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Freeview reception has changed?

Why should my Freeview reception change when I have not changed anything?

Why should my Freeview reception change when I have not changed
Published on by on UK Free TV

From time to time people find that their Freeview box, integrated set (idTV) or Personal Video Recorder (PVR) has lost many channels without any apparent changes.

There are a number of factors to consider

Freeview is broadcast on digital multiplexes. This means that, once broken down into a stream of bits, each television channel is combined into a single transmission of 1s and 0s. This means that reception is of the multiplex first if this is lost it affects all the channels in the multiplex in the same way.



The signal strength received by the box or TV for a particular multiplex from a given transmitter determines if the data can be received or not. So, a poor signal results in no data, an adequate signal in perfect data and a low signal in either none or all.

Poor digital signal levels do not result, as they do with old-fashioned analogue television, in a sub-standard picture or sound. Poor signals often result in a perfect data-stream, but are prone to periods of no reception. Sometimes this will be for hours, but can also be several times a minute when caused by induction from fridges, freezers, central heating systems, two-stroke scooters, baby monitors and so on.

If you have lost ALL your Freeview channels

First disconnect the aerial lead from the Freeview box or TV set and reconnect it and then follow <img src="data:image/png;base64,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" class="xico" style="vertical-align:text-bottom" alt="www.ukfree.tv link icon"> link iconthis reset procedure to scan for channels again. If this does not result in services being restored, check the <img src="data:image/png;base64,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" class="xico" style="vertical-align:text-bottom" alt="www.ukfree.tv link icon"> link iconFreeview transmitters page to see if there are any engineering problems with your local transmitter.

How to check all cables, connectors and aerials

The RF connectors need to be in very good condition to work. There are two general types:

Factory-fitted connectors are very reliable as they cannot easily be taken apart, but they can be damaged by wear and tear. On the female-type the central section is often composed of two parts which can often be forced apart, resulting in a poor connection you can push them back together if this has happened with a pair of tweezers. On male connectors if the central pin is damaged, you will need a new cable. If there are any loose partials in the connector, remove them.

Another problem with these cables is that quite easy to sprain the connector at the back which causes little obvious external damage, but disconnects the internal connection. This happens often when a set-top box is pushed backwards into a cabinet.

Hand made cables can also suffer from similar problems to factory made ones and they are also prone to accidental damage from a cable being pulled. If such a connector is not firmly attached to the cable, the connector may need refitting.

Cables

Make a visual check of the cables. There are a few basic checks:

If the cable has been slashed or cut, it will not be very effective or reliable. If such a cable is fitted externally, this can allow rainwater to enter the cable and this will reduce the signal levels.

You can easily damage an RF cable by crushing it, for example in a door. If the outside of the cable has a permanent kink in the cable or has been very tightly looped, this could be the site of damage.

Aerial

For reliable and effective Freeview reception, a <img src="data:image/png;base64,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" class="xico" style="vertical-align:text-bottom" alt="www.ukfree.tv link icon"> link iconrooftop aerial is required. It is hard to make a visual check of such an aerial without putting yourself in potential danger.

You can make a visual check of the route between the aerial and the transmitter. Any form of obstruction will damage the digital signals. In particular trees coming into leaf, as these will leech the signal before it reaches your aerial. This applies to both trees adjacent to the aerial and at a distance.

Another common problem in cities is building work. A large crane will often change position many times during the day, and if this is between your aerial and the transmitter this can reduce the signal levels in an unpredictable way.

If your system uses a <img src="data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAABAAAAAQCAIAAACQkWg2AAAAAXNSR0IArs4c6QAAAARnQU1BAACxjwv8YQUAAAAJcEhZcwAADsMAAA7DAcdvqGQAAAAYdEVYdFNvZnR3YXJlAHBhaW50Lm5ldCA0LjAuM4zml1AAAAExSURBVDhPY3DuDCUJMXj1xTx884RIBFTM4NMX+59oAFSM0PDuy/sXH15B0OtPb7/+/AZk/PrzGyj18dunlx9fAxkoGoqXN8AdGjcr78Tdc0DG8TtngFKVq9vS5pcCGSgavv/6cfzOWaCi/dePfvv5HWiqa1fYihMbgFIR0zIm7ZoDZKBoAILzD6/ATQWChNkFHVunfPr+2aUrbO+1I0ARqIbT9y6kLygDOhpNQ9e2qZkLyy8+ugYURPHD5cfX69Z1f/v1HU3Dlgu7ffpj153ZBnQSRASqAcIBAjQN9149BHLLVjY3b+yHiBDQ8PfvX78J8a5d4evPboOIENAABEDjgSK3XtyDcNE1fPj26citU2+/vIfy//+/++oBUOTP378QLroGggCkgeTEB3QiCagzFAAXQjtWLaZMHgAAAABJRU5ErkJggg==" class="xico" style="vertical-align:text-bottom" alt="www.ukfree.tv link icon"> link iconbooster, the power may have failed. Check the fuse to the power to the booster.

Weather problems

There are two main weather problems that effect Freeview reception.

The Inversion Effect: please see <img src="data:image/png;base64,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" class="xico" style="vertical-align:text-bottom" alt="www.ukfree.tv link icon"> link icon What is the Inversion Effect and why does it effect my Freeview TV reception?



Wind: high winds sometime can dislodge the aerial this results in a poor signal.

Rain: poor or old cables can fill with water and this results in a poor signal. If this happens, the cables will require replacement.





Your comments: most recent posts are at the bottom

firstFirst comments prevEarlier comments  ◊ 

Your comments are always welcome. Please use the form below to add your thoughts or questions to this page. We will get back to you as soon as we can.

P
Pete Dilloway
Sunday 5 October 2014 2:27PM

For the last week or so BBC & ITV SD Channels from Tacolneston have suffered contiual digital break-up. (Channell 55 predominantly) all the others are fine. TV's report signal strength high, signal quality poor. It also seems slightly intermittent getting worse in the evening.
It could of course be one of my boosters packing up!
any reported problems?

M
MikeB
Sunday 5 October 2014 9:36PM

Pete Dilloway: You havn't given a postcode, so we are reduced to guesswork, but since you report high signal strength with low quality, it sounds like your signal is too strong. Try bypassing any booster, etc. You could try and find the 'too much of a good thing' page on this site, but the search function is currently disabled!

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For an enhanced Freeview reception
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Most popular LIVE 18:53
Live updates LIVE 18:53
Twitter LIVE 18:53

Briantist: http://t.co/DBWZNukll4 Arιel Fran Unsworth to lead World Service She will also continue to be deputy director of news a
Briantist: Dearest, beloved @guardian why have you made the #android app keep reseting the comments to the top. So very hard to read on a treadmill.
Briantist: http://t.co/Hss6Q28JYo Artιcle The postponement concluded temporarily at least a long period of impassioned debate from
Briantist: http://t.co/uViGCia4vI BBС DAB Phase 4 Help Receiving TV and Radio This phase of national DAB expansion is expected to
Briantist: Read this! You know you want to... is out! http://t.co/I2KcrfovOv
Briantist: http://t.co/J9WSiAA60v Оne of the reasons that Freeview does not reshuffle the channel numbers is because there is a lot
UDontNeedCable: You Don't Need Cable! is out! http://t.co/qTs5kgOWQl Stories via @freebargain @GeorgeBakhos @Briantist
Briantist: http://t.co/L7FV5IdzxA Nοw that I have finished updating the code that runs UK FREE TV I now have time to write some arti
Briantist: http://t.co/TBE1HWb0pV Newsrooms mυst reflect modern Britain Comment Broadcast The Open Newsrooms Day scheme is a step
Briantist: http://t.co/2Dng29VOCt Why Сameron can t be allowed to scupper televised election debates Media The Guardian The broadc

Click here to follow Briantist on Twitter