You’re sitting at home enjoying TV when all of a sudden, the screen goes black. You lost reception again. Is your antenna busted?
It’s a possibility. The problem could also be where you live. If you’re located out in the boonies, there’s a good chance that you’re too far away from broadcast towers to receive a good signal. The weather in your area, your housing materials, and foliage are other factors that play into your reception. Will, you ever be able to get a signal where you live, or should you switch to cable?
We’ve got the answers right here. Keep reading to learn if it’s worth fussing with a stubborn antenna.
Sources of Antenna Obstruction
There are many sources of digital antenna obstruction. Depending on where you live, there’s a good chance that you’ll never have a clear TV viewing experience. Not without a lot of finagling anyway. Here are a few things that might be playing into your problem.
Mountains and Valleys
Is your local broadcast tower located behind a mountain? That could be your problem. The signal can’t get to you because the mountain blocks line of sight. The same problem occurs if you live in a deep valley. The signal passes right over your antenna or breaks the line of sight. You’ll have a lot of TV signal outage problems for as long as you live in your current location.
Large trees bring a special touch to any yard. They can also stop even the best TV antenna from getting a signal. This is especially true in the Spring and Summer when the trees are in full bloom. The increased foliage plus high winds don’t do wonders for your reception.
If there is a tall building between you and your local broadcast tower, it can stop the signal from getting to you. This is especially true if the building is heavily mirrored. The broadcast waves bounce off the glass, stopping them from ever reaching your antenna.
Your Home’s Materials
Your home’s materials could be what’s interrupting your antenna TV schedule. Satellite radio signals can’t get through parking garages. So, if you have your antenna set up in there, that’s the reason you’re not having any luck.
They also can’t get through concrete structures. If your antenna is sitting in a window that has a mesh screen, you’ll never get a proper signal. Don’t place your antenna in your basement. The general rule of thumb is the higher, the better. You can put your antenna in your attic, as long as you don’t have a heat barrier up there.
The weather won’t dampen your TV signal as much as the other things on this list, but it doesn’t help matters any either. If you live somewhere that sees a constant stream of rain, snow, or fog, the reception could be bouncing off the high amounts of moisture in the air.
Cell Phone Towers
If you live near a bunch of cell phone towers, the LTE traffic they give off could be interfering with your TV watching experience. There is just too much digital noise for the signal to pass through without issues. The good news is that there is a way to combat that. We’ll get into that a little further in our next section.
Does your TV signal get worse at night? It might be time for you to start living like a vampire. Turn off all the lights in your home. High-quality light bulbs shouldn’t do anything to mess with your TV reception, but older, low-quality bulbs will. You’ll have to turn them off if you want to watch your favorite television shows.
How to Get Better Signal
Now that you know what might be interfering with the signal in your area, it’s time to learn how to stop it. Try out some of these steps to fix your issues.
We went over placement a lot earlier on, but it’s time to talk about it in more detail. Again, the higher you place your antenna the better off you are. You should consider putting it in your attic or upstairs if you live in a two-story place. You should also figure out where your local broadcast towers are and point your antenna toward them.
Back in the day, you could get most channels in on a low-frequency VHF band. Nowadays, the channels are split between VHF and UHF. This means you need an antenna that can handle both frequencies well.
Pick Up an Amp
If you pick up the right amp, it can boost your antenna’s signal strength. In theory, you’ll be able to get great reception even if you live way out in the boonies. If you get an amp that’s too strong or too weak, however, it’s not going to do you much good. Your local installation company can help you pick out the right one.
Going back to the cell tower problem, you can fix it if you have a TV tuner. It will filter out some of the noise and stop the signal from being blocked. Some antennas come with their own natural LTE filters. There are also filtering accessories that you can pick up, so you have plenty of options.
Get Better TV Reception in Your Home
Are you tired of not being able to watch your favorite shows? The problem might not be with your antenna. It might be where you live. Try out some of the fixes on this list, or talk to your local installer to overcome your unique TV watching challenges. If you’re looking for more ways to better your television experience, we have you covered. Check out the Technology section of our blog daily for all the latest antenna tips.