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Your ability of receive all the Freeview transmissions depends on the suitability of aerial
the design style,
the "group", and
its physical location.
Standard type - Yagi aerial
The standard type of TV aerial is known as the Yagi aerial. It is mounted on a pole, and consists of a rod with a reflector (shown green) at the back and many spiky elements (in grey) at the front. The connecting cable connects to the element nearest the reflector, known as the driver (shown in blue).
These Yagi aerials are directional and so pick up signals best from a transmitter that the rod points towards. The more elements the aerial has, the better it picks up a signal and becomes more directional.
A standard-type aerial is all that is required for analogue TV reception in most places. These antennae have between 10 and 18 elements and a single reflector. These are not recommended for new installations for good digital television reception, but will more often than not function perfectly in good reception areas.
Typically these aerials are designed to receive only some transmission frequencies - see "groups" below.
Digital High Gain
These aerials are designed for poor digital reception areas, and have two reflectors. For maximum signal strength, some digital high gain aerials have up to 100 elements. A more expensive aerial is only required where the signal strength is low, but can often provide Freeview reception where it might otherwise be impossible.
The CAI (that represents aerial installers) has four standards for digital TV aerials. The highest standard "1" is for homes on the fringes of coverage areas, intermediate standard "2" is suitable for use within the coverage area; minimum standard "3" is for good coverage conditions.
These aerials can be either wideband, or receive only selected frequencies - see "groups" below.
Grid aerials have been used to improve analogue reception in poor reception areas. They are generally unsuitable for Freeview reception, however some installations may work. Otherwise replace with a digital high gain Yagi aerial.
Indoor aerials are generally not suitable for Freeview reception. In areas of good signal strength it is often possible to receive some transmissions.
Loft mounted arrivals are not generally recommended for Freeview reception, as the roof tiles and plumbing will degrade the signal. Some compensation for this loss of signal can be made by using satellite-grade cable to connect the set top box to the aerial.
The best position for a TV aerial is mounted outdoors, as high from the ground as possible, pointing directly at the transmitter. The signal can be blocked by hills and tall buildings. It should be positioned away from any other aerials.
Horizontal or vertical?
The transmitter will either use vertical mode which requires the elements of your aerial to be up-down, or horizontal mode which requires them to be level with the ground.
Both analogue and digital television is transmitted the same group of transmission frequencies (known as channel 21 through to 68). A coloured marking on the aerial shows the group.
To create the best possible analogue picture, TV transmissions from adjacent transmitters have been designated to several different groups of frequencies. By using an aerial that receives only the channels in the correct group, the analogue picture can be kept free from interference.
To receive Freeview transmissions from the same transmitter it has been sometimes necessary to use frequencies that are not part of the transmitter's normal group. When this has occurred, the aerial will need to be replaced with a "wideband" aerial (also known as group W) - one that covers every group.
Thursday 4 April 2013 7:31AM Nottingham Hi
In the last two months my tv picture has started to glitch/break up, more noticeable in the evenings! I had a wide-band aerial fitted at the digital takeover, and it has been flawless up until a couple of months ago!
Yesterday i decided to replace the aerial with a Triax unix 52 and new ct100 cable...and it has made no difference!!
I live in Radcliffe on Trent Nottingham, the aerial is pointing at the waltham transmitter.
Any help/advice would be most appreciated,
JB38: thanks for your reply. You may have gathered from my first post that I know nothing about tv transmission and reception which is not provided in this website. I'm not sure I made it clear in my first post that a) the booster is specific to the "Second" tv. That is, it is fitted between the aerial socket in the back room and the tv (on the tv side of the splitter). It therefore does not affect the Main tv (does it?). and b) I don't need the booster to receive COM5, only to "connect to it" when doing an auto or manual re-tune. Given that, I don't really understand how by-passing the splitter and connecting the aerial only to the main TV will help. Nor do I understand your reference to an "internal power supply".
Lionel Higman: On re-reading your posting I see what you are referring to, but the point that puzzles me is, if its almost guaranteed that you will lose COM5 if the booster is not connected then how are you arranging this? are you accessing the splitter in the loft and temporarily removing its aerial input and connecting it directly onto the feed that's used for the secondary TV referred to? because if you are then that's inclined to point to a possible fault where the coax is connected into the aerial, the quickest way to check if this is likely to apply or not being to remove the splitters aerial input plug followed by unscrewing the coax plugs outer knurled ring so that its interior can be extracted from the body of the plug, then push the end (and only the end) of the coax into the splitters aerial input socket and carry out a reception check, in other words only the middle of the coax is being used which makes the entire cable including the braiding receive signals rather than just from where its connected into the aerial.
Of course another way you can check without unscrewing the coax plug is simply by connecting a short length (about 4 feet or so but not critical) of wire into the splitters aerial input sockets middle cup, because with the signal level that you should be receiving at your location, that is excluding such as tree's blocking the signal, then a piece of wire should result in a picture being seen.
By the way, TV or boxes receivers have wide variations in their tuners sensitivity, this being why one TV is capable of receiving a channel that another cannot.
Lionel Higman: The above made reply was based on having read you original posting again, but though I now understand (ref: latest posting) that the booster referred to is only used between the aerial socket and the third TV, but maybe you could clarify on a point when referring to the six way splitter, is this a powered device? because all said was on the assumption that it is hence my reference to an internal power supply, and of course should it a powered type then these always provide an element of amplification to the signal as well as providing a range of outlet points.
However the test referred to for detecting a possible defect where the coax joins the aerial still applies irrespective of whether the splitter is powered or not, although a powered type gives better isolation between each of the devices being used.
Further advice dependant on the outcome of the test.
jb38: Thanks for the furthr responses. It is not a powered splitter (i.e. there is no cable from it to any electrical source). It is a Vision product. It is rectangular. The input port is at the centre of one long side with an out port on either side of it. The other 4 out ports are on the opposie long side of the rectangle. Between the input port and the left hand out port there is s line with the words DC pass under it. As far as I can tell (the output cables are a bit of a tangle and taped together) the main tv cableruns from the out port to the left of the input port.
I have not run the test yet, this will have to wait until the weekend.
Lionel Higman: I was beginning to suspect that might be the case, because what you reported didn't actually tally up with what would be expected if an exceptionally strong signal had been applying, in fact quite the opposite as these type of splitters reduce the signal level.
But if the result of the test carried out at the weekend proves negative, that is the signal does not increase with only the middle of the coax being used, then the way to get around the problem is by either using a higher powered (but variable) booster before the splitter input, or alternatively changing the splitter to a six (or less) output powered version, as that would then guarantee that all outlet points would be receiving exactly the same level of boosted signal, the latter being a more common way of arranging things.
Further advice dependant on the outcome of the test.
Lionel - splitters etc. can be powered from your TV/box through the coax cable used for the signal - indeed "DC Pass" confirms that the port indicated either needs this DC power, or is set up to pass it onwards.
If ypou google its brand and model number you should find out. Meanwhile, what if any change when you disconnect that section?
Lionel Higman: Just to add to that said by Steve P, when you look up at your aerial do you see any small boxes attached to the mast pole near to the aerial? or does the coax go straight into the aerial?, because if you did see anything mounted on the pole then that could be a mast head amplifier, this meaning that the previous occupier of the property had its power supply / signal separator sitting near to one of the aerial outlet positions, but which was taken away when they departed.
That said though, I would hardly have thought that any form of amp was necessary anywhere in the Horncastle area, as friends of mine frequently (in better weather) spend a few days at a touring caravan site in the area and have always reported it being one of the few places where reception is never a problem.
Lionel Higman: Further to.. should it be suspected that you do have a mast head aerial amplifier, or even built into the aerial e.g: amplified log, then this could quickly be verified or not "if" your main TV (dependant on brand model) has an aerial power facility which you could temporarily activate for test purposes, the model number if given, revealing if this is possible or not.
By the way, log aerials (should you have one) do not have a reflector on one end as well as them being identified by having a long arrow shaped appearance when viewed from the underside.
JB38/Steve P: Thanks for your persistence. The splitter can be found at vision-products.co.uk and is a V26-106 6-way Single-port DC Pass Splitter. Having read the full spec, I still don't "know" if it's powered but now suspect it may be as described by Steve P. Below the DC Pass Out port there is a small circular window which looks as if it might have a LED or similar inside it. If it has, it is not "on". The TV it is connected to is an LG (Unlike the other TVs I cannot find the signal info (strenght/Quality etc)). If there is an aerialpower facility on it I cannot find it.
There is no box on the Mast. The aerial itself however does have what looks like a small box atttached to the "Driver" which is attached to the cable. Finally, as far as the test is concerned, now I come to re-read the instructions, I find I don't actually understand what it is you are asking me to do!
Lionel Higman: Steve P is looking from the angle that because this is a DC pass splitter then you "might" have a mast head or otherwise type of booster fitted between the splitter and the aerial, the booster being powered "via the coax" from a small power supply sited near to the TV, or alternatively powered by the TV itself "if" it has an active aerial power facility.
The reason for the splitter being DC pass is so that it will not block the power from the power supply reaching the mast head amp, and why that the coax from the power supply "has" to be connected into the DC pass out socket, the aerial going to in.
That said though, judging by what you have said is inclined to indicate that you do not have a mast head amp fitted and that the box you see is just a coax termination box, and so although that the splitter is a DC pass type its likely just being used a normal splitter.
By the way, with reference to my description regarding the appearance a log periodic aerial, can it be assumed that your aerial is not that type?
It would also assist if the model number of your TV was known for the purpose of checking its specifications.
Lionel Higman: Just to clarify on a couple of issues which I feel might be causing some confusion.
(1) The Vision device you have in the loft does not in any way amplify the signal, only split it, but though as with all non powered splitters they have a slight attenuation effect on the signal passing through them whereby they should only be used in areas where a strong signal is being received.
The other point being, that although a "DC pass" type splitter has been installed in your loft, this being the only type that can be used in mast head amplifier situations so that it will not block the amps 12 volts supply from a power unit located elsewhere, if indeed not by the TV itself as some can, however it should also be appreciated that just because this type has been fitted does NOT necessarily indicate that you actually have a mast head amplifier, as these type of splitters can be used in any type of situation "where a strong signal is being received".
By the way, the power unit used to feed a mast head amplifier is a two way device, insomuch that as well as injecting 12 Volts DC into the coax that runs up to the mast head amplifier it also extracts the signal coming down the coax as well as isolating the 12 volts from the TV's outlet, this done internally on any TV's (or box) capable of powering an active aerial.
(2) When I had referred to the possibility that there "might" be a bad joint where the coax joins your aerial and which would result in a weak signal, an easy way to test (albeit crudely) for this possibility in "areas where the signal is strong" is to unscrew the coax connector from the aerial and push the coax's copper wire middle (or pin sticking out from the plugs inner polythene section) into the splitters aerial "in" socket cup (in the middle of socket), the idea being that by NOT having the coax's braiding connected the entire cable becomes an aerial, and so if the picture is more stable when only the middle of the coax is used then it points to a defective connection where the coax joins the aerial.
But though, your problem is maybe simply being caused by the signal path from the transmitter being affected by tree induced problems, your area not being one where they are in short supply! and if the aerial test proves negative (no fault indicated) then you should try connecting the aerial straight into the amplifier you had referred to, and with the output from the amplifier going into the splitters input as this will result in all outputs being boosted.
Although maybe you could indicated what's printed on the amp gain wise? and with my suggestion of where to install the amp obviously being totally dependant on whether or not your loft has a power socket.
maurice newhouse Tuesday 30 April 2013 1:55PM Wirral
hello, retuned tv and it told me to set bush digibox to wales . the reception was worse , all cables connected as per diagram. i reversed the cables and fed aerial into fr out and signal strength improved and set to nwest traansmitter as recommende. picture is fine for a while then breaks up . setting cables the correct way and retuning for nwest picture rubbish. post code is ch61 2xl. can you help please ?
Hi I am discontinuing Sky. Can the dish that I have been using for sky reception still be used for freeview?
I have no idea what I am doing! Just can not afford Sky any more on my pension.
Harry Gallagher: When you stop paying your subscription to Sky you will continue to receive the free-to-view channels including BBC/ITV/C4/C5/Sky News etc via your Sky box. Subscription channels will of course be blocked.If you have Sky+ the record/playback facility will also be disabled, the box continuing to work as a standard SKY box. If you wish to receive "Freeview" using the in-built tuner in a TV, this would require a normal UHF TV aerial to be connected to the aerial socket of the TV. If you remove the Sky card from the card slot temporarily you will be able to see which channels will continue to be available without subscription.
Be aware of the dagger footnote(!): "For security reasons Viewing Cards may be inactivated from time to time. In this situation, if you wish to continue to receive all the encrypted Free to View channels, you will have to purchase a new viewing card at our then applicable standard charge."