How to Replace TV Ears Tips

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Updated January 22, 2023

If you enjoy over-the-air TV, you are not alone. Due to the trend of “cutting the cord,” more and more people are choosing free TV with the help of TV “rabbit ears.” These work great, especially if you have a highly-acclaimed TV. That said, TV antenna technology looks a bit different today than it did when “rabbit ears” were the only choice. Even though some people are lucky enough to use the same TV antenna they did 25 years ago, technology wears down over time. So, if you are dealing with lousy signal quality or a blank screen, you may wonder how to replace TV ear tips. We’ve got you covered.


  • Rabbit Ears are a type of TV antennae made from tin-coated aluminum.
  • Depending on the type of antenna you have, it may not be worth replacing.
  • Experts recommend seeking professional help to replace outdoor TV antennas.

When Should You Replace TV Antennas?

Suppose you have a relatively new TV antenna. In that case, you might be disappointed to find that your favorite digital channels are no longer showing. This is usually due to a weakened digital signal. Unless you notice damage to your antenna’s coaxial cable or the metal rods on the top of your antenna, you may just need a TV channel to rescan. If you do notice damage to your indoor antenna, you might need to replace it. That said, there are times when you can do a simple repair.

Should I Repair or Replace My TV Antennas?

There are a few parts to keep in mind if you are deciding between repairing or replacing your TV antenna. If you’ve already tried a TV rescan, but it didn’t work, a deeper issue is killing your signal strength. Depending on the parts of the air antenna that are damaged, you might get back to watching TV without much trouble. If you notice a bent antenna or a frayed cable, the fix should be cheap and easy. That said, if no apparent damage is present, it might be time for a replacement. Even so, it is essential to know which type of TV antenna you have.

Types of Antenna

While many assume that all TV antennas are the same, they couldn’t be further from the truth. In addition to traditional “rabbit ear” TV antennas, there are also modern flat indoor antennas and various outdoor antennas. Read on to find your type of TV antenna and how to replace them.

Rabbit Ears

Rabbit ears are a type of TV antenna that usually has two metal antennae sticking out of the top. These antenna rods are typically expandable tin-coated aluminum. These metal rods can become bent from a fall or rusted over time.

How to Replace Rabbit Ear Antennas

Most metal rod TV antennas are simple to replace, and they don’t require tools. It is not a complex process like tv mainboard repair. After you have your replacement rabbit ears, installation is simple. Most metal antennas are held in place via screw threads. Simply unscrew your old telescopic antenna and screw your new antenna into place.

Flat TV Antennas

Flat digital TV antennas are the most common indoor TV antenna available today. Chances are if you go into a store, this is the type of unit you’ll see. These units are typically small, flat, and made of plastic. They are easy to hang on the wall, and they blend into a modern TV setup. That said, repairs are not as easy to perform.

How to Replace Flat TV Antennas

Unless your issue is a frayed coaxial cable, you may want to consider replacing your flat indoor tv antenna. Most repairs would involve opening the unit up and taking a look inside. That said, most modern indoor HDTV antennas are under $30, so hiring a specialist for a repair will likely cost you more money.

Outdoor Antenna

Outdoor TV antennas are the ideal choice for people who live at the edge of local television signals. They generally have a full frequency range and are installed on a roof or deck. Unfortunately, while outdoor antennas are great at picking up a broadcast signal, they are generally the most vulnerable to damage from the elements.

How to Replace Outdoor TV Antenna

Grab a ladder and a friend because most outdoor TV antennas are located on the roof. In addition, unless the issue is a damaged antenna, you will want to reach out to a specialist to replace your outdoor tv antenna. The process can be tedious and complex, but repairing your outdoor TV antenna will likely cost you less than a complete replacement.

Check Your Work: Perform a TV Rescan

This is the last step for any TV antenna replacement. Grab your TV remote and perform a TV channel rescan. We have guides on how to rescan your TV and how to reset a TV remote if it is not working properly while rescanning as well if needed. If your antenna installation were successful, your TV would make a connection with your local broadcast tower, and you’ll see TV stations once again. If not, you should review your television troubleshooting and repair guide. Additionally, if you are thinking of buying a new TV that doesn’t need to rely on a separate antenna you may be wondering if extended warranties are worth it. We have a great article that covers that for you.


Do You Need a Special Antenna for Digital TV?

You do not need a special antenna for digital TV. Unless you’re at the edge of the broadcast range, any indoor or outdoor television antenna should work for digital TV.

Do Old TV Antennas Still Work?

While marketing would have you believe rabbit ears are obsolete, you can still get over-the-air TV with an old unit.

Do I need rabbit ears for my TV?

Some modern TVs have a built-in antenna for over-the-air digital television. To check, try to do a channel scan on your television. If it doesn’t work, then you need to buy a TV antenna.

STAT: Nielsen’s first-quarter 2018 Total Audience Report noted that “broadcast-only” homes were up by 6 percent (to 16.53 million households) compared to the previous quarter. (source)

STAT: About 90 percent of the antennas are classified as indoor,” said Baker, whose firm also tracks hardware sales and usage. (source)

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