How does a TV aerial work? © Getty Images

How does a TV aerial work?

Television antennae are specially designed to receive broadcasting signals and send those good vibrations straight to your screen.

Asked by: Brian Newlove, Cottingham


Like any antenna, a TV aerial is made of metal. Electromagnetic waves carrying television signals induce tiny electrical currents in the antenna. The television set amplifies the signal and selects the information that carries vision and sound. Engineers refer to TV aerials as ‘yagi arrays’. The metal plate at the array’s far end reflects the signal back down its length. The parallel rod-like structures that run along the length of the aerial are specially spaced to optimise signal strength.


Subscribe to BBC Focus magazine for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow @sciencefocusQA on Twitter for your daily dose of fun science facts.