Digital television signals, whether they’re cable, satellite, or fiber optic, can experience noise from time to time for varying reasons. Determining the source of the problem and how to correct it will depend on different factors, such as how many channels are affected and the circumstances surrounding each occurrence. Most often the cause will be related to the originating source, or the head end in the case of cable digital signals. Here are five things that may be causing noise on your digital TV service:
- Solar Flares – As with most radio transmitting devices, digital TV transmitters – terrestrial and satellite – are subject to solar flare-ups. During periods of high solar activity you can experience temporary disruptions in picture quality, sound, or individual channels losing signal. In more extreme cases your digital TV can be lost entirely.
- RF Leaks – Cable digital television is carried over RF frequencies on coaxial cables. The loss or degradation of the RF signal will adversely affect reception. This can be caused by loose connections or too many signal splitters on the line. Check all terminals for secure connections, and try removing splitters from the line until the problem is resolved.
- Corrosion – Digital TV signals rely on good metal-to-metal contact at connection terminals. Those that are subject to the elements may exhibit signal loss and/or noise due to bad connections caused by corroded terminals or wiring. Check any and all terminals that are exposed to the weather.
- Misaligned Dish – Satellite dishes need to be properly positioned in order to receive a strong signal from the appropriate satellite transmitters. If a dish is out of proper alignment signal loss and/or noise will result. This generally requires a visit from a satellite installer, who will have the means to determine the correct azimuth and elevation settings.
- Proximity of Signal Source – For some digital TV subscribers, ghosting or interference can be experienced on local channels. This is due to the fact that the signal is being received by both the digital TV receiver as well as the antenna of the TV itself. These signals naturally arrive at different times, causing a double image to appear on the corresponding channel.
In this age of instant gratification and high technology, interference with our electronic entertainment system through electronic noise can certainly be frustrating. Understanding what may be at the root of the problem can help relieve some of that frustration and give you back some sense of control.