Digital Terrestrial TV Weak Signal


Most Freeview TVs and set-top boxes allow you to check signal strength and quality for each multiplex (group of stations). This is usually accessed through the menu button – see your handbook for details.

If your equipment suggests signals are too weak, make sure that Freeview reception is predicted to cover your area by using the postcode checker provided by Digital UK.

If the prediction shows you are covered, your weak signals could be due to:

What to do 

  • Use our Transmitter Check for any engineering work or faults affecting your area. Also visit the Digital UK Website in case post-Digital Switchover work is affecting your area.
  • Check your TV system to ensure all the leads (between DVDs, HD recorders, set-top boxes etc) are properly connected and there are no bent or damaged pins. Plugging the aerial straight into the TV will tell you if there is a problem with another lead or device.
  • Check your aerial. Any damage or missing parts can weaken signals, as can misalignment. Cracks or water in the downlead can do the same and may affect some multiplexes more than others.
  • Look for local obstructions such as buildings or cranes. If they are permanent, an installer could try moving the aerial or maybe even using a different transmitter.
  • If your aerial is pointing into nearby trees, try raising or repositioning the aerial. Sometimes a different aerial type can give better results. Reducing trees can also help but you will need the owner’s permission.
  • In some areas where more than one regional transmitter can be received, the weaker set of stations can appear in the high channel numbers (often in the 800s). This is most likely to happen if you have performed a software update or re-install. However, some receivers may put the channels from the weaker signal in the normal ’low’ numbers with your preferred service in the 800s, causing the wrong regional news programme to appear. This can usually be resolved with a manual retune using either channel numbers or channel frequencies. Details of how to do this differ from receiver to receiver so you will need to seek advice from the manufacturer or your dealer. It’s beyond the scope of this Website to provide detailed tuning information for regional services for each receiver.

    If none of these solutions seems to help, satellite or cable TV may be the best answer since they receive their signals by a different means.

*For help with aerials we would recommend using a professional installer. We cannot recommend individual installers but you may wish to seek advice from a recognised industry body, such as the Confederation of Aerial Industries (CAI). Alternatively visit the Website of Registered Digital Installers (RDI). Get Me Digital is the consumer site of the RDI, created to promote digital installation and digital service providers directly to the consumer. 


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