Article ID : 00094962 / Last Modified : 07/12/2018

How to measure and improve TV reception signal strength

Applicable Products and Categories of This Article

In case video and/or audio is disturbed or no video/audio is present at all, one of the possible reasons is a weak broadcast signal typically due to a bad or broken antenna cable, bad position of satellite dish or interference by other devices. To improve broadcast signal, you will need to change the set-up of your tuning equipment.

How to measure signal strength

     1. Digital set-up

     2. Analogue set-up

How to troubleshoot signal weakness

     1. Terrestrial issues

     2. Cable network issues

     3. Satellite issues


How to measure signal strength

IMPORTANT: When using a Set-Top Box (STB), you need to check via the Set-Top Box menu and not via the Sony TV menu. For details, please refer to the user manual of your STB.

NOTE: Screenshots for your particular TV model may differ from what is in below article.

1. Digital setup

1. On the remote commander, press OPTIONS

2. Scroll down to System Information. Confirm by pressing Enter

NOTES:

  • Alternatively you can reach the System Information screen by pressing [HOME] > [Settings] > [Product or Customer Support] > [System Information] > Press green button (from the four-coloured (red/green/yellow/blue) buttons in the middle of your remote control)
  • Depending on your model name, pressing the green button may not be required
  • Some older TVs do not have a quality meter bar


Options - System Information

3. A detailed System Information screen will appear. The signal quality / strength bars are displayed at the bottom

Options - System Information

Sony's Android TV:

  • Press the HOME button, then select [Help] > [Signal diagnostic]

When is the signal strength good enough?

Ideally the bar reaches the green area

  • You only see a RED bar: Signal quality is poor. You are probably facing several severe video and audio issues, while quite some channels and services are missing from time to time or permanently. Try to improve via "How to troubleshoot signal weakness" further below in this article
  • You also see the ORANGE bar: Signal quality is acceptable, but it is recommended to improve, otherwise you may face block noise, chopped audio or EPG issues from time to time
  • You can also see the GREEN bar: Signal quality is excellent. You should not face any issue with channels or services

2. Analogue setup

1. On the remote commander, click the HOME button > Navigate to [Settings] > Select [Analogue setup]

Analogue setup

2. Scroll down to [Manual Programme Preset]

Manual Program Reset

3. You will see a signal level bar at the bottom.

  • RED bar: Signal quality is (too) poor. Try to improve via "How to troubleshoot signal weakness" further below in this article

           Poor picture quality

  • ORANGE bar: Signal quality is acceptable, but it is recommended to improve, otherwise the picture may be snowy. As soon as at least half of the orange bar is displayed, the signal should be acceptable
  • You can also see the GREEN bar: Signal quality is excellent taking into account the limitations of analogue broadcasting

          Excellent picture quality


How to troubleshoot signal weakness

1. Terrestrial issues

In order to optimise your (analogue) terrestrial signal, please take into account below measures depending on the issue you are facing.

1-1. Poor signal / snowy picture / distorted sound

  • Make sure your TV aerial is mounted outside on a place high enough
  • Confirm whether your TV aerial is in good condition and pointing towards the best local transmitter
  • Your TV aerial may be broken or out of alignment or the connections are corroded. If possible, check another TV set (for example your neighbour's) connected to a different aerial
  • Keep the antenna (aerial)/cable away from other connecting cables
  • Do not use an unnecessarily long antenna cable
  • Check whether all cables are firmly connected. Try with different cables of the same type and replace any faulty cables
  • Make sure that you're using high a quality splitter and cables, so that they do not weaken the signal. Most reception issues are cause by using a broken or poor quality antenna cable
  • Insert the antenna cable directly into the TV when testing the reception to reduce weakened signals from the splitter and other devices
  • An external low noise antenna amplifier can be used, if you're using a relatively long cable
  • You may need to retune your channels
  •  Try to improve the reception by setting LNA to OFF or ON
    LNA can be found in the digital settings:  
    • Press the HOME button on the remote control
    • Go to: [Settings], and select [Settings / System Settings / Setup] > [Channel Set-up] > Select [Digital Set-up] > Select [Digital Tuning] > [LNA]. (This option may not be available depending on the model/situation/region/country)
  • Change the angle of your aerial, and see if the picture is improved. A slight change may already lead to significant improvement.

Still no improvement? Contact your operator to have your aerial and its connections checked for faults by a professional aerial installer. You may need a higher performance aerial or an amplifier to boost the signal.

1-2. Patterns / dots / loss of colour / buzzing / sound clicks / herringbone pattern

  • These symptoms are typically caused by electrical interference from domestic appliances, switches and computers in your home or a near neighbour's. The most common cause is a faulty boiler or central heating thermostat, which can lead to regular bursts of interference, for example for 10 seconds every 20 minutes.
  • Sometimes, high-voltage electrical equipment outside your home can cause interference.
  • If you have a baby monitor or cordless phone, make sure it isn't close to the TV.
  • If you have equipment such as a video or DVD/BD player or recorder and the aerial lead is plugged into it, first disconnect it from the TV and then plug the aerial lead directly into the TV. This will show whether the equipment is causing the interference. If you have several units connected, reconnect each one until you find out which one is causing the problem.

    Example of ghosting

1-3. Smooth, evenly spaced horizontal bars

  • This is a sign of co-channel interference and happens when high air pressure (which brings fine weather) allows signals to reach areas they would not normally reach. This can cause the signal to become weaker in low-lying areas. There is no solution to this. Reception will only improve when the weather changes.
  • If your TV reception deteriorates during heavy rain and is still poor when the rain has passed, it may be that water has got into the aerial or the cable running down from it.

2. Cable network issues

In case of problems, you may need to retune your channels.

  • Keep the antenna (aerial)/cable away from other connecting cables
  • Do not use an unnecessarily long antenna cable
  • Check whether all cables are firmly connected. Try with different cables of the same type and replace faulty cables
  • Make sure that you're using a high quality splitter and cables, so that they do not weaken the signal. Most reception issues are cause by using a broken or poor quality antenna cable
  • Insert the antenna cable directly into the TV when testing the reception to reduce weakened signals from the splitter and other devices
  • Try to improve the reception by setting LNA to OFF or ON
    LNA can be found in the digital settings:  
    • Press the HOME button on the remote control
    • Go to: [Settings], and select [Settings / System Settings / Setup] > [Channel Set-up] > Select [Digital Set-up] > Select [Digital Tuning] > [LNA]. (This option may not be available depending on the model/situation/region/country)
  • An external low noise antenna amplifier can be used, if you're using a relatively long cable
  • You may need to retune your channels
  • In case you are receiving Analog Cable signal, please select: [Home] > [Settings] > [Settings / System Settings / Set up] > [Select Channel Set-up] > [Analog Set-up] > Choose [Auto tuning] and select [OK] to start tuning.
  • In case you're receiving a Digital Cable signal. If all channels / services for your region are missing, it might be because the start frequency / Network ID for your region is incorrect. The Frequency and Network ID settings are set to Auto by default. If you're experiencing this issue, please change Auto to Manual and enter the correct data. Please contact your cable operator to acquire this data
              1. To reach the Tuning screen, press HOME on the remote commander and navigate to: [Settings] > Select [Settings / System Settings/Set up] > [Channel Set-up] > [Digital Set-up] > [Digital Tuning]  > Digital Auto Tuning (on some models, you will need to highlight the wrench icon first)  > Choose [Yes] if confirmation is required > Select [Cable TV] Select your operator if displayed > Scan type [Quick Scan]

    Tuning Frequency and network

              2. The Frequency and Network ID can now be filled in manually
              3. Select Start to begin scanning

3. Satellite issues

In case of satellite reception issues, please take into account the following.

  • Your satellite dish or the LNB (this is the device mounted on the arm attached to the dish) may have gone out of alignment. Please contact your TV satellite provider for the correct coordinates
  • Heavy rain can cause a temporary loss of all satellite services. Services should return to normal once the storm has passed

Problem not solved?  Retune your TV (Satellite Guide Single Antenna)

Still no solution found? Contact Sony for further assistance by clicking Support > Contact us on the Sony support website.