Terrible Buzzing

jackies8117

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#1
Hello everyone. I am pretty much electronically challenged with this type of thing. For the last couple weeks my TV has started a terrible buzzing. It's not constant but it's very loud and aggravating when it happens. It's taken me awhile to figure out it has to do with the signal. I have a Radio Shack Amplified HDTV antenna. My TV is an older analog big boy thing. I have checked to be sure everything is connected tightly, I have moved the TV to various locations and tried different outlets to no avail. I do not live in a huge city so get channels from the closest big city which would be 20-30 miles away depending on station location.

I have turned the amplifier button down as low as I can and still pick up a signal. Some I get completely nothing (independent stations that are even further out), CBS is very iffy and the rest are generally 100% signal intensity and quality, or very close. This is driving me crazy and I just don't know what to try anymore. The only other thing I can figure is that my converter box or the antenna have run their course. I have lived in my apartment for about seven months now, and as I said, this started within the last couple of weeks.



TV Fool

I hope I have provided enough information as I am in no position whatsoever to get DirecTV and the cable company here isn't worth my time, not that I can afford that either.
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#2
:welcome: jackie,

Try parking your cell phone FAR from your TV set and your antenna. Well away, as in another room. Please report back.

Jim
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#3
Question - what radio shack antenna is it, an indoor antenna?

suggestions:
1 - move the antenna away from your TV or any electronics.
2 - use only RG6 coax cable, not RG59.
3 - if you are connected to your TV from the converter with coax, use the composite cable instead (Red, Yellow, White) if you can. If you can't do that, try switching the output channel (3/4) Sometimes there can be interference on 3 that isn't on 4 and vica-versa.
4 - try turning things on and off one at a time in your home, maybe there is interference coming from something in your house.
5 - Has a new neighbor moved in recently? They may own something that's causing this.
 

Chips

DTVUSA Member
#4
As you already figure out it could be the converter box, TV or antenna. Does your converter box, have it's own volume control?, if so, where do you have the volume on the converter box set? If the converter box volume is set too high, or too low it can cause it to sound distorted on the TV. Converter boxes can go bad. I had one box that just acted up on one channel, fortunately I had other receivers I could compare the box to. I replace the box the problem was gone. If you can find a store with a full return policy (no repacking fee), you might want to try a new converter box, then if it doesn't work, you could return it.
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#5
Jackie,

Some other 'continual-noise' sources include dimmer switches on room lamps and in your walls, electric motors such as ceiling fans and aquarium pumps. An easy way to isolate noise that is appearing on your power line is to trip circuit breakers in your home, one at a time: if the buzz disappears you know which circuit has the offending product that is creating the buzz.

To determine if the buzz is being generated on the circuit that powers your TV setup, you can move it to another room or simply plug it in to a heavy extension cord from a known-to-be-quiet circuit you already tested.

Another way to find noise-generating household items is to take a battery powered transistor radio and tune it between two AM stations. Then, walk around the house and use it like a divining rod. Works for me!

Jim
 

jackies8117

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#6
Wow thank you everyone for all of the suggestions. Guess I have a little work cut out for me ;) I don't have a cell phone atm, so that's one thing ruled out. As for the volume with the converter box, that changes depending. I don't like my TV terribly loud at any time. I work from home so most of the time it's very low or muted and I forget to change it for hours. The volume on the TV itself is not even halfway up as the remote controls the volume through the converter box. MrPogi, I'm not sure I now the difference between the two coax cables, what I am using is an extra cable left over from when I actually had cable. Also can I try changing to channel 4 if it's actually one of my locals? I can definitely do the composite cables right away, that's an easy fix. I'm not sure about new neighbors, although that could definitely as the time coincides. I am still relatively new to the building myself, need to mingle more.

I will try your other suggestions and keep you posted. Again, thank you SO much for all of this. I'm such a girl when it comes to certain things :p

Jackie
 
Last edited:

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#8
Also can I try changing to channel 4 if it's actually one of my locals?
A little known fact that causes people a lot of headaches is that the display channels for TV stations no longer necessarily corrispond to the channel they are broadcast on. Your channel 4 WTMJ is actually broadcast on channel 28, so you can switch to channel 4 on your converter box without interference.
 

jackies8117

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#9
Thank you dk, I did know that but didn't even think of it until I just read your post. I did switch to channel 4, plugged in the composite cables, pulled the TV out from the wall a bit more and turned the TV volume down. It's not gone but it's much, much better. I just broke my antenna, guess I got a little too frustrated with the Packers :p LOL, I actually bent one of the ears as reception started getting yucky and it snapped off when I tried to straighten. Need to hit Wally World tomorrow anyhow so guess a new antenna's on the list. I don't have a transistor radio so haven't tried that, my huge lack of furniture (long story) doesn't really leave me anywhere to move the antenna away from the TV, and still haven't found out about neighbors. I am struggling financially like many and spend just about every waking minute working. Anyway, I'm babbling but just wanted to stop in and let you know what I've done so far.
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#10
Jackie,

Let's verify this: you changed from coaxial cable to (three-wire) composite and the buzz reduced?

Jim

PS Yeah, we were disappointed about Green Bay too.
 

jackies8117

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#11
No Fringe, I did not swap the cables. My brain didn't register that it would replace the coax until you said that, so then I tried and I'm not getting any video that way...so I guess no audio either. And no, the buzzing hasn't stopped, but it is greatly improved most of the time. I'm sorry, I'm not usually quite so flaky, just under a lot of stress lately and barely functioning.

Anyway, I still really believe (maybe it's hope) that it has to do with the antenna as the signal intensity/quality tends to be bopping around when it happens. As I broke the antenna, that will be my first thing to do. Can anyone recommend a decent yet non-expensive one? I really don't have the money to replace anything right now but my TV is essential for background noise if nothing else.

My box is a Zinwell ZAT-970A that I bought in April of last year. I didn't realize there was a difference in quality, etc. and had originally gotten a cheap freebie from Target with the coupon when the change came about. I don't know a lot about my TV, which was given to me from someone that had it given to them. I have no idea what year it is or anything else. My flat screen was stolen quite some time ago and I just haven't had the extra cash to replace it and while it ranks high on the list of wants, who knows when that'll happen.
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
#12
channel 4

dkreichen1968--thank you so much for telling me about channel 28 (channel 4)...i have been looking for hours online trying to find out what happened to it. i usually watch my parents' t.v.'s (they have satellite) but needed to watch onetime when the satellite box cut out on that channel. then i found out i didn't have it; needed to know this when i am out on my own again and will want to watch nbc.
 

gary350

DTVUSA Member
#13
I have an old analog TV with a converter box too. I have one TV that buzzes but if I flip the TV back and forth a couple of times from channel 3 to 2 the buzzing gets quieter and some times it stops buzzing.

The other analog TV with a converter box does not buzz. I swapped the converters boxes guess which TV buzzes now.
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#14
By chance does the buzzing increase when the main color displayed on the screen is white or when there's lots of white lettering at the end of a commercial?

Many years ago I had a color CRT TV and it had a 'buzz' control on its backside. I'm not certain what the control did electronically (color burst oscillator frequency trimmer???) but it did increase or reduce the buzz when white (all colors) appeared on screen. Does anyone else recall the same and could it apply here?

Jim
 
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