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Whole house digital TV

There are many ways to make all the TVs in your home digital.

There are many ways to make all the TVs in your home digital.
published on UK Free TV

Here are some examples of how to make your home fully digital.

Sky+ with multiroom

The device on the end of the "arm" of your satellite dish is an LNB. Because the digibox sends power to the LNB, you can not just split the cable onto two input. When you buy a Sky+ package from Sky, it comes with a "quad LNB", which has four outputs. The engineer runs two cables from the dish to the Sky+ box.

You can then run one each to a digibox by up to four televisions. You can either do this though "Sky multiroom" (as shown, with Sky+ in one room and another digibox elsewhere), or by doing it yourself.

Sky+ boxes require a constant authorisation signal from Sky over the satellite path. The moment you disconnect the box from the satellite inputs or you stop paying Sky the 10 per month the Sky+ box will stop working as a personal video recorder, and act like a normal digibox. You can't use the box to record, playback or pause without a Sky subscription.

Freesat multiroom - no Freeview

It's not possible to use it to receive Freeview, but you can get the Freesat service. All you need is either a new DVB-S (digital video broadcasting - satelite) box, or an old Sky Digibox. You can use a Quad LNB to supply digital satellite signals to digiboxes in each room.

Sky and Freeview

It will always be better to use a higher classification aerial alone, rather than a less able one with an amplifier. With digital signals, it is far more important to get good quality reception for the set-top box, rather than increase the signal's power as this will simply be ignored by the digital receiver.

For many people Freeview is used on the main and second TV, in addition to subscription Sky on the first.

Cable and Freeview

Or you might have NTL/Telewest cable on the main TV, with Freeview for the secondary televisions.

Sky with RF second TV

If you connect a second TV to a digibox by using the "RF output", this does not require a separate connection to the dish, but you can only watch the same channel from the digibox on both TVs. With Sky digiboxes, you can also use your remote control with a IR receiver by the second TV.

Freesat media center

The PC version of Sky+, such as Media Center:
  • you can buy as large a hard drive as you want
  • it's much better than Sky+
  • you've more chance of HD working
  • you can share the recorded channels to a local area network, play them on a Xbox360 and burn them to DVD
  • it records the digital signal, so the playback quality is perfect.

The specification for the Elonex Artisan LX, and it says it comes with the "Hauppauge WinTV Nova-T" cards. The "T" suffix denotes the DVB-T (digital terrestrial) version of the card. A satellite version of the card is available (Elonex may supply these instead of the "-T" cards)?

Wireless networks should be up to the job of sharing the recorded TV programmes to the local network, but it is my personal experience that they are not. You might find it works better by connecting your new Media Centre computer to the wireless router using a cat5 (twisted pair Ethernet) patch cable.

Freeview media center

The Freeview media center is easier to setup, as you can just use a simple splitter to provide the UHF Freeview signals to two receiver cards (or a dual-headed card).

Once again the recorded programmes can be watched by using a simple file share, or by using an XBox360.

Freeview everywhere

If the Freeview signal is strong, you can usually just split the aerial cable where convenient to supply a digital television signal to many digital televisions or set-top boxes.

Freeview and Sky everywhere

In good signal areas, it will be possible to feed the aerial signal first the the Sky digibox, and then on to integrated televisions or Freeview boxes, adding in the ability to watch one Sky channel around the home.

Freeview everywhere with masthead amplifier

Another possibility is that you are passing the incoming aerial signal though some other device (such as a VCR) that is either filtering or producing it's own signal. If this is the case, see if plugging the aerial directly into one Freeview box will allow you to see these channels. If this works, then you can use a masthead amplifier to boost the signal for each digital television or set-top box.

Help with Television sets?
Why are all TVs on sale not digital?1
Do I still have to pay for a TV licence?2
I had perfect channel 5 reception - until I got a digital TV box!3
I Have a Pocket Tv For taking out so I can keep up with news and sport. Will thi4
The pictures from my digital box are all green!5
In this section
Loft aerials1
Do I need to buy a booster?2
How to receive Freeview on your PC3
Indoor aerials4
Connecting it all up5
Now and Next6

Monday, 7 March 2011
Paul Wisniewski
5:47 PM

I currenly have a sat dish with dual Lnb connected to a pannie Blu-Ray recorderand it works fine. can I change the LNB and run additional cable to an existing multi way booster then add freesat boxes to other tv's in the rest of the house? Is this the most effective way?

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Paul Wisniewski's 2 posts GB flag

6:54 PM

Paul Wisniewski: You can change the LNB package to provide more outputs, you can't use a booster however. You must connect each Freesat box to the LNB package.

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Briantist's 38,910 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 9 March 2011
11:08 AM

I currently have Sky+ in one room, and a standard Sky digibox in another for my in law on a multi room contract with Sky. If I cancel my subscription (I am well over a year with 7!) will I just receive the free channels on both boxes independently, and can I connect another box if its a quad lnb?
Any comments will be greatly appreciated.

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Jamlid's 1 post GB flag
Jamlid's: mapJ's Freeview map terrainJ's terrain plot wavesJ's frequency data J's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Saturday, 12 March 2011
8:43 PM

I have Sky+ and using the RF output from the Sky+ box I connect to 4 other TVs in the house (via a splitter box in the loft) so I can watch whatever is on the main Sky/TV in any room. All of these other TVs are both Analogue and Digital. I have the Sky channel tuned to a spare Analogue channel. One of those TVs has now developed a fault and I can't get any Analogue signal/channel. Not a problem for normal TV viewing - simply watch in Digital mode. But now I can't get Sky on it. Is there a way to tune the Sky+ RF output to a spare Digital channel or does Sky+ RF output only work in Analogue? And thinking ahead - what happens in the course of time when I replace my Analogue/Digital TVs with Digital only? Will I be unable to view Sky in the way that I can now?

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MC's 1 post GB flag
Sunday, 13 March 2011
11:30 AM

At the risk of looking stupid! We have basic SKY in the main location and 4 other TVs one of which is digitally enabled. All work off aerials.We are in a dell and cannot get Ch5 except on SKY. My understanding is that post switchover the aerials will not work and will need to use a dish and a satellite seperate from the SKY one--is that correct? I [family] want the capacity to view up to 4 channels at a time. Will SKY multiroom achieve that?

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alasdair's 1 post GB flag
Les Nicol

2:49 PM

Alasdair You could use SKY mutti-room but you will incur further ongoing cost. Alternatively you could get yourself either standard or high definition "Freesat" receiver(s) as a one off cost. You would of course need to upgrade the SKY dish LNB from a single to multi outlet type along with cable feeds to the respective TV's and locations.

If you have an external aerial then you could connect all other TV's to that aerial - Your problem may be your location as regards this option given that you state your in a Dell which may impact on the digital signal even at switch over.

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Les Nicol's 991 posts GB flag
Les Nicol

3:12 PM

P>S For the other sets not digitally enabled - If you can get a digital signal in your locus from a roof top aerial then you would require "Freeview" set top boxes.

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Les Nicol's 991 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 15 March 2011
w sanders
4:26 PM

i have freesat sd on single lnb if i up grade lnb to 2 outputs will i be then able to connect freesat hd box to a 2nd tv ?

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w sanders's 3 posts GB flag
w's: mapW's Freeview map terrainW's terrain plot wavesW's frequency data W's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Les Nicol

7:25 PM

W sanders - Yes but I would suggest a quad output LNB rather than a twin. eg:- A freesat recorder receiver which has two tuners can then be a consideration if not now,at a later stage. The LNB suggested will cater for this and still allow for yet another single tuner receiver. Any price difference in LNB's is fractional.

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Les Nicol's 991 posts GB flag
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