Why is your TV signal so poor during the heatwave?

Why is your TV signal so poor during the heatwave?
Why is your TV signal so poor during the heatwave?

Most people will be outside enjoying the recent fine weather, but those stuck at home – perhaps watching the football or tennis – may find their telly viewing becomes disrupted as the mercury rises.

The high temperatures have also brought high air pressure, which can mean that Freeview reception can become decidedly dodgy at times.

The problem affects certain areas more than others, with the east coast seemingly most at risk of TV signal drop-out at present.

Heated reception

A similar problem affected  southern parts of the UK last November – showing that it’s  high pressure, but not necessarily the extreme heat that can bring the problem.

At the time a Freeview spokesperson said: “We’re aware that high air pressure is currently affecting TV and radio signals… we’re unable to prevent or remedy this.

“We recommend that you do not retune your equipment as reception will return to normal once the weather changes.

“TV and radio signals can be affected by atmospheric conditions, including high air pressure (which brings fine weather), heavy rain or snow.”

Read more: The best new TV and films on Amazon Prime in July

FM radio can also experience distorted signals, and while cable and online viewing should be unaffected, thick thunderstorm clouds may temporarily disrupt satellite TV reception when the heatwave begins to break.

Replacing aerials or buying boosters a ‘waste of money’

Freeview’s explanation is backed up by Chris Wray, owner of A1 Aerials, a supplier of aerials and security systems in the north of England: “It’s the atmospherics.”

He urged people not to retune their Freeview boxes, and that replacing aerials or buying boosters was a waste of money.

“When I first started in this job, you used to get German TV in the background during high pressure,” Chris added. “These days, that doesn’t happen. You either have a signal or you don’t.

“When we get high pressure, the signal drops. It can happen at any time of the day. “It doesn’t affect Sky or if you are streaming through the internet.”

A version of this article originally appeared in our sister site,  the Bridlington Free Press.