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.
Remember that a class 1 aerial is very directional, so you have to point it accurately. If you are getting no signal at all, check you are pointing at the transmitter you think you are (use a compass). Do not use any amplifiers or boosters, and if this fails, try using satellite grade cable to connect the aerial to the STB.
hi, we have just got a hd tv with built in freeview, it is good reception and every thing but on the channel listing bbc1 and bbc2 are missing.
our ariel is only a couple of years old and is a standard ariel. do you think this is the problem
Sonja Thursday 12 January 2006 11:48PM Leamington Spa
I live in a basement flat and have just bought a freeviewbox. However, it doesn't pick up any channels! This is probably because of my postcode (CV32 5HE). Is there any way I can get Freeview? I have no idea where the aerial is located (presumably at the top of the building)... Help is much appreciated!
I have had freeview for about 4 years. For the first 2 it worked perfectly, but it now clicks off and freezes. It seems worse on the ITV pictures than the BBC but it does do it on all channels sometimes. I changed my aerial recently to one especially for freeview, but it has made no difference. I also changed my freeview box to one recommended by the shop as being a good box, but that has made no change either!
I recommend that you try a Daewoo SetPal DVB receiver (or one of the other SetPal receivers). I live in an area not covered by FreeView (PO19), although we can see the Isle of Wight! The SetPal boxes have the most sensitive receivers which will help with your poor reception.
I have a standard Antiference 18-element Yagi and I can receive all the FreeView channels for 99% of the year. Only the channels using the multiplex on channel 23 give any problem. The signal strength of channle 23 measures lower than the others and I believe the problem is that Rowridge uses very low power transmitters for digital.
IMHO, if the government want to encourage everyone to switch to digital, then it is time that the power output of the analogue transmitters were significantly reduced eliminating much of the co-channel and adjacent-channel interference they are causing to digital reception. That will also have the affect of encouraging analogue viewers to invest in digital receivers too.
Your aerial section suprisingly makes no mention of log periodic aerials.
Although not often seen, probably due to their modest gain, they do have a couple of plus points namely an even response over the UHF band and good anti-ghosting properties.
When coupled with a suitable amplifier they can be very effective. I live in NE Derbyshire and receive all analogue and digital services from Belmont in Lincolshire without any problem (analogue Ch 5 excepted) even though the DTT and Freeview post code checker suggests that Freeview is a non-starter in my locality.
in south Shropshire i pick up Freeview on two wideband grid aerials
linked together with a mast head amp set to winter hill about 70 miles away.
i have had this setup for about 20 years
i live in a valley which is only open
towards winter hill.
a humax pvr-8000t gives me on
mux 1 100%
mux 2 60% good subject to weather.
mux a nothing.
mux b/c 90%.
mux d 90%.
mux 2/a is prone to poor reception it is reported.
will New group c/d aerial inprove my
reception on mux 2/a
I have a new 28" flat screen Sony tv with in built Freeview. Have also had a top of the range Aerial fitted.
But reception on channel 4 is poor with vertical lines across the screen, also on other channels the picture some times breaks up. Why is this
Way back in 2001 I was on the Island of Minorca and I was amazed at the number of three pronged TV antenna's around the place, fast forward to 2006 and i have one of these a Televes DAT45, it is extremely sensitive very directional and well constructed but need a good strong mounting pole preferably 35-50mm
You can unclip the driven element on these antenna's and fit an MRD margin rising device plus a power supply this boosts the signal from the antenna and also filters any spikes out that may cause a clik!
In the case of the gentleman in the valley 70 miles away from his transmitter a DAT 75 would be even better, this can also be fitted with an MRD and the gain is a staggering 29Dbi.
The DAT 75 weighs in at 6.5Kg and is nearly two metres in length!!
Anyhow my DAT 45 with the MRD fitted but not powered up (too close to the transmitter) and a HUMAX PVR9200T (very sensitive receiver) even gets Hannington 60 miles north of me and DIRECTLY BEHIND THE REFLECTORS...not bad going I think!!
My postcode is HX59AT which is Elland near Halifax. If I enter my postcode on the Freeview site it tells that I live an area that cannot receive Freeview. After looking on this site it appears that if I get a Digital High Gain Class 1 aerial that points 14km Southeast of the Emley Moor transmitter and is positioned 14m above ground level, with a SetPal receiverbox, that there is a good chance that I will receive it. Can this be confirmed and also is there better equipment on the market that will increase my chances of receiving Freeview.
I have just moved to a besement flat and am mourning the loss of my digital tv, my terrestrial is bad enough. Can you tell me the strongest indoor aeriel I can buy as I have no access to a roof. An external aerial is simply not an option.
Philip Ellis: The equipment you suggest will give you good Freeview reception. The signal from Emily Moor is good, and you should be OK with any Freeviewbox, as they all require around the same signal level.
i have bought a good wideband digital/freeviewaerial, but i now have 2 freeview boxes to connect. do i i just the ct100 cabling from the aerial to a 2way splitter and then run the 2 cables into each freeview box ? is it as simple s that ?
I also bought a Freecom DVT-T USB device to use with laptop. Didn't work at all well with the small aerial supplied so had a new rooftop aerial installed. Worked perfectly for first couple of months but last week it started freezing - giving low signals and am unable now to rescan to include some BBC and all ITV channels. Postcode is SW13 9LK. Any advice welcome.
I live in a block of 33 flats in Hatfield, Hertfordshire. We need a new aerial to pick up Freeview. Would we need anything special (other than wideband)? Does it need to be bigger than a normal home aerial? How much gain is "high"?
A familiar story: I just moved into a basement flat in Brighton BN2 1QE and my Freeview reception is very erratic. Can't get any of the BBC channels, in fact hardly anything. What kind of ooutdoor aerial would suit me best?
Even went so far as buying a new Sagen box (had a Bush before) which didn't want to install at all. I tried this because my friend couldn't get Freeview with one box, but another works perfectly. She gets Channel 5 in Bournemouth, which must be a first!
I bought a Freecom DVB-T USB device with a small antenna yesterday [17/03/2006] from PCWorld. My post code is LE1 6YF, which according to this site, should receive good signals. But I continue to get a "No Signal" message on the screen. What should I do to get the pictures on the laptop?
Jagadish: If you would please read what it says "Note: these predictions are based upon a rooftop aerial mounted 10 meters above ground level. They are based on a central point in your postcode area. Local terrain and increased aerial height may make more (or less) services available.". The aerial supplyed with the laptop will only work in places with very strong singals and where there is an uninterrupted view of the transmitter.
Dave: If you have an existing UHF aerial and it needs upgrading, a high-quality class I aerial will give the best possible outcome to everyone. If you don't have an existing system then you will need a "mast" amplifier and a distribution system that will require specialist installation.
Adrian Jones Monday 17 April 2006 10:31PM Shrewsbury
I live in a postcode which does not get digital channels according to the Freeview website (SY2 5EF). However, I got given a digibox so tried it out. It is receiving channels OK in general but the ITV and Channel 4 channels switch off after about 20 seconds. Is this likely to be a reception problem ? I notice from the Digibox it says it is receiving signal from Sutton Coldfield although The Wrekin transmiiter is much closer. Does this imply I need to get my aerial realigned ?
I live in Redhill round the side of Reigate Hill and out of sight of the Reigate transmitter. My existing aerial is a standard one, about 40ft above ground but with a loft amplifier. It is pointed to Heathfield for analogue reception but I'm not sure if the digitalsignal is also coming from here - it's variable quality and 10% of the time unwatchable. There are quite a few trees around. What should I do to maximise my digital reception?
Goto the the My freeview reception page and see if you can get digital signals from another transmitter (it will depend on your exact postcode). You should first consider putting the aerial up 1m higher. A Class I aerial will probably work if you are getting a signal 90% of the time, failing that you might like to consider freesat.
I live in Ripley/Derbyshire and think my aerial is pointing towards Nottingham, i have a Philips settop box that worked fine for 2 weeks then started to freeze and glitch even with a booster and signal strength nearly full on the channels, am i pointing the right way or should it be Sutton?
I live at de130np (burton on trent) and my nearest transmitter is sutton coldfield. I cannot recieve a signal from this as my signal is blocked by a large hill and trees so I am having to use the Waltham transmitter (which all the other houses also use) and i get an extremely weak signal. Most of the time normal analogue is snowy and digital keeps disappearing into squares with a 16db booster in use. I was looking at the dat 75 and wondered if being a class 1 it would be suitable?? im in a coverage area with an extremely bad reception so would class 2 be more appropriate. The local installer recommended the antiference xg9bk, but this isnt a wideband? I also require a split for 6 tv points. Thanks for any advise. Jo
Extremely informative and educational website. I've learnt more about Freeview (and why I can't get it!!) and Freesat in an hour surfing this site than months of trying to understand the jargon printed in the press etc.
Any idea if Freeview will come to the BB18 postcode area sometime soon and is Freesat already availible here ??
I live in BN27 4BU on high ground & can see the Heathfield transmitter. I have a 8 element Yagi which pulls in BBC1 etc. (strength 9/10) but not all the channels on reduced power. is ther a date for full power ? Would a widebandaerial give access to all channels ?
Thanks. Wish I had known that 2 years ago when we had a new aerial installed ! Do we need anything special or will any wideband do ? Will it make a difference if we want to share the signal in other rooms ?
Thanks for your help.