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Poor TV reception - your self-help guide

Try these steps to help find the problem and fix your TV reception.

1. Check with the TV station

If you have suddenly lost your reception, visit the website of the TV station or call them to find out if they have planned maintenance, faults or outages that could affect your location.

2. Check your location settings

Where you live can affect the antenna and TV equipment set-up you need

Go to the mySwitch website and enter your address to find out:

  • the TV transmission tower that provides the best coverage for your location
  • the TV channel frequencies for your address
  • if your antenna should be vertical or horizontal.


Check our location-specific page to see if there’s information about reception problems where you live.

3. Check equipment in your house

Have the right antenna for your location:

  • Go to the mySwitch website to check if you have the right design, size and type of antenna for your location.
  • Check your antenna is in good condition with regular visual check-ups from the ground.

Make sure the equipment in your house works:

Check appliances in your house with electric motors.

  • Turn them off and see if it helps.

4. Re-tune your TV or set-top box

Go to the mySwitch website to find out channel frequencies for your location.

Do a manual tune on your TV. Doing an ‘auto-scan’ does not guarantee that your TV will tune into the best channels. You’ll find instructions for a manual tune or scan in your TV manual, or contact the manufacturer.

5. Check for outside interference

Ask your neighbours if they have the same problem at the same time you do. If so, it could be an external power source, such as:

  • power lines (especially if it’s during hot, dry and windy weather or at night)
  • streetlights (when they turn on or off or if they are broken or flashing on/off)
  • equipment used by people in your neighbourhood, like amateur and CB radios or signal boosters.

You’ll need to get an antenna installer in this case.

If the antenna installer confirms any powerline or streetlight issues, report it to your local council or electricity company. For other confirmed external interference issues, ask the antenna installer to help you fill out the ACMA digital TV interference form to get our help.

If there’s a mobile phone tower close by:

  • If you get a sudden change to TV reception quality (like pixilation on all channels or no TV reception), this could be due to signal overload from a mobile phone tower.
  • You should not get interference from a mobile phone tower if you have the right TV antenna and equipment for your location. But, reception problems are more likely if you are within 1 km of a phone tower and have a signal amplifier.
  • Get a local antenna specialist. If a phone tower is causing your TV reception problems, your technician may recommend:
    • installing a simple filter to your equipment
    • replacing the antenna with one that has the filter built-in
    • removing a signal booster if its not needed
    • moving your antenna so it is less likely to pick up mobile signals.

6. Get professional 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.

If the interference is external to your house, and not due to power lines, we can check for interference, but you will need certification from an antenna installer before we can help.

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