menuMENU    UK Free TV logo Archive (2002-)



Click to see updates

All posts by MikeB

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

Neil: Since your so close to Blueberry Hill, a booster might actually make your signal quality worse because of the high signal strength.

Try the aerial as it is (without the booster connected), and see how it goes. If its really rubbish, then try with the booster, etc.

link to this comment
GB flag

Jason: Was you nan watching a film or an old programme? Flat screen TV's are whats called 16:9 - they are rectangles, whereas old CRT TV's are 4:3 - almost square. Widescreen films are even more elongated than widescreen TV's.

If you watch something like Dads Army on an old CRT, its fine - because the programme was made to fit that 'shape'. If you watch a modern programme, the ends tend to be cut off, and if you watch a widescreen film, you end up with a 'letterbox' effect, with black strips at top and bottom. Its called the 'aspect ratio'. I suspect that thats whats changed, and you can vary it in the TV's setup menu.

link to this comment
GB flag
My Freeview box has no EPG, is blank on FIVE, ITV3, ITV4, ITV2+
Thursday 25 July 2013 3:13PM

Debbie Walsh: It might not be the splitter itself, but something between the single aerial and the splitter, perhaps water getting into the cable or a broken connection. Try connecting a portable TV to the cable before it splits - that way, you can at least work out where the problem lies.

If your aerial is on the roof, then its likely your going to need to call out a professional.

link to this comment
Sutton Coldfield (Birmingham, England) Full Freeview transmitte
Thursday 25 July 2013 3:35PM

Bill : Although tuners do go, and loads of us have had the EPG problem on our PVR's, I havn't heard of anything going wrong with Sony TV's (unlike Australia a while ago). If you know the model number, that might help to narrow down as to whether it is a software problem.

Unfortunately, you havn't included a postcode, so its difficult to to know if your reception has suddenly changed to a point its simply unusable (although Sony's have very good and stable tuners, so thats unlikely).

The problem is if it is a software problem, there is often not a lot any store can do to correct it, because the glitch might be something which is external to the machine, but interacting with Sony's own software.

The other thing that does occur to me is that it might be a result of a fault within your aerial system. If you have an old digibox, plug it in to the aerial feed and to the TV - if its having problems/picks up nothing, then you know its the aerial. If its fine, then its more likely to be the tuner/software.

Be interested to know what the problem is, since someone is bound to ask me a similar question at some point...

link to this comment

shaun: Without knowning the model of the TV and the type of wall bracket your using, its difficult to come up with an exact solution, but I can make a guess.

Out of the thrre wall bracket types, I assume your using either a movable bar type
30-63 Inch TFT Flat Panel Wall Mount : TV Mounts : Maplin Electronics
for example, or a 'spider' type'
Cantilever LCD Black Wall Mount 21"- 37" : Tripods & Accessories : Maplin Electronics
. Your certainly not using the Samsung hanging mount, since that only attaches by the two top screws, and therefore would be no problem.

Spider brackets usually have 'spacers' in the box, to allow you to have a gap bettween the back of the TV and the bracket - normally to a maximum of about 2in. I dont know if the other type has spacers as well, but I suspect you could use them. But since the 'bar' type are adjustable anyway, hopefully you can avoid using them. If you don't have any (they should have been in the box), then Ebay is a good way to get some Wall mount screw washer spacer kit TV / Monitor 15" to 65" any make. Full kit | eBay

Assuming you can't make that work, then look at the TV manual. Samsungs for 2013 (F) don't seem to have Phono/RCA ports any longer, but an E model might. These are yellow (video) white and red (audio), and you can use these (they are cheap) to attach to a scart convertor (again, try ebay). You will still get RGB's this year, but since that is video only, your going to have to find some way to add the audio. Unfortunately, nobody seems to do a 'flat' scart, so thats out.

The third option (and probably the easiest in a way) is to stand back, and look at what your connecting it to. You Samsung (depending on the model) has three/four HDMI's and only one scart. Thats because HDMI is the new standard, and pretty much every box for the past five years tends to have scart and HDMI. The exceptions to this would be old/cheap DVD's, old videos, really cheap PVR's and Sky/Sky plus boxes.

I always ask customers what equipment they already have - with only one scart there is a good chance something might not fit, but all too often they have not looked at the back of the boxes they have got, and dont realise that there is as HDMI in the back as well.

If you can attach the other boxes by HDMI, do it. Its a better connection, you have more of them, and you'll avoid much of the hassle you currently have (at least one/two will be side mounted). HDMI cables are not even expensive. I would avoid buying one for a pound, since a better build quality means less hassle, but 7dayshop will do decent ones for £3, and Aldi have an offer next week for ones with bendy connections for £4.99

If its an old DVD player with just a scart, think about upgrading it to a blu-ray (and if its a video, do you even still use it?). They use HDMI, plays everything, as smart as your TV, and is about £70 for the cheapest Samsung one. Since you have a full HD TV anyway, you'll get more from it.

Good luck. (PE12QN)

link to this comment
GB flag

Capvermell: According to this thread Re-Order HD Channels - Freesat - Digital Spy Forums , although you cannot reorder the channel numbers, you can have a favourites list (see Finbarrs post - the 5th one down).

The other thing you can do is very analogue, but why not just write down the channel numbers of the ones your mum watches on Freesat on a bit of paper - BBC 1 HD is 108, etc.

Yes, the GT50 is a lovely TV (a couple of staff bought them at the end, since they were a great bit of kit for the money), but 2012 Panasonics were not very 'smart' (although they are rather good this year). A cheap Blu-ray from any of the four major brands should sort that out, as long as they are this years models.

Samsung are apparently the only ones until August with all four channels on demand, but who knows after that. £70 for one from Samsung without wifi, about £99 plus for one with from LG. (PE12QN)

link to this comment
GB flag

Mary Macer: It would be helpful to know your postcode, since it woulhd be useful to know what sort of signal/terrain you have at your location.

Although Tacolneston has engineering working on this week (and Norfolk is certainly a Freeview problem area for lots of people), you should not have too much of a problem, unless your signal is already pretty marginal.

However, since you have said you have good reception on the other tuner/TV, and its a Panasonic your having a problem with, check the signal strength/quality of the signal on the PVR.

Panasonics have very sensetive tuners, and you could have too much signal, not too little. If you have a booster/amp, try bypassing it and see if things improve. You signal strength should be 75%, not 100%.

link to this comment
GB flag
Connecting it all up | Installing
Monday 29 July 2013 8:04PM

Rita: Although the SCART selector will do the job (it has to be said that such adaptors are less than ideal), its always good to have a look at the possible connections in the back of your TV and other boxes.

I now ask customers buying new TV's what they already have (if they bring in the manuals, thats a godsend!), since there is now only one scart as standard. Have a look at the back of your TV, and find out what you have in the back.

Depending on the age/model/make (if you know the make and model of your equipment, we can tell you what connections you have), your likely to also have yellow, red and white ports called RCA's or phonos. A cheap adapter and cables will allow them to connect your TV to a DVD/video/recorder.

Of course if both your TV and another box both have HDMI's, then a cable to connect them would be better than scart anyway.

link to this comment
GB flag

Lisa: Firstly, you should remove the scart from the TV and DVD recorder - you have them connected by HDMI already, which is much better, and you only need one or the other, not both.

OK - I don't know what model/make of TV you have, but by the sound of it, you have at least one HDMI socket, and I suspect 2 or more. Simply attach the HDMI lead from the talk talk box (its actually a Humax Youview box, so if you run into problems, there is a huge amount online about them)into the first HDMI socket on the TV (you'll be using it the most, so make it the first).

Next, take the HDMI from your older recorder and put it into the second HDMI socket on the TV (OK - if you have only the one HDMI socket, its back to the scart!). Any other equipment with HDMI's should go to the third socket, etc.

As far as the aerial leads are concerned, there are a couple of choices. If you look at the manual for either recorder, it will normally tell you attach a lead from the aerial socket on the wall to the back of the recorder, and then get another lead to take the signal onto the TV from that recorder - this is called 'looping through', etc, and which is exactly what you've done. Thats fine, and in theory there is no reason you cannot do that twice, with the boxes all in a long daisy chain.

However, you have two boxes to attach with lots of leads, and I spoke to some customers on Sunday with exactly the same setup who has run into problems since the Youview box was hooked up.

I advised them that they were better off splitting the aerial signal, with their orginal recorder and TV going one way (in the same way as before), and the Youview box going the other - simply so that they could see where any problem lay.

A good splitter is very cheap 2 WAY TV AERIAL SPLITTER MALE TO FEMALE: Electronics , and excellent aerial leads can be had from Television Aerial Boosters / Amplifiers, Splitters, Diplexers & Triplexers ATV - £3 for a lead is a bargain, and they sell good splitters for the same price. My splitter is actually one of the screwin type, and gives a very good connection, but pushin will be fine.

Don't worry about a slight loss in signal strength, it should be fairly small, and in fact I found that the splitter caused less signal loss than running it through the other boxes.

The best way I've found to set up the aerial cables is to have one coming out of the wall socket, and attaching the splitter to it. You can then have leads running off like a 'Y' to the various boxes (this means there is not a heavy splitter sticking out of the wall which can come loose). All you should need is one splitter and another aerial lead. A couple of little connectors to make sure it all fits properly are useful as well.

You might also need some cable tidies...

Anyway, if you want to do the same thing again as you've done with the aerial leads already, go ahead. If you run into problems, then try it the way I've suggested.

Good luck!

link to this comment
GB flag

Lisa: Dave got there first...must type faster!

link to this comment
GB flag