Is your TV signal a little sleazy on some evenings? Expert says there could be a lot to blame

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Few things are more frustrating than the television breaking right in the middle of your favorite show, or the last 10 minutes of the grand finale. But what is really behind the interruption?

Television and front desk technician Tony Navin says everyday items, including solar panels and electric fences, can interfere with digital TV signals.

According to Mr. Navin, the energizer on an electric fence can create a frequency exactly the same as a television channel.

“So the TV antenna receives the actual TV signal, but it also receives the signal from the electric fence,” he said.

“One fights the other and normally the electric fence probably wins.”

Mr Navin has serviced televisions in Bathurst, mid-west New South Wales, for more than 40 years and said solar panel systems created a similar problem.

The solar inverter, which takes direct current from the panels and converts it to alternating current, creates noise that can disrupt television signals.

“You can have perfect TV reception, go turn the system [on] and then all of a sudden there are two or three TV channels that you can’t watch. “

Solar panel inverters create noise that can interfere with digital television signals.(ABC News: John Gunn)

Other systems, such as LED lights or cell phone and wi-fi extensions, can also prevent TV channels from reaching the screen.

“The electrician will come and install [LED lights] in the house, people turn them on at night and then all of a sudden… it’s going to start interfering with the TV channels, ”Mr. Navin said.

“It’s just an integral part of digital television.”

A simple solution

Australia completed the switch from analog to digital TV in 2013, which has generally improved picture and sound quality.

The profile of a man standing against a brick wall.
TV and reception technician Tony Navin says most disturbances have a simple fix.(Provided: Tony Navin)

Mr Navin said digital TV performed exceptionally well in most cases, but signal disturbances from such simple sources could be frustrating.

Identifying where the interference is coming from is half the solution, according to Navin.

Once the source of the disturbance has been found, filters can be put in place to eliminate the interfering frequency.

Mr Navin said that there are also many service issues that can be resolved by making sure all TV equipment is up to date.


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