Five steps to improve poor TV reception

There’s nothing more frustrating than sitting down to watch television, only to find that you have a poor tv reception. If your television is getting a fuzzy picture or regularly loses signal, these five tips could help you out

poor tv reception

Upgrade your Aerial

Most people think that you can buy any product with the tag “aerial” and it will do the job; but this is simply not the case. Since the analog takeover television signals have mainly been split into two frequency bands; VHF (very high frequency) channels and UHF (ultra high frequency) channels. Most cases of poor reception are due to issues regarding frequency compatibility and broadcast location.

Your aerial must be capable of receiving digital signal at a sufficient strength. In certain areas of the UK a wideband aerial upgrade may be required to receive digital terrestrial frequencies. This is because certain regions have digital multiplexes that broadcast on a widely split UHF. Old television aerials were designed to receive narrower frequencies and can have poor reception. If you suspect that this is a problem, check to see if you need an aerial upgrade using the Freeview Coverage Checker.

Install a Pre-Amplifier

If you are supplying signal to multiple televisions using the same antenna you must install a signal splitter. The main issue with this is that divided signal becomes weaker. To solve the problem you can use a pre-amplifier to boost the signal and drive it through the coax cable. If this doesn’t work a distribution amplifier may be needed to boost the signal from the antenna side of the splitter.

Check your Wiring

More often then not, poor reception is simply the result of lose cables. That’s why checking your wiring should always be your first port-of-call. Make sure the coaxial plugs are properly fitted into the peripherals and television, and check the socket faceplate to ensure it’s snug and secure – this is often an issue in newly built homes.

Buy a Signal Booster

Signal boosters should only be used as a last resort as they will make your signal more susceptible to interference. If you live in an area that has generally poor signal, purchase a fully screened masthead amplifier; unscreened models may cause more hassle than they’re worth.

Change your Supplier

Sometimes it doesn’t matter how good your equipment is or how you have your system set up. At the end of the day you can only receive what your provider is capable of delivering. If you’ve tried everything to no avail, change your supplier. If you’re still bound to a contract try to argue your case. If they still don’t budge threaten legal action and they’ll usually back down. Before you take the plunge and sign yet another contract, consult a specialist and ask for their supplier recommendation. Most decent companies will be more than happy to give you advice over the phone.

The trouble with digital television signals is that they can be affected by almost anything; therefore, finding the route of the problem isn’t always easy. Before you start buying new equipment try moving the position of your aerial, or any obstructions that could be reducing the signal strength. While you may suspect a more serious problem, sometimes the most obvious solutions are the most effective.

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