We have all experienced poor TV reception at some point in our lives, and it is an incredibly frustrating thing. In contrast to the old analog TVs, digital televisions rely largely on data and reception to produce good-quality pictures on the screen. The problem with data and reception is that they can sometimes be distorted or weakened. Whilst poor reception is a common problem for many people, the issue is often easily solved.
If you are currently suffering from poor TV reception, read on and find out ways to fix the common causes of TV reception problems.
1. Weak Signal
Nowadays, digital TVs offer us higher quality pictures and better clarity compared to the analog TVs of the past. However, your picture-perfect digital TV might quickly become a source of frustration when the pictures appear snowy, distorted, and grainy on screen due to weak TV signals. When your TV signal is weak, it is common for both your audio and video to have issues and then eventually cut out altogether. Weak signals on TVs can be caused by various reasons, including having obstructions such as trees or tall buildings between your home and the signal transmitter or even living in a hilly area.
Having a weak signal is a common problem for many homeowners and getting a signal amplifier for your TV is one of the easiest ways to fix it. The experts from LongRangeSignal.com explain that if you live in an area that has weak television coverage, having an amplifier can improve your TV signal significantly and, in turn, give you access to high-quality entertainment with high-definition pictures. Getting a signal amplifier for your TV can also help you get rid of complicated cables as well. Depending on your personal preferences, you have a number of amplifier choices to choose from with differences in setup and price range.
Incoming Signals that Are Too Strong
People often complain that they have TV problems associated with weak reception, however, receiving signals that are too strong can be a problem as well. Normally, TVs and other equipment have a maximum strength of signal which they can handle. For instance, in a residential environment such as your home, the signal you receive should not be more than 77dB.
Thankfully, having signals which are too strong is a problem that can easily be fixed. You can try to remove unnecessary sources of signals such as amplifiers to eliminate potential causes of this over-loading problem. Before you start removing amplifiers and other devices, it is highly recommended that you check a transmitter map to see how close your TV is to the transmitter. Furthermore, replacing amplifiers with passive splitters or installing attenuators can help to drop your signal down as well.
Other than signal-related problems, problems related to local factors such as 4G and 5G interference, neighboring transmitters, co-channel interference, and interference from other forms of communication are common as well. This might seem surprising, but TV reception can be affected by something as simple as LED lights or electrical devices being used nearby.
Depending on the interference problem you are having, you can purchase a 4G filter to filter out 4G signals or install a bandpass filter or notch filter to filter out interference caused by neighboring transmitters. Aside from common problems caused by 4G and neighboring transmitters, Tetra inference and co-channel interference are much less common. If you have a co-channel interference problem, you can choose to realign your TV to another transmitter. Fortunately, other communication methods that use high frequencies, such as 395Mhz, are not commonly used as much as before.
Recent Changes to your TV Setup
One of the most frustrating things is if you suddenly start having reception problems when previously, there were none. If you are having problems with your TV out of nowhere and right after a change in TV setup, check whether the new distance between your TV’s reception point and the antenna is too far and whether your external antenna has recently been adjusted or not.
Having TV signals that are either too weak or too strong can cause problems for your home TV. Sometimes, it is difficult to correctly identify which type of problem it is that you are having. Trying to determine the physical distance between your home and the transmission towers of the local TV station, as well as looking out for physical obstructions such as mountain ranges or tall buildings and tall trees, can help. However, there are many factors that can prevent you from being perfectly entertained with your home TV system. Therefore, sometimes you will have to contact a professional to conduct a site inspection or a system check if the problems remain unsolved.
Being in a poor coverage area
You will need to use the Viewer Access Satellite Television (VAST) service to obtain digital TV if its results show that you reside in a spot with poor coverage or beyond the terrestrial television coverage region.
But, if you live in a well-covered location, it is possible that your antenna’s arrangement is to blame for the reception problems you are having. This frequently occurs when the antenna is pointed at the incorrect transmitter.
Not Being Tuned into the Correct Channels
Getting decent television reception requires tuning into the right channels for your location. Retuning your TV receiver is the next step to take if improper tuning is the cause.
Do manual tuning and choose the TV transmitter channels that offer the best local coverage if auto-tuning does not enhance your reception.
You could really be tuned to one of the weaker transmitters if the result shows that you are in an area with many TV transmitters. If so, manually tune the TV transmitter to the channels that deliver the best signal in your location.
Inadequate antenna setup
When someone experiences poor television reception in an area with adequate coverage, it is frequently due to:
- improper antenna configuration
- using outdated or damaged antennas
- masthead amplifier usage that is not suitable.
If you want the television antenna you placed to receive the finest reception possible, you should verify the following:
- It needs to be the appropriate kind for the frequencies of the most powerful transmitter in your coverage region.
- It must be aimed at the transmitter that provides the region with the best coverage.
- It must be properly positioned horizontally or vertically to match the signal’s V or H polarization from the chosen transmitter.
- If at all feasible, it should be built outside.
- It should be firmly installed and in good shape.
- The cable used must be of acceptable quality, placed properly, and linked to all terminal devices.
It is important to bear in mind that an expert antenna installation should do all of the aforementioned procedures.
Bad internal connections
Verify the condition and appropriate connection of the fly leads and cables that link your electrical socket to your television, personal video recorder (PVR), or set-top box.
Your television reception suffers significantly when cables and connectors are utilized that are old, broken, or have loose connections.
Are there trees, particularly taller ones, around your home? There may be a reason for the low TV reception.
Due to increasing foliage and wind over the winter, the issue might deteriorate. A long-lasting remedy for TV interference could involve cutting back overhanging trees in your yard and those of your neighbors.
Contact the tree-loping professionals for a quote and their counsel. Any obstructing branches may be securely removed by them with the least amount of mess and hassle.
The power of the signals reaching your TV will be reduced if there is a substantial concrete structure between you and the broadcast tower. Mirrored buildings will stop the signals from getting to your residence.
Do you notice signal loss on your television primarily at night? It is possible that the lightbulb you are using is affecting the signal.
If you have trouble receiving TV at night, consider turning off the lights in the space. Replace your bulbs with higher-quality ones.
Any TV transmission might be blocked or interrupted by radio frequency interference caused by poor-quality bulbs.
How to Improve TV Reception
Buy a Signal Booster
Signal booster purchases should only be made as a last resort because they will increase your signal’s sensitivity to interference, which might result in more frequent signal problems down the road. But, if you reside in a location with typically low signal quality, investing in a completely screened masthead amplifier could be your only option for enhancing TV antenna reception. Always get your equipment from reputable sources since unscreened models may be more trouble than they are worth.
Eliminate any barriers you can. Ensure that your antenna has a direct line of sight to the TV station transmitter.
Run a Channel Scan
Enter the TV or DTV converter box configuration menu after validating the antenna positioning and connections, then launch a fresh channel scan. It is possible to add previously unavailable channels. You should be able to view a station if it registers.
Use a Rotor
A rotor may be helpful if you have an outside antenna and get TV signals from several directions. Nevertheless, the cost of this approach is high, with complete kits costing anywhere from $100 to $200 or more.
Move the antenna
If you have an indoor antenna, mount it on or close to a window to avoid the signal-interfering materials used in wall construction. Place it as high as you can as well. The signal could be diminished if the cable between the antenna and the TV is too lengthy. You might require a signal amplifier to help.
Use signal amplifier
Place a signal amplifier (also known as a signal booster) between the antenna and TV to increase the signal if you are having problems getting TV broadcasts. Low-sensitivity TV tuners and DTV converter boxes benefit from this as well. Attach the amplifier’s output to the TV’s antenna input after connecting the cable from the antenna to the amplifier’s input. The amplifier must also be connected to electricity.
Install The Aerial Higher
Together with mounting your TV antenna outside, raising your aerial higher up will almost always assist boost the quality of your TV signal. Installing your aerial on a 10′ or 12′ tower rather than a 6′ mast might be advantageous if you reside in a poor signal location, especially if doing so would assist you clear adjacent impediments. Please keep in mind that the fittings must be strong enough to sustain the aerial when mounting it to a bigger mast. As a general rule, make sure the fixing bracket size is at least 1/6th the height of the total mast. If you do not do this, the wind may knock your aerial down.
Using an inside aerial while mounting an outside or roof-mounted aerial is not an option. If your loft is not foil coated, you will most likely receive a better TV signal with a loft aerial.