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vmh
Level 7

TCL 43S405 Drops/loses OTA channels sporadically

I had this problem with an older TCL TV, purchased in 2015, and could never resolve it.  Bought a new one for me and it works fine (fingers crossed).  For Christmas 2018, I purchased the 43S405 for my mother, who wanted to drop her Dish subscription.  We set it up, connected it to an attic mounted digital antenna, scanned for channels and everything worked well until a few days ago.  Mom's TCL 43S405 is now having the same issue I experienced with my TCL 28S3750; it drops channels that have previously been found.  (I'm not sure what this problem is called...dropping channels, losing channels???)

So if you are scrolling through OTA channels some of the channels that had been found during the set-up scan are missing and others are still there.  Then if you immediately scroll through again from the beginning channel, 2.1, you will find that some of the channels that had just been there on the first pass are now missing and ones that were missing are now there.  Before I drive an hour to her house to troubleshoot, I would like some suggestions on troubleshooting.

Her TCL TV was checked for updates upon set-up.  The antenna works just fine on another brand of television without dropping channels.
On my old model I had tried updating, resetting to factory defaults, updating again, then re-scanning for channels.  All to no avail.

I've also submitted this to TCL Support and am awaiting a reply.

Thank you in advance.
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10 Replies
apodtele
Level 7

Re: TCL 43S405 Drops/loses OTA channels sporadically

Three possible reasons:

1) Most likely it is the distance to the transmitter and weather conditions. You might have scanned on a bright starry winter night with ideal conditions. Some channel strength has dropped  below the threshold on the next rainy windy day. You would only reliably get channels within 20 miles on a bad night and up to 30 miles ideally on a good night with your attic antenna.

2) It is the ongoing FCC transition. You have to re-scan every so often in the next couple of years.

3) Please check coaxial cable connections. I recently "lost" half of my 58 channels only because I shifted my TV and touched the antenna cable.
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vmh
Level 7

Re: TCL 43S405 Drops/loses OTA channels sporadically

"apodtele" wrote:
Three possible reasons:

1) Most likely it is the distance to the transmitter and weather conditions. You might have scanned on a bright starry winter night with ideal conditions. Some channel strength has dropped  below the threshold on the next rainy windy day. You would only reliably get channels within 20 miles on a bad night and up to 30 miles ideally on a good night with your attic antenna.

2) It is the ongoing FCC transition. You have to re-scan every so often in the next couple of years.

3) Please check coaxial cable connections. I recently "lost" half of my 58 channels only because I shifted my TV and touched the antenna cable.

Hi,  thanks for the quick reply.
1- I doubt it is this because as I said you can sit there and keep scrolling through all the channels and all of them, including close stations and far, take turns dropping and coming back. Sometimes the main channel is there, i.e. 9.1 but their sub-channels 9.2, 9.3 9.4 drop off then the next go around 9.1 will be there and maybe one or all of the others, then go around again and the lineup changes again.  Also it is not as if the dropped channel shows a blank screen with the channel information at the bottom, it is as if the dropped channel does not exist.
Also this ONLY happens on the TCL Roku tv with the antenna and not another brand, which holds the channels all the time.
2- the rescan, about a month ago, was done after the latest transitions in our area
3-Coaxial cable connections are fine.
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apodtele
Level 7

Re: TCL 43S405 Drops/loses OTA channels sporadically

I reproducibly detect 58 channels every time I rescan under ideal conditions (winter = no foliage + night + no wind). I live close to Philadelphia. This is not to say that all 58 channels are watchable all the time. I am lucky to get New Jersey channels without dropouts perhaps one day a week. I am not complaining, this is just physics.

Roku TV shows the signal strength by the way. If that thing is blinking or less than 2 bars, this is not TV's fault. If weak channels annoy you too much, you can "Edit channel line-up" and hide them.
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vmh
Level 7

Re: TCL 43S405 Drops/loses OTA channels sporadically

I guess I'm not able to describe this well.

When I mention scrolling through the channels, I do not mean re-scanning.  I've scanned, find all the available channels and they work fine.
Then as I am changing channels, pressing the channel button UP, starting at channel 2 all the way to 42, some of the channels just disappear.
No blank screen with the channel number, which is what happens if the channel is just not coming in strong.  It just is NOT there at all.  (For example it goes from channel 2, 4,5,9... and then 4 just disappears.  I reach 42 and start over and miraculously channel 4 is there and all of a sudden 5 is missing completely, it just goes to 9.)  What is more interesting is that each of the main channels has sub-channels all within the same degree/range ie. 2.1, 2.2, 2.3.  Sometimes I can get 2.1 but it then just skips to 2.3, no blank screen for 2.2.  On the next pass pressing UP through all the channels, 2.1 might now be missing and 2.2 shows up.  Again no blank screen with the relevant channel number just skips.

Also this does NOT happen on a different brand of television attached to the very same antenna, which has not been moved. The scanned channels are there and stay there.  If there is a problem with ta broadcast station, the screen might go blank for a short time but the channel number and show information still shows up on the screen.
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apodtele
Level 7

Re: TCL 43S405 Drops/loses OTA channels sporadically

Can you navigate the menus just fine? Or do you also skip over?

Can you reliably get to the channels through Smart Guide after pressing Left?

Your remote is working otherwise,isn’t it?
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vmh
Level 7

Re: TCL 43S405 Drops/loses OTA channels sporadically

Well it turns out that the problem is with the "Favourites Channel" setting. 

I was given several sets on instructions by TCL, which I've included below should it be of use to anyone else. 

Everything else on the TCL Roku TV and the Roku remote worked perfectly and always did.  It just dropped channels, they disappeared as if they had never been found on the original scan for channels, then the missing ones would pop back and others would disappear without doing anything but scrolling through the channels with the remote button.   In my case, I had to DISABLE the "Favourite Channels" setting. (2nd set of instructions, steps 1 a-f ONLY)
______________________
First Set of Instructions from TCL
since the TV is connected to the internet, please try the following as well before conducting the reset:
 

1.    From the home screen, select Settings.


2.    Select TV inputs.


3.    Select Antenna TV.


4.    Select Favorite channels


5.    Press OK to uncheck Enable ‘Favorite channels’.


6.    Go back to Antenna TV and see if you have access to your channels again.

Second Set of instructions from TCL

1.    Make sure that the "Favorites" option is disabled.
      a.      From the home screen, select Settings.

      b.    Select TV inputs.


      c.    Select Antenna TV.


      d.    Select Favorite channels


      e.    Press OK to uncheck Enable ‘Favorite channels’.


      f.    Go back to Antenna TV and see if you have access to your channels again.


2.    Drain the power of the TV.


a.    Turn the TV off and unplug it from the outlet.


b.    Press and hold the TV Power button on the bottom surface of the TV for 15 seconds.


c.    Turn the TV on and try again


3.    Connect a different antenna to the TV.


4.    If the TV is connected to the TV, disconnect the TV to the internet and scan for channels again.


      a.      From the home screen, select Settings


      b.      Select System


      c.      Press OK on Advanced system settings


      d.      Select Network connection reset


      e.      Press OK on Reset connection


5.    Perform a factory reset. Please take note that this resets the TV to its factory default and clears the Roku account in the TV.


      a.      From the Home screen, go to Settings


      b.      Select System


      c.      Select Advanced System Settings


      d.      Select Factory Reset


      e.      Select Factory Reset Everything.


      f.      Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the reset.
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TerryP
Level 7

Re: TCL 43S405 Drops/loses OTA channels sporadically

Same issue but every few days my illusive channel reappears but keeps skipping a beat to a dark screen every 10 seconds lasting 2-3 seconds. No such problems with our several Samsung’s hung off same splitter.
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boogernose
Level 8

Re: TCL 43S405 Drops/loses OTA channels sporadically

Yes this happens and its annoying. I dont believe its Brand specific. Some people report Great Success with wrapping your antenna with foil. Obviously you need to adjust your Antenna for some channels.

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Da-Reptile
Level 7

Re: TCL 43S405 Drops/loses OTA channels sporadically

I'm having the same exact issues on a 65" and it has nothing to do with how antenna is hooked up, Rx levels, anything RF related in respect to my OTA setup. I pulled in 2 other TV's (a Hisense/Roku 50" & Samsung 32") from other rooms on same exact RG6 coax wall connection and none of these phantom channel issues, I call it phantom because it is there and next time you pass through it acts like it temporarily "forgets" it. As you run through all your channels you'll see 4.2 for example and once you cycle back around it will be missing, then next time there. The SNIR quality of this channel is excellent. I am 100% certain TCL is selling TVs with defective OTA receiver OR problematic software. Sometimes I wish I just bought the HiSense model Roku. To resolve this issue I use a Homeworx OTA DVR, it gives me ability to schedule record lots of shows with a 1 TB hard drive in an external enclosure/USB 3.0. The poster is right on the money, TCL has a REAL issue with this and they need to fix it. My TCL model is 65S405 software version 9.1.0 b4917-30
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