There is a huge variety of possible reasons if you are experiencing TV reception issues.
Digital TV reception and the distribution systems are very complex and require a trained technician with experience and the right tools to effectively find and repair the problems.
We’ve had many cases where inexperienced trades tried to repair TV reception issues by simply replacing one or more parts in the system that didn’t ‘look’ good, causing unnecessary costs for the customer and still not eliminating the actual fault.
If you call someone regarding a TV reception issue, here are some indications that the person might not have enough knowledge to do the job:
- If they provide you with a fixed cost for the repair over the phone
(this is impossible as they can’t know what the fault is)
- If they turn up and do not have a proper signal analyzer
(should show signal strength and various measurements of signal quality, MER etc.)
- If they only have a strength meter with some red/green LED’s
(these devices are useless for digital TV as measuring signal quality is critical)
- If they start ‘working’ without first testing the signal
(they pretend to work but are just causing costs without knowing what is wrong)
We recommend to call a company specialized in TV distribution systems, not your electrician. You wouldn’t call them if you had an issue with the electronics in your car either, or?
Here are some possible reasons for no/poor TV reception with additional information and other things to consider:
Digital TV, unlike Analogue, is either showing a perfect picture or none.
With analogue TV you would have a perfect picture, or slightly snowy or very bad, and everything in between, double images etc. If your antenna or any other component became faulty, you would see a decrease in picture quality over time and know that you need to do something.
With digital TV, even if your picture is looking perfect, it could be ‘just’ working. Any additional minor change could then cause the reception to drop out.
With digital TV you won’t see a change in picture quality if your antenna or another component starts failing. Therefore it is important to act on reception issues quickly once you start noticing them as it will only get worse, and major issues or a complete drop out could occur at any time. And it could be very inconvenient for you if this happens over the weekend or during a movie or sports event you really want to watch.
Incorrect Wall Plate
Please make sure that you have checked for other wall plates in the house & tested the TV on these as well. Older TV systems usually have push-in connections for Free to Air TV and screw type connections for Pay TV. However newer or upgraded buildings have screw type connections for both and in many buildings both services come through the same cable and wall plate.
Incorrect TV tuning
There are a number of TV transmitters from where your TV signals could come. Some transmitters are using different frequencies than others. It is therefore important to tune your TV correctly when you move to a different building or area.
Please refer to the TV Tuning Information page for further details and help.
Your Netflix, DVD etc are still working? This doesn’t necessarily mean that your TV is not faulty. Everything else could be working but your built in TV tuner might have become faulty. This could cause a complete loss of reception, intermittent drop outs of all or some channels or picture or audio only issues. If you want to be certain try a different TV at the same wall plate (don’t forget to tune it) or purchase an inexpensive Set Top Box and use this as a tuner and your TV as a monitor only.
Also, if your TV is from another country, it might not work in Australia or only in certain areas due to different standards.
Faulty connection lead
One of the most common issues is a faulty connection lead between the TV and the wall plate. Please make sure you use a good quality RG6 Quad Shielded Cable. You will need a PAL-male connector (push in) at one end to go into your TV, the other end needs to suit your wall plate and either also be a PAL-male connector or a F-male connector if you have a screw type connection at the wall plate.
You can purchase a good quality connection lead from us or an electronic retail store.
Faulty wall plate
Your TV wall plate might be faulty and requires replacing. If you are in a Strata building, please note that the TV wall plate might be part of the buildings’ system and therefore you are not allowed to alternate or change it as it could cause problems for other residents and if this is the case, you could be held accountable for the resultant repairs. Please check with your Strata Company and it’s best to get one of their technicians to investigate.
Sometimes LED or energy saving lights, power packs, mobile phones etc. can cause reception issues. If you have ongoing intermittent issues please monitor and see if there might be a link between you using a certain device and your TV reception issues.
Issues with the buildings’ TV system
Antennas, amplifiers, connectors etc. can become faulty over time and cause TV reception issues. It’s always good to check with your neighbours to see if they are having similar issues (considering they are not watching Free to Air TV through Foxtel). Antennas often show first signs of failure during rain.
The antenna loses it waterproofing, water gets in shorting out the connection & TV reception is lost. Once it stops raining, the connection dries out and reception is restored, however – the connection will keep corroding and issues will become worse.
Many older buildings have so called ‘loop systems’. What it means is that one cable is looped from one unit to the next (usually vertically but sometimes in different ways). Issues with these systems often occur either due to renovation work in one unit during which they remove the wall plate that is also feeding other units, or simply that one wall plate becomes faulty causing everyone else past this point to lose their TV reception. These systems are part of the building and therefore Strata property and only an authorized technician sent by Strata should work on these systems.
On top of that there can be issues due to the design of a system and/or the workmanship when it was installed or repaired at some stage.
Interference to the buildings’ system or to the area
There can be interference from many different sources like trains, air planes, mobile phone reception, FM radio, construction sites next door to mention just a few.
If your drop outs occur once or twice a week, for a second or two there is often no chance to avoid this without major expense. If your reception issues are (becoming) more frequent and for longer periods of time, we recommend to report these and act quickly as even though reception might still be good sometimes, it will become worse and could drop out completely.
Bad reception due to the location of the building
In most areas it’s possible to achieve good and stable TV reception without major problems, in other areas it requires more planning and work.
However with knowledge and experience it is possible to find a solution for every building to have access to good and stable Free to Air TV reception.