Satellite TV – Help with Reception Problems

Having a problem with satellite TV reception in the UK? Some basic help with satellite TV reception woes.


I’m having problems with my satellite TV reception – HELP!

If your picture is breaking up, you’re getting pixelation, or some channels can’t be received, it means that your box isn’t getting a decent quality signal. Possible causes:

  • Dish out of alignment: Could the dish have been knocked or blown out of alignment? A satellite installer can help check and fix alignment problems
  • Something blocking the signal: The dish needs a clear line-of-sight to the satellite – trees, scaffolding, buildings, walls blocking the path to the satellite cause interference
  • Weather: Heavy rain is no friend to satellite TV reception. If high winds cause problems, that could indicate that the dish is not securely fixed.
  • Cabling: Check that the cable from the dish to the back of your satellite receiver is undamaged, and the feed is securely connected
  • Problem with the LNBSee below


Digital TV Pixelation Example

Digital TV Pixelation Example

Examples of digital TV pixelation


Things to check

Signal quality: Most satellite receivers have an on-screen signal strength meter, to allow you to check how much signal your box is getting. Take a look at this, and see what’s being shown. Pay close attention to “Signal Quality” – Below 50%, and you’ll have problems, which points to one of the problems we list above. (On a Sky box, press ‘Services’ > ‘System Setup’ > ‘Signal Test’. On a Sky+HD box, it’s ‘ Services’ > ‘Settings’ > ‘Signal’)

Check connectors: Are the F-Plug connectors at the back of your satellite TV box secure and tight?

Reboot the box: Sometimes restarting a satellite TV box is worth a go. Switch the box off, unplug from the mains, leave for 1 minute, then try again.

Check external cabling: Take a look at the cabling from the dish – Undamaged? Secured at the dish end correctly? No chance that water can leak into the connection at the dish end?

TIP: Take your set-top box to a friend or neighbour’s house. If the problem goes away on a different dish, then you’ve confirmed it’s a problem with your dish, LNB or cabling, and not with your box


Problem with the LNB

Quad LNBThe LNB is the part of a satellite TV dish that does the hard work. The LNB typically sits on a short pole pointing in at the centre of the dish – the one pictured to the right.

Sometimes these can develop a fault. Typical symptoms:

  • Unable to get any channels
  • Problems with polarisation. Satellite channels are either transmitted on ‘vertical polarisation’ or ‘horizontal polarisation’, and the LNB switches between the two polarisations as requested. If you lose all of the channels from one polarisation, but not the other, this could point to a problem with the LNB. See Lyngsat for a list of channels with their polarisation.

If you have a problem with your LNB, then it may need to be replaced. If you’re with Sky, call them for advice, and to get someone out to fix it, otherwise you could do it yourself with a replacement LNB available from



Need more help? Ask in our Satellite forum



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  • George Lorimer

    Hi can you help I have a sky box I can get free sat but can not get bbc1 bbc2 itv on TV screen it says not receiving satellite signal this is in Spain.
    G Lorimer

  • Valerie Knopp

    My television keeps breaking up. I have an outside dish. No tv box. Freesat and hd Sony television. These problems have only recently occurred. Outside where dish is looks secure and in order. I would like this problem solved asap as its spoiling my television viewing! I have a tv in bedroom upstairs with an indoor ariel with excellent reception.
    Please help!!


    My television keeps breaking up on itv 119 hd on Freeset

    • Leighton Lewis

      Mine does too on itv
      I contacted the manufacturers Panasonic & they told me that since itv changed the symbol rate in 2015
      There is no update for Panasonic Receivers to receive the new symbol rate

  • Leighton Lewis

    Even though I have full signal & full signal quality, ITV Wales on Ch 119 & ITV scotland on non freesat channels,
    The signal is breaking up, Even in clear weather with full signal & quality,

    Please can you tell me what is going on ??

  • why do i get pixilation on itv only at the same time every night,it is getting really annoying please help

  • Clive

    I have the same issue have you been able to get it fixed??

  • I have a new TV. I can see the english channels but I can only get one spanish channels instead of the 10 or 11 I used to get. What can I do?
    Thank you,

  • Sharon

    I don’t have reception at night always, please, tell me what likely is the issues with it, thanks.

  • Pete

    Suddenly of late ITV HD (178) has random pixelation problems, not on any other channel. The signal strength and quality is excellent, have done planner rebuild and STILL get this on ITV HD. Going to call Sky to ask why it is happening – don’t hold out much hope as they only read off a script!

  • Alex James

    we have had the same issue with itvhd on 119 freesat. Called freesat who suggested a factory reset to the Humax set top box which we did but it didnt make any diffference. We also have a Sagem set top box which has the same problem with itv hd. I think someone needs to be honest as they are now taking the pi**!!

  • Alex James

    Any comments itv and freesat??

  • anthony

    have the same issue for months—all HD channels via FREESAT are great except ITV HD .. i was beginning to think i needed a new dish or to change the lnbs …but after reading other comments with same issue am pleased i dont have to spend out….and that it could be an issue with the provider rather than my end ….

    any help ANYONE please
    we all buy expensive tv viewing equipment to watch great tv.. and for itv we end up watching normal as with HD ITV there is obviously a problem ? whats the deal :-(

  • Chris

    Same problem with ITV HD from FREESAT. Random picture break up. All other HD channels are perfect. Contacted FREESAT who suggested a factory reset to my TV,(Sound familiar) which I have not done because the problem would appear on all HD channels if the problem was with the TV.
    My very expensive Sony TV is running current software, Installed new dish, cabling, everything checked out fine, signal, quality etc…problem has to be with the provider.

    Come on FREESAT do something about it and stop trying to push the blame onto someone else. Or shall we just switch to FREEVEIW?

  • Leighton Lewis

    I too wrote to Freesat about ITV channels being terrible since christmas 2016
    Just for me to take it up with ITV,
    Its just not good enough,
    Im fed up with Freesat passing the buck.

  • Pommie

    Itv hd 119 pixelating so badly on Freesat I can’t concentrate on Euro 2016 or their terrible commentary. I wonder if their advertisers know ?

  • FootieMad

    I’ve had repeated breakup on ITV-HD while watching their coverage of Euro 2016 games this last week or so. My wiring is short and the dish was professionally set up and is firmly attached; it’s been fine since installed for the World Cup in 2010. The symptoms are picture break-up and audio stuttering, implying a reduced data stream. Other channels work fine and it seems better on ITV’s non-HD channel, presumably where the available datapipe is up to the requirement. I hope ITV can sort this glitch out with Freesat, else, HD is a no-no. I will send posts to FreeSat and ITV to alert them to the problem.

  • john anthony

    i also have the same issue and like most of you thought it was something my end.. but after watching/recording hours of BBC HD over the festive season, can safely say i dont think its freesat … so come on ITV Pull your finger out … its rather annoying ..

  • Kadd

    Screen breaks out on and off, Check the Coax Cable connector to the back of screen, most likely that will fix it. Good Luck

  • Tim

    I’m having problems with all hd freesat channels. Brand new TV as previous TV wouldn’t work with any channels at all on freesat so was told it was the tuner on the television. Just bought new TV and all freesat channels are going except for the HD ones which are breaking up. Any thoughts?

  • Excellent information! I had no idea bad weather could be a cause. Many thanks!

  • Mrs Linda King


  • Kristine Young


  • Phil

    Sky sports news comes on in the morning but later in the day brakes
    up and goes off I have checked cables and rebooted it’s not dish am
    I missing something it’s onl that channel thanks

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