Will LTE mess up your TV reception?

What you call LTE, I call UHF. Let me explain. Before the 700MHz band was allocated for high-speed cell internet, it was used for UHF television broadcasting. LTE sits right between UHF channels 52 and 53, which are no longer used for TV reception. This was the real goal of the digital TV transition… free up channels 51 through 83 for other purposes. And it was done very efficiently, opening up a world of cellular and emergency communication on those frequencies.

The only problem comes when you’re really close to a cell tower. While LTE isn’t going to stomp on your TV reception directly, it could still cause problems. The 700MHz broadcasts also have the potential for interference at 350MHz and 175MHz, and to a lesser extent 87.5MHz. In fact, every numbered frequency that evenly divides into 700 can potentially be affected by LTE broadcasts. That means there’s a possibility that a very strong local cell signal could actually affect your TV watching.

That’s why an antenna like this Boss-Tech DAT-790 is so valuable. The Boss-Tech line by Televes are the only antennas to feature high-quality filtering of LTE signals which means that there is no chance that you’ll have a problem. They’re also very well made in general and feature up to 32dB of gain in the UHF band to make it easy to get those hard-to-reach channels even over 50 miles away.

I’ll admit that LTE interference isn’t a problem for everyone but I personally lobbied to get this line added to SolidSignal.com because I heard plenty of times that people were getting interference using their old roof-mounted antennas due to cell towers that were placed too close to their homes. Now, the first thing I thought was, well good for them — they get great cell service while I personally have to use a booster in order to get anything at all — but once I got over that, I started feeling their pain and looking for a product that would solve the problem. It’s true you can add a 700MHz notch filter to any antenna and that will solve the problem to an extent, but really an antenna has to be engineered not only to block 700MHz frequencies but also to work around those “harmonic” frequencies of 350 and 175MHz which are much more important because it’s possible that there is actual broadcasting taking place there.

I’m very bullish on the Televes line of antennas. The original versions were optimized to filter out LTE frequencies used in Europe, making them not so incredibly useful here, but the current generation are engineered with US frequencies in mind. I highly recommend them if you’re looking for a great antenna that will last for years to come.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.