fluctuating digital tv signals


Can anyone tell me what causes the fluctuating digital signals? It appears as if bad and windy weather has a real impact on the signal strength. It may vary as much as from strong signal to good to weak signal and back to strong signal. Nothing else is changed from my set-up! It really baffles me.
Thank you:confused:


I'm new to this forum and this question got my attention.
Maybe I have been feed a lot of BS from the media (surprise surprise) but thought one of the benefits of going digital was to eleminate the weak signal due to weather. I get less stations and with poorer reception that before.

Jason Fritz

Staff member
From Scientific American:

Keep the antenna level. Rotate it 90 degrees. Move it a few inches to the left. Stand to the right. Hold it a bit higher ... there--nope. Try again...

...Actually the problem was too many signals. Reception in cities is notoriously bad, because the broadcast bounces around as it strikes the tall buildings. As a result, signals arrive at an antenna along many paths and at different times. The receiver has to sort through this mess and figure out which signal to lock on to. It's like trying to identify the real lightbulb in a hall of mirrors.

...In analog TV, such multipath distortion shows up as ghosts. As a kid, I used to tweak the antenna continually and maybe even pound the top of our TV's wood cabinet. Reception did not have to be perfect: I could still follow Get Smart through the multiply warped images.

No such luck with digital, which is all-or-nothing: if the multipath problem is severe, the tuner will not produce any image or sound whatsoever. The only recourse I had was fiddling with the antenna (plasma TVs are too thin to pound). I managed to pull in digital broadcasts of WPIX (channel 33) and WABC (channel 45) and only sporadically at that.
Weather does make the signal go nuts sometimes. We had strong winds yesterday and I could hear them from outside and the picture was breaking up then when the wind calmed down it was ok again.

Even walking in front of the antenna will cause it to pixelate