13 Signs it’s time for an Antenna Repair
If you’re getting bad TV reception or no reception at all, it might be time for an antenna repair or possibly a whole new antenna. Let’s talk about the 13 signs to look for when your antenna needs repairing, how to test your antenna installation, and what to do if you need a replacement or repair.
How Do You Know If You Need An Antenna Repair?
In some cases, it’ll be pretty obvious you need to book an antenna repair – like if it’s bent, fallen over, or suddenly doesn’t receive signals like it used to. But other times, you’ll need to watch for more subtle signs like…
- When you turn on your TV, instead of tuning into the channel, you get a message like “searching…”
- You don’t get any signal at all when you try to tune into your favourite digital channels
- Your signal service comes in and out
- Some of the channels you used to watch aren’t available anymore (see our list of digital channels in Australia to check what you can get)
If you experience any of the above symptoms, you might need an antenna repair or replacement to fix the problem. But before you call up the professionals, you might want to do a little testing yourself to see if you can figure out what the problem might be.
Guide To Testing Your Antenna
While your antenna might be the cause of your reception issues, it’s important to test your other equipment too. We’ve put together a list of tips and issues to look for when testing your antenna and other digital equipment.
1. Inspect Your Antenna Visually
Your antenna’s direction – does it point the same direction as your neighbours’ antennas? If not, it might need adjusting so it can pick up a better signal.
Also, take a look at it to see if it’s broken or bent. Crazy Australian weather and native animals that like to hang out on your roof can cause damage to your antenna so it doesn’t work like it used to.
You shouldn’t need to climb on your roof to inspect your antenna, as long as your house isn’t more than 1-2 storeys high. Just step back from your property and see what you can spot from a short distance, then if in doubt, call in the antenna repair professionals who will be able to take a closer look for you.
2. Check the Input At Your TV
Check the input at your television. Does the antenna connector on your TV still work or does it need replacing? If you have a second TV, try plugging that in instead to see if it can get a connection. If it can, it’s likely the problem isn’t your antenna, but your TV.
3. Consider the Age and Type Of Antenna or TV
If your antenna is an older style analogue antenna, it probably won’t pick up on the digital channels as well as a digital antenna. So you might want to consider upgrading your antenna to digital for a more reliable connection. Or the issue might be that you’ve got an older analogue TV that can’t decode the digital signals, especially if it was manufactured before 2006. In that case, you’ll need a set top box to tune into digital TV. Once you upgrade your antenna or TV, you’ll likely experience much better TV reception.
4. Check the Cords and Cables
If your cords aren’t connected properly or they’re not transmitting the signal, you’ll have issues with reception. So before you book an antenna repair, do a quick check of your TV cords and cables. Are all the cords secure? Are they still plugged in? Check any cords you can see to make sure they haven’t deteriorated or been chewed through (especially if you have small furry creatures living in your walls). Make sure they don’t look worn out, bent, twisted, or corroded – as this is a sure sign they won’t be able to transmit a clear signal. If the cabling looks like it might be the issue, you could try replacing it or get your antenna repair technician to replace it for you.
5. Check the TV Outlet
Make sure your TV outlet is still secure. Sometimes, the connectors can come loose and need re-fitting.
6. Check Your TV Tuning
Make sure your TV receiver is tuned properly so you can receive the right channels. Especially if you have a new TV or your TV might have reset, you’ll need to give it the chance to scan for digital channels. Start with “auto-tuning” via the menu on your remote, then if that doesn’t work, you’ll need to manually tune it. Check your manual for instructions on how to tune your TV manually or call a technician to come out and do it for you.
7. Check Your TV Mode
Check you’ve switched your TV to the correct mode (not HDMI!) so it’s able to display digital channels. Otherwise, instead of connecting to digital TV, it might be trying to connect to your DVD player, game console, or Chromecast.
8. Check Your Amplifier
If you have a TV signal amplifier, check that it’s receiving power, as it’ll need this to work. If you need an amplifier and it’s not working properly, you’ll likely find the signal isn’t strong enough to watch TV without it, so this could be the source of your issue. An antenna repair technician will have equipment on hand to check this for you.
9. Check Your Set-Top Box
If you use a set-top box with your analogue TV, the connection could come loose over time, or if it’s bumped (especially if you have pets inside!). So check that it’s still firmly plugged into both your TV and your TV outlet.
10. Check Your TV’s Antenna Connector
If you have an old set-top box that you’re not using, you could try connecting this to your TV via your HDMI port and TV wall point instead of plugging your antenna connection straight into your TV. If this fixes the problem, it means your antenna likely doesn’t need repairing – your TV’s antenna connector is broken. In this case, you could choose from three solutions:
- Continue to use your set-top box to get digital TV
- Take your TV to a repair place
- Upgrade your TV
11. Check Your Splitter
A splitter is used to split your TV signal between multiple TV wall points throughout your home so you can watch TV in more than one room. If you normally use a splitter between your TV and your antenna, try connecting directly, without the splitter. So remove the splitter and see if this makes a difference. If it improves, your splitter might be faulty and need repairing or replacing. Your antenna repair technician will be able to assess and replace your splitter for you.
12. Check Your External Environment
Are there new structures or changes to your local area that might be blocking your signal? Things like tall buildings, new houses, and other signals might interrupt TV signals (4G has been known to cause issues). You might need an antenna upgrade or adjustment to make sure you can still get good reception in your home.
13. Is There An Outage?
Check mySwitch for expected signal strength to your address. And check in with your neighbours to see if they’re having issues, too. It can’t hurt to pop into your local neighbourhood Facebook group to ask if anyone else has lost reception – then you’ll be able to confirm or eliminate broader signal issues.
Isolate And Eliminate, But Don’t DIY Everything!
The underlying principle of all the steps we listed above is to eliminate potential issues and causes of poor reception. If you can isolate and replace any components that might be damaged, you’ll eventually get to the root cause and sort out your reception – whether you need an antenna repair or some other component fixed.
Of course, you shouldn’t follow all of the above steps yourself. If it’s tricky or technical, you’ll need to get a professional to help. Fiddling with electronics and climbing on your roof isn’t a good idea unless you’re properly trained and equipped.
Get An Antenna Repair Or Assessment
It’s important to have a professional install your equipment and do a proper antenna repair so you won’t have any of these issues. Plus, they’ll make sure it’s set up so you get the best possible reception for your location.