What causes poor cable TV signals?

Written by mary mcnally
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
What causes poor cable TV signals?
A bad coaxial cable can cause a poor cable TV signal. (coaxial cable connection image by Michael Shake from Fotolia.com)

We rely on cable TV to bring us programming that our local channels do not provide, and we expect a clear TV picture when using it. However, the more components you add to your TV set-up, the more chances there are for something to go wrong and cause a poor signal. Poor cable TV signals can result in a snow or static effect, picture tiling, colour blocks, ghosting, rolling or distortion, among other problems.


Every time you add a splitter to your cable TV system, the signal becomes half as strong. Splitters are commonly used to connect more than one TV to the main cable coming into the house. Try removing any splitters you have installed to strengthen the cable signal and improve your TV's picture.


Loose or bad coaxial cables can reduce the cable TV signal. To remedy this, swap out your existing coaxial cable with a different one to see if there is a difference in picture quality.


Settings for any components that you have added to your cable TV system, such as a digital video recorder (DVR), could also affect the quality of your cable signal, causing signal failure and snow to appear on the TV screen.


Receivers are the first component connected into the cable wall outlet, and must be turned on and set to channel 3 or 4. If the set up guidelines recommended by your receiver manufacturer and cable company aren't properly followed, the cable TV signal may not be processed correctly.

Older Signal Amplifiers

Older signal amplifiers require that you plug terminating resistors into unused plugs in the wall outlet to prevent signal reflection, which weakens the TV signal. You may need to use resistors if you have an older signal amplifier and one or two of your TV channels does not have a clear picture. You could also buy a newer signal amplifier or booster that does not need resistors.

External Equipment

External equipment can also weaken a signal if it is damaged or hooked up improperly. While external equipment is made to handle the elements, a falling tree branch or a misplaced staple or bracket that is supposed to hold the cable against the exterior wall can damage cable equipment. You can call your cable company to have them send out a repair person to check the external cable and hook ups.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the eHow.co.uk site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.