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Why does my TV pixelate or say no signal?
Why does my TV pixelate or say no signal?
Written by Free TV Project Staff
Updated over a week ago

In most situations, the picture quality from an antenna is better than cable and satellite. So why does a channel sometimes pixelate or show a “No Signal” error message? This is caused by a weak signal unable to be decoded in changing weather conditions.

The current standard digital TV uses error correction, meaning you’ll get the same crystal-clear picture whether you have a good signal or a marginal signal. The only difference is that a weaker signal is more prone to drop outs showing up as either pixelated or a “No Signal” message on your TV.

Signal breakup usually happens when a TV station is just barely being picked up by an antenna due to a bad antenna model or an antenna in the wrong location. The main way to stop signal breakup is to improve reception either by moving the antenna to a new location or purchasing a new antenna.

Use the signal meter on the DTV box to find the location where the signal level is highest — simply press the “Info” button twice and a signal meter will come up.

If you’re unable to find a location for an indoor antenna where the reception is better, you may need to set up an attic or outdoor antenna. If you already have an attic or outdoor antenna, you may need a larger model.

Getting started

Not sure what kind of antenna you need? Take our simple quiz to help narrow down the options. You can also find a general list of recommended antennas here.

Pair your antenna with an OTA DVR device to record your favorite shows

Did you know you can use an antenna similarly to how you watch cable? Ditch the costly subscription fees, but keep the cable capabilities (record, pause, rewind and fast forward) with an OTA DVR device. Here are the products we recommend:

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