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In this section

Friday, 1 April 2011
8:37 PM
St. Neots


I am about 12 miles from the Sandy Heath transmitter. since the 30 Mar retune I have sufferd from a poorer signal. should this change after the 13 April retune or do you think I have other issues?

Unfortunatly I have a loft installed aerial with a booster. I was getting a 60% signal on my Humax pvr200 now I am getting 30%.

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Haggis's 1 post GB flag
Haggis's: mapH's Freeview map terrainH's terrain plot wavesH's frequency data H's Freeview Detailed Coverage
11:02 PM

Newbie here, so the answer may have been told plenty, but here goes
I have a old aerial on our shop and the reception is poor, now sometimes we have second hand tvs for sale, but it is hard selling them when the picture is poor, not a problem if they have a scart or HDMI socket as I can run a DVD or bluray through them, but the older analogue tvs is a problem.
So the question is:
Can I connect a sky box and dish up to a 8x booster box via RF and transmit the same channel to all tvs?
Or is there a better option aerial is out of the question as it's not my property
Thanks in advance

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AndyG's 1 post GB flag
AndyG's: mapA's Freeview map terrainA's terrain plot wavesA's frequency data A's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Saturday, 2 April 2011
Mike Dimmick

11:09 AM

AndyG: Yes, you can connect more than one TV to the RF output of the Sky box using a splitter, and tune the TVs into that. The amplifier should be adjusted to just offset the losses of the splitter and the cabling.

I wouldn't recommend anyone buys a second-hand TV without SCART sockets, though. There aren't many Freeview boxes out there that can modulate their output onto the aerial cable going to the TV. Those that did exist have mostly been discontinued.

Of course, if you can find one, you could use that rather than the Sky box. Might be worth getting a stock in to sell with the TV - the Emley Moor transmitter switches over in September and the Belmont transmitter in August. You can also get standalone RF modulators that convert signals from a SCART socket - rf modulator scart switch connectors phono plug lead adapter (RG47SH)

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB flag
Mike Dimmick

11:50 AM

Haggis: I suspect the signal is now too strong, causing an overload in a booster or in the receiver itself. This causes signals to be smeared into one another.

The quoted allowed signal range of the Humax PVR-9200T is 35-95 dBuV*. On that basis, 60% would be 71 dBuV. Separately, I've calculated that the highest expected signal level before switchover started would have been about 80 dBuV. So we're in that sort of ballpark - in built-up areas you often expect to lose 10 dB of signal because the aerials don't see over neighbouring buildings.

The Confederation of Aerial Installers recommends a level for digital signals of around 45-60 dBuV. For analogue signals it is 60-80 dBuV. The predicted level for BBC Two was 98 dBuV - way over the recommended limit.

The new BBC A multiplex is running at 180 kW and on BBC Two's old frequency, for a predicted 90.6 dBuV. It's very likely that the high-power signal is so distorted that the receiver just isn't able to decode it, and has chosen a weaker signal from somewhere else entirely.

If you have any boosters or amplifiers, you should remove them. If that doesn't help, or there aren't any, I recommend adding an attenuator to reduce signal levels, possibly by up to as much as 20 dB.

Why do Humax claim that the box can handle 95 dBuV? My guess is that is what it can handle when inside a shielded test lab with only one multiplex operating and no other signals. In the real world it has to contend with five other multiplexes, up to five analogue signals, signals from more distant transmitters, TETRA radio below the TV band and mobile phones above it.

Do ensure that you're doing a first-time installation. The most recent update made the 9200T do this when you select Automatic Update, but to be absolutely sure, use Default Setting. You will lose all the recording schedules and it will revert to 4:3 output, so make a note of the settings first.

The latest software is PGXTF 1.00.23 - you can check the version by pressing Menu, 5 (for System), 1 (for Status). The Loader Version should be 'a 4.09'. If the loader version is older than this it may not be able to auto-update when new software is broadcast.

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB flag
Mike's: mapM's Freeview map terrainM's terrain plot wavesM's frequency data M's Freeview Detailed Coverage
6:55 PM

My parents have an apartment near Boulogne-sur-Mer in France. They have always been able to watch British tv but when they arrived last week the digital switch over meant they have no picture reception. How can we arrange for their tv viewing to be restored?

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notts13's 1 post GB flag
Sunday, 3 April 2011
4:48 PM

notts13: Assuming their TV uses an aerial, not satellite - I guess they could try buying a cheap set top box from Argos or somewhere and try that. It might be they would need a better aerial too but try the set top box first. They should also check which transmitter the aerial points towards. Its a bit odd that they've lost the analogue channels as switchover on the Dover transmitter is not due until 1 July 2012. (50,1.37) 

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Chris's 13 posts GB flag
Mike Dimmick

5:55 PM

notts13: This is because a new transmitting aerial has been installed at the Dover transmitter, which directs more signal where it's needed into Kent, and less across the channel into France where it could interfere with their own digital transmissions.

Your best option is to go with satellite. Buy a Freesat box over here and have a satellite dish installed to point at the Astra 2/Eurobird cluster of satellites at 28.2/28.5°E. French-language transmissions come from a different cluster of satellites, so you would need a local installer who know what they're doing.

The aerial work is done long before the actual switch-off of analogue transmissions - there simply isn't enough time to replace the aerial and transmitters in one night.

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB flag
Mike's: mapM's Freeview map terrainM's terrain plot wavesM's frequency data M's Freeview Detailed Coverage
7:39 PM


I am thinking about buying a second hand sky box to use in the caravan (I already have a portable dish for Freesat). Do I need a viewing card to watch the free channels that are available. Thanks -Alan

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Alan's 1 post GB flag
Monday, 4 April 2011
Tom Smith
4:57 PM
Isle Of Arran

It is possible to use an old TV which doesn't have a scart socket. Tvonics is a company that has a device that works on old Tvs to give quite good freeview reception + all available channels. I have a MFR-300 version of the tvonics box and it does work ! takes abit of fiddling but Tvonics helped me by email to achieve the desired result...

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Tom Smith's 4 posts GB flag
Tom's: mapT's Freeview map terrainT's terrain plot wavesT's frequency data T's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Mike Dimmick

5:21 PM

Alan: You need a viewing card to watch free-to-view channels - channels that are encrypted, but available even without an active subscription.

I believe you also need a viewing card for Sky's EPG to work. Otherwise you can only watch free-to-air channels using the box's Other Channels feature, you have to tune them in and add new channels yourself, and you have to retune if they move to a different transponder.

If you already have a Freesat box, you gain very little by having a Sky box. There are a very small number of free-to-air channels that are in Sky's EPG but not Freesat's, but this is largely because Sky are being obstructive (in the name of compatibility with their boxes). You can tune them in using Other Channels on the Freesat box.

Compare the line-ups at Free Digital TV Channels - freesat and FREESAT from Sky - What can I watch? . I wouldn't trust Sky's comparison page to be up-to-date. (RG47SH)

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB flag
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