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Possible causes of interference

We are committed to resolving and providing solutions to Freeview interference caused by new mobile signals.  However, there are other things that can cause TV interference. Below is a list of possible causes and solutions to address them.

Causes in the home

Induction or impulse disruption

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This kind of interference comes from mains-powered household devices. A fluctuation in the electrical current could disrupt the power to the Freeview device at the mains. To identify if an electrical device is causing your disruption, try switching off the device.

Possible culprits are:

  • Washing machine
  • Tumble dryer
  • Central heating pump/combination boiler
  • Fridge
  • Freezer
  • Power tools
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Water pump
  • Fluorescent light-starter

Solution: You could solve the problem by using  a mains filter device used on the Freeview box mains connection. Keep aerial leads and connectors as far from electrical leads as possible.

In-house interference

Internal interference impulse

Possible culprits are:

  • Mobile phones
  • Baby monitors
  • DECT phones
  • Walkie talkies

Solution: Avoid placing or using these devices near your TV and Freeview equipment.

Causes from outside the home

Weather or atmospheric interference

Interference caused by the weather

Possible culprits are:

  • Heavy rain
  • Strong wind
  • Extended hot weather/high pressure atmospherics

Solution: In high winds or rain, the TV signal may be affected as your aerial or tall trees around it move in the wind. Wet leaves can also weaken the signal. Upgrading your aerial or raising its height may help.

High pressure, which brings fine weather, allows signals to reach areas they wouldn’t normally reach. Under normal circumstances, the signals from each television transmitter can only be received by those homes that have aerials with a direct line-of-sight to the transmitter. However on warm summer days, hot air can get trapped under colder air high up creating a layer which acts like a mirror for television signals, reflecting them back towards Earth. This can cause signals from different transmitters to overlap. Unfortunately, there is no solution to this kind of interference. Broadcasters can’t prevent it, and adjusting your aerial will make no difference. Reception will only improve when the weather changes.

Induction or impulse interference

This type of TV interference is caused by local machinery operations, from larger operations including roadworks to smaller operations such as mowing the lawn. These activities could cause fluctuation in the electrical current disrupting the power to the Freeview device at the mains.

External Interference

Possible culprits are:

  • Passing traffic
  • Road works e.g. pneumatic drills
  • Lawnmowers

Solution: Older cable that has degraded should be replaced as it can be susceptible to external interference.

External signal interference

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Possible culprits are:

  • Taxi firms
  • Amateur radio setups
  • Police cars or stations

Solution: Fitting a RF or UHF band pass filter should block this interference and stop it affecting your Freeview signal.

Physical barriers or impacts

This type of TV interference is caused by large objects getting in the way of the signal path, which results in signals being blocked on a permanent or temporary basis.

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Possible culprits are:

  • New large buildings
  • Cranes
  • Trees

Solution: Issues caused by temporary structures will be resolved when the structure in removed. In more permanent cases, an amplifier could improve your signal reception.

Damage to external Freeview equipment

This type of TV interference is the result of damage to the external materials that allow you to receive Freeview signals.

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EXAMPLES:

  • Storm damage to aerial – misalignment, damage
  • Old or damaged cables, down-leads or fly-leads

Solution: If you are able, replace any damaged cables, down-leads or fly-leads. Also, make sure your aerial isn’t damaged, misaligned, or otherwise broken. For best results, you need a good quality rooftop aerial pointing directly at the appropriate digital transmitter.

Further help and advice can be found at www.digitaluk.co.uk and www.bbc.co.uk/reception.