Jun 29, 2022
Improving Your TV Reception
Nothing is more annoying than settling down to watch a movie or the big game only to be disrupted by dodgy TV reception. Pixelated images, patchy sound and reception delays can completely ruin your viewing experience.
The good news is that if you’re dealing with poor TV reception, there is something you can do. We’re going to run you through a few of the factors that can interfere with your reception and what you can do about them.
What affects TV reception
Some of the most common factors affecting TV reception include: distance, obstacles, antenna type, the number of antennas in use, and TV tuner sensitivity.
In general, they can be fixed by removing obstacles, antenna repairs or upgrades, running a channel scan, or using a signal amplifier.
So let’s have a closer look at some of the issues and how to deal with them.
If you’re in a remote or regional location, the distance between your antenna and the TV station transmitters can affect signal reception. In the past, analog TV signals would fade in and out due to distance, resulting in a low-quality signal with fuzzy or patchy reception.
With TV signals now transmitted digitally, there is no fading in and out. Instead, distance can cause a “digital cliff” where the signal appears blocky and can drop out completely or intermittently.
At very long distances, the earth’s curvature can also affect TV signal reception.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that close proximity to TV transmitters can overload your tuner or DTV converter box and affect your reception.
Distance issues can be fixed by installing a signal amplifier to help boost the signal and improve reception. This can also help with low-sensitivity TV tuners and DTV converter boxes.
If you are too close to a TV transmitter, a signal attenuator can be used to reduce the signal strength. An attenuator with a continuous adjustment gives you the ability to set the amount of attenuation (gain) needed for different channels.
Physical obstacles can interfere with TV signals. These include geographical obstacles like hills, valleys or trees or infrastructure like buildings or freeways. Some construction materials can also weaken or interfere with TV reception, especially when using indoor antennas. These include concrete, aluminium siding, metal roofs, ductwork and solar panels.
Where possible, removing obstacles to ensure your antenna has a clear path in the direction of the TV transmitter can improve reception. In the case of geographical or infrastructure obstacles, this won’t be possible. In this case, you may need to upgrade your antenna or use a signal amplifier.
Moving the antenna can also help. If you have an indoor antenna, placing it on or near a window can reduce the effects of construction materials interfering with the signal. Alternatively, you can replace an indoor antenna with an outdoor one.
If you have multiple TV transmitters in your area located in different directions, the type of antenna you have could lead to reception issues. Directional antennas will focus on signals coming from a single direction, which means it may not pick up signals from transmitters in multiple directions.
Multi-directional or omnidirectional antennas will pick up signals from transmitters in multiple directions; however, they are also prone to more interference.
Adding a rotor to the antenna can help if you’re receiving signals from multiple directions.
The Number of TVs Drawing a Signal
Multiple TVs connected to a single antenna via a splitter can reduce the signal strength. This can lead to a digital cliff effect with one or two TVs getting good reception, while the others receive signals intermittently or not at all.
Splitting the signal decreases the signal strength, especially if the cable from the antenna or signal splitter is too long.
To resolve these issues, you can use a distribution amplifier to accommodate multiple TVs. Alternatively, a separate antenna for each TV will solve this problem.
Antenna repairs and maintenance
In some cases, poor reception may simply be a result of wear and tear to the antenna and its cabling or connections. Rusted connections, damaged cable or physical damage to the antenna can all cause problems.
A licensed electrician can check and replace the antenna and TV connections, as well as looking for brittle, fraying or damaged cabling or connections.
You may also need to upgrade the cabling if your antenna is still using old cable designed for analog TV signals.
The quickest and easiest way to fix your TV reception is to call in an expert. They will be able to determine the problem and recommend a range of solutions to ensure you can enjoy crystal clear TV reception 24-7.