Terrestrial TV reception problems – What to do when the reception is poor?

If you have no television reception, the picture breaks up or there is some other kind of interference to the reception, the problem may be caused by the TV receiver , the antenna system, interference from some other electrical appliance or radio equipment or the fault may be in the transmission. Information on maintenance work and other disruptions affecting the transmitter is available from the network operator.

Reception problems may be caused by the following reasons:

  • the incorrect tuning of the receiver
  • problems in the antenna system
  • transmission problems
  • radio interference from an outside source, i.e. an electrical appliance or radio equipment.

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

The operator of the terrestrial network will help you with questions on the following topics:

  • transmitter network
  • antenna systems
  • coverage areas
  • reception problems.

If you have problems with your digital set-top-box or receiver or questions about the basic installation of the devices, contact the device retailer, manufacturer or importer.

FICORA's MONITORi service provides information on transmission network disruptions.

Solving reception problems

  • Ask your neighbours if they are experiencing similar problems. If not, the problem is likely to be in your equipment.
  • Make sure you are using the right kind of receiver (a separate set-top-box or a television with a built-in tuner). To receive terrestrial broadcasts, the device has to be compatible with the DVB-T or DVB-T2 standard. If the programme you want to watch is transmitted using the DVB-T2 standard (e.g. high-definition transmissions), you have to have a DVB-T2-compatible device.
  • Try rebooting the receiver.
  • Ensure that the set-top-box is correctly connected to the TV and the antenna socket.
  • Check 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 and the leads are not sharply bent due to lack of space.
  • If your digital set-top-box displays the strength of the incoming signal, make sure the level on all multiplexes is at least 80 % or green if shown in colours.
  • Sometimes retuning the channels may help. Ensure that the channel you are trying to watch is available through the transmitter station at which the receiving antenna is directed.
  • • If you have set the channels using the receiver's automatic search feature, the channel with the best reception may not be placed at the top of the channel list. You can check that from the receiver. A manual channel search often gives better results than the automatic search. Information on the television channels with the best reception in each area can be found on the websites of terrestrial network operators. For instructions on tuning channels, see the device's instruction manual. Some receivers may automatically retune the channels from time to time, causing the problem to reoccur. In such cases, you should disable the automatic retuning, if possible. Contact the device retailer for further advice.

Solving reception problems in apartment buildings

If you have no reception or the picture is breaking up or freezing, contact the property manager. If other residents have similar reception problems, the problem may be caused by the building's antenna system, community aerial network or antennas.

Solving reception problems in single-family houses

If you live in a single-family house and have no reception or the picture is breaking up or freezing, contact a professional antenna contractor familiar with the conditions in the area. Ask the contractor whether the antenna system needs maintenance and how the reception of terrestrial TV could be improved. You should also request a preliminary estimate of the costs of repairing or replacing the antenna system. A detailed cost estimate requires the contractor to visit the installation site.

If you prefer to carry out basic check-ups yourself, check all of the antenna's cable connections. If you are using an antenna pre-amplifier, the level of amplification may be set too high. Lowering the level may solve interference problems.

If the reception of terrestrial TV broadcasts requires extensive help from an antenna contractor, you should ask the contractor to visit the location and agree on any measuring, documentation and other measures that might be needed. A professional antenna contractor familiar with the region and its conditions is able to suggest a plan for arranging the reception of terrestrial TV broadcasts.

The multiplexes A and B cover the entire country. If the antenna contractor discovers that the reception conditions make it impossible to receive the freely available channels on the multiplexes A and B with adequate picture quality, the contractor will notify Digita of the shadow region. If necessary, Digita will provide you with a satellite receiver from Canal Digital and a viewing card that allows you to watch the channels free-of-charge.

Satellite and Antenna Association SANT ry (in Finnish)

Search for contractors at Urakoitsija.fi (in Finnish)

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.

A good picture quality requires a proper antenna system.

Use the contact form to report radio interferences


See also:

Terrestrial TV in single-family houses
Terrestrial TV in housing companies
Radio interference

Key words: Telephone , Faults and disturbances , TV coverage , Terrestrial , Guidelines

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