Why Do You Lose Some Antenna Channels at Night? 6 Effective Solutions with Alternatives

LG TV with no DTV signal from the antenna

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What to Know

  • Common household items like LED light bulbs can emit electromagnetic interference, disrupting TV signals. 
  • Adjusting the position of your antenna to face the nearest station tower and rescanning for channels on your TV can significantly improve signal reception, especially at night.
  • The length and type of coaxial cable can impact signal loss.

In this guide, I’ll share six effective solutions to fix your TV reception problems, especially for certain OTA channels. 

Without further ado, let’s get started on resolving these signal issues.

Things You Should Try First

Unplug and Replug the Coaxial Cable from Your TV: This simple reset can sometimes resolve minor connection issues that may affect signal quality. It ensures that the cable is securely connected and free from any temporary interference.

Try Re-orienting the Antenna: Changing the direction or position of your antenna can significantly improve signal reception, especially for channels that become weak or unavailable at night.

Rescan for Channels on Your TV: Sometimes, rescanning for channels can help your TV rediscover broadcast signals that it may have lost or not properly tuned into initially.

rescanning TV channels

Reasons Why You Lose Some Antenna Channels at Night with Solutions

1. LED Light Bulbs

zoom in a LED bulb

It might seem surprising, but one common cause of OTA (Over The Air) TV signal disruption at night is LED light bulbs. 

Normally, we turn on lights in the evening, often while watching TV, and coincident that our TV starts losing signals. 

This is because LED bulbs can emit electromagnetic interference, which disrupts the radio frequency (RF) signals received by your antenna.

To test if this is the issue in your home, try turning off the lights and see if your TV signal improves. Or replace your LED light bulbs with incandescent light bulbs

If the signal remains weak, then your LED bulbs are likely not the culprit. In that case, you might want to consider other solutions below. 

2. Correctly Aligning Your Antenna with the Station Tower

Many users typically hang their indoor antennas near windows. 

However, if your window faces away from the nearest TV station tower, this could lead to a weak or no signal since the antenna is not properly aligned with the tower. 

To locate the nearest station towers, visit the FCC’s website and use their tool to find the exact locations of the towers.

Here’s how you can do it:

Step 1: Head to the fcc.gov link.

Step 2: Enter the address or the zip code of your area, in this demonstration I will go with 90001 as an example.

The track TV station tower with the number of channels are available

Step 3: Select the channel you’re having issues with. You’ll then see the location of its station tower on the map. 

Next, realign your TV antenna to face the direction of this tower. After adjusting the antenna, check if the signal reception improves.

The TV station tower with the distance to the specific location on FCC map

3. FireStick is the Issue of TV Reception

The LG TV is lost signal due to the Fire TV is plugged and near to the Antenna

Many users have reported interference with their antenna TV when the FireStick is plugged in. 

For those interested in community discussions on this issue, you can find more information here.

From my experience, I have tested with my own antenna and the Fire Stick.

Normally the antenna works fine then I plugged the Fire Stick in, and suddenly I got no signal screen on my Samsung TV

A simple yet not ideal solution is to unplug the power of the Fire TV Stick. 

However, this is inconvenient as it doesn’t allow for easy switching between different sources. 

A more practical solution, as suggested by several users, is to wrap the FireStick in aluminum foil. This method has been reported to reduce TV reception issues effectively.

4. Rescan the OTA Signal

You can easily check if a TV station is still broadcasting in your area. 

First, make sure the station’s signal is available. If it is, but you’re not receiving the channel, rescanning your TV might bring back the lost channels

rescanning TV channels

Here’s how to check TV station signals:

Step 1: Head to the fcc.gov link 

Step 2: Scroll down and enter your address in the provided box. For this demonstration, let’s use the zip code 90001 and hit enter.

Step 3: You’ll see a list of TV channels along with their signal strengths. 

This list indicates whether the signals are strong, weak, or lost for each station.

If a station’s signal is available but your TV isn’t receiving it, rescanning the channels on your TV could restore the missing ones.

To rescan your TV channels, here’s a table with detailed instructions for major TV brands:

TV Brands Step-by-Step to Rescan Channels
Samsung Settings → Broadcast → Auto tuning
TCL with Roku TV Settings → TV Inputs → Antenna TV → Scan for Channels
Sony with Google TV Settings → Watching TV → Channel setup → Auto tuning
LG TV Settings → All settings → General → Channels → Channel Tuning → Auto Tuning

5. The Impact of Coaxial Cable Length on Signal Loss

One of the common reasons that can cause your OTA TV channels disappeared due to the coaxial cable length. 

You will start losing the signal if the cable you are using reaches a specific limit. 

For more info below is the table of each type of coaxial cable with the length and loss signal (dB) per 100ft. 

Loss RG-174 RG-58 RG-8X RG-213 RG-6 RG-11 RF-9914 RF-9913
1MHz 1.9dB 0.4dB 0.5dB 0.2dB 0.2dB 0.2dB 0.3dB 0.2dB
10MHz 3.3dB 1.4dB 1.0dB 0.6dB 0.6dB 0.4dB 0.5dB 0.4dB
50MHz 6.6dB 3.3dB 2.5dB 1.6dB 1.4dB 1.0dB 1.1dB 0.9dB
100MHz 8.9dB 4.9dB 3.6dB 2.2dB 2.0dB 1.6dB 1.5dB 1.4dB
200MHz 11.9dB 7.3dB 5.4dB 3.3dB 2.8dB 2.3dB 2.0dB 1.8dB
400MHz 17.3dB 11.2dB 7.9dB 4.8dB 4.3dB 3.5dB 2.9dB 2.6dB
700MHz 26.0dB 16.9dB 11.0dB 6.6dB 5.6dB 4.7dB 3.8dB 3.6dB
900MHz 27.9dB 20.1dB 12.6dB 7.7dB 6.0dB 5.4dB 4.9dB 4.2dB
1GHz 32.0dB 21.5dB 13.5dB 8.3dB 6.1dB 5.6dB 5.3dB 4.5dB

Note: The information in the table above is gathered from Antenna Man and w4rp.com

The solution for this situation is either to reduce the length of the coaxial cable or use the TV antenna amplifier. 

In case you want to use the antenna amplifier make sure your antenna is correct for your location. 

Here’s how the connection is set up: 

The diagram shows the connection between in house antenna with the TV via boosting antenna signal device

The amplifier is positioned between the antenna and the TV, seamlessly integrating into the connection without any disruption. 

The antenna amplifier’s role is to enhance the gain of your antenna, effectively strengthening the signal reception.

If you’re looking to find the perfect antenna amplifier for your TV antenna, check out the video below for more in-depth information.

The Best TV Antenna Signal Amplifiers from an Installer

6. Bad TV Antenna 

The antenna you’re using might be the root of your TV signal reception issues. 

Not all antennas are created the same, and some may not be as effective as others. 

To understand how to differentiate between a less effective antenna and a high-quality one, check out Tyler’s video from Cord Cutter. 

He provides valuable insights into selecting the best antenna for your needs.

Five TV Antennas To Avoid Buying When Cutting the Cord

2 Alternatives To the Antennas

1. Utilize the Streaming from the TV Station

Many TV stations now offer live streaming on their websites, providing a convenient alternative to traditional TV. 

With streaming, you don’t have to worry about antenna issues or channel availability at certain times of the day. 

Simply visit their website and watch live directly from your browser. 

However, it’s important to note that smooth streaming requires a stable internet connection, whether you’re using a computer or a smartphone.

Depending on your location, the available live TV channels will vary. 

To find out which channels you can access, simply go to Google and search for the name of the channel followed by ‘Live TV’. 

For example, your search could look like this:

The WRC-TV live TV search on Google with the result

2. Use a Streaming Device (Roku, Fire Stick, or Apple TV)

Streaming devices such as Roku, Fire Stick, and Apple TV are becoming increasingly popular, offering a compelling alternative to traditional antenna setups. 

These devices allow you to access a wide range of content over the internet, free from the limitations and inconsistencies often associated with OTA signals.

Sling TV on Roku TV

Roku, in particular, stands out for its user-friendly interface. It offers a wealth of Live TV and streaming services, many of which are available for free. 

Setting up Roku is a breeze: just plug the device into your TV, connect it to the internet, and you’re ready to explore a diverse world of streaming content.

 

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How was content created? This piece is created collaboratively, with tech editors generating ideas, conducting testing, and proofreading meticulously, while AI assists in fine-tuning.

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