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TV reception and types of interference

Interference, defined as the presence of other signals interfering with TV reception, is only one potential cause of TV reception problems. It does not happen often. Most problems are caused by old or damaged antenna, cabling and equipment. Always check these first.

Sometimes other signals can interfere with your TV reception. Check if your neighbours have the same problem at the same time. You can take steps to fix your TV reception.

Electric appliances

Electric appliances can generate high bursts of energy that can interfere with TV reception. 

Appliances with an electric motor, thermostat-controlled appliances and others can cause interference. For example:
 

  • swimming pool pumps
  • power tools
  • washing machines
  • hot water systems
  • waterbed heaters
  • refrigerators
  • pool chlorinators
  • LED lights
  • light switches and power boards
  • electric fences

Check for a faulty appliance

Turn off the appliance and see if your TV reception improves. If your TV reception improves, turn the appliance back on again and check if interference comes back. 

Signal boosters

Signal boosters do not help with interference. They are likely to make reception problems worse.  Faulty signal boosters could also cause interference to your neighbours' TV reception.

Get a local antenna specialist to check your antenna and equipment.

Power lines

Sparking high voltage power lines may cause interference. Hot, dry and windy weather will cause power lines to spark. At night, dew falling on power lines with dust, salt or pollution damage can cause interference.

Rain will often clear the interference. Sometimes the power lines need maintenance to stop the interference. Never touch the power lines. Report them to your local electricity supplier.

Street lights

Street lights can cause interference to your TV reception when they turn on or off, or if a light is broken and flashing on/off. Never touch the street lights. Report them to your local council or electricity supplier.

Amateur and CB radio

Amateur and CB radio work on different frequency bands to TV and should not cause interference to TV reception. Sometimes your TV may pick up these other signals if your equipment is old, damaged or not properly installed.

Find where the amateur or CB radio equipment is and make sure your TV antenna is as far away from that radio as possible.

Make sure your antenna and cabling is properly installed. You may need to install a filter on your antenna or signal booster, if you use one. Get an antenna specialist to check this for you.

If it is your radio equipment, you can reduce interference to your or your neighbours' TV reception. 

Weak TV signal from a distant tower

mySwitch will tell you if the TV signal coverage comes from a distant tower that is not planned to cover your area. This is known as fortuitous reception and the unreliable nature of these weaker, distant signals are far more likely to get interference. We do not investigate interference issues due to fortuitous reception. You should consider applying for VAST access.

Get help

Get a local antenna specialist to check your antenna, equipment and sources of interference.

In some situations, we will investigate external interference.
 

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