Are you losing your TV signals now and then? Is it driving you crazy, and you’re asking, “Why does my antenna keep losing signals? Well, you’re not alone. Many newbie cord cutters and sometimes old cord cutters too face this problem.
Signal loss in OTA digital antenna reception is quiet common. It can happen due to a lot of reasons. But nothing to worry about as there are fixes too of this problem. You must be careful from the beginning if you don’t want to face the issue.
In this article, we’ll explore why the antenna keeps losing signals and discuss how to troubleshoot the issue conveniently. Let’s jump into the details.
Causes Your Antenna May Lose Signals
Let’s discuss some of the most common issues you may have for antenna losing signals.
1. Choosing A Wrong Antenna
The most common mistake that new cord cutters make is this. They do not do the research and choose the wrong antenna. Before getting an antenna, you must know what you need and want.
Suppose, depending on your location and your nearby broadcasting stations, you may need an outdoor or attic antenna. In this case, if you stick to an indoor antenna, that probably wouldn’t be able to pick signals for you.
Even though it could pick some channels, it would lose many important local channels you want to watch.
On the other hand, if your broadcasting stations are close, an indoor antenna may work for you really well. So, that’s how choosing the right antenna is crucial.
2. Using An Amplifier Where It’s Not Needed
Radio frequency signal amplifiers claim to amplify signals to offer you a better picture and sound quality. In reality, amplifiers can only enhance or boost the quality of the signal if the antenna captures it in the first place.
It can boost weaker signals but can’t work if the antenna doesn’t pick up the signal. So you must check on what you’re getting. Besides, antenna signal amplifiers or boosters tend to work better in outdoor or attic antennas.
In most cases, it is seen that using an antenna signal booster or amplifier doesn’t work in indoor TV antenna. Rather over, amplification of the signals in an indoor antenna can worsen the reception, and you may get the “no signal” message.
Faulty amplifiers can ruin the signal delivery too.
3. Installing The Antenna Facing A Wrong Direction
It is a very common thing known to all that, antennas need to be facing nearer and pointing towards the dedicated broadcast towers. Otherwise, it won’t work well.
For instance, if your broadcasting station is located to the west, setting up your antenna to the south part of the house won’t work. You must install the antenna to the west and point it as accurately as possible towards the broadcasting tower.
So, you see, now installing the antenna facing the wrong direction can affect your signal reception.
4. Keep Using A Damaged Or Faulty Antenna
If you’re using a low quality or a bit higher than a low quality antenna for a long time, chances are it is damaged by now. This kind of antenna works well for two to three years maximum.
So, when you’re having reception issues, check your antenna to see if it is fine or damaged. If it is ruined, choose a decent antenna model that won’t damage quickly for the next purchase.
5. Interference From Different Objects
Interference is a big issue in OTA antenna reception. It can cause by many objects like tall buildings, your building construction materials, tall trees, dense trees, etc. Interference can also happen from electrical components.
Keeping electronic items like mobile phones, laptops or computers, Wi-Fi routers, etc., can create electrical interference. So, if you have electronic items nearby your antenna, your signal reception may get interrupted.
6. Error Correction Issues In OTA TV Centers
Before understanding error correction, you have to get one thing clear. That is, RF signals themselves lose some of their signal quality while traveling through and reaching your antenna.
So, error correction functionalities are set up in the OTA TV centers. Suppose you get a 100% or 70%, or 50% of the signal. Error correction decodes the signal first and then delivers it to you in a better crispy clear format.
Sometimes these error corrections can’t decode a signal when the loss is too much, generally 40 or below 40%. Then it gives up, and you get no signal of the specific channel.
So, error correction in the over the air TV centers could be a reason for your TV reception getting pixelated or “NO SIGNAL.”
7. Using A Too Long Coaxial Cable
Using a too long coaxial cable more than you need can also decrease the signal reception quality. You must understand that the digital TV signals from broadcasting stations must travel through your coax connection cable.
While traveling through the coax, signal loss takes place naturally. If your coax is too long, you may end up with no signal. Because there would be a greater number of signal loss that may eat the signal totally.
8. Lack Of A Digital Converter
It is needless to say; digital signal reception needs a digital TV. You have a good antenna, your broadcasting stations are nearby, and everything is perfect. But you have an analog TV. Your TV won’t work.
Most digital TVs have built in functionality to be able to support digital signals. But if you’re using an old TV, make sure you use a digital converter. Otherwise, you won’t be able to receive signals.
So you should try using a digital converter box to improve reception.
How To Fix Antenna Signal Losing Issues
Now that you understand the issues that may happen let’s discuss how you can fix the OTA antenna signal reception problem. Follow the troubleshooting steps below to achieve a decent signal reception.
1. Get A Decent Antenna Model
The first and most important fix to get a strong and clear signal reception is getting a decent antenna model. Decent in a sense, an antenna that is a commercial success, a perfect suit for your location, and has the right size and shape.
If you’re located far from your broadcasting station, without a second thought, go for an outdoor antenna. An attic antenna may work, too, in this case. Do not stick to an indoor antenna just because of the appealing look.
Likewise, if your surroundings support you enough, like having a broadcasting station nearby with less interference, go for a decent indoor TV antenna.
Whatever you get, make sure it works just as it claims on the pack. You should also emphasize that it is a directional antenna or omnidirectional antenna.
Go through several reviews from real users and honest experts and then decide to go for one. You can check out my antenna reviews on this website for a better reference.
2. Make Sure You Install It In The Right Direction
Once you’ve bought the right antenna, install it correctly. Locate your antenna to the side of your house near your broadcast towers.
For example, if your stations come from the southeast, install your antenna to the southeast of your house. Besides, point it towards the station location correctly.
3. Look For A Sweet Spot
Looking for a sweet spot is mostly beneficial for indoor antennas. It is impossible to move around an outdoor antenna after it is installed. But you can play around a bit with your indoor antenna.
Once installed, run a channel scan and see if you’re getting all of it. If not, hold the antenna and move around to see if the channels are now available. Once you find the sweet spot, reinstall your HDTV antenna there.
4. Use Good Coaxial Cable
While traveling through a coaxial cable, TV signals lose some of their efficiency. When you don’t use a good coax, it loses more. Not surprisingly, most of the antenna cables that come with mid-range antennas are RG 59 junk coax cables.
So your digital TV signals get worse delivered. You should use a decent coax to get the best result. For example, you can use RG6 coaxial cable, especially RG6 Quad Shield cable to get the best reception possible.
5. Use A Distribution Amplifier If You’re Using Coax Splitter
You may need to use a coax splitter if you’re connecting two or more devices to your antenna. When you use a coax splitter, there is a high chance you’ll get bad signal delivery to your connected devices.
A distribution amplifier can help you in improving signal quality. It won’t only compensate for the signal loss while splitting the cable but also add a bit of gain for better reception.
6. Avoid Electrical Interference
Do not use or keep electronic devices near the antenna. It’s not possible to keep your household free of electronic items. But the least you can do is not place them near your antenna and TV set.
Electrical components near the antenna, such as mobile phones, laptops, washing machines, etc., create massive electrical interference. So you may lose signals there.
7. Go For FM Trap Built In Antennas
FM radio signals can create interference to your TV signal reception. Especially if you live very near (within 10 miles) to a powerful radio station, it might interfere with your TV signals.
So, while getting the antenna, ensure it has a built-in FM trap. Or get an external FM Trap for your antenna. Hope it will resolve the issue.
8. Use An LTE Filter
Interference from LTE signals can be a reason you’re getting pixelated pictures or no signal reception on your TV. Using an LTE filter can help you in this situation. Buy an LTE filter and install it with your antenna.
Besides all these reasons, a simple yet problematic thing can happen too. That is connection issues of your antenna to the TV or power source. So make sure that your connections are secured to the right port correctly.
This was all about why antennas keep losing signals. I hope by reading this write up now; you’ll be able to understand and fix your problem.
Once you find out your specific issue, let us know in the comments below which one it is. Also, don’t forget to share how the troubleshooting methods mentioned here helped you.