My Digital TV Reception is Bad – What To Do First?

Is your Digital TV reception breaking up? Before you call a TV technician here’s what to do first! These tips may save you hundreds of dollars!

Check your TV fly lead

The TV fly lead connects your TV to the wall socket. TV fly leads break very easily! It was always one of the first things I would check when I was running my TV Aerial business. If it turns out to be the lead, it’s very easy to fix. Simply purchase and install a new one.

How to check your TV fly lead:

  1. Turn the TV on and select a channel that is working well(if possible).
  2. Gently wriggle the cable near the wall socket. Note if the DTV picture breaks up or freezes.
  3. Gently wriggle the cable near the TV connector. Note if the DTV picture breaks up or freezes.

Cables usually break near the connectors, so wriggling the cable gently near them will often reveal if there is a subtle break in the cable. The wire inside the cable does not have to be totally broken for the cable to be faulty and to cause break ups in DTV signals.

What sort of replacement TV fly lead should you buy?

Don’t get caught out buying expensive name brand TV fly leads. These usually have massive markups on them. Don’t go for the cheapest thin little fly lead either. Thin cheap cables get damaged easily. I recommend a RG6 fly lead. These are reasonably thick and stiff, about 7mm in diameter. They usually have F connectors(a screw type connector) on each end and come with adaptors to go into wall sockets and TVs. A generic RG6 fly lead will be as good as an expensive brand name cable.

Here’s a few listings on eBay for the type of Fly Lead I’d recommend:

Check for a Faulty Socket

If it is simply a faulty socket it is something that is relatively easy to fix.

The first thing to do is a visual inspection of the socket:

  1. Does the plate or box the socket is in look old and discoloured? If so chances are it may be an older style and not working too well.
  2. Look into the socket itself, does it look corroded?
  3. Insert the TV fly lead into the socket and see if it fits tightly. If it’s loose and wobbles easily when moved then chances are it will be causing problems.

Be aware that if the socket is faulty, this may not be the only problem in your TV cabling. Often if the socket is old enough to have corroded the cable it’s attached to in the wall may be an old low quality one. If this is the case it may potentially require a re-cable. Often though it will just require a replacement of the socket with a new one.