Antenna Not Picking Up Channels (Troubleshooting Guide)

Did you also just grab a drink and sat back wanting to relax and just watch something on your TV and be at peace for a while but then your antenna started acting up too?

Can’t find the channel you used to get before? Getting no channel at all? Video blurry? Or any such thing? You have come to the right place. We did a research on the possible troubles with the antenna, the causes and on how to resolve that particular issue. The contents of this troubleshooting guide are not valid only for or limited to Mainstream or the popular brands of TV or Antennas; the TVs or Antennas mentioned here are generalised.

Antenna Not Picking Up Channels

An Antenna works on Digital Signals and Digital Signals to air is like water to oil. They move in a similar way. Digital Signals are not robust like Analog Signals, which used to deliver in any sort of weather conditions be it as snowy or as hot as it could be. There are a lot of factors that determine the connectivity of these TV signals and you can never say for sure which one is affecting your connectivity unless you really know the causes of your particular trouble.

If you’re having trouble with your antenna connectivity, use this troubleshooting techniques as your guide to get back to your prime-time television again.

Problem: The TV isn’t doing anything when you connected it to the antenna or The TV isn’t receiving any signals.

First make sure, that your television is capable of receiving those digital signals. Basically, check if it’s a Digital TV or not and if it was made after 2006. If not, you are going to need a converter box to convert them digital signals into analog ones so your TV can interpret them.

If your TV is Digital though, make sure that you changed your TV mode to “ANT” or “ANTENNA” and run a channel scan on your TV, you should be getting at least some local channels after that. However, if neither of this works for you then these might be the possible issues with your antenna and its connectivity:

  • There might not be a clear line of sight to the broadcast towers.

On the off chance that hills, trees, buildings, or other geographic structures are in the middle of the broadcast towers and the antenna, the signs probably won’t have the option to arrive at your antenna. Raising the antenna, either by setting it in a higher area or utilizing a taller pole, will build the sign gathering. The objective is to accomplish the most unhindered view to the communicate towers as could be expected under the circumstances.

  • The coaxial cable connecting the antenna and tuner might be too long.

If cable lengths are more than 100 feet, there is quite a probability of them losing over one thirds of the signals they are carrying. If you are using or require a long cable or splitter to connect your antenna and the tuner, you should use a preamplifier to not lose signals.

  • The broadcast towers might be very far away from the antenna for the antenna to be able to detect them.

The curvature of the earth limits most antennas to about 70 miles of range. Search for the broadcast towers near you and ensure you are within the range of the broadcast towers in your area. If you are over 70 miles from the broadcast tower(s), reception is possible if the appropriate equipment is used and the right conditions are present.

  • The signal could be getting lost in the Coaxial Cable Distribution.

It is a necessity to check constantly for consumption, free link fittings, or if a link has been undermined. If you are utilizing a splitter, this could likewise debilitate signal quality. Take a stab at separating the splitter and running the link legitimately into the TV/converter box and run a channel check. On the off chance that the reception improves, a distribution amplifier is probably going to be the arrangement.

  • Faulty Digital Tuner.

The chances of this happening are very low but it could still be that. There could be a faulty digital tuner even if it’s a new TV, just taken out of the box. The Tuner however, won’t affect any other parts of your television as the ASTC tuner is separate from the HDMI or the other inputs.


Problem: The picture or the video is not clear or you see snow or fuzz.

Possible causes:

  • The TV might not have a built-in ASTC Digital Tuner.

If you are seeing snow or static type of interference, it’s doubtless not a digital signal.  That is possibly an analog signal. When you are getting a feeble digital signal, the distortion looks blocky and the picture and sound will cut in and out. There is no snow or static or fuzz. Go to the previous item and make sure there are digital channels in your area.

  • The Channel Scan or the Auto Program thing was not done carefully.

On the slight possibility that the TV has an inner ATSC tuner, ensure the TV’s information or source is set to “BROADCAST”, “TV / TELEVISION” or “AIR”, not “CABLE”. When you have checked this, go into your TV’s settings menu to filter for channels. Every TV is extraordinary and various brands have changing systems. If you are not accepting High Definition programming, counsel the TV’s manual or contact the producer to ensure these means are followed accurately.


Problem: You’re receiving every channel except for one.

Possible causes:

  • The station might be broadcasting on a different frequency.

While most of TV stations transmit on the UHF recurrence, there are some that utilization VHF. Albeit some UHF reception apparatuses can get VHF signals, it is important to utilize an antenna advanced enough to get both UHF and VHF frequencies.

  • The transmitter for certain channels could be located at a lower elevation on the broadcast tower, or even behind other broadcast towers.

Lower rise or hindrance by different broadcasting towers can cause line of sight issues. UHF signals are reliant on view for steady gathering. Change the area or height of the antenna to check whether the difficulty perseveres.


Problem: You are not getting a channel which you used to get or you lose some channels at certain times of a day.

Possible causes:

  • The TV Station’s Frequency might have gotten Changed During the FCC “Re-Pack”.

The most probable guilty party for losing a channel during this FCC “re-pack” is that the channel’s communicated frequency changed. On the off chance that you out of nowhere lose a channel, the principal thing to attempt is re-filter for channels on your TV. In the event that that doesn’t work, unplug your antenna, re-examine, at that point plug your antenna in an output once more. Some of the time that helps clear your TV’s memory so it can procure the new channel.

If the channel is still not appearing, and you have a more seasoned TV, you may need to tune utilizing the station’s genuine RF (Radio Frequency) channel.

  • The TV Station Went Away.

At times, TV stations just go away completely. This happened to a few stations in Los Angeles, where the FCC allowed TV stations to auction off their spectrum to wireless providers. Usually, these are higher-numbered not-as popular stations as opposed to the major networks. Look up the station’s call letters to see if you can find out what happened. Sadly, there’s really not much you can do about this.

  • Your antenna might have moved. Try re-orienting it.

From my experience, I’ve observed that even a slight change in your antenna’s position or angle can have an immense impact on your connectivity and reception. Try moving your antenna around to see if that helps. If your antenna is on your roof, you might have to go up there to make sure it hasn’t fallen or shifted.

  • Your Antenna’s Amplifier might have gone bad. Try By-passing it.

An antenna is a dead-basic gadget, it’s practically a bit of formed metal. Be that as it may, an antenna speaker a considerably more intricate gadget, and it’s substantially more inclined to disappointment.

In the event that you have an enhanced antenna i.e., your antenna requires power, have a go at expelling the intensifier from your antenna and stopping your antenna straightforwardly into your TV. This works for most of the cases and it should work for you too.


Problem: You live within a few miles of the broadcasting towers, but the signal is still breaking up.

Possible cause:

  • Your TV may be receiving interfering signals.

A bigger/more grounded antenna won’t really take care of this issue. Think about moving the antenna, ensuring it isn’t put close to metal items or different antennas. On the off chance that this isn’t fruitful, your sign might be excessively solid and may require the utilization of an attenuator.


Problem: The TV is not finding any channels when you do a scan.

Possible causes:

  • The antenna cable might be loose.

Make sure that you securely attach the antenna cable. Don’t forget the collar it has a collar that has to be screwed in. the loose cable might be the reason due to which you are not getting channels in the scan. 

  • The sensitive cable that comes with the antenna might have broken down due to some reasons.

The most fragile part of many antennas is the cheap cable it comes with. Check for kinks, twists, or sharp bends in the cable which might have broken it. If you have an Ohm meter, check to make sure the cable is still good and working fine. If your cable is an RG59 cable replacing it with RG6 cable is recommended for you.


Problem: You are getting trouble with getting all of the channels your area in any one antenna orientation.

Getting a decent reception for all the available channels in your regions is like playing “whack-a-mole”.  When you alter your antenna to get good reception for one channel, you lose another channel.

Here are the steps we suggest you to take to get the best possible reception on your TV with your antenna if that’s the trouble with you too.

  • Start by setting up your antenna in or close to a window as a beginning stage. You can simply tape it up for the time being, on the grounds that you’ll presumably need to move it.
  • Presently put your TV in examine mode and go accomplish something different for 30 minutes (or you can remain and watch the advancement). At the point when it’s set, advance through the entirety of the channels utilizing your far off, and record the entirety of the channels it found.
  • Pick a direct that is coming in irregularly and change the antenna until it comes in reliably. Re-check your different channels to ensure they are still OK. At that point do a re-sweep to check whether you TV can discover more channels. Assuming this is the case, record them.
  • Rehash stages 2-3 a couple of times (until you don’t get any new channels). Toward the end, you ought to have an ace rundown of every single accessible direct in your area.
  • Presently go to your TV’s arrangement menu and physically include any channels you got before that are absent from the most recent output, with the goal that your TV currently has every single accessible channel (despite the fact that not every one of them are being gotten determinedly). Try not to do any longer re-examines after this, since that will overwhelm the entirety of the channels you just entered.
  • Here is where the great and the major part starts. In view of your past experience and further experimentation, place the antenna where you appear to get the most channels. This is to some degree a supernatural, baffling procedure. I can’t give a lot of help other than to state the best areas are for the most part around the perimeter of your home (i.e., ostensibly confronting dividers). Once in a while inclining your antenna against a divider or window is ideal. Once in a while hanging it is ideal. Hell, at this moment, my best gathering is with the antenna looking down on the floor, which is absolutely sudden! Attempt a lot of areas and use the entirety of the procedures until you discover an area that gets you the most.
  • Suppose you’re through and you have a couple of channels that you can’t get in your present direction. Leave those diverts in your TV. Try not to eradicate them. Frequently environmental conditions will change and you may have the option to get those channels later. Likewise, TV stations can expand power so that truly occurs now and again. I’d state, each 3 to a half year I see some adjustment in my stations. Just as of late, two PBS stations that appeared to be dead mystically began coming in, presumably because of some change at the transmitter.

Are you still having difficulties?

Try these things as suggested by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission):

  • Digital broadcasting generally provides a clear picture; however, if the signal falls below a certain minimum strength, the picture can disappear. You may need to adjust or upgrade your antenna system to receive stations with picture dropout.
  • Simple indoor antennas provide minimal performance that may not be suitable for your location.  If you are unable to obtain satisfactory DTV reception with your current indoor antenna, you should obtain an indoor antenna that includes features for better reception of VHF and UHF signals, and/or an amplifier – often referred to as an active indoor antenna – to boost the received signal.                                                                                                         
  • An outdoor antenna generally gets better reception than an indoor antenna.  However, the performance of outdoor antennas can degrade over time due to exposure to the weather. If you are having problems, check for loose or corroded wiring or broken antenna elements. Also check the direction the antenna is pointed.
  • Try to keep the length of wire between your antenna and digital-to-analog converter box or digital television as short as possible for best reception.
  • “Splitters” used to connect a single antenna to multiple digital-to-analog converter boxes or digital televisions reduce the signal strength to each device. Does reception improve without the splitter? Sometimes an “active” splitter that includes an amplifier can solve the problem.
  • If you are near a station’s broadcast tower, reception of that station – and other stations – can be impeded by signal “overload.” Consider using an “attenuator” or removing amplifiers to improve your reception.

As much as antennas are good till it’s about cutting the cord and reducing your expenses and going the conventional way, the Antennas and their connectivity might just prove to be troublesome at times.

We recommend you to go through this article which should be enough to give you the solution to your particular issues but if there’s still something that this guide was not able to resolve; we recommend consulting with a professional or talking to your Antenna or TV provider to get the best out of your Prime-Time Television.

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