In the ancient days, there existed only 2-3 channels on the TV, and it was a daunting task climbing on the roof to adjust the position of the roof antenna for better reception. However, the advancement of technology allows watching TV using mobile and digital TV through several cable operators and satellite dishes. Nowadays, there are hundreds of channels to watch, but how to boost tv antenna signal strength needs answers.
Sometimes, a weak signal can cause problems with your TV reception. A weak signal appears as a “snowy” or grainy picture on the TV screen for the analog TVs. On the other hand, a slightly weak signal may be sharp and clear on a digital TV. However, if the signal is still too weak, it causes the audio and video to disappear and reappear at intervals.
Moreover, it’s frustrating experiencing poor TV reception just when you are watching your favorite episodes or important sporting event. If this problem continues, you need to determine what causes these interferences to find a permanent solution. Notably, before looking for other sources that may cause your poor TV reception, you have to ensure that you possess an appropriate receiving system for your television.
Signs Of Poor TV Reception Include
- Colour and sound distortion
- Images dropping in and out
- Strange noises
- ‘No signal’ message alert
- Some channels work, and others don’t
Several factors influence the quality of your TV signals, but try these basics first to diagnose the problem:
- Ensure your TV and power cables get correctly connected to the wall sockets in addition to the TV.
- Try and run an auto or manual scan for your TV channels. If you don’t understand how to go about it, you need to refer to your TV instruction manual.
- If there is an amplifier in your system, ensure the power supply is connected and turned on.
- Other Issues That Can Influence Your Reception Are:
- Poorly installed or poor-quality cabling.
- Incorrect installation of splitters, connectors, and amplifiers.
- Your antenna has been disconnected out of alignment by the stormy weather or not incorrect setup.
- Poor internal connections.
- Heavy rain causes damage to parts of your antenna system.
- Interference from mobile transmission towers, LED lights, electrical interference, and even the solar panels on your roof can cause problems with your digital reception.
Causes Of Poor TV Signals?
i) Remote Locations
If you are located far away from a transmitting tower, the quality of your TV reception gets affected. However, being further away from a transmitting tower can cause poorer TV reception.
On the other hand, If you reside close to the transmitter and still experience poor TV reception, it may indicate that other factors hinder your TV antenna from gathering up signals.
ii) Age And Condition Of Your Antenna
Generally, an antenna’s average age should be almost five years. Drastic changes over the years in the local environment and the building of new structures can affect the performance of your TV antenna. If you have bad TV reception and have used your TV antenna for more than five years, you may have to upgrade some of the parts of the system or acquire a whole new antenna.
iii) Setup Changes In Your TV
If you have been experiencing good TV reception but all of a sudden change for the worst, it means the signals have had some changes. These changes may result from an alteration of the physical location of your antenna by either strong winds or water damage from heavy rains or due to human interference.
Thus, you need to check if the antenna is at its correct position. You can also check for rusted wall plates, or faulty TV fly leads. Besides, you need to ascertain that the antenna and TV reception booster function correctly if you have one.
How to Boost TV antenna signal strength?
The following are some of the ways on how to fix poor TV signal issues, and they include:
1) Adjust TV Antenna Direction
When deciding how to position your TV antenna, you need to know which channels have a positive noise margin at your location. Second, you need to understand in which direction the towers are generating the signal.
The FCC has an excellent mapping tool that lets you know which stations have strong and weak signals in your area. Besides, it indicates the direction of the tower for every channel. Therefore, you can utilize the signal strength to check for a “noise margin.” Generally, the following are the assumption for noise margin values:
- Green – About 45 dB to work with
- Yellow – About 30 dB to work with
- Orange – Indicates little room for error. Meaning there is less than 15 dB of noise permitted with these channels.
- Red – This color shows that the channel isn’t showing without a directional antenna with a built-in signal gain on the tower.
Moreover, locate the direction of each channel by clicking the station and check where the tower is relative to your antenna’s location.
2) Reset Your Digital Tuner
A digital tuner turns your incoming signal into a digital format your TV perceives. However, broadcasters can sometimes change their metadata, affecting your tuner’s ability to recognize the signal.
On the other hand, your digital tuner may be utilizing this older data and isn’t receiving the correct channel information. The easiest method to reset a tuner is to by following the below quick steps:
- Disconnect the coaxial cable from your TV
- Perform the channel scan on your TV
- Turn off and unplug your TV and converter box
- Reconnect all connections
- Do one more channel scan
3) Install The Aerial Higher Up
Installing your aerial higher up helps in improving your TV signal strength. If you reside in a weak signal location, you may get some improvements from installing your aerial onto a 10′ or 12′ mast rather than a 6′ mast, which helps you clear nearby obstructions.
Alternatively, installing your aerial on your rooftop or outside on a wall is impossible, and you have an indoor aerial. You can get a better TV reception from a loft aerial, especially if your loft is not lined with foil.
4) Install A Higher Gain TV Aerial
Another effective way to receive more TV signals is by installing a higher gain TV aerial. However, it can be unnecessary to have a TV aerial ejected outside on a chimney or gable end wall. But, if you reside in a weak prone signal area or run multiple TV off one aerial. It may be sound to install a higher gain aerial.
High gain aerials contain more elements that improve the aerial performance, improving the acceptance angle and the incoming signal. On the other hand, higher gain aerials are more prominent than traditional Yagi-type aerials, so you should check the fixings. Installing a bracket size of ¼ of the total mast height is helpful, and also upgrading the mast with a least a 1.5-inch diameter, or 2″ is suitable for high gain and big TV aerials.
5) Install Good Quality Coaxial Cable
If your coaxial cable is poor, the signal received from your TV aerial can get lost on the connecting coax cable before it goes to the TV. Thus, when installing coaxial cables for TV aerials, they should be double screened, and a solid center conductor should get installed.
However, if your connection in a single screened “low loss” cable has a stranded centre conductor, you are losing an extra amount of signal down the cable, which causes the TV signal to be weak. When installing coaxial cables for TV aerials, ensure they are all copper conductors, including a copper screen, copper braid, copper centre, and conductors.
6) Install Your Aerial Free From Obstructions
This tactic is a bit different from installing aerials outside high up. Still, you may enhance your TV signals by positioning your aerial in a spot away from obstructions that could impede your TV signal reception.
Installing TV aerials is commonly known as “black art,” which means you can get a stronger signal by setting up aerials lower down or in areas that seem like they would not function.
However, you will require ample time to spend testing in various locations at your home compound to identify the best spots with better TV signals.
In this modern era, having poor reception on your TV can impact the quality of your social lifestyle. TV helps you watch the news, emerging trends around the world, essential sports games, or your favorite film.
However, if you have occasional poor signals, you can use the highlighted remedy to fix this problem. Again, you should engage a professional with good experience to evaluate your home’s setup, diagnose the problem, and advise on the best solution.