TV Aerial Problems
Are you having problems with Freeview reception in Surrey or Hampshire?
Let’s look at the probable effects: With a digital transmission, it’s not possible for the aerial system to cause a “grainy picture” or “poor quality picture”, which we used to see in the days of the old analogue TV picture problems. With digital, it’s all or nothing. Either the picture is as good as your TV is capable of producing, or else it is breaking up into coloured squares (or is missing entirely). There’s nothing in between, the picture is either there or it’s not.
Modern TV equipment copes with very poor signal quality and can still give a good image. However bad weather, physical obstruction and changes in the environment between transmitter and receiver (your aerial) can cause issues that suddenly disrupt your reception, and change a perfectly OK TV picture into unwatchable noise.
Some “classic” faults with TV Equipment
A slowly degrading picture is a common problem. What this means is that you aerial system is slowly degrading and you won’t know anything about it until suddenly, without warning, your picture is unwatchable.
At this point you may think the aerial is faulty and call the TV repair guys, and you might be right. It’s not unusual for a badly installed aerial to get rainwater inside and corrode. However, the fault might be in the aerial cable. Correctly installed, good quality cable can last for years, but coaxial cable doesn’t last forever; the effects of sunlight, rain, frost and snow can gradually degrade the cable and reduce the signal that passes through it. Badly installed cable might not last a year – especially if it has been left loose to flap around in wind and chafe on the rough edges of roof tiles.
Some aerial systems includes an amplifier, signal booster, junction box or signal splitter. Quite often these are installed in the loft to distribute TV around the house, but over time they can suffer from the effects of weather.
If there’s a TV signal amplifier, there must also be a power supply unit. Some TV equipment is cheap and nasty and can fail quickly, and badly fitted plugs or connectors can cause an intermittent connection.
Finally, your Freeview receiver, Freeview set-top box, or TV itself may develop an internal electronic fault or stop working completely, leaving you without a picture. Also cheap Freeview electronic equipment can cause problems from the outset. There’s a reason it is cheap, because they use the cheapest components which do not work well with a weaker signal.
What component is causing the problem?
With all of these possibilities causing exactly the same symptoms of picture breaking up or some channels being missing, it’s difficult to locate the culprit and, sometimes, several items have degraded to the point where the signal arriving at the TV simply isn’t strong enough.
You might fix the problem by replacing absolutely everything – if you can afford to. But what you really need is a professional engineer with the right test equipment to determine what’s wrong.
Using professionals ensures that only genuinely faulty parts are replaced and the good parts are re-used, saving you money and hassle.
Beware the cowboys!
If you know a thing or two about aerials (and we do!) you can spot a poor installation a mile off and a cowboy installers from about the same distance. These are the guys with no proper test equipment, who simply guess at what’s wrong or replace everything “just in case”. They’ll tell you you need a new digital aerial (there’s no such thing) or new digital cable (there’s no such thing). They’ll install an expensive amplifier (which you probably don’t need). Amplifying a poor signal is not a good solution if the poor signal is caused by a fault in the aerial system. It might appear to cure the symptoms but you can be sure that the problem will return when the faulty item degrades even more.
Call T and T Digital the Professional Aerial Installers on 01483 320325 and we’ll fix your TV picture problems