Need some help with TV Reception


DTVUSA Jr. Member
Digital TV is driving me crazy! I have 2 TVs on converter boxes (analog passthrough). Before June 12, the signals came in great. After June 12, I suddenly had trouble getting channel 2 to come in on either set, although other channels came in clean and clear. I figured it had something to do with signal direction so I searched and found a helpful website that provided a graph. In one column for channel 2, it gave the number “33.” So, I decided to try entering 33 as the channel number, and in came Channel 2! Great! Now I had all the channels!

However, over the next few weeks, I noticed that channels 7 through 13 were cutting out and giving me “No signal” messages because the signals were weak. They were fine before! Now it seems signal strength is being limited by the FCC, so many people are being completely cut off from access to free TV signals, while others struggle to get at least some shows on stations they used to get fine in analog! What kind of progress is this?

I live near a busy airport, digital signals are now constantly affected (analog disruption had been minimal, if any)! Since I find that digital signals don’t bend like analog did, signals are constantly being “stalled” and disrupted for a variety of reasons. And not only video, audio cuts out too, so you can’t even follow a show by sound! In other words, for many people it is now impossible to simply turn on a TV and enjoy your favorite show anymore!

Which brings me to: Is signal strength going to be increased, or do I need to stand and hold my antenna (sometimes that works) or attach a potato battery to it? Are signal boosters/spreaders going to be placed on cell phone towers to provide better TV signal coverage in our homes, or do we all have to shell out to buy mini-TVs and wander the streets looking for hotspots? Are we all going to go back to reading newspapers and hardcopy books and listen to news, weather, and talk shows on radio, or be forced to pay cable prices to enjoy TV signals that, at one time, used to be free, and a right!


Moderator, , , Webmaster of: Rabbit Ears
Staff member
I'm guessing based on your description that you live in the New York City market. If I'm wrong, correct me.

What type of antenna do you have? Channels 7, 11, and 13 reverted to their VHF channels after June 12 and thus now require a VHF antenna for adequate reception. The other channels are all on UHF.

- Trip



The symptoms you describe are almost always due to one or more of three factors:

• an inadequate antenna,

• using an indoor antenna in a building made with signal-blocking materials -- brick, stone, concrete and steel, aluminum siding, certain kinds of insulating panels, etc., or

• using a rooftop antenna system with worn-out components -- usually the antenna itself and/or its downlead cable -- that need to be replaced.

So, in addition to the type of antenna, we need to know where it's located and how old it is. Did you connect the antenna(s) you used for analog reception to the converter boxes, and if so, how old is it/are they?

We'll also need to know what market you're in to confirm whether any station power increases are in the works. BTW: Digital TV signal strengths are lower than those that were used by full-power analog stations, but it's not quite as bad as the figures might suggest. Analog transmitter output is quoted in peak power; DTV transmissions are measured as an average output. A peak power reading can be a few times higher than an average level.