How to Troubleshoot an RCA Antenna

By Patrick Nelson

Television antennas need to work to much higher tolerances than they did with older analog broadcast signals, because the digital signals being used today either are received by the antenna, or not. The signal comes in, or the screen is dark. There's no snowy, ghosting mid-range like there was with analog. Problems with RCA antennas can include issues with positioning, cables and reception. These problems can be corrected by following some troubleshooting steps.

Things You'll Need

  • Signal amplifier

Step 1

Move the RCA antenna closer to a window if the reception is poor. Some materials used in home construction can cause interference. Aluminum siding is particularly problematic. Remember to re-scan for channels every time you move the antenna.

Step 2

Position the antenna as high as you can if you continue to have problems. The RCA omni-directional flat-type antennas work best lying down. Lay the antenna down on a non-metallic surface, and take the antenna out of any basement-type environment. It likely won't work underground.

Step 3

Purchase a signal amplifier, plug it in to the household power and place it inline between the antenna and the television if you continue to have problems. Try the amplifier and return it if things don't improve. Sometimes, amplifiers won't work, and, in some cases, you actually can make the problem worse.

Step 4

Unkink the cable that runs between the antenna and television if problems persist. Don't bend coaxial cables into less than a 3-inch radius. Tight bends change the cable's electrical properties. Again, don't forget to scan for new channels after any change is made.