What do I do if I Have Digital TV Problems?

Tess C. Taylor

Digital TV is now the prevalent form of television broadcasting offered, thanks to thousands of satellites bouncing digital signals all around the globe. While it’s a vast improvement over the television broadcasting systems of the past, digital TV is not without its own unique problems when it comes to getting a good signal and a clear picture. There are several things that can be done to cope with digital TV problems.

Installing a digital television antennae that isn't pointing towards a television broadcasting tower may cause intermittent image drop outs.
Installing a digital television antennae that isn't pointing towards a television broadcasting tower may cause intermittent image drop outs.

When your digital television gets no picture display at all, often referred to as the “cliff effect,” that can mean that the television antennae is not strong enough to receive the digital signal for the region you happen to live in. Unlike the older style analog antennas, you won’t get the “snowy" picture or partial sound with digital television – you are either in a peak reception area or in an area that get little to no reception without the right equipment. Installing a digital TV antenna with a wider range capability will often alleviate this problem.

Contacting a live digital television support service representative may help resolve digital television problems.
Contacting a live digital television support service representative may help resolve digital television problems.

Another common digital TV problem includes intermittent image drop out, or a blue screen in between good reception. This can be caused by not installing the digital television antennae pointing towards a local digital television broadcasting tower to capture the best signal. Problems like this can also be corrected by making sure that all digital TV boxes and cables are connected properly to the back of the television itself. You may also find that getting a paid digital TV satellite service will reduce digital TV problems of this nature.

Communications satellites have made digital television the most prevalent broadcast type.
Communications satellites have made digital television the most prevalent broadcast type.

When experiencing digital television problems, consider if the issue is related to the surrounding area in which you live. Even if you live near a digital television broadcasting tower or center, your television’s reception may be limited by an urban landscape created by many buildings, trees or other forms of radio towers that are setting up a signal obstruction. To correct issues of this nature, install an extension to the pole of your digital television antennae to increase the height.

One of the best approaches when experiencing digital TV problems is to contact a live digital television support service or read help topics online such as the one offered by the United States government for up to date helpful advice. There are many resources for new users of digital television boxes and cable equipment to find the answers to the most frequent digital TV problems experienced by consumers.

Digital TV antennas often have wider range capabilities.
Digital TV antennas often have wider range capabilities.

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Discussion Comments


I am a communications tech and I deal with all of these problems, and I can tell you that this is just the beginning. Watch out for the drop in signal from the 4g network and then you will need a 4g filter/noise suppressor and then the fun begins. You will require a technician to fit one of these devices inline in your television system.

I am having issues currently as I live in an area where 3g enhanced services exist and as a result, I have lost my main channel, but still receive the co channels which, to date, is unheard of and can only be attributed to an attenuation of the signal at a particular frequency which happens to be 191.5mhz.


If you have problems with your digital television, I would call one of the live digital television support services. They are really friendly and patient. They go through all the simple problems first, and then if they haven't figured out the problem, they look for a more complex problem. If you want to save a lot of time and frustration, I recommend getting a hold of a digital television support technician.

The websites I have looked at for my digital television help do not seem to be as thorough and explanatory as the people I have spoken through on the phone have been. If you talk to a person you can tell them exactly what the problem is and they can narrow it down. If they can not figure out the problem, they will re-route you to someone who can. If you like to figure out problems on your own though, obviously go the internet help route.


I did not like the switch to digital television. Spending money on the converter box and the antennae was enough of a hassle alone. Then when I bought all that stuff, I ended up with less channels than I had before. And I only had like five before, so it went down to only three!

I got so fed up with having so many problems with the television that I stopped watching television for a couple months. Then I got a raise at work, so I had some extra money, so I spent that to get an actual digital cable package through one of the top rated companies. That worked fine most of the time, but I got tired of sifting through so many channels I didn't want.

Eventually I canceled my digital cable plan, and now just stick to watching DVD's occasionally on my television.

I obviously have the internet, so now I just watch my favorite shows on here. It is free, and usually it doesn't have many issues before, during, or after the shows. Also, there are only a couple commercials to sit through instead of like four or five on regular television! I know most people pre-record their shows now and fast-forward through commercials, but I don't have the kind of money to do that.


@popcorn - If you are missing your favorite shows because your digital TV signal keeps going on the fritz I would suggest just watching your programs online if your Internet doesn't go down too. There are tons of sites, mostly from the channels themselves, that will stream episodes for about a week after they originally air. Sometimes if you are lucky they also provide access to an archive of all of their most popular shows.

I have actually given up on digital TV troubleshooting because it never seems to end well. My own company always just tells me to wait while they sort things out. I wait while watching my shows online.


@Markus, there is no way you can regain the minutes that did not record. Many primetime television shows can be viewed online at their corresponding channel's website. This is a whole new meaning to "digital television"! As far as preventing the glitch or rebooting from happening I really have no idea how that would be possible. Maybe you could try to reboot the digital cable box manually before the show ever starts. Hope this helps!


In my neighborhood we are always having digital TV signal problems which cause us to lose reception fairly frequently. I am pretty sure the cable company we are all with doesn't have their system set up to really handle the big switch we all just made to a completely digital signal.

Does anyone have any suggestions with what you can do to catch you favorite shows when your digital signal goes out?

We've had the misfortune of our digital signal getting dropped when all the best prime time shows come on. I really hate missing my favorite programs due to technical issues.


My husband and I had quite a large digital television package with the box and the DVR and all of that. An issue we experienced pretty often was that the screen would go blank and the box would have to reload our digital cable. It was similar to a computer rebooting.

Another problem we encountered with our digital cable was with the DVR recording shows. If the digital cable reloaded or had a glitch during the middle of a show it was recording then it would break the show into 2 different recorded shows and we would often miss several minutes somewhere in the middle. Is there any way to prevent this or regain the minutes missed?


@Azuza - That's funny, but don't feel too bad! A friend of mine works in tech support and he once told me cables being unplugged were probably the number one reason that people call for assistance. So you're not alone.

I just had to extend my television antenna a few weeks ago. I was getting very poor reception, but that really helped a lot. A few of my neighbors were having the same problem and that helped them also.


The only problems I've ever had with digital TV have been my own fault. One day a few weeks ago, my television was just not working right. I kept getting that annoying blue screen every few minutes. Very annoying when you're trying to watch a show!

Finally I called support for assistance. The nice lady on the phone started leading me through the troubleshooting process. The first thing we did was check to make sure all the cables were plugged in. Imagine my embarrassment when I realized that one of the cables had come loose. If I had just thought to check the back of the television, I wouldn't have even had to make that phone call!


One thing I really like about digital TV is the availability of more channels. We don't pay for any type of satellite or cable, so rely on digital TV converter boxes to watch TV.

Once they went to digital programming I was able to get twice as many channels as before. As an example, our local public broadcasting station now has three channels instead of just one.

One of these channels is just for kids, so I know that at any time of day I can find some good kids programming.

We also received two local weather channels so we can get the weather at any time, and some old TV show and movie channels.

I don't spend a whole lot of time watching TV, but find it nice to have these extra choices that I didn't have before they went with digital programming.


At first I was looking forward to the switch to digital TV because I thought the picture would be much more clear.

We had two TV's in our house that were not hooked up to a satellite, so ordered TV converter boxes to use for those TV's.

The transition went smoothly until we decided to cancel our satellite service because we seldom used it.

We began having problems with our newer TV's that didn't even need the converter boxes. Sometimes the channels would not come in at all. Other times they would cut out so bad that it wasn't worth trying to watch.

My husband even installed an extra antenna, but this doesn't always work either. I am finding that I am more frustrated with the digital TV than I ever was with the old way of watching TV.

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