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All posts by MikeB

Below are all of MikeB's postings, with the most recent are at the bottom of the page.

Kay Coleman: OK. so you know that the signal strength on your connection is very low. You swapped out cables and stuff, so its not those.

You can test the STP easily - take it to another room, and plug it into the aerial connection there, and connect it to the TV there (if its got a scart connection). If it works fine, then your down to one possibility - the connection to your room, and possibly where it splits off.

To make sure of that, borrow a TV from another room. If the signal strength is rubbish, that its got to be that.

Think of your wires like plumbing - somewhere between the aerial and your connection there is a 'leak'. Best bet? The splitter is dodgy, or the lead leading off that. Could be damage, a loose connection in the wall, corrosion, or perhaps someone has put in a new piece of electrical equipment, and the power supply to that is basically killing the signal.

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D. Askew: Your asking the question, but not thinking about where the problem lies - almost certainly within your own system. Best guess, it was raining a lot...

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Pembs: For a start 100% strength is too high.

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Friday 8 December 2017 1:56PM

StevensOnln1: There is one alternative - Freesat!

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Philip Anderson:

a) we dont need to know your address - your not writing a letter that we will be replying to, and you've now released your full postal address and name to the whole of the internet....

b) the answer to your question is simple, and has been repeated many times - commercial broadcasters dont think your worth it. There are just too few of you in your area to make it worth broadcasting to you, because they have to pay for their service to be carried. Its the same way that you dont have a world class hospital or a massive supermarket in every village.

Your licence fee pays for the BBC, which you do get. If they didn't bother, then you'd get nothing, because the cost of broadcasting to the 100's or more 'light' transmitters' is the same as broadcasting on the main transmitters. Light transmitters cover just 8% of the population.

Best idea - just get Freesat.

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John: Two thoughts - are you actually tuned to Caradon, since the prediction tools say you should only get St. Austell.

Secondly, if your losing a mux, there is a problem with your system. Putting a new aerial on a system with a likely fault doesn't change that.

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C Jones: Think about it - Sandy Heath is used by 920k homes - so if its had problems for the past 12-18 months, dont you think other people might have pointed that out by now?

Since the transmitter is in the same place, on the same channels, and the weather is no more or less variable than it has always been, that leaves your own system - which consists of a piece of cable just 6mm wide and is subject to the worst of the weather.

You can complain to Freeview, etc all you like, but 99% of the time, when someone says they have a long term reception problem, and complains about their licence fee (as they often do), its THEIR system at fault.

BTW - 100% strength is far too high, and results in a worse picture, not better. Since you havn't given a postcode, we have no idea where you are in relation to the transmitter, but its a fair bet that you'd normally have fine recption, but your system has been failing for about 18 months.

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D. Meader: I'm not trying to inhibite anyone, but if you look at any time people complain about a long term problem, they always seem to blame the transmitter, the BBC, 4G, or strange changes that nobody else has observed.

The most likely explaination is that its their system, but they will swear blind its not, even when they post the same problem for months on end.

Moving onto your particular problem:
a) put your postcode into the site - it will bring up lots of data, and will allow people to see what sort of signal you should get

b) Check the connections - if people lose a mux, something has changed, and its usually a dodgy lead or connection - its not alwasy the weakest that goes either. Changing the lead is a cheap easy way of at least eliminating one possible issue.

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C Jones: If your relative can actually see the transmitter, then their signal is going to be very powerful, (perhaps too powerful) hence the possible problems with reception. 100% Quality is great, but too much strength is bad - your tuner is essentially being shouted at, and goes deaf. 75% is pretty much perfect.

Your right that you do have an issue, but your issue does not have to be the same as someone else's. Again, there are 290k households served by that transmitter - so even if 99.9% of those households have a perfect picture, there are still a fair number who do not. And they do not have to be all for the same reason.

However, as you can see from StevensOnIn1's frequent answer about checking cables, the most likely problem is your system. Yes, you've had your aerial checked recently, but since you are losing signal, something must be wrong with it, since the transmitter hasn't varied in any way.

There could be other causes, such as interference from electrical equipment nearby, but start with the most obvious. If you've lost signal, thats because the system has stopped working in some way, and a loose connection or broken wire is the most likely.

Sorry if I did sound a bit exasperated, but there have been so many people insisting on pretty anything being the cause of the problem other than their system that its a bit frustrating.

BTW - if you put your postcode into the site, it will show all sorts of useful information, inclkuding the sort of signal your supposed to get.

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Trevor Harris: I've been thinking along similar lines for a while, and in part, I agree with you, at least about the global part.

Amazon, Netflix, etc are international brands, albeit ones which have the largest pat of their customer base in North America and other parts of the English speaking world. So their orginal content reflects that. They are essentially distributors doing exactly what all other content distributors have always done - go upstream to make sure they have some control over the product they have available.

So you can buy up a programme and have it exclusively on your service - fine. And The Crown is apparently excellent. Joss Wheedon reckons that Firefly would have been much more successful on Netflix simply because of the wider audience base, rather than Fox, so there is hope that shows can be given a chance before being thrown to the wolves.

But not all the programmes have been equally good or successful, which is perfectly understandable.

And not all programmes travel, especially formats. Top Gear and Bake Off are cases in point.

Amazon didn't buy Top Gear, they bought the chemistry between the three main presenters. Frankly, Clarkeson had been doing his best to be sacked for some time, and with the others following him, they could sort of big up the format with lots more cash. The BBC still has the format, and its very successful worldwide with local versions (the UK version hasn't quite found its feet) , but its was the synthesis between the two things that made it able to travel.

Amazon could have bought Bakeoff - but formats are a delicate thing. C4 got Hollywood, the format and the tent. The new presenters are not bad, but not quite Mel and Sue, and Leith has turned out to be pretty good. But its lost its innocence a bit, and not as many people watch. C4 are very happy, since it brings in enough viewers, especially in the yoiung market.

But there are two reasons it would not work on Netflix, etc. One is that few people in De Moines or Calcutta want to see someone from Dorking bake a cake (the first US version of Bake Off was a total flop). They might watch someone from New England bake a cake, etc, but some things are local. Game shows and talent contests are like that, which is why they have their own versions, even if the format is the same.

The second is that streaming services essentially divorce you from time. You want to watch the whole of The Crown (all ten episodes) at once? You can. But do you really want to watch the final of Bake Off all by yourself? Not really, there is no tension and no social context - your not going to talk about it at work. And watching 6 months later than everyone else? Zero fun.

Much the same goes for Strictly. Its something you want to watch live, or at least not that long after broadcast. Amazon can't buy that format, but there have been loads of photocopy versions with ice skating etc. And again, who wants to watch a 'celeb' you've never heard of do something, months after they've done it?

We dont watch news or sport much on catchup - they are of the moment. And so are certain types of entertainment or drama. And we like to watch people doing these things who we have some sort of connection to.

And UK shows are not better or worse than US shows (we get the best or better stuff - much of it is total dross), but they are different. Series tend to much shorter (Home Fires, Line of Duty, Dr Foster all have 5-6 episodes), and perhaps no more than one or two in many cases. They are much more likely to be based on novels, and thus have a limited narrative length.

They tend to have smaller budgets, and are often not expected to be stretched out to the sort of 13 episode 4 season plus productions you might find in the US. And they often have a different vibe - Line of Duty is very dark.

On the other hand, looking at Netflix and Amazon, much of their content are UK TV shows, like Peaky Blinders (co production), or stuff from the BBC back catalogue.

And much of the content we watch are actually international productions - much of UK period drama has been partially financed by PBS. And Blue Planet II certainly has been, although its the BBC thats the driving force behind it.

In fact, Blue Planet II is exactly the sort of programme you are unlikely to see a streaming service producing by itself - a programme that might take up to a decade to come to screen (4 years on filming alone), using large resources, and with often a message that not all its potential audience might like. The same cash could instead be used for a drama that makes more money. Much better to buy it in....

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