Skip to main content
TVs and Digital Aerials: Why do they lose signal?

So you’re having a relaxing evening in front of the television and, suddenly, the screen reads ‘No Signal’. If you have an external box or streaming stick connected, this may be a simple fix of checking the box is turned on and checking you are on the correct input source. However, if you have a digital aerial connected, you may find this to be a frustrating experience when you try tuning the channels back in to find there is still a loss of signal. In these cases, it is usually something other than the TV causing the problem.

One of the most commonly known causes of signal loss is weather changes. Typically, we are used to stormy weather affecting signal coverage. The reason why this disrupts signal as it can physically misalign the aerial during these conditions. For example, strong wind can physically blow an aerial to a different positions. It isn’t just ‘bad’ weather that can cause problems; heat waves have also been known to cause problems with signal strength. Due to high pressure in the air, it essentially means that signals can travel further than normal. As a result, your TV tuner may receive signals from multiple transmitters and have difficulty differentiating these signals. Weather-related disturbance usually resolves itself and, if not, can be resolved by retuning the TV.

Another cause of signal loss is local disturbance. This is usually seen in the form of physical work on transmitters. In these instances, an entire area is likely to experience the same signal loss if a transmitter is being physically altered or adjusted. If this is to occur, you will normally receive prior warning beforehand that this is due to take place and you can also find more information about the work, or upcoming work using the Freeview website here.

Drops in signal may appear worse if using an indoor aerial. It is worth noting that indoor aerials are significantly weaker than outdoor aerials, so if the signal strength is also weaker the aerial is likely to struggle to receive this. It always recommend to try moving it closer to an open area, such as a window, to improve the signal strength.

Sometimes a loss of signal can be the result of the TV cabling equipment itself. The smallest knock to a cable, such as a pet walking past, can interfere with the signal so always check the cable is secure in the TV. It is also possible for the cables to develop problems internally. For example, the Coaxial cable might look fine on the outside but issues can occur inside over time. In these scenarios, it is worth trying another cable or trying another television. Although it is possible for televisions to develop tuning issues it is very rare and the problem usually lays elsewhere.

To summarise, there are different reasons why a television may lose the signal from a digital aerial, usually a result from the sensitive nature of the signal. It is best to go through thorough checks and troubleshooting to determine what is causing the issue as it is more likely to be the signal than the television itself.