Reception problems

Help receiving Freeview television

Picture break-up (pixelation) or freezing, clicking sounds, sound dropping out, no reception at all

Is it only your TV that's affected? If possible, check with neighbours or another TV connected to a different aerial. If only your TV is affected, the problem is likely to be in your TV, digital box or aerial. If other TVs are affected, it's more likely to be caused by work at your local transmitter(weak signal), or possibly the weather.

  • There may be a glitch in the software, so try restarting your digital box or TV.
  • Check your TV. Are the leads at the back - to the mains, the aerial, the digital box, the video or DVD player or recorder, etc - properly connected? Are the plugs secure?
  • Any of these problems could be a sign of a weak signal. DTT comes to your TV via an aerial, so your aerial may need repairing or upgrading, it may be pointing (even slightly) in the wrong direction, or the aerial or aerial lead may be broken.
  • Very occasionally, unusual atmospheric conditions (high air pressure) may cause picture break-up or even complete loss of reception. There is nothing anyone can do about this and the only solution is to wait for the weather to change. For more information on high pressure see our weather related interference page
  • High wind or heavy rain may cause problems in certain circumstances. For more info see our severe weather page.
  • Do you know that trees can affect reception by blocking the signal? 
  • Do you notice a problem only when equipment such as your boiler or washing-machine is operating?

A faulty aerial can affect your signal

Missing channels

If channels you think should have are missing, try retuning your digital box or TV. Channels on Freeview also change from time to time - new ones are added, some are removed and others move to different channel numbers or multiplexes. It's worth retuning your digital box or TV every so often to make sure you're up to date.

After retuning, if channels are still missing:

There may be a glitch in the software, so try rebooting your digital box or TV.

Check your available transmitters and channel list on the coverage checker located on the DUK website. If all the channels in one of these multiplexes are missing, the problem may be in your aerial.

If you can receive some of the channels in a multiplex but not all, the problem is more likely to be in your set-top box or digital TV. Please contact your retailer or the equipment's manufacturer.

Interactive services (red button) not working

There may be a glitch in the software, so try rebooting your digital box or TV. For more information, see Interactive TV.

Channels from the wrong region

If your area is covered by more than one digital transmitter, your digital box or TV may pick up signals from the wrong one. Make sure your aerial is in good condition and pointing towards the correct transmitter.

If you are confident about setting up your digital box or TV, you can manually retune it to the correct channels. See your instruction manual for details, or contact the manufacturer. To find the channels and transmitter for your area, use the Digital UK postcode checker and tick the box marked "Detailed view".

Communal aerials

If you share a communal aerial (for example, in a block of flats) and you are having reception problems, the aerial may be faulty. See if other residents using the same aerial have the same problem.

If there is still no improvement, your aerial may be broken or out of alignment. If you can see your external aerial, look at whether it is pointing in the same direction as others nearby. You should have the aerial and its connections checked for faults.