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TV Reception Problems And How To Fix Them

It's one of the most frustrating things isn't it - you're trying to watch a show on TV and the channel keeps dropping, you hear strange squeaky noises and there are lines running across the screen.

Don't worry - this can be fixed.

 

Can You Help Me Fix My Bad TV Signal?

If you'd like to cut to the chase, don't need to know how the technology works and and simply want a solution - Contact Us today to get your poor TV signal sorted.

We have trained, experienced technicians available to get your TV signal fixed. We have helped businesses, retirement villages, nursing homes and home owners fix their TV reception and are able to locate and fix problems quickly and efficiently.

 

To learn about the factors that affect TV reception, read on.

 

What Are the Signs Of A Poor TV Signal?

TV Reception Problems PerthA bad tv signal is characterized by the following:

  1. Flaky image on screen
  2. Pixelation
  3. Color distortion
  4. Audio (sound) distortion
  5. Image dropping in and out
  6. Strange noises and sounds
  7. Error messages on TV screen, such as "NO SIGNAL"
  8. Some channels work and others don't 

Good TV Reception Starts With The Correct Antenna

TV AntennaIn order to receive a good tv signal, you'll need a high quality digital antenna suited to your area. This TV antenna needs to be correctly installed, secured and aligned by a professional in order to ensure a picture-perfect image and crisp, clear sound even in adverse weather conditions.

If you have an older antenna, never had it checked, or you're unsure whether your antenna is even correctly installed and aligned - this is where you'll need the help of an experienced installer, who can ensure the signal received by your antenna is at it's very best. This needs to be done with a basic field strength meter, or for best results, with a digital terrestrial TV signal analyzer, which can often be an expensive piece of test equipment.

 

A Good Antenna Still Needs To Be Pointed To The Correct Transmitter

TV Signals are transmitted across the Australian landscape by many transmitters or "TV towers" as some folks call them. These transmitters are scattered across the country and are located in spots where their reach is optimal and free from obstruction.

Your TV aerial needs to be pointed to the transmitter that delivers the strongest signal to your location. Most users in cities are in range of 2 or more TV transmitters, and selecting the correct transmitter to align your antenna with isn't always straight forward. 

Without proper test equipment, there is no guarantee that your antenna is pointed at the correct transmitter, and even if it is, that it is properly aligned.

 

Small Antenna Alignment Errors Can Cause Major Problems

Without proving through a proper test that your TV antenna is 100% correctly aligned to the best transmitter for your location, there is no guarantee that your TV signal will be good all the time.

TV antennas are precise pieces of equipment. A couple of degrees out of alignment can cause major headaches. Their design is called a Yagi antenna, and they need to be pointed to the transmitter with a high degree of accuracy. 

In addition to having the antenna aligned perfectly, they also need to be secured properly. Antennas that are not secured properly are subject to movement by the wind, which once again messes with the alignment to the transmitter, causing reception issues.

 

Obstructions Cause Signal Loss

If your antenna is located inside your roof space, blocked by another building, large trees and/or other objects, this can cause problems with TV signal reception.

Antennas are designed to operate in an unobstructed, open area, and the proximity of metal objects and other obstructions can cause significant signal loss, leading to viewing frustration.

 

Your TV Cabling and TV Points Matter

Coaxial CableThe antenna is not the only component of your TV installation that can cause problems. The cables that connect your antenna to the TV are called coaxial cables. There are different types, grades and uses for coaxial cables, and it is imperative that your cabling is of the correct type and specification for the intended use.

Older houses might experience more TV signal problems than newer buildings due to the fact that the cabling and/or outlets may have degraded or corroded over time and no longer provide a solid path for the TV signal.

Rodent damage and other forms of damage, that might not be easily visible at first glance, can also be a cause for TV signal loss between the antenna and the TV.

 

Interference Can Be An Issue

Interference from other sources of electrical energy can sometimes be the cause of your TV reception issues. Switching power supplies, some types of lights, air conditiioners, washing machines, pumps and motors have been known to cause interference with TV signals.

Your TV cabling needs to be installed and/or positioned in such a way that the risks of interference are mitigated and that you receive a clear picture and great sound all the time.

Not all coaxial TV cables are the same at guarding against interference, and older cables are especially susceptible to interference.

 

The Cable That Connects The TV To the Wall Has An Impact On The Signal

The type, length and specifications of the cable that connects from the TV to the wall outlet can make a difference in the quality of the signal you receive. If this cable is poorly shielded, damaged, very long or the connectors either end are of poor design or quality, you can be sure to experience problems with your TV reception.

The best approach for this is to have a high-quality cable installed by a professional who will ensure the fit and quality is top-notch and will not contribute to poor signal issues.

 

Fixing TV Reception Requires A Holistic Approach

TV Signal TesterWe've seen many customers haphazardly trying to fix one or more aspects of their TV reception, only to continue suffering the frustration of outages and signal break-ups.

Fixing your TV reception requires a look at all the components in the system, often with an isolation-test approach to identify the causes of signal loss.

Each component that can have an effect on the quality of your viewing experience needs to be individually assessed and fixed if necessary.

 

TV Tuning Is Only Half the Story

If you're experiencing TV signal problems, outages, pixelation or the sound is breaking up, often you'll be tempted to re-tune the TV. This is generally not a bad idea, but it probably won't fix your problem completely.

If problems persist after re-tuning, it's time to have your installation checked over by an experienced TV technician.

 

Boosters, Amplifiers and Receiver Overload

Sometimes, but not often, we've found that customers have tried installing their own amplifiers, boosters and/or other equipment marketed as being able to "improve" your TV signal. In the majority of these cases, the problems do not go away, and sometimes gets worse.

TV signal receivers are designed to work with a received signal of a specific quality and signal strength, and no amount of throwing boosters after a bad signal will fix this. If several boosters or amplifiers are installed, this can in fact cause receiver signal overload at the pre-amplifier of the TV and cause more issues.

 

Sometimes You're Just Unlucky Enough to Be In A Bad Area

TV Signal issues can sometimes be related to your physical location. Digital TV requires a minimum level of received signal strength and a low rate of reception errors in order to function correclty. 

You might be too far away from the nearest transmitter for a good signal strength to be received, or you may be close to sources of external interference that influence the quality of the signal negatively.

This can only be assessed and identified by a trained, experienced technician using the proper test equipment.

 

Need Help Getting Your TV Signal Fixed?

Contact Us Today to get your TV reception issues resolved quickly and easily.

 

 

NBN Cabling Perth

NBN Cabling PerthWith the rollout of the NBN in progress across Australia, the way we connect and use broadband services is changing. The NBN places new requirements on homes, businesses and buildings in order to continue using all our existing cabling infrastructure and consumer electronics with high-speed broadband technology.

What many people are realising now is that the cabling inside the building needs to change in order to fully utilize all the services provided by the NBN. Unless your cabling is checked over for full compatibility with NBN and any necessary repairs made, you'll experience connection dropouts, slow speed and unreliable internet access.

Phones, faxes, EFTPOS machines and other devices often need to be connected to the NBN modem as opposed to the phone line, which used to be the norm.

Our NBN Cabling Services

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We Can Help You With Your NBN Cabling

Franklin Bell are specialists in broadband communications and we can help you with your NBN cabling requirements. If your NBN connection is unstable or dropping out, we can repair it quickly, efficiently and economically. Like thousands of other clients we have helped, your NBN connection can be stable, reliable and fast.

Whether you'd like to move your NBN box, get old phone sockets working again or rewire your premises for maximum NBN compatibility, you've come to the right place.

Call us today for a free quote or see the information below to learn how the NBN will affect your premises and what you can do to get this fixed.

 

Devices Affected by the NBN

The NBN requires devices to be connected to the modem as opposed to the phone line directly.

Some of the telecommunications components that may require alteration or re-wiring are:

  1. Existing phone sockets and telephone cabling that will continue to be used
  2. Legacy handsets 
  3. Wireless DECT phones
  4. EFTPOS machines 
  5. Business Phone Systems (PABX systems)
  6. Fax Machines
  7. Emergency phones in lifts and other public places
  8. Foxtel On-Demand Services
  9. Hi-Caps Terminals and other medical dialling services

 

How the NBN Changed Voice Services

Voice services refer to the services provided by a telecommunications carrier such as Telstra to transmit your voice over their network during a phone conversation.

In the past, voice services were based on a technology called circuit-switching. The NBN uses a technology called packet switching for voice applications. This means that where your telephone conversation used to go across a dedicated connection from your end to the other end, the conversation is now broken into millions of little fragments, called packets. These packets are then sent to the other party individually and the audio stream is re-assembled on the other end in the correct sequence. Each packet has the potential to travel to the other party via a different route across the NBN's network, but the technology ensures they are assembled in the proper order to form a copy of the audio received at the transmitting end.

This new packet-switched technology is called Voice-Over-IP, or VOIP. 

When your connection is upgraded to NBN, in the majority of cases the provisioning of circuit-switched services is discontinued, meaning older devices can't connect direclty to the phone line anymore. 

In stead, the NBN modem usually then provides a phone outlet that delivers the services required by phones, fax machines and other devices in order to work.

This is why your telephone cabling will need to change in order to continue making full use of all your devices.

 

What Needs To Be Done To My Cabling? 

Most homes and businesses are wired for connection to the old POTS (Plain Old Telephone System) and ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) systems provided by telecommunications carriers such as Telstra and Optus.

In this case, the phone outlets and devices connect directly to the incoming phone line.

Unless the original NBN contractor upgraded your home cabling when you initially signed op for your NBN plan, the cabling needs to be rerouted so that all devices connect to the NBN modem. This requires the installation of new cabling and/or the alteration of existing cabling by means of replacement or extension.

 

Can I Use My Existing/Old Phones, Fax or EFTPOS with NBN?

I've been told I cannot use my existing phones, phone system, fax or EFTPOS with NBN - is this true?

This is not true. The vast majority of existing telecommunications devices can be used with the NBN, provided your telephone cabling is changed or upgraded to meet the new connection standards.

We have successfully connected all the devices listed above to the NBN.

 

Can I Move the NBN Modem To Where I Want It?

For the sake of simplifying the installation process and only with certain types of NBN connections, the NBN installers will place your new NBN compatible modem in the garage or another seemingly obscure location. Although this connects your home to the NBN for phone and internet services, it's hardly ideal.

The modem does not have to stay there. It can be relocated to a central location in the building, your office, or wherever you want it. Even if you have NBN fibre connection, the fibre NTD can be relocated to a better spot.

 

I have been told I have a bridge tap - how do I get it removed?

If your service provider, NBN Co, or Telstra have told you that the reason for your connection problems is due to the presence of a bridge tap, this can quite efficiently and economically be fixed by one of our highly experienced technicians. You'll hear things like "we've checked our end of the connection, and it's good to the boundary, where it enters your house" or "our side of the cabling is all good, the fault is on your side". All these point to the same fault - a bridge tap on the line somewhere. Simply call us and book in a technician for a bridge tap removal.

 

My NBN box has a red light and I have no internet - what do I do?

If the NBN box mounted on the wall has a red light and you don't have access to the internet, this usually means that the fibre optic cable coming into the building is broken somewhere. This is only applicable to Fiber To The Premises (FTTP) NBN connections. Don't despair though - this can be fixed quickly and economically, and you'll be back online in no time. Simply contact us and book in a fibre optic repair.

 

My NBN connection keeps disconnecting and dropping out - can this be fixed?

We get this question multiple times every day of the week, and every one of them to date we've been able to repair. If your NBN connection keeps dropping out and is unreliable, this is mainly due to cabling issues inside your premises, and applies mainly to Fibre To The Premises (FTTP) and Fibre To The Curb (FTTC) connections. These cabling issues can be diagnosed and found using our test equipment, and then repaired by our registered cablers. We can do this quickly and efficiently to provide you with a cost effective solution to the intermittent disconnection problem. Contact us today to end the frustration and book in your NBN cabling repair.

 

Do I Have To Change My Telephone Cabling BEFORE the NBN Is Installed?

This is not strictly a requirement in all cases. In certain installations, such as business NBN, this is crucially important in order to prevent business disruption when the NBN installation eventually happens.

In most residential cases it is not a prerequisite. It does, however, greatly reduce the impact of the transition to NBN and ensures a smooth continuation of all your services.

 

When Can I Get NBN?

NBN Wiring PerthThe Australian NBN Co. are rolling out new NBN broadband connections in many suburbs simultaneously, and have made a page available on their website where you can check when it's your turn.

Check the NBN Rollout Map or How Your Home Setup Affects NBN

Alternatively, contact any major service provider to help you get an NBN plan.

 

What Does HFC, FTTN, FTTC, FTTP and FTTH Mean?

These are acronyms for the point where the fibre optic connection endpoint will be. The NBN is largely based on fibre optic technology, but due to the cost of replacing old copper cables, the NBN Co. have decided to replace only certain sections.

The acronyms describing the types of NBN wiring are:

HFC - Hybrid Fibre Coaxial. This technology is generally rolled out in areas that used to use a technology called "Cable Internet".

FTTN - Fibre To The Node. You will generally be connected to the NBN via the old copper telephone cable you used to.

FTTC - Fibre To The Curb. The fibre optic cable runs to your property boundary.

FTTP - Fibre To The Premises. The fibre optic cable comes into your property, where you connect to it directly.

FTTH - Fibre To The Home. Same as FTTP but clarified for residential applications.

Fixed Wireless - NBN uses fixed wireless technology in some remote areas in order to provide phone and internet services where an underground NBN cable installation may not be feasible.

 

Why Is My WiFi So Bad Since The NBN Was Installed?

With the installation of the NBN, your new NBN modem may have been installed in a different location to your old modem, or the WiFi signal provided by the new NBN modem is different from your old modem. This can affect download speeds and connection quality.

This can be rectified by relocating the NBN modem, or by assessing and approving the WiFi coverage throughout the premises. 

The NBN wiring and WiFi coverage have different economical outcomes. NBN ideally wishes internal house wiring to be shorter, whereas WiFi Access Points perform better the closer they are positioned to end-user devices such as laptops, iPads, tables and phones.

 

Will My Existing Network Cabling Still Work?

In the majority of cases, your existing network cabling will work with the NBN without making any changes. 

If the location of the new NBN modem is not the same as the old modem, some work may be required in order to connect your existing network to the NBN, such as relocation of the NBN equipment, and/or installing new network cabling from your existing network switch to the modem.

We can assist with the installation of all network wiring, including Cat 5, Cat 6, fibre optic etc.

 

How Can I Get My Premises NBN-Compatible or NBN-Ready?

We can assist with the alterations required to fully make use of the NBN using all your devices, whether they are wireless or connected to a wall outlet.

Our NBN setup service ensures your existing investment in cabling can still be enjoyed.

Contact us today for a Free Quote.

 

Phone Line Repair

phone line repair perthIs your phone line faulty?

Is there noise on the line?

This page will help you understand the sources of these problems, and point you in the right direction to get your phone line fault repaired.

If your problem relates more to ADSL speed or internet drop-outs, see our dedicated page on ADSL Faults and their fixes.

Types of Phone Line Faults

There are 3 main categories of faults that can occur on your phone line. They are::

Service Outages - these can be partial or complete service outages.

Usability Issues - faults such as being able to dial out, but not being able to receive a call.

Line Quality - static and other noise fall into this category.

Faults can also be classified by their severity, i.e. how badly they affect normal use of the line. Some faults are easy to fix yourself, while other faults will require the attention of a qualified technician. 

 Here's a list of common faults (click on a link to learn more:

Noise on Phone Line

Interference - Noise on a phone line can come from a variety of sources, most notably interference from nearby electrical and/or electromagnetic sources. In simple terms, this means that if your phone cabling runs close to electrical cabling or electrical equipment, you may hear electrical energy transferred between the cables as noise. How this works is beyond the scope of this article, but it is important to know that electrical cables can have a negative impact on nearby phone cabling.

Sometimes this interference appears as a humming sound, and sometimes the line is crackly. People sometimes refer to noisy lines as static. When the noise on the line is due to electrical interference on the telephone wiring, you'll need to contact a qualified technician to locate and repair the problem. In Australia, phone line repair must be done by a technician that is registered with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

Other sources of noise can include:

Faulty Equipment - A faulty phone, fax or modem connected to the line (see Faulty Phone Equipment for more information).

Moisture - when phone connections get wet, they can become corroded and break down. When this happens, the corroded connection can be the source of noise and a reduction in ADSL speeds. A telephone technician can repair these corroded connections and restore line quality again.  

Poor Quality Connections - your phone cabling is made up of cables that run from one part of the property to the next, such as the line from the street to your phone socket. As they pass through the property, these cables are connected and joined to form a network of cables that provide you with the phone points you need throughout the place. Where the cables are joined, these connections can be faulty or in bad shape due to age.

Of the four sources of noise listed above, poor quality connections and interference are the most common. With these types of faults, there's very little you can do to fix them. Contacting a qualified telephone technician is the best way of solving these problems, as the technician will have the knowledge and tools that are necessary to locate the problem quickly and perform a professional repair.

It Might Not Be Your Problem After All

You may experience periods of time when there's no service on your line, or the noise gets worse. This may be due to maintenance, upgrades, or repairs at the telephone exchange or somewhere else along the line, such as at connections in the streets. Construction of new houses or buildings in the area can also be source of line damage, since earthworks and other construction activities can cause damage to the network operator's cables that are buried alongside the street. 

Noisy phone lines can also be attributed to the network operator (such as Telstra). When the network operator performs maintenance or repair work on the cabling in the streets, you can sometimes hear noise or other sounds on the line. 

When you're experiencing problems with your phone line, your first port of call should always be to contact your network operator (such as Telstra in Australia). Ask them whether they are aware of any problems in your area, and confirm that all is well on their end. Most network operators maintain a page on their website where they list service disruptions, maintenance and outages. 

When you hear noise on the line when talking to someone, there's always the possibility that the line noise is on the network between the two parties, or on the other side of the call. Ask the person you're talking to whether they're hearing noise on the line.

If the problem persists, a qualified telephone technician can test your phone line where it enters the property. This is known as the lead-in cable. Once this cable has been tested, you'll know for sure whether the source of the line problems is in your property or on the network operator side. 

Static on Phone Line

Static is a term widely used to describe a crackly, noisy phone line. Static noise differs from hums and clicks, and this type of noise sometimes points us straight to a particular problem. In our experience, static noise is mostly linked to faulty equipment and poor wiring connections, whereas humming sounds are more related to electrical interference.

If your landline has static noise, start by ensuring that the handset, plugs and connections are in good shape. If you have any inline filters, check them too. If replacing these components does not solve the problem, you'll need to get in touch with a technician to repair wiring connections.

Dialing and Divert Issues

We sometimes get requests from customers where the issue is that the phone line works only in one direction. As an example, we might get a call from someone saying that the phone works when they make a call, but they can't receive a call.

In many instances, this is due to either call diverts or equipment. Answering machines and fax machines may pick up the incoming call before you get a chance to answer it. If the equipment in question is faulty, however, it may occupy the line without playing a message, or without providing a fax receive signal.

If the phone does not ring at all, there may be a divert set up. If you're unsure, contact your landline provider and ask them to check which diverts are active on your phone service. As humans we sometimes activate a divert, only to forget that we have and then wonder why the phone never rings. Another way to check is to ring your landline from a mobile phone, and check if the call is answered somewhere else.

No Dialtone

When you have no dialtone, a useful starting point would be to determine whether the problem is on all the phone sockets in the house, only in a certain section, or only on a specific socket. This is called segmentation. Once the fault has been classified in terms of its scope like this, it will make troubleshooting easier and quicker.

If the fault is only on one socket, you can get that socket repaired quickly and efficiently, and while the technician is on site, they can take a quick look at the rest of your phone cabling and advise you of any other wiring faults or visible damage.

If the fault is in a certain section of the property (such as only the left side, or the back), it's quite likely that there's a wiring fault somewhere between a working socket and a faulty one. This could be due to damaged wiring, or sometimes a faulty central splitter in the roof. If this is the case, an ACMA certified cabler can check the wiring and make the necessary repairs.

If you have no dialtone anywhere in the property, there may be a service outage or a cabling fault. In order to find out where the problem is, contact your network operator first and enquire whether they are working on the network in the area. Most network operators maintain a publicly accessible maintenance status information page on their website, which will help you determine if your area is affected.

In some cases the lead-in cable from the street to your house could be damaged or degraded, in which case you can contact us and request a lead-in test to confirm whether this is the case.

Intermittent Problems

Intermittent problems with noisy phone lines can be some of the trickiest faults to find. Our technicians have seen all the weird and wonderful sources of noise, such as lines that are noisy only under the following conditions:

  • Only at night (a sensor light turning on and off caused clicking sounds on the phone line).
  • On hot days (an air conditioner motor caused a humming sound on the line).
  • Certain times of day (sprinklers sprayed on an exposed wiring connection, and the wet connection caused a noisy line).

When this sounds like your case, we suggest you try and establish a pattern of when the line noise appears and disappears.

Faulty Phone Jack or Faulty Phone Socket

Phone sockets, sometimes called phone jacks or phone outlets, wear out over time, just like anything else. Eventually they need to be replaced or repaired. Look closely at your telephone wall socket - is there visible damage? Do you see any discolouration or rust on the terminals? Are the terminals bent or broken in any way? If so, it's time to replace it.

It might not always be evident that a socket is faulty, even if you look inside. Some sockets are delicate enough that they become faulty on the inside even if it looks like they are in tip-top shape. The only way to know for sure is to test them by connecting your phone or modem to a different socket, or by connecting a different phone to the suspected faulty socket. If the handset or equipment works on another socket, the socket you are testing may be faulty, and will require repair.

Faulty Phone Equipment

The following types of equipment are commonly connected to phone lines:

  • Alarm Systems
  • Foxtel or other PayTV units
  • Modems
  • EFTPOS Terminals
  • Fax Machines
  • Central Splitters/Filters
  • Inline Splitters/Filters
  • Surge Protection Devices
  • Answering Machines

All these pieces of equipment that are connected to the phone line are mostly very reliable, but they can indeed become faulty. A faulty piece of equipment can cause the phone line to become completely inoperable (most people refer to this as a "dead" line). They can also cause varying types and degrees of noise on the line. 

Even if you have only a single phone connected that you're aware of, there might be splitter or other fixed wiring component that is faulty and needs to be checked or tested by a phone technician.

If you have more than one telephone handset, you can check them by disconnecting all but one from the wall socket, and see which one causes the line noise when it's connected. The same applies for fax machines, modems and inline-splitters. This is sometimes called an isolation test.

If you have an alarm system, it may come as a surprise that we've found many alarm systems that are still connected to the phone line (e.g. connected by a previous owner), but are not in use and not monitored. These alarm systems sometimes cause interference and noise problems on the line, especially when they're old or have not been maintained.

If you have an old handset, it may just be that it's time to replace it. As telephone handsets age, their components start to near the end of their expected lifetime, and begin to malfunction. Joints in the PC boards dry out, capacitors leak their dielectric and plugs and sockets wear out. Simply replacing an old handset with a new one can be a quick and easy solution to your problem.

Have you checked the cord and plug? We've had many customers call us for repair service, only to discover that the cord that runs between the handset (or modem/fax) and the wall socket is faulty. You can buy these cords from several retail stores, and if you ask around (e.g. friends and family), you'll realise many people have a spare one lying around.

Damaged Wiring

If you or your partner have been doing a bit of (creative) gardening, removed trees or done some landscaping, the underground telephone wiring may have been damaged inadvertently. Most customers are surprised to learn that the underground phone cable runs where they didn't expect it to be, and sometimes never even know that they've damaged it with their domestic activities. If you've lost phone service altogether after spending some time working in the garden - this may be the cause.

Business and retail customers sometimes have their lines damaged by other tenants in the building, by other trades and services performing work in the area, or accidentally by employees.

In addition to the above, rodents and other creatures sometimes find a tasty meal in your cabling - only to leave you without a phone line. But sometimes the cause is less obscure, and the fault is simply a connection broken down by many years of exposure to the sun and weather.

Checking Phone Lines

Before calling a technician, you can perform a number of checks yourself. These include swopping out handsets and modems, or moving them to a different socket. You can also check for visible damage to cables and sockets, and have a look at your cords and plugs to confirm they're all in good condition.

When the problem involves the fixed wiring, such phone wiring must be repaired by a qualified ACMA technician. Telephone technicians have access to several types of test equipment that make fault finding quick and efficient, saving you the time and frustration of trying to find out where the problem with your phone line originates.

 

 

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