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Freeview "balloons" advert
View the new advert for Freeview
Brian Butterworth published on UK Free TV Freeview, the service that provides lots of free to watch television and radio channels using a rooftop aerial is promoting their subscription-free offering in the run up to Christmas.
Freeview's new 60-second TV ad, shows a Freeview user collecting helium balloons that carry the logos of the various channels available. It is an uplifting expression of the benefits of Freeview - the best bits of telly, free from contracts.
The soundtrack is "Happy Together" by the Turtles.
I have to say I find that freeview advert intensely irritating.
My postcode in NP19 7 is in a velley by the river usk. Hills block our line of sight to the mendip and wenvoe transmitters that would need a pole tyhe size of a power pylon to overcome. The BBC told me our "official" transmitter is "Mynydd Machen"
Years ago a local company that I actually used to trust for repairs offered to erect digital aerials and for well over a hundred quid stuck something on my roof that frankly from the size of it ought to receive the cameras on the Apollo LEM at Tranquility Base but what this shyster did NOT tell us at the time was there was no digital signal from that mast, and would not be until the analogue system shut down.
This advert rubs in my face daily the fact that I have been conned by that shyster who I hope dies horribly of some vile disease.
However, from visiting your site this morning I know at last that (and I thank you for being so open with your information) that there is NO WAY I will ever get half the channels that advert promises because the only transmitter I can see does not, will not, and never will, broadcast them.
That does not help the situation of course, but at least I now KNOW I've been lied to for years by almost everyone I've asked about this issue.
There should be a campaign that all transmitter should be full transmitters, people should not just be allowing this to continue.
We need people power.
It is unthinkable that the Raoyal Mail might say because you live there we will only deliver to you half the letters posted.
Or BT to say you can only recieve calls from half the country.
David: Royal Mail and BT have universal service obligations whereas their competitors do not. The BBC, ITV1 and Channel 4 as "Public Service Broadcasters" have a similar obligation, whereas their competitors do not.
In *some* cases it is possible to have a second aerial or replacement aerial on another transmitter that broadcasts these services. In some of those cases the signal might not be as good as that from the other "Freeview Light" transmitter and hence it might require a larger, more expensive, aerial installation. In those cases, the viewer's choice might be the status quo or spend money to get all the channels (this is if they realise that they might have such a choice).
Freesat is often used as an alternative and might be worth looking at.
john voisey: I sympathise with your predicament. The commercial operators were invited to broadcast from more sites and declined.
The BBC is quite correct. Mynydd Machen broadcasts the BBC, ITV1 and Channel 4 which have a universal service obligation. Years ago it will have been determined that Wenvoe doesn't provide a sufficient signal to your area and that is why Mynydd Machen was installed.
It is the commercial broadcasters that have decided not to bother with Mynydd Machen and that is hardly the BBC's fault.
As I said to David (above), in some cases viewers might be able to receive from another transmitter, usually with the need for a larger and more expensive aerial installation. This would be his or her decision whether to "consume" the service.
I had a look at your close on Google Streetview. Number 18 has opted for such a solution; a larger aerial mounted higher up pointing at Wenvoe. It is obvious that this aerial is on Wenvoe because it is horizontally polarised (aerials on Mynydd Machen are vertical). The difference in the direction of the two transmitters is about 35 degrees. Look around and see what your other neighbours have done. What can and can't be done might vary from house to house. Only a professional could give you a definitive answer.
Be aware that Wenvoe's commercial multiplexes (the ones you can't get) are at a power of 50kW whereas the Public Service Broadcaster (PSB) ones (the ones that Mynydd Machen transmits) are at 100kW. So the commercials from Wenvoe will be weaker and this will mean that in some places they will be too weak but the PSBs will be receivable. Thus, any solution (if possible) that uses Wenvoe must be sensitive enough to pick up the weaker commercial channels or it's a waste of time.
Is anyone else having trouble with the Usktransmitter. Since retuning TV after the last Mendip retune (Sept 2011), TV channels from Usk transmitter cannot be acquired and the only Welsh programmes come weakly from Wenvoe, despite being a matter of 300m from Usk Tx. Problem seems to be that Mendip SDN and ArqB now fall on top of Usk BBCA and D3&4. Was all fine before Sept 2011! Coverage map of Mendip shows Usk as a weak signal area but it delivers a solid signal on BBCA and D3&4.