Cord Cutting 101: Troubleshooting Your TV Antenna

You’ve set up your TV antenna and made all your connections but something is still not quite right. Learning how to troubleshoot your TV antenna is important for all cord cutters.

Problems with your TV antenna manifest right before your very eyes. If something is wrong, you’ll know because you won’t get clear reception on your TV screen. While knowing that there’s a problem is immediate, identifying that problem takes more time. Use this checklist and a DIGIAIR-PRO-ATSC to troubleshoot your TV antenna and make the necessary adjustments.

Step One: Is Everything Plugged In? 
It’s the easiest thing in the world to check for, yet it’s the thing that’s usually overlooked. Is the TV plugged in? If you’re using a DVR or converter box, is that plugged in? What about the power injectors for any amplifiers you have? Don’t worry, we won’t spoil your reputation as “tech god” if you forgot to check this one, simple thing!

Step Two: Scan for Channels
Over the air broadcasters sometimes change frequencies. Chances are, you might not know what frequency is “really” being used for the channels you watch. If you think you’re watching channel 4, you could be watching channel 36! This is done on purpose to let broadcasters make changes without your needing a whole new TV. Find “Scan for Channels” in your TV’s menus, then see if simply running that scan fixes your problem.

Step Three: Check Your Aim
To get free HDTV, your TV antenna must be aimed at the nearest broadcast towers. Over time, and under severe weather conditions, antennas sometimes get nudged off course. We recommend using a DIGIAIR-PRO-ATSC to locate signals from nearby broadcast towers and re-aim your antenna. Since we have broadcast tower information across the U.S., you always can call us for help.

Step Four: Check Your Connection
If your antenna is on point but your reception remains fuzzy, the problem might be somewhere in the line. Check all your cables and connections to make sure that everything is connected. Something as simple as a loose or missing connection could very well be the issue. Hook it up then start enjoying all your free HDTV once more.

Step Five: Simplify the Signal Path
Simplifying our lives is often the solution to most things, including TV antennas. Do you have splitters or cable splicers along the signal path that leads from the TV antenna into your home? If so, these might be causing the decrease in signal levels, or they might be broken and need to be replaced. How? By using a DIGIAIR-PRO-ATSC to diagnose your OTA signal issues. This allows you to check whether there is current on the line. We also offer several RG6 cable testers that accomplish the same task.

Step Six: End-to-End Check
This is just like it sounds – you’re checking for signal up and down the line. If the cable isn’t broken, go to the antenna then connect the DIGIAIR-PRO-ATSC to it. If you have signal there, keep checking for signal all the way out to the TV to figure out where it stopped working.

Last Step: Call Solid Signal
Have you completed these steps but still can’t fix the problem? Call us at 877.312.4547. Chances are, it might be something we can diagnose over the phone, then guide you step by step through the fix. If the problem is more than you can handle, we know some qualified installers in your area. We’ll put you in touch with them so you can continue enjoying free antenna TV.

About the Author

Jake Buckler
Jake Buckler is a cord-cutter, consumer electronics geek, and Celtic folk music fan. Those qualities, and his writing experience, helped him land a copywriting gig at Signal Group, LLC. He also contributes to The Solid Signal Blog.