Fixing TV reception issues | ACMA

Fixing TV reception issues

Poor TV and radio reception can be caused by a range of factors, including weak signal coverage, inadequate or broken antennas or other equipment, and interference.

The vast majority of all television reception issues are caused by viewers choosing to watch the wrong television transmission sites, and using inadequate, old or degraded external antennas.

Less often, your television reception may be affected by interference or signal overload from other sources. But it’s important to remember that if you don’t have an appropriate television receiving system, you need to fix your antenna before looking for interference.

Who’s responsible for fixing poor reception?

Hopefully the information on our website will help you to determine why you’re having reception problems. Some of these factors are your responsibility to address, so if you think the reason is related to your television reception equipment or interference from appliances in your home, the next step is to call in your local expert to diagnose the problem and suggest a solution.

However, if you think that your reception problems are being caused by external interference, that’s where we may potentially be able to help!

External interference is when an unwanted signal from outside your home competes with the television signal, affecting your reception. The source of external interference is outside your home and beyond your ability to control.

You first need to call in your local expert to diagnose the problem. The installer should also be able to help you with the following steps to report your external interference problem to the ACMA.

How do I request help for my TV interference?

  1. Eliminate other potential causes of reception difficulties. The information on the pages What’s wrong with my TV reception? and Is interference causing my reception problems? will help you distinguish between common reception problems and the different types of interference, and to identify any problems with devices inside your home. If you think your problems are caused by factors like power lines and street lights, you should contact your electricity supplier directly, not the ACMA.
  2. Contact an antenna installer to check your TV reception system and installation. The installer will be able to confirm your reception problems are the result of external interference and not power line interference.
  3. Once the antenna installer has confirmed the presence of external interference, please complete the online form including the information provided by your antenna installer. This section must be properly filled out, so make sure that your antenna installer can assess digital TV signals and provide an adequate summary of the situation before you hire them.

You can also ask your antenna installer to request an interference investigation, using the online form.

How do I request help for my radio interference?

  1. Verify the interference is external—outside your premises and beyond your ability to control. The information on the page What’s wrong with my radio reception? will help you to identify possible sources of interference.
  2. Check with your immediate neighbours to see if they’re also experiencing the same interference. If they aren’t, your interference issue may not be due to an external source, so you may need to recheck your equipment or look for internal interference.
  3. Once you’re sure the interference is external, complete and submit the online form. To support your claim that interference is beyond your control, you’ll need to provide details of three neighbours who are experiencing the same interference. We may contact your neighbours to obtain further information, so make sure you tell them that you’re submitting an interference investigation request to the ACMA.

How do we deal with interference investigation requests?

Once we receive your request, we’ll assess the information provided and contact you by phone or email to acknowledge your request and discuss the problem.

We consider the following factors when deciding how to help you resolve your interference problem:

  • If the interference is seriously degrading or repeatedly interrupting TV or radio reception.
  • What measures you’ve taken to ensure you’re receiving the best possible broadcast signal, in order to minimise the effect of the interference.
  • When the source of the interference is known, if you’ve made reasonable attempts to resolve the problem directly.
  • If there is a practical solution to the problem.
  • Whether the interference is affecting multiple homes or areas.

If we establish that your reception problem is due to issues other than interference, we may give advice on how to improve your reception problem—but this will ultimately be your responsibility to address.

At the ACMA’s discretion, in some circumstances we’ll perform a field investigation of the reported interference.

During the investigation, we’ll keep you informed about progress and when there is an outcome. However, privacy requirements mean that we may not be able to identify individuals who own or operate interference sources, or disclose the details of any compliance action taken.

Resolution of interference problems is the responsibility of the affected parties, except where there are breaches of the Radiocommunications Act 1992.

Where can I get more information?

If you have questions about how the investigation process works, or need to know more about how to identify reception problems, call us on 1300 850 115.

Last updated: 03 October 2016