Problem watching TV via satellite dish


Novice Member
Hope someone can help me please.

Moved into a property 18 months ago. There was no TV aerial at the property, just a satellite dish. There was a twin cable from the satellite dish into the house and we connected one of the twin cables into the aerial socket on the TV using an adapter. The TV worked fine for 12 months. We didn't have any kind of top box (Freeview, Freesat, etc).

Now for the last few months, no TV channels are found on the TV. We have connected a different TV to the satellite twin cable (same methods as before) but still no TV channels. We have retuned/scanned both TVs but still no channels were found.

We have also connected a Freesat box to the twin cable from the dish then connected to the TV, but again no channels are found.

I have checked the twin cable at the satellite dish and both seem to be connected securely.

My conclusion is either the satellite dish has developed a fault or the cable from the satellite dish has developed a fault.

Does this sound correct or am I missing something obvious? I don't know much about this kind of thing, but I assume that a dish can not be deactivated by Sky (or whoever), can it?


Distinguished Member
The downlead from the dish/LNB was providing the signal, not the dish.
The cable is the most likely culprit for loss of signal now, it's either open or short-circuit now.
You must be in an area of high signal strength from your local terrestrial transmitter.
Check carefully for water ingress to the cable, remove the plug/adaptor at the TV end and see if any water leaks out or if the coax cable looks corroded, if there is do not connect it again as it will damage the TV's aerial socket and tuner.
If no water leaks from the cable unscrew the connections at the Dish/LNB as there may be a short-circuit at that end.
If you were getting a good signal using the coax cable from the dish chances are a cheap indoor aerial will also work.


Distinguished Member
Location? Approx address / postcode (we don't want an exact address for you) - a pub, shop, school or church nearby - even just a suburb/village/town name.

Satellite dishes don't supply UHF TV signals to sets even via an adapter... so strong signal area an 'direct cable pickup' is a possible - but what's changed to stop that working? (Building works, scaffolding, more housing, tree growth?)

Check the LNB on the dish for a $ky Q wideband one as that often doesn't work with most freesat boxes of old (only the very latest "freesat 4k" boxes). Sky Q problems and Installs has pictures of the Q and some other lnbs.
Is the dish and LNB and cabling easily and safely accessible to you, and are you d-i-y confident?

More details of the freesat box and TV(s) in use may help (makes and model numbers).

Is the property owned or rented? House, bungalow, apartment?

Finally what do you want to be able to watch? Will Freeview or freesat alone provide what you need in terms of TV channels? Is HD viewing important, or not?


Novice Member
Many thanks for taking the time to reply and explain. The house is located very near to Crystal Palace where there is a very large transmitter.

So just to clarify, when you say the downlead from the dish/LNB was providing the signal, do you mean that the cable simply connected to the dish provides a limited signal? Also, do you mean the only way the dish would be useful to us is if we connected it to a Freesat box, or equivalent (assuming the cable and connections were all ok)?

Possible solutions then are:
1) Get an external TV aerial fitted
2) Use an internal TV aerial
3) Resolve the cable/connections issue

Thanks again, much appreciated.


Distinguished Member
Here is a solution to try:
UHF dipole.jpg

It's what I use on my bedroom TV (and similar was used in BBC EID's temporary offices in White City for analogue TV reception in the 90's). (The blu tak was used to hold it on a wardrobe internal panel at a height, where the TV is located.)

An old TV lead stripped back and the inner 4 inches approx and outer braid same length forming a 'dipole aerial'. Horizontal and top of the T broadside on to the CP tower.

A loft aerial might be more reliable? but will need coaxial cable running from an aerial to the room.

and other pages on that site are worth reading.

That's for UHF TV/Freeview from CP.

The twin cables from the dish are for satellite reception and are most likely for Astra 2 aka freesat/$ky reception. But some people have dishes for other countries' TV reception installed. That may be another reason it didn't work with freesat. Use a dish pointing app or webpage to check where it points?

If pointing to Astra 2F, then that it didn't work AND assuming the centre 'core/pin' wasn't bent over when inserted into a freesat receiver suggests it's maybe faulty or the freesat box a type that is incompatible with the existing LNB type.

Take a pic of the dish and LNB to see if we can help identify it?


Novice Member
Fantastic information, many thanks, things are starting to make more sense.

I know the Freesat box works as it was borrowed from a house nearby where it was in use. I also know that the TV is not the problem as we have tried another TV which was working in another house.

So I think my best bet is to replace the twin cable from the dish into the house. This may then give us a TV picture, but if not, connecting to a Freesat box should.

Only other thought is perhaps the Crystal Palace transmitter may have been downgraded in some way so now the signal is not as strong as it was.

Thanks again.


Active Member
If you are that close to Crystal Palace then even if there had been some degradation it should not be perceptible to you. The main point is that you need some kind of real aerial (which for Freeview a satellite dish definitely is not) but probably you have no need for a rooftop aerial.


Distinguished Member
No CP is not permitted to be below par - ever.

Disaster excepting when the nearby Croydon tower comes into play.

DO NOT replace the LNB cables expecting them to work for UHF TV reception from CP.

Decent all copper satellite grade cable is a must should you do so, and that will (at least should) screen out the signals from CP!

Try a set top aerial or home brew device as I have shown above. Better a small log periodic TV aerial outside (on the side of house towards CP) or in a loft space as per ATV aerials.


Novice Member
One more question please. The property is a ground floor flat and the outside wall faces in the opposite direction to the Crystal Palace transmitter (about 2 miles away). If I can't point an outside aerial in the direction of the transmitter, plus I can only install it and ground floor level, would I be better off getting an internal/portable aerial?

Really appreciate all the help here, thank you.


Distinguished Member
Ground floor flat <drip> no walls on side towards CP <drip>
How many flats in the building? Owned or rented?

There are limits on the number of antennas (UHF TV, FM radio, and sat dishes) that can be installed on one building without needing Council Planning Permissions.

Astra Sat dishes point SSE (28.2 E of due South) so you must also be south of CP.

Buy a small log periodic outside aerial DM 18 Log Aerial - A.T.V. Poles, Brackets, Clamps & Aerials and you could use it in or out. It can be placed on a shelf or wardrobe to be as hidden from view as possible. It's a suck it and see if it'll work inside (and maybe out).
Only buy a room/set-top aerial that looks like a log periodic design Set top TV aerial (UHF 470 to 850 MHz) - A.T.V. Poles, Brackets, Clamps & Aerials

Outside will depend on need for permissions: Planning and the Building Freeholder(s) - possibly via a management company? In that circumstance it may be they'll permit a rooftop aerial install? If Planning etc.,.

Ideally flats should have a communal system installed for UHF TV, FM/DAB radio and Satellite to every dwelling sharing the aerials.

Room aerials often do not work well and reliably.

You may be better investing in a freesat receiver and having the dish checked over to get that working?

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