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Here are some examples of how to make your home fully digital.
Sky+ with multiroom
The device on the end of the "arm" of your satellitedish is an LNB. Because the digibox sends power to the LNB, you can not just split the cable onto two input. When you buy a Sky+ package from Sky, it comes with a "quad LNB", which has four outputs. The engineer runs two cables from the dish to the Sky+ box.
You can then run one each to a digibox by up to four televisions. You can either do this though "Sky multiroom" (as shown, with Sky+ in one room and another digibox elsewhere), or by doing it yourself.
Sky+ boxes require a constant authorisation signal from Sky over the satellite path. The moment you disconnect the box from the satellite inputs or you stop paying Sky the 10 per month the Sky+ box will stop working as a personal video recorder, and act like a normal digibox. You can't use the box to record, playback or pause without a Sky subscription.
Freesat multiroom - no Freeview
It's not possible to use it to receive Freeview, but you can get the Freesat service. All you need is either a new DVB-S (digital video broadcasting - satelite) box, or an old Sky Digibox. You can use a Quad LNB to supply digital satellite signals to digiboxes in each room.
Sky and Freeview
It will always be better to use a higher classification aerial alone, rather than a less able one with an amplifier. With digital signals, it is far more important to get good quality reception for the set-top box, rather than increase the signal's power as this will simply be ignored by the digital receiver.
For many people Freeview is used on the main and second TV, in addition to subscription Sky on the first.
Cable and Freeview
Or you might have NTL/Telewest cable on the main TV, with Freeview for the secondary televisions.
Sky with RF second TV
If you connect a second TV to a digibox by using the "RF output", this does not require a separate connection to the dish, but you can only watch the same channel from the digibox on both TVs. With Sky digiboxes, you can also use your remote control with a IR receiver by the second TV.
you can share the recorded channels to a local area network, play them on a Xbox360 and burn them to DVD
it records the digital signal, so the playback quality is perfect.
The specification for the Elonex Artisan LX, and it says it comes with the "Hauppauge WinTV Nova-T" cards. The "T" suffix denotes the DVB-T (digital terrestrial) version of the card. A satellite version of the card is available (Elonex may supply these instead of the "-T" cards)?
Wireless networks should be up to the job of sharing the recorded TV programmes to the local network, but it is my personal experience that they are not. You might find it works better by connecting your new Media Centre computer to the wireless router using a cat5 (twisted pair Ethernet) patch cable.
Freeview media center
The Freeview media center is easier to setup, as you can just use a simple splitter to provide the UHF Freeview signals to two receiver cards (or a dual-headed card).
Once again the recorded programmes can be watched by using a simple file share, or by using an XBox360.
If the Freeview signal is strong, you can usually just split the aerial cable where convenient to supply a digital television signal to many digital televisions or set-top boxes.
Freeview and Sky everywhere
In good signal areas, it will be possible to feed the aerial signal first the the Sky digibox, and then on to integrated televisions or Freeview boxes, adding in the ability to watch one Sky channel around the home.
Freeview everywhere with masthead amplifier
Another possibility is that you are passing the incoming aerial signal though some other device (such as a VCR) that is either filtering or producing it's own signal. If this is the case, see if plugging the aerial directly into one Freeview box will allow you to see these channels. If this works, then you can use a masthead amplifier to boost the signal for each digital television or set-top box.
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.
jb38 Saturday 18 June 2011 10:26AM
alan gordon: You could have various factors affecting your reception, as if the poor weather you refer to also means the roof being wet at the time then that will kill some of the signal, that is unless the aerial is facing towards a gable end which doesn't get saturated in the same way as tiles.
You saying that one TV works OK without the booster could indicate that a fault exists with the booster or cabling to it, or that your signal is that strong that its overloading the inputs to the sets, this being why its always best to indicate your rough location or at least part of your post code, this to enable an estimate to be made of the strength of reception expected at that location.
If you come back on that further advice can be given, it would also be beneficial to know what the signal strength / quality is shown as being when viewed in the tuning menu area of your TV.
I have bought two new flat TVs to replace analogue CRTs, also replaced aerial. Have always had good reception on old TV's but lots of break-up on new ones, even on analogue channels. Have another Flat TV which works well but putting new ones on that aerial does not give good picture, but find it difficult to think that I have two dud new TVs??
i have two flat screen digital televisions new ones, and i cannot get all the channels tuned in especially the music channels for my teenage daughters...the other digital tvs are fine...the signal says 72 per cent on them...i have a digital aerial and a strong signal on other tvs..
liz: You need a length of cable, connectors and a 'magic eye'. All these are available as a kit from stores such as Maplin or on eBay. Best to also buy an extra remote control so that you don't have to take the one from living room. Make sure you get the correct control cos Sky, SkyPlus and SkyHD are all different.
An alternative to the cable set-up would be to buy a wireless transmitter/reciever - again from Maplin.
I live in DY0 0SZ area and the switchover just was done..
My main digital TV(bilt in freeview) in the sitting area works fine..My other new digital Tv will not pick up any channels with any indoor aerials..I am looking at what is the best option to wire the house as I have 4 bedrooms and no tv sockets as the TVs use to work fine as analoge with portable areas..I am not intrested in any Sky or BT vision etc..Is it possible to have freesat in multirooms using 1 satellitedish or can I have freeview in multirooms with one aerial which is gona be the most economical and neat in the house..
georgio: can't find out where you are situated from your postcode,but from what you say, it looks like you may be a distance from your nearest tv transmitter, as you say, you can pick up freeview on the main tv, but the upstairs tv using a indoor aerial can't pick up any signals.
Personally, i'm a strict advocate of having the tv earial on the roof to obtain the best signal.If the signal is too high, you can turn it down with an atteunator.If the signal is low after switchover, having an indoor earial will make it worse.The best thing to do is use a high gain earial on the roof, that way you can then join up two tv's ofF the one earial, with a little decrease in db gain from the earial. Hope this is of use to you.
i have a freeview dvd recorder fed from a digital on the roof into my sitting room, i want to run the digital aerial into a 6 way splitter (powered) so i have free view in all the rooms. is this possible and will my t.vs all need freeview boxes as they are old
I have my main tv in the living room, with a skybox.I have tv's in 4 other rooms which are obviously fed with various ariel connections and magic eye in the loft to receive sky.I have decided to get rid of sky, have unplugged it and have lost my ariel signal to the other 4 tv's somehow.
As well as the normal satellitecable into the sky digi-box I have 2 RF cables, RF2 out is fitted with my ariel boster which I have to use. I have switched off the sky system and linked my RF cable into a splitter which I have put into the back of my dvd recorder. I had signals and working tvs throughout the house. Howver, when I reconnected the HDMI cable from my tv to my dvd recorder, reconnected the black video cable into my RF in on my tv, I lost the signal to the other 4 tvs in the house. This connection did initially work, I have no problem with my main tv and recorder. Why won't the other 4 tvs now work, I'm at a loss. With sky turned off, why won't it work with the normal RF cable with the booster still atached.
i live at DN40-3AW with TV from Belmont Lincs. Since freeeview went 'full power' my modern loft aerial copes no better than on reduced power and some sets (MOdern flat screens) can't pick up MUX D channels
i live in cf46 6ht, why when a new digital ariel was installed did i get 66 channels with the coax connected intio the freeview readt hd tv and only 33 channels with it via a coax box fitted to the wall?
There are several ways to distribute signals around your house, depending on whether the various TVs will be used to watch the same or different programs.
Let me describe my own case, in which I want to be able to follow the same signal wherever I am in the house.
I have several DVRs, some on Freeview and some on Freesat, to maximise my options.
Their outputs go into a Scart switch network so that I can choose which of the recorders to watch.
The output from this Scart network goes to the living room TV and to a VCR, which I use purely as a modulator. This means I use it to create a secondary RF signal that I can distribute round the house with co-ax cable, using splitters and amplifiers as necessary.
I can watch recordings or live signals as appropriate.
I also have a DAB radio in the system, and a separate stereo sound network fed from the same Scart network, because the modulated signals on the co-ax don't send stereo.
In theory, I could also play a tape over the co-ax network, but in reality all my VCRs seem to have lost their ability to play tapes without damaging them. But this at least lets me make some use of the VCR's technology.
I can also link a DVD player into the Scart network, the details of which are rather complex. At one time I had a single electronic Scart switch with a remote control, but that turned out to be unreliable, so now I use a cascade of 3-way mechanical switches. It's a bit awkward, but it works.
If you want more details, email me and I'll send you a diagram. "A diagram is worth a thousand words!"
There is a further complicating factor in the above.
One of the DVRs is an HD one. So I have it connected to the living room TV with an HDMI cable, which by-passes the Scart network.
It all works rather well, apart from the 37" Panasonic full HD TV that I bought last year, which doesn't respond well to picture movement, despite having a 100Hz refresh rate. It can also have some unpleasant colours. But that's another story.
I would be interested to know if anybody has found a reliable multi-way Scart switch, either mechanical or electronic. The one I had was a 5-way Thor with an additional audio (phono) input that was perfect for my DAB. In principle, it was great. But one input after another just failed for no apparent reason.
Most of my 'other' TVs are old 14" portable CRTs, apart from a cheap 19" LCD in my bedroom that actually has a better picture than the Panasonic!
If you only want to watch the same channel all around the house, you could buy an RF modulator and use that from your scary socket at the back of your Freesat device.
However, if you want towatch separate channels in each room then you will need to install a multi-way LNB on your sat dish and install cables to each Freesat box in each room.
WE have sky multi room and one of our skybox's started to break down and smelt of burning so we disconnected it and now the other TV's in the house that operate through Freeview either built into the TV or with a Freeview Box won't pick up any signal at all. We did a fresh install and search for channels but nothing found. Why is this? We still have another Sky Box connected to a different TV in the house.
Andy: Its a bit difficult to fathom out exactly what method has been used to connect the various devices together as you are referring to both satellite as well as Freeview reception (via a normal aerial) and you haven't mentioned if all the TV's in the other rooms in the house could watch Freeview as well as Sky.
However one thought has crossed my mind which may (or may not) apply, being, that you might have been using the Sky box (now disconnected) as a feed through for the Freeview signal, so if the faulty Sky box had a co-ax plug going into its normal aerial input socket then couple this into the co-ax lead that was previously plugged into the Sky boxes RF1 (or 2) output, as that will allow the link to operate.
You will require a female to female connector to couple the two co-ax plugs together.
I have a widebandaerial pointed at Dover digital reception is not great but works my set up is as follows aerial to skybox via a cheap labgear one output booster and a rf2 output from sky box up to another tv which works fine but for some reason every now and again the BBC mux C68 go missing at a fairly consist time of about between 19:00-20:00 ish,then they come back and stay on ok it seems to be the only time it happens and signal reported by the tv dipps to 40% from a stable 50% signal signal quality good.
so what i have done is fit a vairable m/head amp and it has increased the signal to 95% and no problems so the next step I did seeing as my signal looked good(tested with a cheap slx dtv checker all the green lights on ) was to run the feed into a antiference 4 way f splitter and then run three feeds to three different tvs and terminated the fourth feed hoping that with the signal improved it would work but the same problem comes back the bbc mux c68 from Dover goes off for a while on all tv's around 19:30 last night and then comes back and is fine the the rest of the night still with less than 50% signal compared with just over 50% during the day hopefully when switchover day comes it will go away but out of interest could you help tell me why this happens ? is it just a marginal signal issue many thanks in advance
kev: Your location isn't good being down the hill from the old flour mill. That's a big chunk of metal. Try pointing the aerial at the Ramsgate transmitter [51°20'6"N 1°25'21"E]after 27 June. Its at the top of the flats off the Plains of Waterloo, transmitting analogue at the mo. Ideally the aerial should be group A. Have you got the TV link kit for the Skybox? When the switchover comes the end of June the Dover signal strength will go up so you may not need all those boosters. Your setup seems rather complex and a diagram would help.
Kris thanks for the info,I have fixed it now prior to DSO I found out by accident you can find the bbc MUX on C45 Dover B transmitter that hold the signal steady just fine at the mo.Its a bit weird because the boxes or tv refuse to use that channel and alway find C68 but a manual tune has sored it cheers.
petermckniff: In theory, yes as I do same. I have an amplifier/splitter at my aerial though as I live in a poor repecption area. You will nedd to post with your location so that the peolpe who really know will be able to give you a better answer.
petermckniff: Yes,it is easily done.There are
two ways.Either go to your nearest Pound shop
or similar and buy a 2 way coaxial splitter
module.Plug your aerial to the input socket
of the module,and plug the TVs into the
separate output sockets.This way you will
halve the signal level to each TV so it is
not the best way unless you have a strong
signal from a good aerial.Your other option
is to purchase an amplified 2 way aerial
splitter box.This is mains-operated,and will
cost you under £10 in Argos or Maplins.
No, Karen. Aerial and satellite signals are completely unrelated.
A satellite dish can be used to feed either a Skybox or a Freesat box, maybe even both at the same time, if you have enough cables coming in from the dish.
But the only signals available via an aerial are now Freeview, which must be decoded by the correct type of box, i.e. a Freeview box or recorder.
A basic box can be as little as £20. Recorders now start below £100, but I've found that the cheapest ones aren't very reliable. The best ones seem to be made by Humax. But if you just want a simple decoder without recording, go to your supermarket and buy one of their cheap boxes.
Phil: Well its really a case of using a dual system, insomuch that if the LNB fitted on your dish arm is either a dual or preferably quad type then you have to run a second coax feed from one of the spare ports on the LNB to a second Freesatbox.
By the way if you were thinking about using a Freesat recorder in the future then it requires two inputs to feed each of the PVR (recorder) inputs, the two inputs necessary for recording two channels at the same time, or alternatively watching one channel whilst recording another, as when dealing with satellite equipment each device requires a separate feed cable, as unlike with Freeview equipment feeds cannot be split.
Just in case this might apply, if you only have an LNB with a single port connection, then you can purchase quad block "kits" (everything necessary) for around £10.00 or so from a few e-bay outlets.
Phil: Yes, the procedure described by Derek McLean is by far the less costly if you arent really bothered about whether or not the channel being viewed in the second room is the same as that in the main room, and although an old VCR does work well when used for this purpose its somewhat cumbersome, and so a stand alone RF modulator such as seen on the link below is commonly used for this purpose.
I have sky+hd downstairs and the sky engineer run 2 black cables to my bedroom in case I wanted multiroom but I just want to put a free sat box (humax box) is it possible to use those cables in the bedroom and how do I go about it?
Michael bean: Dish feeds are completely 100% compatible between Freesat and Sky equipment and so if you are just intending to use a Freesat box (without recording facilities) you only require to use one of the two coax feeds, any one of the two will do as they are identical as well as being independent of each other.
Of course if its a Humax (good choice!) PVR then obviously both leads will be required and is simplicity to set up, as about the only thing you will require to do is enter your post code into the set up menu box before tuning takes place, this is to ensure that you get the correct regional news services, in a Sky box this info is programmed into the Sky card.
I have an Toshiba HD tv. and I have just attempted to reinstall channels but a screen came at the end to ask did I want to search for analouge, I pressed yes, now realise analouge is the old system, which I have programmed into my t.v. how do I get it back to normal. When I press menu I get a blue screen, which will only take me to tv settings not install. Can anyone help. Thanks
Val Casson: Knowledge of the model number may allow the user manual to be found which would be likely to give a definate answer to your question.
However, if I was looking at the remote and had to use my intuition I would press the button marked "Input" or a circle with an arrow pointing into it. I would expect that this would give a list of inputs (scart, HDMI etc) and included in that list would be analogue and digital TV. Analogue TV may be "ATV" and digital may be "DTV" or one may just be labelled "TV".
I do have the model no. which is 32BV700B, but when I press menu, I only the tv set up menu. The suggestions about the remote, I dont have those options. I tried to plug a small t.v. in from upstairs also a HD and again on this it says no signal, when I go to set-up digital is not switched on. Have I switched the digital signal to my whole house off. I must have. Thanks very much for your time in trying to help me. It is much appreciated. If you know how to get the digital switched back on that would be useful.
Val: Your problem is suggestive of something being defective with your aerial system and this is why you are having trouble trying to tune the TV, and so if you are using a jumper cable from a wall socket into the TV then this should be checked out, but whatever system you are using it would have been of considerable assistance if you had indicated your location, this in the form of a post code or one from nearby such as a shop etc as this would then have enabled an assessment of the signal levels expected at your location and from the hitherto unknown station involved.
I have a sky+box and a Humax freesat box. At the moment both cables from the dish go to sky box to allow recording. Is it possible to fit a splitter with switch so that I can choose on occasions to use the freesat box instead of sky? I have a 4 point LNB and can watch sky in another room.
ktm: simple answer for everything to work right is no. You say you have another skybox elsewhere so you are either using 3 or 4 points being used so either take the cables out of the box you aren't using or have the lnb changed to an octi with 8 outputs and have the extra cables run to the other box.
Catherine Wednesday 23 January 2013 9:20AM Newquay
Hi, my postcode is TR7 2HJ recently gor new larger tv & I am having problems with my signal, think I need a new loft aerial (outdoor is out of the question due to high winds)and would like to know which type of aerial is best & how strong a signal I am dealing with. I wish to get signal to 3 or 4 tv's, will I need a booster & is it best to split the cable close to the aerial. At present 2 of the cables are just 'wired' straight onto the aerial (bodged)by previous residents. Thanks
Catherine: Wiring two aerial leads to the same set of terminals is a no no. The first thing you need to do is to try connecting one cable to the aerial and see what sort of signal you get; then do likewise for the other.
This will allow you to ascertain whether the aerial is any use as wiring two leads without a proper splitter could be your issue.
You can either get a distribution amplifier that is powered from the mains directly; that is the mains lead goes directly into it and therefore requires a local socket to plug it into. Or you can get remotely-powered ones which are the sort you put outside on the aerialmast; these require a power supply to be sited, usually adjacent to one of the TVs with the low voltage being fed up the aerial lead to the amp.
As you can get condensation in the loft it is maybe a good idea to not have mains appliances up there if you can avoid it. For that reason, either use a remotely powered amp in the loft or site a mains-powered one somewhere within the living quarters, ensuring appropriate ventilation etc.
This is an example of the remote type I am thinking of:
If you find that it isn't good enough, you might like to have a Plan B which is to replace it with a powered amplifier.
Replacing the cable with double-screened such as Webro WF100 will reduce losses, although I'm not sure how important this, particularly if replacing a length of cable that is plastered into the wall and requires a lot of work:
You may be able to utlise the existing loft bracket and pole, or get another.
Or you may find that the current aerial works fine - once you've corrected the bodged connection. Again, if it proves not to work once you have your distribution system installed, you can always swap the aerial.