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Some UK Free upgrades

There have been some upgrades to UK Free TV to deal with new information. This includes various maps, the analogue and DAB radio pages, and fixes for the transmitter information system.

There have been some upgrades to UK Free TV to deal with new in
published on UK Free TV

Over the last week I have installed a number of fixes to UK Free TV. Some of these are in the "backend" and should make the site run faster.

Automatic map area selection

When you select an map of multiple transmitters, such as Details of 12D/Leeds DAB multiplex or BBC West the map now automatically zooms to show all the transmitters.

Radio and DAB pages

Pages such as List of all DAB multiplexes now show the lists of transmitters or multiplexes in multiple columns, making the pages much easier to read. There are two new colours for the new DAB "blocks" of 05A and 10C.

Also, the import of radio and DAB pages is now set to happen daily, rather than manually. This means new services (such as 05A Oxfordshire service) will appear automatically.

Faster conversion of URLs

I have improved the way that the automatic conversion of posted links in comments are changed to actual links - for "trusted" sites these are displayed much quicker than before.

Better HTML

A number of issues relating the HTML on each page have been corrected, so the pages now always "validate", and there is always the correct tags for text-to-speech software.

Better email notifications

The pages used to select email notifications have been updated to the current "style".

Faster pages

The UK Free TV site uses the "APC" system to improve performance. By eliminating various bits of very old PHP3 and PHP4 code from the site, the pages compute and load faster.

Updates to transmitter engineering

I have created a list of "alternative transmitter names" to match the output of the BBC engineering system to the names used on UK Free TV. Pages such as BBC Transmitter Engineeering information link directly to all transmitters.

The list of alternative names is:

Barnstaple (Barnstaple Uhf), Beddgelert (Beddgelert Link), Berwick (Berwick-Upon-Tweed), Bexhill (Bexhill Uhf), Bleach Green (Bleachgreen), Brecon (Brecon Uhf), Brighton (Central) (Brighton Central), Bristol Kings Weston (Bristol Kings Weston Hill), Bury St Edmunds (Bury St. Edmunds), Cannongate (Canongate), Cefn Mawr A (Cefn-Mawr), Clacton (Clacton-on-Sea), Coniston (Coniston High Man), Corsham (Corsham Uhf), Craig Cefn Parc (Craig-Cefn-Parc), Cwm Twrch (Cwm-Twrch), Cwmafon (Cwmafan), Derby (Derby Uhf), Dunoon Forest Row (Dunoon), Eastbourne (Old Town) (Eastbourne Old Town), Exeter St Thomas (St. Thomas Exeter), Gartley Moor (Gartly Moor), Glencoyne (Glenridding Link) (Glencoyne), Gorleston on Sea (Gorleston), Grantown Link (Grantown), Ham Street (Hamstreet), Hastings (Old Town) (Hastings Old Town), Hythe Marina (Hythe), Kilbride South Uist (Kilbride), Kirkoswald VP (Kirkoswald), Leicester (Leicester City), Llangollen (Llangollen Uhf), Llangurig (Llangurig Uhf), Lowestoft (Lowestoft Uhf), Manchester Hulme (Hulme), Moel y Sant (Moel-y-Sant), Mynydd Pencareg (Mynydd Pencarreg), Nant Y Moel (Nant-y-Moel), Nottingham (Nottingham Uhf), Ogbourne St George (Ogbourne St. George), Olivers Mount (Oliver'S Mount), Penaligon Down (Penaligon Downs), Perth (Perth Uhf), Peterlee (Peterlee (Horden)), Plymouth North Rd (Plymouth North Road), Plymouth Weston Mill (Weston Mill), Preseli (Presely), Preston (Preston (Weymouth)), Rampisham (Rampisham Uhf), Rhondda (Rhondda B), Ross on Wye (Ross-on-Wye), Rouncefall (new) (Rouncefall), Skriaig (Skye) (Skriaig), St Albans (St. Albans), St Anthony-in-Roseland (St. Anthony in Roseland), St Austell (St. Austell), St Bees (St. Bees), St Briavels (St. Briavels), St Davids (St. Davids), St Dogmaels (St. Dogmaels), St Fillans (St. Fillans), St Just (St. Just), St Marks (St. Marks), St Neot (St. Neot), Stavely In Cartmel (Staveley-in-Cartmel), Tarbert (Tarbert Loch Fyne), Tarbert (Harris) (Tarbert Harris), Trefor B (Trefor), Walton Le Dale (Walton-le-Dale), Washford (Washford Uhf), Wells next the Sea (Wells-next-the-Sea), Whitehaven (Whitehaven Uhf), Worlds End (World'S End), Wrexham Rhos (Wrexham-Rhos), Ynysowen (Ynys Owen), and Lochgoilhead AD (Lochgoilhead Link).

All questions
BBC Three Linear channel re-opens1
Removing all barriers to communication between diverse cultures2
How do I get a test card with Freeview3
What can I do when my Sky Digibox says 'No Signal' or 'Technical fau4
Can I receive UK TV in Ghana?5
In this section
Seeing something different? We are doing A/B testing on a new Material Design1
Please share your thoughts about UK FREE TV2
The next 50 things on UK FREE TV. What would you like to see? 3
UK Free TV now uses friendly web addresses4
Best ever emails and improved menus on UK FREE TV5
Use the Knowledge base to find answers to your technical problems6

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

9:46 PM

Nick: Thats simply because that 778Mhz is the exact frequency of channel 59, 777.8Mhz being a 200Khz negative offset that has been applied to this channel to keep the correct channel spacing because the ITV transmitter on 785.8Mhz also uses one on channel 60.

Your problem will not, or anyway should not be connected to this aspect and has to be caused by some other reason, but as your location is not known the signal levels expected in your area cannot be assessed, but "if" you are looping the aerial through your PVR what happens reception wise when its connected directly into the TV?

Maybe you could also mention the model of PVR that you are using.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 2 January 2013
12:18 AM

Thanks JB38, I'm in OX49 and have only had the problem for a few months. The PVR is also a Panasonic. The tv aerial input is looped through the PVR but I already tried putting the aerial directly into the tv and that made no difference. The severity of the signal breakup varies which I suppose imples an input level problem?

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Nick's 2 posts GB flag

8:17 AM

Nick: Without knowing the age of your TV, but Panasonic TV's manufactured within the last 4 years or so have top grade tuners that are not effected in any way by a channel with a negative offset on its frequency, and indeed yours must also or you would experience the problem with ITV1 which is also on an offset frequency.

To get idea of what is happening I would suggest that you carry out a signal strength / quality check on Ch59 on the TV making a note of the indications seen, and then compare this with the result of a similar check but on Ch60, keeping in mind that Ch60 is on double the power of Ch59. (100Kw Vs 50Kw as are Ch62 & Ch55)

I suspect you might find that its the actual "quality" on Ch59 that is fluctuating quite a bit, although its possible that both are, and should this be the case then its liable to be outwith your control and with the only reason you are not witnessing the same effect on the PVR being that its slightly more tolerant to this type of thing by most likely using a different tuner, although it would be interesting to know the result if the same Ch59 test was carried out on the PVR, giving an update on results.

Should you find that the quality on Ch59 is fluctuating on both devices, then if you are on friendly terms with your neighbour (as many aren't!) then it would not go amiss to enquire if they also experience problems on that channel, because at this time of the year its not uncommon for the reception from one mux to be iffy even although the others are OK, and with this usually being caused by signal path obstruction from such likes as wet tree branches etc, the severity of the problem being dependant on the technical spec of the receiving equipment.

By the way you are indicated as being located at approximately 12 miles from the Oxford transmitter @ 320 degrees.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Sunday, 6 January 2013
9:42 AM

I am wondering if several people in my area of edinburgh have had reception interference on and off since September last year. I have had aerial engineers out twice (no help), and it doesn't seem to correspond to weather conditions either , nor is it related to other electrical items in my home. There is also nothing wrong with my TV. I have freeview with a built in tuner. My neighbour did say that she had had a little interference from around Sept / Oct but she doesn't have freeview. I am at a loss as to what is causing this intermittent interference. How can one find out if it is due to a new building or whatever, or a local radio ham or what. I never had any problems prior to September and my aerial is relatively new and has nothing wrong with it. All channels are affected at the same time---picture jerks or freezes and likewise the sound, and there is occasional pixellation. Other times it is perfect and can switch from one to the other within a space of a few hours. It was very bad on Christmas day. Any suggestions please?

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heather's 2 posts GB flag
heather's: mapH's Freeview map terrainH's terrain plot wavesH's frequency data H's Freeview Detailed Coverage

10:40 AM

heather: Your location is not terribly far away from the Craigkelly transmitter which is located across the water near to Burntisland and so its assumed that you are receiving your signal from there? the only reason for saying this being that I noticed another aerial pointing towards Blackhill.

However if you are using Craigkelly then the signal should be excellent, this even to the extent that some people near to your area had to fit attenuators to their equipment after Craigkelly had switched to high power as they were suffering from picture break up etc, one of the symptoms of an excessive signal level albeit that this also applies to a weak one, one of the misleading aspects of digital reception.

Have you carried out a signal strength check on your TV? although its the quality indication that's more important, although if your problem was connected to this trying a test with a set top aerial would reveal if the signal was particularly strong as you would get a reasonably good picture whilst using it.

Just to confirm that you are receiving from Craigkelly carry out your signal strength test on BBC and note the channel number that's seen associated with the strength / quality indications, because if its Craigkelly it should be Ch27 whereas from Blackhill it would be Ch46. You could also try the test on ITV3, Craigkelly being Ch42 and Blackhill Ch41. Giving an update on results.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
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