How to Boost a Weak Freeview Signal

If your Freeview has an intermittent signal, or perhaps even a complete loss of channels, make sure you check through the basics before getting onto your roof and tampering with your aerial. In most circumstances the problem will be something simple that you’ve overlooked.

• Is your aerial cable connected to both your television and aerial socket? If so, does the connection feel secure?

• Have you stacked other devices on your Freeview box? Freeview boxes are fragile. The excess pressure of blu ray players, games consoles and other hardware could cause it to malfunction.

• Are there engineering works in your local area? Check the Digital UK website to see if any engineering works are being undertaken.

• Is your cable too long? Consider buying a new, shorter cable. While a longer cable should still work, you may be losing precious signal along the way.

• Is your cable old and withered? Like any other electrical equipment, cables do have a lifespan. If you haven’t changed it for five or more years, it’s probably time for a new one.

• Have your checked your installation setup? Try reinstalling the channels. On some setups simply disconnecting your television or box from the mains socket will reset the system.

If you’ve tried all of the above steps and still aren’t getting the signal or channels, you should restart your Freeview box, following the instructions in the manual. Failing that, you may need to purchase excess hardware.

Mains-Powered Signal Boosters

Signal boosters do exactly what they say on the tin; boost signal. Therefore, they will only help you if you’re already receiving signal, not if you have a complete loss of channels. If your signal is poor at the source, a booster may not help as they will also enhance the distortion.

Signal Amplifiers for Multiple Televisions

Are you using multiple televisions? Every time you add a new television through the same setup, you’re essentially “sharing” the signal between each television and adding more cables. In this case, you will need an amplifier. Multi-output signal amplifiers come with 2, 3, 4, 6 and 8 outputs, each with varying boosting strength.

Change your Dish Position

If you can’t seem to find the route of the problem and are using a satellite dish, it may be out of alignment. This can occur for various reasons; stormy weather, building works, or simply wear and tear. To find the optimal position, work out the longitude and latitude of your home, and where your nearest signal tower is located. Use this information to calculate the exact amount of vertical and horizontal degrees you need, and then adjust your setup.

Your dish should have a clear line of sight to the signal tower. If there is anything in the way, such as a chimney or building extension, you may need to move the entire installation. Do not climb on your roof and tamper with your dish unless you have the correct safety equipment. It’s never worth the risk – call a professional aerial installation expert to do it for you.

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— Francesca Sartori