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For the last six years, I have answered many thousands of personal emails that you have sent to UK Free TV.

Sadly, I am unable to offer this personal service at the moment.

Until I can restore this service, please can you leave any questions you have on an appropriate page, where they will be answered as soon as possible, or below, if you can't figure out where to ask.

I look forward to your questions!

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BBC Three Linear channel re-opens1
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In this section

Friday, 25 May 2012

12:38 AM

Any idea when Freeview Channel : 4 SEVEN is due to start. Tried ringing Channel 4 but they didn't seem to know ?

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Nedbod's 619 posts GB
Mark Fletcher

1:28 AM

Nedbod.Barring any further delays,4seven is now scheduled to commence on the 236th anniversary of USA independence day,Wednesday 4 July 2012 !

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Mark Fletcher's 673 posts GB
Bob Munday
7:58 PM


I am having problems with the Hastings transmitter that is due to have first stage of switch over on the 30th May.

I have hardly any TV at all now, even on analogue. Digital programmes are pixilating all the time, please do you know if this will be any better after the switch over?

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Bob Munday's 5 posts GB
Mark Fletcher

11:22 PM

Bob Mundy,Battle.If you use the correct equipment the answer is yes !

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Mark Fletcher's 673 posts GB
Saturday, 26 May 2012

1:24 AM

Bob Munday: The prediction for reception from Hastings is not that good at your location, due to possible interference from Eastbourne and Rowridge which will be using the same frequencies as Hastings post DSO. If this does turn out to be a problem, as you are predicted to have good reception on all six muxes from Heathfield after switchover it might be a good idea to set your aerial for reception from Heathfield after 13th June 2012.

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KMJ,Derby's 1,811 posts GB
1:04 PM
Kingston Upon Thames

Dear Dave and jb38,
Just wanted to give you an update and ask another (probably very daft!) question following your kind advice to my question of 19/04/12 at 10.18pm.

I bought a new set top box as suggested (Goodmans GDR11) with built in modulator to replace the Thomson and Maplin equipment. Following the usual tuning procedure resulted in only being able to pick up Channel 26/SDN multiplex, so I tried the tip of unplugging the aerial and inserting a piece of wire instead. This did the trick of getting the other multiplexes that I actually wanted (i.e. BBC) added. So the other problem was obviously my close proximity to the Crystal Palace transmitter.

I'm overjoyed that I won't have to part ways with my beloved Hitachi Instavision, but have a question: what do I do now? I assume that the answer will be 'get a set top aerial to replace the piece of wire', but your confirmation would be much appreciated!

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betty_chienne's 4 posts GB
Dave Lindsay

2:39 PM

betty_chienne: I have just found out that your post code resolves to a block of flats.

Is it a communal aerial system? If it is and it turns out to be at fault, then it is the responsibility of whoever maintains it to provide rectification.

From your test, it would seem to be the case that the signal coming out of the aerial socket is too strong for your receiver to cope with.

This sort of thing can particularly affect communal aerial systems because they often have amplifiers in which make signals bigger. Now that the signals going in at the aerial end are bigger than they were before 18th April, it stands to reason that the level of signals coming out of aerial sockets will also be bigger (if no changes to the system have been made). In some cases, the (higher level) signals coming out of aerial wall sockets may be too high after switchover.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB

3:16 PM

betty_chienne: Many thanks for your update and pleased to hear that the wire aerial test was successful insomuch that somewhat proved that you are indeed receiving an excessively high level of signal.

As far as the final situation is concerned, and apart from what Dave Lindsay has mentioned, but you could just do as you have said and purchase a non-amplified simple set top aerial, although another trick that you could try using the original coax feed is to take the coax plug off the end of it and pull the braiding back over the centre core insulation so that more of it is showing, then take a single piece of wire and wind it around the centre core insulation giving it about six turns or so and securing it in place with a piece of masking tape or sellotape so that it doesn't unwind, then plug the single wire into the aerial socket.

By rights two pieces of wire should really have been connected to the coax plug that was removed, and with the coax plugs outer connected to the coax cables outer screen, likewise the middle of the plug connected to the wire that's wrapped around the middle core of the coax, the reason for this being that there is less likelihood of picking up interference.

By the way, "if" by any chance the signal is still to strong then take one turn off at a time until you achieve the desired result, as what you have done is make a type of attenuator.

Apart from trying that procedure you could just purchase a variable attenuator of 0 to 20db and place that in line with the aerial socket, is just that there has been instances where even a 0-20db did not reduce it enough, this being why I mentioned the wrapped wire technique as it doesn't cost anything.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB
Shelley Glover
7:07 PM

we got a free sky dish and box 18 months ago. Over the last couple weeks the box will not record, and when it trys to record, it knocks the channel off, and all other channels. Leaving a message no satellite signal being recieved. When we looked at the back connections to the sky box we found they were only held in by electrical tape. Phoned sky, they said " tough " out of warrenty, and we had got the package from a third party, there " agents2 as they call it, and because to that we dont have any rights. We had no idea that we were dealing directly with sky. Now, we got some connections ourselves, but they are too small for the wires, and the right connections are no longer available. Has anyone else, got a box about 18 months ago, without the " proper" connections, this is a real health and safety issue.

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Shelley Glover's 1 post GB
7:27 PM

To Mark and KMJ, thank you for your replies. I will wait and see what the situation is after the 13th June and if necessary set aerial to Heathfield as you suggest.

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Bob's 5 posts GB
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