Average Labour Cost/Price to Fit/Replace/Install TV Aerials
To clarify the following prices it is recommended that you read the article in the INFORMATION box below the PRICES…
(These prices are based on a tradesman’s rate of £150.00 per day and a labourer if required at £100.00 per day. This includes the cost of buying and collecting any materials, dumping any waste if necessary and any incidental materials they will need. The minimum price will usually be for a half day)
How Much Does It Cost to Replace an Aerial?
An important note: These are basic prices only. Different parts of the country, different regions and even different streets can have different aerial needs. You can walk 100 metres and need a different aerial. Look up and see how different (or the same) the local aerials are, compared to where you live in your own street.
|Call out charge||Basic aerial||High gain aerial|
|London||£35||£ 95||£ 180|
|South East England||£30||£75||£ 160|
|South West England||£30||£70||£160|
|North East England||£25||£65||£150|
|North West England||£25||£65||£150|
As with all of these cases, any single aerial company may charge differently. Some companies do not have call out charges. Some companies have higher overheads than others.
Different companies may offer higher levels of service. The aerial industry per se, is not renowned for great customer service. So, for people that are looking for reliability, great customer service and integrity, even though it may seem slightly more expensive initially, to use a well sourced and properly accredited company, should pay dividends for you in the long run.
A Price Guide and Information Sheet on Replacing and Installing a TV Aerial
TV Aerials and Aerials for Digital TV
The scenario below is played out, up and down the country, time and time again. Please read this often repeated story and then hear the truth regarding the practice of duping people into buying television aerials unnecessarily.
A Typical Aerial Installation Scenario.….
You have just bought a new, all singing, all dancing, flat screen television. You get it home and find that the pictures are nowhere near as good as those in the shop.
Noooooo! You say.
Frustrated, you go back to the shop. There is no way you are going to accept a TV picture like that! There is no way you are going to pay to get the TV delivered back to the shop either, if they say the TV is faulty. No way Jose!
So, you walk up to the counter and there is a young boy fresh out of sixth form, shirt hanging out of his trousers, scruffy shoes, but with the mandatory uniform on. He looks at you with a slight attitude… he can tell you have come for a showdown.
You are however, determined to make sure that you give the uniformed urchin a chance. You are going to be calm and reasonable.
“Excuse me young man, but I bought a TV from you yesterday and the pictures on it are awful and Freeview television is terrible. I paid £600.00 for this TV. What are you going to do about it? I know my rights and want the TV changed…at your cost!” You puff and pant, thinking you are relaxed, but even the spotty erk notices the tense and heaving chest and red face, that gives away your real feelings about the whole situation.
The schoolboy, looks at you sideways.. “It’s you aerial sir, you need a digickal one.”
After a debate about the truth of this statement, you agree to a visit from an aerial company, to see what can be done about it.
Mr Aerial Installer arrives.
“Ello sir, I’ve come to take a look at your aerial reception.”
You show the ‘aerial engineer’ the TV pictures.
“Hmmmm,” he says sucking air through his teeth giving you the sneaking suspicion that this is going to cost you big time.
The aerial fitter gets out his aerial meter and states, “Your aerial is no good. You need a digital one.”
“How much,” you ask, scared of the answer.
“About £250, sir, though I can do you a deal and do it for £200 if you have your aerial installed now. It really is a great deal and the only reason I am doing it sir, is that I am very busy and I want to be able to do it now for you, to save me time and get your TV working, as it should be. So how ‘bout it sir, whaddya say, it’s a bargain and I’ll give you a year’s warranty.”
You say yes, scared that you may lose out on saving £50 and happy that your beloved new TV will have good aerial reception, so you can watch all of your digital freeview channels tonight and show it off to all your friends.
The ‘digital’ TV aerial is installed, the reception is great and you happily part with £200. A bargain you think, pleased with yourself for having hammered out such a good deal, then relax and watch ‘digickal’ TV, in the comfort of your own home, the lord of the manor once again!
Now, Facts About TV Aerials/Digital Aerials and DIGITAL SIGNALS
There is NO SUCH THING as a digital aerial for TV. I repeat, there is no such thing as a digital TV aerial!
Gasp!! I hear from all corners of the UK.
“We were told we had to have a digital aerial. That digital aerials were needed for digital reception, is that not so?”
Well, sorry folks, that is not true. There are only aerials that are compatible with digital TV signals and reception. Your existing aerial may well work perfectly well, with the new digital signal. You do not necessarily have to go rushing out to buy a new ‘digital’ aerial!
The key word in the above paragraph is compatible.
There are certain criteria that need to be met, if you are having a new aerial installed, in order for it to work with a digital signal.
These criteria are set out by digital UK and the CAI, the Confederation of Aerial Industries.
You don’t need to read this next section but it may well save you quite a lot of time, money and a lot of grief!
Tips For Sourcing an Aerial Installation Company
CAI membership – accreditation and proven vetted companies
If you are sourcing a new aerial company for the first time and your neighbours don’t know a company themselves, then consider going to the CAI website, the Confederations of Aerial Industries. This is the body that sits on the panel for the rogue traders program. The CAI has strict codes of practice for members and they offer a grievance procedure should there be any unresolved issues with any aerial contractor.
CAI members have to use benchmarked materials only. For example, there are many types of ‘double screen’ cable used. Copper foil with copper braid is proven to be the best. If you are a CAI member, you must use copper foil, copper screen cable, that has been proven to perform in a laboratory to the correct specification. A lot of ‘knock off’ products use silver or metal foil with copper braid, this is cheaper and inferior.
The CAI, unlike many other industry bodies, DOES have teeth and they DO bite if an aerial company does not stick to the guidelines.
All CAI members are also fully insured up to £5m (should the unthinkable happen), as part of their membership.
How Can You Stop Being Ripped Off by An Aerial Installer?
By asking the right questions and having a small amount of knowledge before you jump in to buying a new aerial.
Questions To Ask an Aerial Contractor
The key here is, if an engineer arrives to sort out your reception, he or she needs to know what the basic facts are. This means measuring the signals first. If they are too low, why are they too low? If they are too high, cut back the signal levels with an attenuator, (about £3).
This is just one example of a £3 item, plus a service call and labour totalling about £25- £65, saving you potentially hundreds! The existing aerial may well last beyond your own lifetime.
If an existing aerial installation needs (according to your aerial engineer), a new taller aerial, why does it?
Can the existing aerial be used with a taller mast; do I really need a new aerial as well?
Types of TV Aerials
The fact is that there ARE lots of different types of TV aerials and sometimes you will need specialist boosters and other items. The common sense approach is to ask neighbours what aerials they have and what their reception is like, for both digital and analogue reception. This can be a very good indicator, though not always 100% accurate.
Key Pointers For NOT Being Ripped Off When Having an Aerial Fitted
The key here really is that if a TV aerial installer or engineer is telling you that you need a digital aerial; ask him what the difference is, remembering that there is actually no such thing. If he insists that the aerials are different, tell him to take a running jump. Although we do recommend that you do this politely!
Insider TV Aerial Knowledge. Tactics used to rip you off.
1. The Up-sell – the classic rip off!
“You need a better aerial,” Mr. Installer states. Why? Does the explanation make sense? Does this fit with neighbours’ aerials and what they have, or with the issues they say they may have had with their reception?
ASK to see the difference in the aerials. “SHOW me the difference.” Some unscrupulous companies will charge you different prices for the same aerial!
2. You need a digital aerial – the biggest current rip off.
Dealt with above- tell them “Thank you, but no thank you”.
3. You need a high gain aerial – another up-sell
Do you really need it? If so why? Do neighbours have the same aerials installed and what is their reception like? Ask your neighbours. Local knowledge is invaluable.
Choosing a TV Aerial Installer/Contractor/Company
Ask the right questions to make better and more informed decisions. Recommended and vetted TV aerial companies are always the best to work with. With a bit more knowledge, and with you asking the right questions, you will also start to get a ‘feel’ for the advice being given and be more intuitive in your decision making.
Only ever work with an aerial company that you feel has listened properly to your requirements, has answered your questions satisfactorily and is part of the CAI, if you are unable to source a recommended aerial company.
We wish you good luck and hope you find a great aerial company. There are definitely some really good ones out there.
Steven Cole, Managing Director of Aerial Concepts Ltd. Was our expert for this specialist article. He is an aerial and satellite dish consultant, having liaised with several TV stations, to help with the up and coming digital switchover in the UK. Aerial Concepts Ltd. are CAI members and have worked with many customer service driven household names for over 30 years.
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