Watching TV at the end of the day is a great way to wind down – which is why it can be upsetting when you suddenly lose the antenna channels you love to watch!
So why does this happen? Why do you lose some antenna channels at night even when they work at other times of the day?
According to our research, antenna channels may be lost for various reasons.
The reasons include a faulty antenna, lack of digital conversion, coaxial cable signal loss, signal interference, LED light bulbs, TV settings, a faulty TV video card, electric pumps, and thermostat-controlled chlorinators.
- How Do Antenna Channels Work?
- Why Do I Lose Some Antenna Channels at Night?
- How to Fix Lost TV Signals
How Do Antenna Channels Work?
Before we can understand why you lose some antenna channels at night, we need to understand how antenna channels work in the first place.
In the past, TVs used analog signals, whose amplitudes, phases, and frequencies relayed the information that made up any TV program.
Because analog signals have a wide range of possible values, they are easily affected by interference, which causes them to become snowy.
Nowadays, most TVs use digital signals. These digital signals are created through a series of digits that relay the information that makes up a TV program.
Unlike analog signals, digital signals don’t become snowy when affected by interference. However, when interference is great, or the signal is weak, the digital signal becomes intermittent or disappears entirely.
This is because a large amount of interference or distance can cause errors in the signal, causing the digits to break down and the TV program to disappear from your screen.
Why Do I Lose Some Antenna Channels at Night?
There are various reasons you might be losing antenna channels at night, so let’s try to break down the possible causes by the type of pattern you’re observing.
If You Lose Antenna Channels Around the Same Time Each Day
If you’re losing antenna channels around the same time each day, it may be due to electrical interference.
Most of the time, this comes from light bulbs, which give off low radio interference.
If you lose channels during the day, you may have street lights that are failing to turn off. If you lose channels at night, the culprit may be your LED light bulbs.
If You Lose Antenna Channels During Certain Months
On the other hand, you may notice you’re losing antenna channels during certain months – especially spring and summer.
If this is the case, the reason may be related to how frequently pools are being used in your neighborhood.
Believe it or not, electric pumps and thermostat-controlled chlorinators both give off electrical interference that may interrupt TV signals.
So, if you or your neighbors have these devices and your TV reception gets worse with frequent pool usage, this may be the reason.
If There Seems to Be No Pattern
If there seems to be no pattern to the loss of antenna channels, there are several other possible reasons, including:
- A faulty antenna
- The lack of digital conversion
- Signal loss in the coaxial cable
- Distance from the TV transmission tower
- TV settings
- A faulty video card
- Atmospheric changes
- Cellular signal interference
But luckily for you, most of these potential causes are all easily fixed!
How to Fix Lost TV Signals
Let’s go over how to fix lost TV signals for each possible cause that is within your power to rectify.
Your antenna can cause the problem in several ways. If it’s broken, you’ll need to replace it.
If the connection is loose or problematic, check the antenna connector, cords, and cables. Tighten them or buy replacements if needed.
If the antenna is not placed correctly, raise its elevation and point it at the TV transmission tower. Remove all objects that may block its line of sight.
If you suspect the antenna is too weak, buy an amplified digital TV antenna .
Lack of Digital Conversion
If you have a digital antenna, be sure your TV is capable of processing digital signals.
In general, if you have a TV made before 2006, it may not be able to process digital signals.
In this case, be sure to buy a digital converter box , which will convert digital signals into analog signals your TV can process.
Signal Loss in the Coaxial Cable
The TV signal may also be lost in the coaxial cable.
If you’re using a long cable, it may be degrading the signal. Cables longer than 100 feet can lose over 30% of the signal.
To solve this, try to use the shortest coaxial cable possible for your setup. You can also lose part of the signal if you’re using a splitter with your coaxial cable.
To solve this, use a preamplifier or a distribution amplifier .
Another possible cause is cellular signal interference, which can be strong if you live near a cell tower.
If your antenna is old, it may not have built-in protection against this interference.
In this case, you can buy a 4G LTE or 5G signal filter , which will filter out the interference for your antenna.
LED Light Bulbs
If you have LED light bulbs that seem to be interfering with your TV signals, the solution couldn’t be simpler.
Simply buy incandescent light bulbs and switch them out with all your LED light bulbs (or, at least, the ones you use during the TV programs you like).
If your TV is capable of processing digital signals but still doesn’t show the channels, the problem may be your TV’s settings.
First, make sure your TV input is set to Antenna or ANT. Once this is done, run a channel scan.
If this still doesn’t work, go to your TV settings and set all your channels to “air channel.”
Finally, if nothing else works, try pressing the Menu button on your TV remote and see if you can select the channel you want from there.
Faulty Video Card
Finally, it may be your TV’s video card that is the problem.
Users with similar problems have reported that by using a new video card for their TV, they were able to regain the lost antenna channels.
Digital TV signals use digits to relay information, and they can become intermittent or disappear entirely due to interference.
You can lose antenna channels because of light bulbs, pool equipment, faulty TV equipment, TV settings, atmospheric change, signal interference, and distance from a TV transmission tower.
You can fix the problem by replacing faulty equipment, using incandescent bulbs, changing your TV settings, or buying new equipment to optimize your setup.
We hope this article helped you!
Vance is a dad, former software engineer, and tech lover. Knowing how a computer works becomes handy when he builds Pointer Clicker. His quest is to make tech more accessible for non-techie users. When not working with his team, you can find him caring for his son and gaming.