Many factors go into getting the best TV reception possible for Freeview channels. Most importantly, ensuring you have an accurate idea of your TV signal strength. This will help you determine which TV aerial is suitable for you and how to best position it for optimal reception. This blog post will walk you through testing your TV signal strength to get crystal-clear pictures on your Freeview channels!
What is TV signal strength, and why is it important to measure it?
TV signal strength refers to the strength of electromagnetic signals from digital terrestrial TV transmitters that are being picked up by your aerial. The higher the signal strength, the clearer and more consistent your reception will be. If your signal is more potent than usual, it can help you get better-quality pictures and audio on your channels. Of course, it’s possible to get Freeview reception without an aerial, but in most cases, it won’t be as good as a traditional outdoor antenna.
How do I test my TV signal strength at home?
Using a signal meter: A signal meter is a device that measures the strength of the TV signal being received by your aerial or TV box. To use a signal meter, you need to connect it to your TV or cable box and point it at the aerial or TV box. The signal meter will display a reading indicating the strength of the signal.
Using the TV’s built-in diagnostic tools: Many modern TVs have built-in diagnostic tools that allow you to check the signal strength of the TV signal being received. To access these tools, you must navigate the settings menu on your TV and look for a section labelled “signal strength” or “diagnostics.” You can view the current signal strength from here and identify any potential problems.
Using a Signal Meter
If signal strength and getting the best reception possible are fundamental, consider investing in a signal meter. A signal meter is a device that measures the strength of the TV signal being received by your aerial or TV box. To use a signal meter, you need to connect it to your TV or cable box and point it at the aerial or TV box. The signal meter will display a reading indicating the strength of the signal and help you determine whether you need to reposition your aerial to get better reception.
Professional aerial installers use this equipment to test the strength of a TV signal and ensure that they are getting the best reception possible. While many low-cost options are available for consumers, a professional-grade signal meter is typically more accurate and can provide more detailed information about your TV’s performance. However, the most affordable ones you find online on sites like Amazon or in electronics stores such as Maplin are sufficient for most home users.
Using the TV’s built-in diagnostic tools
If you’re lucky enough to own a TV with a built-in diagnostic tool for testing signal strength, you can easily and quickly get an idea of how strong your TV signal is.
To test your TV’s signal strength using its built-in diagnostic tools, navigate to the settings menu on your TV and look for a section labelled “signal strength”, “diagnostics”, or something similar.
On Samsung TVs:
1- Open a channel with a weak signal or interference, such as an analogue channel.
2- From the menu on your TV screen, choose “Settings,” followed by “Support”, and then “Self Diagnosis.”
3- Choose “Signal Information” from the available options.
4- Your TV will then scan for your signal strength and display information about any potential issues.
On Sony TVs:
1 – Press “Options” on your remote control and then scroll down to “System Information.”
2- Confirm your selection by pressing “Enter” on your remote.
3- Your TV will scan for your signal strength and display information about potential issues or problems.
OR, you can access the System Information screen by doing the following:
– Press [HOME] on your remote.
– Select [Settings].
– Choose [Product or Customer Support].
– Now select[System Information].
From here, press the green button (located in the centre of your remote control with four colours: red/green/yellow/blue). Depending on your model name, pressing this green button may be optional.
What are the signs you’re getting a bad TV signal?
Bad TV reception should be evident by the appearance of image or audio problems such as:
- Pixelation: Pixelation is when the picture on your TV screen appears blocky or pixelated. This often indicates that the TV signal is weak or interference is present.
- Freeze frame: Freeze frame is when the picture on your TV screen becomes stuck or frozen in place. This can be caused by a weak TV signal or other issues with the TV or cable box.
- No picture: If your TV does not receive a signal, you will see a black screen or an error message. A faulty aerial or coax cable, a weak TV signal, or other issues with the TV or cable box can cause this.
- Audio problems: If the audio on your TV is distorted or garbled, this can be a sign of a weak TV signal or other issues with the TV or cable box.
- Multiple TVs experiencing problems: If multiple TVs in your home are experiencing the same issues with reception, it is likely a problem with the TV signal rather than an issue with individual TVs.
How can I improve my TV reception if it’s better than I’d like it to be?
You can do a few things to improve your TV reception if it is less strong than you would like. These include:
Check the aerial: Ensure your TV aerial is correctly positioned and pointed towards the broadcast tower. If the aerial is not correctly set, it may not be able to receive a strong signal. Usually, pointing the aerial towards the nearest broadcast tower will allow the best reception, but that’s only sometimes the case, for example, if other structures deflect the signal.
Note: Trees, hills, and other large structures can block or deflect the TV signal, causing the signal strength to be weaker or more unstable. In addition, other houses or buildings in the area may also be blocking or deflecting the TV signal, which can also impact the signal strength.
To minimize the impact of these obstructions on your TV signal, it is recommended to position your TV aerial as high up as possible and aim it directly at the broadcast tower. It is also helpful to use a signal amplifier or a directional aerial to boost the strength of the TV signal. Additionally, you can move your TV or aerial to a different location in your home or yard to see if it helps improve signal strength.
- Check the coaxial cable connections: Make sure that all of the cable connections between your TV, Freeview Box and aerial, are secure and free of any damage. Loose or damaged connections can cause signal loss or interference.
- Check for interference: Look for potential sources of interference, such as other electronic devices or large metal objects, that may block or disrupt the TV signal.
- Upgrade: If your TV aerial is old or not powerful enough, upgrading to a newer one may improve your TV reception.
- Use a signal amplifier: A signal amplifier can boost the strength of the TV signal being received by your aerial, which may improve the quality of your TV reception.
Check for outages: If you are experiencing problems with your TV reception, there may be a service outage in your area. Check the Freeview website for any current or planned outages in your area.