What to do when cable TV reception is poor?

If you have no reception or the picture breaks up or freezes, the problem may be in the terminal device (a separate digital set-top-box or a television with a built-in tuner) or the joint antenna network. The reason may also be radio interference caused by an outside source like some other electrical appliance or radio equipment. If your neighbours do not have similar problems, the fault is likely to be in your own equipment.

Cable TV reception problems may be caused by:

  • digital set-top-box
  • device connections
  • joint antenna network
  • maintenance work
  • alteration work
  • disturbances in network services
  • radio interference caused by some other electrical appliance or radio equipment.

High-quality cable TV reception requires a proper joint antenna network and system. For more information on good reception systems, please see FICORA's instructions for housing companies. 

Where can I get help if the sound or picture quality is poor on my TV?

If you need help with cable TV reception problems, please contact your own cable TV operator. If you have problems with your digital set-top-box or receivers or questions about installing the devices, contact the device retailer, manufacturer or importer.

Checklist for solving reception problems

  • Ask your neighbours if they are experiencing similar problems. If not, the problem is likely to be in your own equipment.
  • Make sure you have the right kind of a digital set-top-box. The reception of cable TV broadcasts requires a DVB-C receiver.
  • Check that the set-top-box is correctly connected to the TV and the joint antenna network and that all devices are plugged into the mains.
  • Make sure that the connectors and leads between the TV and the digital set-top-box are not broken or bent too much.
  • Ask your cable TV operator if the TV service is affected by maintenance or alteration work or some other disturbance that may cause the reception problems. To find out which operator's network you use, contact the property manager.
  • If checking your own devices and installations does not help and the problem is not caused by temporary maintenance or alteration work or some other disturbance, contact the property manager. The property manager, in turn, should contact the property's television service provider to work out the reception problem.
  • If the cable TV operator suspects that the problem is with the property's joint antenna network or system, the property manager should contact an antenna professional.

Contact details of professional antenna contractors are available in Finnish, for example, on the website of the Satellite and Antenna Association SANT ry and on the website urakoitsija.fi.

Reception problems sometimes caused by radio interference

If there is nothing wrong with the reception system, the problem may be caused by external interference, or so-called radio interference. On your own property, you can try to find the source of interference by switching off electrical appliances one at a time until you either find the one causing the interference or rule out the possibility of the source being on your own property.

The most common sources of interference are people's own or their neighbours' electrical appliances. To assess the situation, contact an antenna contractor if you live in a single-family house or the property manager if you live in an apartment building. If necessary, FICORA will help in solving the problem. In order to help, FICORA will need the following information:

  • the exact address of the reception location
  • a description of the antenna system
  • the channels on which the interference occurs
  • the time when the interference began
  • a description of the typical times when the interference occurs if it is occasional.

Information on tested terminal devices for cable television networks in Finnish: www.testatutlaitteet.fi

Key words: Television , Cable , Faults and disturbances , Guidelines

Updated 03.10.2013

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