Reasons Why You May Be Experiencing Bad TV Reception

Reasons Why You May Be Experiencing Bad TV Reception

Bad TV antenna reception can prove deeply frustrating, particularly if you’re watching live events like sports. Sure, you can catch a highlights reel or, if you’re lucky, watch an episode on-demand like many American Millenials. Those still aren’t good fixes if bad reception interrupts a show you normally watch as a family.

Of course, the problem is even more of a frustration if it’s an ongoing problem. That begs a couple of questions.

The first question is, why am I getting bad TV reception? The second question is how to get better TV reception. If you find yourself asking these questions, read on for common causes of bad reception and how you can fix the issue.


The cables that connect your antenna and TV don’t get much attention. Yet, they can interfere with reception. For example, if the cable connection is loose at the TV or at the antenna, you can expect degraded reception.

The connectors on the cables can also become a problem if they get corroded. The corroded metal disrupts good signal transmission. Replacing the cables will resolve the problem.

Weak Signal Strength

For anyone living in an outlying area, you often suffer from poor signal strength. Geographic features between your antenna and the transmission point can make the signal weak.

You can potentially fix TV antenna reception problems like this by raising the antenna higher to give the signals a clearer path to the antenna. You can also invest in a TV signal booster. These work by amplifying the signals that do reach your antenna.

Outdated Antenna

They aren’t as common as they were, but some homes still carry harbor analog antennas. While these antennas can still pick up and carry some signals, they aren’t designed with contemporary digital signals in mind.

If your home still uses an analog antenna, the simplest fix is a replacement built for digital signals.

4G Interference

In the initial switchover from analog to digital TV, TV transmitters used a fairly broad range of frequencies. Unfortunately, the dramatic increase in 4G Internet meant TV needed to cede some of those frequencies.

Some older antennas still look for signals on those frequencies. They pick up Internet signals, but can’t do anything with them. This translates into interference in your TV reception.

You can possibly get the antenna re-tuned by a TV service professional. You can also look for a newer antenna that doesn’t pick up signals in that frequency range.

Managing Bad TV Reception

Managing bad TV reception really boils down to working through the list of potential problems. Since cables usually prove the easiest fix, it’s generally best to start there.

If replacing the cables doesn’t work, you’re on to either raising the antenna or replacing the antenna. You can find extensions for the antenna to raise it online. If you know your antenna is more than five years old, however, you should probably go straight to a new antenna.

Hungry for more tech tips? Head over to our Technology section for more tips and advice.

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