How to Test if a TV Aerial is Working?

Oct 10, 2022

The scene is easy to visualize. After a long day, you come home to your favorite TV show or movie to see a message saying “No signal”. You may also have an unwatchable TV program. It worked flawlessly yesterday so you may wonder why my TV aerial isn’t working today? Is it the television that’s faulty or the aerial reception?

There are many reasons you might not be receiving  a good TV reception. We will focus on both the aerial system & any equipment used such as televisions and set top boxes. Your aerial may have been damaged by a storm, high winds or other factors. As you can clearly see the damage from below, it doesn’t mean that you have to climb up onto the roof. You’d just call an aerial installer to fix it. However, there are other reasons, and some are simple to fix.

Why Is My TV Aerial Not Working & How To Fix it

To properly troubleshoot the issue, it is important to determine what caused no TV signal to aerial. You need to determine if the problem is related to your television aerial, antenna cable, amplifier, or TV.

Check the TV Aerial for damage

Is still attached to the mast and is looking in good order. If there looks like there is any kind of damage to the aerial, it may point to that being the problem. Damage can happen, particularly after a storm or very strong winds. So, go outside and see if it is where it should be. If not, it may need a professional aerial repair or at worse a replacement.

Make sure the Aerial Cable is connected to your Television

Sometimes, the simplest solution is all that’s needed to solve your problem. You must ensure that your cable is securely inserted into the socket and the television. Although it sounds obvious, I have seen many call-outs in which the issue with the TV’s working was due to the fact the aerial had simply become disconnected. It is common for the aerial to be pulled out or the dog or cat has misbehaved and tugged at the wires.

Check for signs of corrosion

Also, inspect the aerial socket and coaxial plug for signs of corrosion. It will look either like rust, or white powder surrounding the copper braid. This is a sign of water intrusion. It is fatal and irreparable. It cannot be repaired, and must be replaced.

Faulty Aerial or Fly-lead Cable

Sometimes we will find that the fly lead, that is to say the lead connecting the aerial socket to the television is faulty. To check if it is faulty, you would need to replace it with another one and see if the signal improves. If there is no change, then it is unlikely to be the cable that is faulty.

Inspect the Aerial Cable for visible Signs of Damage

The coaxial cable that runs to the antenna and the TV on the roof should be checked. Is it loose from the fixings or flapping in the wind? Is there water infiltration through any cracks on the cable? These things will indicate that the cable needs to be repaired or replaced.

Television is on the Wrong Source or Wrong Input

You could have the wrong channel, or the tuning may be reset. Plug in another device such as a game console or DVD player. It’s more likely the problem is with your aerial if you are able to get a pictures from it.

You will need to locate the switch that controls the TV’s input. You will find it called “Source”, “Input”, or “AV”. It can also be a picture like this: A box with an arrow sticking out from it. After you locate it, click on it to bring up the list with all the inputs for your TV. There may be many of them, but the one you want is TV. You can choose DTV if your TV has both TV and DTV. This is because TV is usually an analog option that you probably won’t use these days. If you aren’t using an external device such as a set-top box or Hard drive recorder, you may need to re-tune this device too. If this is the case, you will need to locate the input for that equipment piece and choose that option.

The Amplifier/Power Supply Unit is Off or is Faulty

You may have an amplifier for your TV or booster that is installed in your TV system. These can cause problems and damage your signal. It is important that the LED light on the side of your TV is lit. The light could still indicate an amp fault, even though it is turned on. However, this can only be checked by professionals using a multimeter or a signal meter.

Television needs to be tuned in or re-tuned

You will need to tune your TV to the correct transmitter if you move address. Because transmitters in different regions use different frequencies, your TV must know which frequencies are to be tuned to. Modern TVs make it easy to fix. You just need to find the tuning menu in your TV’s settings, and then set it up for auto-tune. The TV will search for all services, and it should store them in the correct ones. Auto-tuning TVs can cause problems. The TV may choose signals from nearby transmitters that might not be reliable. Manually tuning TV’s is recommended whenever possible. However, you will need to know more about the TV transmitter that you use.

Is the TV Faulty or the Aerial?

You can check your cable or TV by two simple methods. If you don’t have a spare one, you can get another TV to test it out on the cable you think might be damaged. It could just be the TV. Don’t throw it away, though, as there may be more to the story.

How do I test my TV Aerial Socket

Testing the aerial socket is done in the same way, so by using another TV on the socket you are testing will indicate whether it has a fault of is the TV. Look for visible signs of corrosion on the input of the aerial socket. Sometimes, with new build homes the aerial sockets are wired up incorrectly. In order to find out if this is the case, you would need to check the socket by opening it up and taking a look.

Although this isn’t an exhaustive list of how to fix, it should go some way to help you check for simple easy to fix faults.