So you’re trying to watch Freeview and you keep running into pixelation, audio cuts, freezes, and other issues, what’s the problem? Is the signal to your home too weak?
With Freeview, you can get 70 standard channels and 15 HD channels for free. The problem is sometimes your TV does not get nearly that many channels and your signal keeps cutting out at random times.
Here are some reasons you might not be getting a good Freeview service:
- You live in a remote area where that doesn’t have a good Freeview service.
- You’re in a Freeview area but the signal to your TV is not good.
- You live in a Freeview area and the signal is good but you’re experiencing issues.
You probably want to try and fix the problem on your own without having to spend money on hardware and maintenance fees. Not to worry, there’s a good chance that you can fix Freeview problems and get a solid stable signal to your TV, including the HD channels.
You might be wondering:
Instead of investing in a satellite dish and the installation fees that come with it, one idea would be to use an aerial booster to help improve the signal. If you’re struggling to get a smooth Freeview service, consider using these aerial boosters:
Best Aerial Booster for Freeview and HD:
Here are our favourite aerial boosters for Freeview and HD. Remember, you might not actually need a signal booster, and if you’re wondering if a signal booster is needed, skip to the section below our recommended products.
Another quick reminder: These boosters all use female to female ports, and the leads are not included, so you’ll likely need an extra male coaxial cable.
Will an Aerial Signal Booster Add More Channels to Freeview?
Some people buy signal boosters because they assume it will unlock more channels on Freeview. That’s not always the case. There are some cases where adding an aerial signal booster unlocks more channels, but it’s not a guarantee.
Ultimately, the amount of channels you receive depends on your aerial, the coverage of Freeview, and your tuning hardware.
What to Look for When Buying a Signal Amplifier?
Features you want to keep an eye out for:
- Number of Coaxial Outputs
- Signal dB Gain (More than 10 dB is Ideal)
- 4G Filter
One of the most important ones is the number of coaxial outputs, make sure you have enough for the TVs you plan to use in your home.
Secondly, take a look at the advertised dB gain. In most cases, if the booster is going to be installed near your TV, the dB gain doesn’t need to be much because it doesn’t have to travel very far.
However, if you want to run a lead from the booster to another area of the house, then you’ll need a stronger dB gain. I recommend looking for boosters than offer a 10 dB gain or more. The more gain, the stronger and more reliable the signal and channel quality.
Lastly, a 4G filter is worth looking for too. The 4G filter will block outside radio frequencies from interfering with the coaxial signals, so you’ll end up with a very reliable connection.
When to Use Signal Boosters:
Aerial signal boosters are the most effective at amplifying signals inside the home. In some cases, coaxial cables that connect from your aerial antenna to your TV lose signals on the way due to degradation over distance.
When that happens, even if your antenna has a good link to Freeview, the cables are too weak to carry the signals to your TV, and the result is messy and unreliable performance. In this case, a signal booster would come in handy because it will strengthen the signal by providing more power and your service should improve.
How to Check Signal Quality:
In the TV settings, there should be a menu for Signals & Connections where you can find Signal Quality. If the signal is lower than 50% you’ll probably run into issues.
I recommend doing this before and after you buy a signal booster so that you can notice the difference. Some signal boosters can improve the signal from lower than 50% to 100% with no issues.
Weak Signal or Interference?
To isolate the problem, you’ll need to figure out if the poor service quality is caused by weak signal or interference. One way to do that is to use the Freeview Checker troubleshooter. First, you’ll need to select your equipment and then enter your postcode.
If your postcode is within the service area, the problem is likely interference. Likewise, you are not in the service area, then you probably are suffering from a weak signal which can’t be solved by using a signal booster but you can try the solutions in the next section.
Indoor Aerials with Builtin Boosters:
To improve the signal quality from an aerial, you can either consider buying a better aerial or using an indoor one. Getting a new official aerial installed might be a bit expensive but it will definitely be the better option. For a list of recommended installers, check out this link.
A cheaper alternative would be to consider an indoor, mini, aerial that is compatible with Freeview. There are many variations of these aerials with a wide variety of ranges, and they can be perfect for remote areas, apartments, or closed-off buildings that don’t have individual aerials. Here’s an ultra-slim indoor aerial that you can use to capture Freeview signals.
Another option you can consider is purchasing a mini-outdoor aerial and installing it on your own, no need to hire someone. Much like the indoor aerials, these are very convenient, especially for small homes or even mobile homes.
One model I like is this outdoor Aerial weatherproof dome, it’s very easy to install, and you can use it to watch Freeview with no issues. The 360 sensor is quite futuristic! The good news is this particular model also has a builtin booster.