.
There have been many changes since those days.

First, satellite TV came along and later signals moved from analogue to digital. On-demand services were soon available at our fingertips and all the while, the humble TV aerial was still needed to meet new technology’s requirements.

And in the 21st century, your unassuming aerial is still up there, invisibly working away to ensure you can get your fix of daily entertainment.

People power: the trustworthiness of our aerial installation team 

Without our people, there is no business. They are our power and I’m happy to say Capital Aerials is run by a committed team who love all things aerials and signals just like me.

Our staff stay up-to-date on training and professional development and hold the qualifications required of aerial installers.

They’re trained in all aspects of signal reception but also in areas you may not associate with fitting aerials on a roof. For instance, working at heights, harnesses use and asbestos awareness. Aerial installation is a skilled job and requires competent, highly-skilled people. 

The scourge of cowboy communal TV aerial installers 

It saddens me when I see so many cowboy installers out there. They think it’s easy to bypass the years of training and see it as a simple, quick job which they can charge huge amounts of money for. 

So many of our calls are from communal block managers who are dealing with a number of complaints at the same time from occupants of flats which have lost TV reception or are receiving poor picture quality.

In many of these cases, we discover the installation system is of a shoddy standard and has been carried out by unqualified teams of people whose Google ad popped up in a prominent position. 

It’s so important to check credentials and is not hard to do. Any trustworthy and reliable aerial installation company will be a member of our industry’s highly respected and only trade association, the Confederation of Aerial Installers (CAI).  We’ve been CAI members for over 20 years and abide by their code of practice at all times.

Getting the right signals – our work with new builds and apartment blocks

In an age of digital where so many people use WIFI signals to watch entertainment on their phones and smart devices, it heartens me that there’s still such high demand for the humble aerial in new build blocks. 

There’s strong demand for new apartment blocks and housing estates on brown belt land outside city centres and this has been keeping us very busy recently. 

We’re proud that our aerial industry is still going strong and may just shout about it from our next rooftop!

If you need advice from the professionals, contact us at or call 0208 894 5665.