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How to fix digital TV reception problems

Does your digital TV service often run into problems? This handy guide will help you fix simple digital TV reception issues with Freeview, satellite and cable TV set top boxes.

By on July 11, 2014 at 15:00 PM
Digital TV
How to fix digital TV reception problems

If you're suffering from poor digital TV signal, it may be possible to fix reception issues quickly, at home. Often, bad TV signal is caused by simple issues that can be easily solved. We're here to run you through how to fix TV signal issues - the steps are different depending on whether you have a Freeview, cable or satellite digital TV box.

Why not check out our best digital TV deals while you're here:

How to fix digital TV reception problems

Important: Always remember to switch off the set top box, TV or any other device at the mains before you unplug any cables or plug any cables back in.

Digital Freeview reception problems
The digital TV picture on my TV keeps breaking up and the sound is poor.

Cloud W Rain

Why is this happening?
This is the most common issue with Freeview TV and can be caused by something as simple as poor weather conditions.

What should I do?

  • Switch off the digital box / TV at the mains first and check all the leads are securely plugged into the back of your digital TV or set top box.
  • Do the picture/sound problems happen when a light switch or other electrical equipment is turned on? If so, electrical interference might be the cause. Try turning off or even unplugging anything you arn't using and see if it helps.
  • Has this always been a problem? Your TV aerial may not be pointing directly at the TV transmitter and might need re-aligning. Consult a CAI (Confederation of Aerial Industries) approved aerial installer.
  • Does your neighbour with a different TV aerial have the same problem? If so, then the only thing you can do is wait until the signal gets restored. If your neighbour is munching on popcorn while enjoying crystal clean DTT - it might be time for you to invest in a new aerial. But to confirm whether or not this is the case, it might be worth consulting with a CAI approved installer.
I am getting the green screen of death - the picture on my TV is going a green colour and the picture/sound is dropping out.

Green TV

Why is this happening?
This problem is normally caused by SCART leads not being connected properly. If the SCART lead is only hanging out of the socket, your digital TV picture may go green or start showing a very colourful but completely useless rainbow coloured screen.

What should I do?

  • Switch off the digital box/TV at the mains first and check the scart lead is plugged in properly and is secure. This often solves most issues.
  • If you are using an older Cathode Ray Tube TV with a Freeview digital TV set top box and the TV screen displays lots of different colours or the picture is going on and off, then your CRT TV tube could possibly be failing. But before chucking it in the bin, consult an approved television engineer to double check whether or not that is the case.
Where have some of my digital TV channels gone? I am going to miss my show now!

Lines TV

Why is this happening? There may be maintenance work your local TV transmitter tower that you get your digital TV from, this could mean some digital TV channels are temporarily unavailable.

What should I do?

  • Try to retune your digital TV box or digital TV
  • Perform a complete reset of your digital TV box or digital TV. There might be a glitch with the box or TV which can be fixed with a simple reboot
  • If you get your digital TV from a relay transmitter and not the main transmitter you may not be able to get the full amount of digital TV channels. Unfortunately relay transmitters don't transmit as many digital TV channels in some areas
Digital Satellite TV reception problems
I can't watch TV at all - the picture is breaking up.

Cloud TV

Why is this happening?
Your satellite dish may have been knocked out of alignment at some point or the signal may be being blocked by nearby trees or buildings

What should I do?

  • Firstly try resetting your digital TV box just in case the problem can be solved that way
  • If it still doesn't connect you may have to call an engineer out to realign the satellite for you, you can find most providers numbers, including sky, in our provider contact list

There is no signal on my satellite TV whenever there is heavy rain.

Why is this happening?
Unfortunately satellite TV and heavy rain doesn't mix very well. The signal from the satellite has a lot of trouble making it though the water, causing the signal to decrease and the picture to break up or even go off completely. High winds could also be moving your dish out of alignment if it isn't secured tightly to your home.

What should I do?

  • As soon as the weather calms down outside you should find your service works as normal again. 
  • If the sun is shining and there still is no signal, try rebooting your equipment. If that also fails, make sure you contact your satellite digital TV provider for help
Digital Cable TV reception problems
There is an error with my cable TV set top box and my picture is "fuzzy"

Static TV

Why is this happening?
There might be a problem with the cables, wires or splitters (The device which divide's the connection between your digital TV and broadband connection)

What should I do?

  • Try resetting the set top box and checking if all the cables are well-connected. This should clear up any glitches that may have occurred
  • If that fails, simply contact your cable TV provider. A visit from a Virgin Media engineer will normally be arranged who will fix the problem for free; sometimes this includes replacing splitters, other times it could include changing the set top box. In a nutshell whatever the problem is, the engineer will fix it.
IPTV reception problems (YouView or NOW TV for example)

The most common issues, for instance a frozen or broken picture, are usually to do with broadband latency or speed.

World No

Why is this happening?
Your current broadband speed might be too slow to support a video stream. There is a handy guide on our website on speeding up a broadband conection which you  can find here

What should I do?

  • Restart your set top box and if possible switch to a wired connection
  • It might also be worth restarting your broadband router to see if you can get a faster connection this way
  • Contact your ISP to see if there is any troubleshooting or maintenance work going on the company's servers after which your service should go back to normal

Constantly having signal problems?

If a fuzzy signal or a blurry picture is a common occurrence in your house you might be better moving to a new TV service. You might even be able to save some money just by changing your digital TV connection to another supplier. Just call 0800 542 4704  and one of our experts will recommend the best deal for you based on your area, budget and the kinds of channels you want to watch. 

Check out our best TV deals here!


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