Step 1: check your location
Check if your equipment is set up for your location. You need your antenna and equipment set up for the TV transmitting tower that provides the strongest signal to your location.
Go to the mySwitch website. mySwitch will tell you:
- the TV transmitter that provides the strongest signals to your location
- the direction to point your antenna
- the level of expected signal coverage in your area
- the TV channel frequencies for your address
- if your antenna should be vertical or horizontal
- if there are any known reception issues for your area
mySwitch may show that you live in an area with poor reception, fortuitous reception or no free-to-air TV coverage. Check if you can apply for the VAST service to get better reception.
Step 2: check your equipment
TV equipment in your home may be causing your reception problems. You should check your:
- cables and fly leads
- TV or set top box receivers
- signal boosters
Your TV antenna needs to be:
- the correct type of antenna for the TV channel frequencies in your area with correct antenna gain
- outside on your roof
- in the right position on your roof pointing in the right direction
- in good condition
- set up correctly
Your antenna should also have a 4G filter installed to protect your signal from impact by mobile phone towers.
You can check if you have the right design, size and type of antenna for your location at mySwitch. It will also tell you:
- if your antenna needs to be pointed horizontally or vertically at the correct TV tower
- how high your antenna needs to be
Problems with TV antennas
TV antenna last 10 to 15 years. Bad weather or birds can damage your antenna. Common problems with antenna that can impact your TV reception include:
- broken or rusty parts
- missing parts
- wrong type for your area
- too close to the roof
- in the wrong spot on your roof
Inspect your antenna from the ground. Get an experienced local antenna specialist to inspect, repair or replace your antenna.
You should have a single antenna installed on your roof. Legacy or broken antennas should be removed. Adding more antennas will not improve your TV reception, it is likely to cause reception difficulties.
Using indoor TV antenna ('rabbit ears') is likely to cause reception problems.
Cables and fly leads
Check you have the right cables and fly leads for every TV in your house.
Cables and fly leads should be:
- straight, not bent
- not too long
- in good condition
To meet Australian standards, the cable that connects your antenna to your TV should be a a quad-shield coaxial cable (type RG6).
Check the connection between your wall socket and TV, video recorder or set-top box.
If you have a connector or splitter to split the signal from your antenna to 2 or more TVs, this will reduce the signal level and may reduce reception quality.
TV or set top box receivers
Make sure your TV or set top box receiver is tuned to the right channel frequencies for your location. Check mySwitch for a list of the correct frequencies for your location.
Use your remote control to manual tune to the right frequencies.
Use a signal booster or amplifier carefully and only if necessary. They can cause reception problems to you by overloading your TV receiver with TV or mobile phone signals. They can also cause interference to your neighbourhood.
Step 3: check for a mobile phone tower close by
Sometimes existing or new mobile phone stations can cause TV reception problems. You may get a sudden change to TV reception quality on all channels due to signal overload caused by the mobile phone towers.
Step 4: sudden loss of TV reception
You may experience sudden loss of TV reception on all or some TV channels. This is usually temporary and can be due to planned maintenance or outages, or problems with your antenna and equipment.
Step 5: get help
Contact a local antenna specialist. They will check you have the right equipment in good condition for your location.
They can also look at what else may be interfering with your TV reception.