My TV Antennas not Picking Up Channels (What Can I Do About It)
Nothing can be more frustrating than to find out your TV cannot pick up channels that you used to watch. And when the picture suddenly becomes blurry and sounds are distorted, you know something is up. Why is your antenna not picking up channels?
There are a lot of reasons. Remember, digital signals are very different from analog. Analog signals can receive transmissions whatever the weather conditions may be. And this is where digital signals may have limitations. These signals can be affected by inclement weather, rain, or snow.
Hover through our article as we guide you on how to get your TV antenna working again. That’s just in time before binge weekend commences!
Why Do Digital Antennas Suddenly Stop Working
It’s a puzzle why your antenna suddenly won’t pick up channels that you used to watch. Or sometimes, I won’t pick up channels at a particular time of the day. There are several reasons.
- Your channels have suddenly changed frequency.
In most cases, it has nothing to do with your antenna. It’s not broken. Instead, your channel might have changed frequencies.
What to do
1. The first and most simple thing to do is to do a rescan on your TV.
2. If that did not work, unplug your antenna, rescan then plug the antenna back into rescan mode.
3. If you have an older TV model, you can find the station’s real RF channel. To do this, access Station Finder. Launch it by entering your zip code, it will show whether your channel has changed frequencies. If it shows a letter R beside it, it has changed its frequency. Start to tune to this channel.
- TV transmitter has changed location
Maintowers are upgraded regularly. So the channels will be moved temporarily to an auxiliary tower. Thus, this explains why it suddenly disappeared.
What to do
- Point the antenna in a different direction
- You can use the Station Finder to see the new location of the stations.
- Your antenna moved
Sometimes, a strong gust of wind can tilt your antenna in a different direction Or it can topple it over. So when it’s not in the line of sight to the tower, that explains why it disappeared.
What to do
- Adjust your antenna and point it to where the towers are located.
- You amplifier failed
Amplifiers can be prone to failure now and then.
What to do
Remove the amplifier and plug the antenna directly into your TV.
- Your cables got loose
Loose cables can result in the loss of signals.
What to do:
Tighten the connection
- Electronic interference
Electronic devices that are located near the TV and antenna can cause signal interference.
What to do:
- Turn off all electronic devices to see if there will be a difference in the transmission.
- More often, Amazon fire sticks account for most electronic interference in most homes. You can wrap the stick in aluminum foil. This will get rid of the interference.
- Bad weather
As we’ve mentioned above, digital signals can be affected by incremental weather. So if it’s raining or snowing hard, reception can get bad.
What to do
Experiment with different locations with your indoor antenna.
- TV transmitter power was reduced
During an upgrade, tower transmission might temporarily lose or reduce their power.
What to do
Try to do a re-scan. If it fails, try emailing the station to see what happened?
- The TV station is gone
That happens, especially for smaller TV stations. And if this happens, unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do.
Why Can’t I Get CB’s From My Channel
Why do my TV channels keep disappearing? The reason above will clearly explain why. But what if you can’t get a particular channel to begin with? You might be wondering why your TV can’t pick up CBS. Here are the reasons why.
1. There isn’t any digital signal in your area. If there is a static picture on your TV, that means it has analog signals. When your digital TV signal is weak, the digital pictures will be blocked and the sound distorted. But there should never be any static or fuzzy images.
2. It’s not in the line of sight of the transmission tower. This is common in hilly areas or those located near forests. It might be hard to know where the transmission tower is. Especially for Yagi Antennas, you have to determine the exact location where to direct the antenna to. You can use Signal Finder for this.
3. Too long coaxial cables.
Coaxial cables help the antenna pick up channels. But if it’s too long, there will be signal loss along the way.
4. Broadcast towers are too far away.
5. The Digital tuner isn’t working.
Sometimes there’s nothing wrong with the antenna, but rather the TV. Your signal tuner is faulty. And if the video is fuzzy and you see snow, your TV might not have a built-in digital tuner.
6. Channel scans were not done properly.
Ensure that the TV is set to broadcast or TV/ Television. Make sure it’s not set to CABLE or AIR.
What to Do if I Can’t Get All Channels in a Single Antenna Orientation
Now, this can be tricky. You might not get all the channels that you want with a single orientation of your antenna. And it requires a bit of work so let’s get started.
- We need to try different locations where the antenna can get the clearest signal. You can start by placing the antenna near the window.
- Place the antenna in TV scan mode, this will take about 30 minutes.
- Write down all the channels that it was able to receive.
- Pick one channel with an intermittent signal. Then change the location of the antenna until that channel comes in clearly. Check the previous channels and see they are still okay. Also, check for new channels that the antenna was able to pick up. Make another record.
- Repeat 3-5 times until you have a master list of all the channels and the best orientation for your antenna that will get the clearest signal.
- Then manually add all the channels that you have discovered. Do not do a re-scan anymore as this will erase the previous channels that you have scanned.
- Now the only thing left to do is determine the best location for the antenna to get the best signal based on your master list.
If Everything Else fails, Try These
- You can upgrade your antenna to receive stations with picture dropouts. Some digital signals may have a below minimum strength, hence the disappearing picture.
- Your indoor antenna might lack prowess. Try purchasing an indoor antenna with more capabilities to pull in VHF and UHF signals.
- Check your outdoor antenna if it is already corroded, Outdoor antennas are subject to harsh environments. If it’s already broken or corroded, it warrants a replacement.
- Keep wires between your antenna and converter box as short as possible.
- If you are already near broadcast towers and still have a bad signal, try removing the amplifiers.
Why is my antenna not picking up channels even if I’m just a few miles from the transmission tower?
Your antenna might be receiving interference. What you can do is to move your antenna. Make sure it isn’t near any metal objects. Your TV should also be located away from electronic devices.
Why isn’t my antenna showing any channels when I rescan?
It’s either the coaxial cable is loose or it is entirely broken. This Is common with cheap coaxial cables. They tend to bend, flex, and snap easily. That’s why it’s best to buy durable and high-quality coaxial cables. This also means ditching free cables that come with your purchase. Free cables are often flimsy.
Why isn’t anything happening to my TV when I hooked up an antenna?
One, your TV might not be capable of receiving digital signals. If this is the case, you can buy a converter box. Two, check your TV mode, it should be switched to ANT or ANTENNA. And third, set your TV to scan for digital channels.
If your TV antenna is not picking up channels, there are tons of reasons. Our simple guide will help you find the cause. And we have simple troubleshooting tips on how to help your antenna pull in the most number of channels that it can.