General:In the UK there are over 1,100 TV transmitters. Around 40 of these transmitters serve very large areas with a single strong signal. However the majority are smaller transmitters that "fill in" the signals where the terrain is hilly.
82 of these transmitters carry the Freeview service at the moment. From my understanding, there is still considerable discussion going on about the technical challenge and the cost of upgrading these to carry Freeview.
The reason for this is because it may be considerably cheaper for some areas that are served by a large number of low-power transmitters to switched off, and satellitereception be provided to each home in these areas.
The cost savings of removing the transmitter from service, possible resale to mobile phone companies, and the savings associated with not having to do an expensive transmitter upgrade can be used to fund the equipment and installations of the homes served.
However, this may not be practicable in some areas, because the Astra satellites appears to be lower down in the sky in Scotland than in the South of England. This makes satellite reception more problematic in the very areas it may be supposed to be "filling in".
Because the Freeview service has been developed using low-power signals of frequencies that could not have been used for new analogueservices, this also makes adding in Freeview services a technical challenge.
For example, if the people living in your area were given a six-month timeframe to switch over everyone from analogue to Freeview what would happen? This may have to be done so that the frequencies used for the analogue TV could then be reallocated for Freeview services elsewhere.
If new set-top boxes were subsidized, for example, how could this be done in a fair way? There are not just the technical issues, but also general training and assistance for those who need it too.
So is not so much that some areas are "forgotten", more "not yet assessed". I suspect that we will have to await the outcome of the research in the next year from the various government departments and bodies that have been given the task of organising the switchover to digital TV.
Meanwhile, you can still get a digital satellite box from Sky for ÃÂ£120 without subscription, and get the ÃÂ£23.50 card for itv-1, Channel 4 and five.
North Cornwall: You may be well advised to consider digital satellite, because I suspect that it going to be a long time (if ever) that the areas around the north Cornwall coast get "filled in".
Eastbourne: Because of the Freeview frequency plan, the transmitters around the south coast are on very low power, because the signals cannot interfere with TV transmissions in France and Belgium. Therefore you can be quite confident that Freeview will not be available in this area for some time.
Shirley: If you are referring to the Sky box freezing, then although this can happen on a "very" odd occasion the problem could possibly be caused by the dish being slightly out of alignment or alternatively the actual Sky boxes power unit going slightly downhill, especially if the box is a few years old.
You should carry out a signal check on the Sky box, accessed via: "services - 4 - 6" and where both the signal and quality should be seen indicated as level pegging at about 75% of the scale, if the quality is lower then the dish is a fraction out, but if not then the box is the problem.
As far as Freeview is concerned, its best that you wait until April 18th when Crystal Palace is fully switched over before making any decisions as far as purchases are concerned, the only reason I mention Crystal Palace being, that although Rouncefall and Sudbury is presently indicated as being good for reception as well as both of them being closer to that of Crystal Palace, but as far as Sudbury is concerned you could well class it as a Freeview light transmitter as its commercial multiplexes are permanently indicated as being variable for reception, meaning they cannot be relied upon, Rouncefall not transmitting commercial stations by being PSB only.
As far as sharing the dish is concerned, does the other party involved have normal Sky or is it Sky+? I ask as if its Sky+ then they will have two leads from the dish, and should a quad LNB have been fitted onto the dish that would leave you also with two outlets enabling you to use a twin tuner Freesat recorder, "if" an additional coax was run from the dish.
Maybe you could give an update as far as that is concerned, and I can then give further advice appropriate to answer given.
Hi I have an elderly aunt in Seaford, near Newhaven in East Sussex, who relys on her television, her post code is BN25 3BH. She has a new Samsung TV with Freeview and a Panasonic DVD and HDD recorder machine. After switchover we retuned her TV but cannot get the major BBC terrestrialchannels (BBC1 and 2)on the TV although ITV, Channels 4 and 5 are ok.
She can however receive all channels when viewing through the DVD suggesting the TV is not as sensitive as the DVD. She has an amp on the antenna powered from a 12V PSU in her lounge. Any suggestions how we can boost the signal to the TV? Another amp in the aerial cable to the TV?
Mike Summers.Seaford,BN25 3BH.Is this the 400w (0.4kw) Newhavenfreeview lite relay or the 4,000w (4kw) Whitehawk Hill major relay your aunt is receiving the signals from.One indicator are the aerial coloured tips if yellow denoting a group B vertical polarised signal from Newhaven relay which only broadcasts PSB multiplexes only (no COM mux's),or green denoting a group C/D vertical polarised signal from Whitehawk Hill major relay.
If your TV allows it manual scan either the BBCA multiplex on frequency 50 if tuned to Newhaven,or if tuned to Whitehawk Hill then this is located on frequency 60.
If your aunt is utilising signal booster/amplifier then bypass this as this will overload the signal hence the absence of the BBCA multiplex as such.
Any confirmation whether your aunt uses either Newhaven lite relay or Whitehawk Hill major relay would be most helpful,an indicator i already addressed previously prior is the coloured tips of your aunt's antenna.
Mike Summers: With the except of Heathfield, the other three possible transmitters at your aunt's location are within 22 degrees of one another and all broadcast vertically. Hence her receiver could easily be pickup up the wrong one.
At 284 degrees is Whitehawk Hill which is adjacent to Brighton Racecourse and carries all Freeview channels and had low power Freeview signals before switchover.
At 262 degrees is Rowridge on the Isle of Wight which serves a large chunk of the south coast. It was horizontally polarised only before switchover and now transmits horizontally and vertically.
If your aunt's aerial is vertical and pointing at Whitehawk or Newhaven, it could be picking up Rowridge a bit now, seen as it broadcasts vertically.
I had a look down the road and I see that they are bungalows and therefore are lower down, so it might explain the need for amplifier. A few aerials are horizontal and thus on Rowridge. Others are vertical and could therefore be on Newhaven or Whitehawk.
If you're tuning the TV, then connect it straight to the aerial to tune it(via the power supply for the amp). That way you know that the DVD can't be causing any problem.
Cara: Your most likely transmitter would appear to be Shotleyfield as that is where all the aerials I can see on Streetview are pointing. Shotleyfield is to your west and your aerial will be vertical (elements up/down).
The Shotleyfield transmitter is a relay or "filler-in" for an area that can't receive from the main transmitter, Pontop Pike. That is not to say that you are definately in such an area (they do overlap).
Shotleyfield currently broadcasts only the four analoguechannels and after switchover will carry digital (Freeview) Public Service channels only and these are BBC standard definition and high-definition TV, BBC radio, ITV1, ITV1+1, ITV1HD, ITV2, Channel 4, Channel 4+1, Channel 4HD, E4, More4 and Channel 5.
The Commercial channels, which carry such as ITV3, Pick TV, Yesterday, Film4, Dave and 4seven, will not be broadcast from Shotleyfield (ever) because their operators do not wish to pay for the transmitter, and this is also the case at over 1,000 similar relay sites.
In "some" cases it is possible to receive from a full-Freeview transmitter, usually with a different aerial. Where this isn't possible, viewers will be stuck with Freeview Lite.
Ultimately only an installer can tell you whether it is possible to receive from Pontop Pike. The Digital UK predictor reckons that there is a "good" chance of doing so after switchover. However, such predictors should always be taken with a pinch of salt, particularly in locations such as yours where you can't see the transmitter due to the terrain.
I suggest that if you decide to call in an aerial installer (with a view to receiving from Pontop Pike) that you don't do so until after switchover on 26th September when all channels will be at their full post-switchover power. This is because the installer needs the signals to be available, on the air, in order to decide whether it is possible to receive them. If you have one install an aerial for Pontop Pike now, you may have no recourse with the installer should the subsequent post-switchover signals not be receivable.
Pontop Pike is to your east and aerials will be horizontal (elements flat). It might be worth looking around to see if anyone is receiving from Pontop Pike.