Why Does Digital TV Keep Losing Signal?

Trying to watch shows on a TV that keeps losing signal is beyond frustrating! After dealing with my own TV signal loss issues, I found some solutions that can help you.

If you’re wondering why your digital TV keeps losing signal, follow the tips in this article, and you should get a clear TV signal back. Let’s walk through the troubleshooting steps to narrow down the issue.

Why Does Digital TV Keep Losing Signal?

A digital TV with cable will often lose signal when either the HDMI cable, coaxial F connector, or cable in your building is broken. Terrestrial television can lose signal for a number of reasons, such as faulty antenna, out of range of broadcasting towers, or poor wealthy conditions. I’ll be covering both cable and terrestrial TV issues in this article.

Cable TV No Signal:

You might think that cable TV, where every connection is physically connected, shouldn’t lose signal, but it’s actually quite common, even when you use a set-top box.

Some of the problems can be resolved on your end, while others will have to be handled by the cable company. Before you call the company, here are some things you can try:

Check the HDMI Cable

You could be getting a “No Signal” error on your TV because of the HDMI cable. If the set-top box is turned on and doesn’t show any errors, the problem is likely with the HDMI cable. While HDMI cables can last for a very long time, damage like bites from pets or sharp bends can make the cable unusable.

Don’t wiggle the HDMI connector, that could break either the port on your TV, set-top box, or the HDMI cable. What you can do is adjust the wire a little bit, straighten it out, and see if that works. Sometimes the signal will come in when you move the wire around a little bit. Finally, test another HDMI cable.

If the new cable works, the problem was probably with your original HDMI cable. Another thing to check is the video source, make sure the TV is on the right HDMI source.

Turn the Box and TV Off and On Again

The classic solution to all tech hardware problems; turn them off and on again. Surprisingly this can resolve a lot of issues. One of the reasons could be the set top box or TV’s software ran into an issue during the initial start-up and they can’t communicate with each other. A simple restart can usually resolve these issues.

Reset the Top Box

The steps vary slightly depending on the top box you use, but most can be reset by removing the power cable for 30 seconds and then turning it on again. Doing this will allow the box to reset to default settings which should get rid of any software issues.

If you still have issues, you might have a faulty box, in which case you’ll need to get a replacement from the cable company. In most cases, you can get free replacements, and you can even buy your own. If you buy your own, you’ll need to give your cable company the new box’s MAC ID so they can register it.

Damaged or Faulty Amplifier

Are certain channels pixelated but others clear? The reason for that could be because of a faulty or damaged amplifier. An amplifier attempts to clear up frequencies on low-strength channels.

Adding or replacing a TV amplifier is pretty easy, and you can find lots of TV amplifiers online. It’s worth a shot. Buying an amplifier usually clears up weak signals, so all the channels will be clear.

Tighten or Replace F-Connectors

If you have a set top box that is connected via a coaxial cable, what you can do is tighten the connection, it should be firm and tight. There could also be coaxial F-connectors in your home that need replacement.

I would suggest calling the cable company to replace those for you. In particularly old buildings, although they are generally very durable, the connectors can rust and fail over time. It’s a good idea to replace them. There are likely a few of these in your building that an engineer will check and replace. Sometimes a coaxial cable will need replacement too, but that’s rare.

Company-side Issues

Finally, if you exhausted all possible solutions on your end, the final option would be to call your cable company and have them send an engineer. It’s frustrating when problems are out of our hands, but an engineer can probably narrow down the issue. The downtime could also be because of scheduled network maintenance.

Terrestrial TV Reception No Signal

Running into a “No signal” error when using terrestrial TV is a lot more common because there are numerous possible issues. Generally, broadcasting signals over the air are much less reliable than wired connections. Nevertheless, there are some things you can try to clear up the signal on your end.

Weather Conditions

Satellite TV is often affected by the weather, days with lots of cloud coverage will often have poor signals. The reason for that is the clouds, rain, and other weather conditions can interfere with the signal from the broadcasting station.

So if you’re getting bad TV reception, you might have to wait until the weather clears. Another issue could be something blocking the signal, like a tree debris, or another structure.

TV Signal Problems Today:

Is your TV not getting signal today? What you can try is check to see if the network is down and if other people are reporting issues, reconnect your devices, select the right source on your TV, and re-tune your antenna.

Satellite or Antenna Not Aligned

Satellites are usually installed by engineers and they usually stay in place but some conditions like strong wind can throw them slightly out of alignment. You could call the company to send an engineer to adjust the satellite.

Poor Freeview Reception on Some Channels

If you’re getting poor Freeview reception on some channels you can try upgrading antennas or buying a signal amplifier. A more sensitive antenna can pick up weaker signals while an amplifier can attempt to clear those up, the end result should be watchable channels.

What you can do is try buying a new antenna or aligning the one you already have, move it around your home, near a window, and see if the signal clears. Sometimes all it boils down to is moving the antenna or satellite a little bit so it can receive a stronger signal.

Another option is to re-tune your device. This will scan for channels again which can, some times, fix issues with certain channels. You can also use the troubleshooting guide on BBC’s website to find the location of a transmitter you can align your antenna or satellite to.

Other Issues:

  • Radio Wave (4G, 5G, etc) Interference
  • Electromagnetic interference
  • Static Electricity
  • Overloaded TV Transmitter
  • And many others.

The Bottom Line:

It can be very frustrating when your TV keeps losing the signal. The good news is these issues are usually temporary and caused by something out of our control, like weather conditions, and whatnot. You can solve some of the problems on your end, sometimes a simple restart fixes all the issues, other times, you’ll need to call for help. Either way, I would start with the simpler tasks and work your way down the line from there.

About S. Santos

Tech columnist and tech blogger, audiovisual aficionado trying to keep up with the ever-evolving world of gadgets, home entertainment, and personal technology. If not fiddling with AV cables at home or in front of the computer, he can be found playing tennis or padel.

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