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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,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" 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.

E
Elliott
Friday 25 July 2014 2:49PM Stourport-on-severn

M: We are at DY13 8LP and for the last few days BBc1 keeps freezing then shutting down. A few seconds later it will restart. This doesn't happen on other channels and is very annoying. Any ideas?

C
Cliff Sinclair
Friday 25 July 2014 8:30PM

am at le3 9rs
all has been fine until have recently lost ITV 3 and Drama
system says no service running
reset box, reinstalled box - no change

any ideas?
cheers

M
MikeB
Friday 25 July 2014 9:01PM

Cliff Sinclair: As the page above explains, the first thing to do is check your system for faults. Loose aerial lead (or busted?), is your aerial OK, etc

You should be fine for Waltham (your closer than I am), so it could be that your aerial circuit has a problem, and its that mux which is showing the first syptoms.

Elliot: Which transmitter are you tuned into? Depending on the direction of your aerial, your fine for the Wrekin, Malvern or Sutton Coldfield. But your just 1km from Kiddeminsters transmitter - which might explain why BBC breaks up, the signal muct be very high.

C
Cliff Sinclair
Friday 25 July 2014 10:26PM Leicester

MikeB:
thanks Mike - you must never sleep!!!
working through the cabling etc now and probably in the light tomorrow.
If I don't get back its because I am embarrassed to have found something that i should have got off my behind to find and not immediately asked!
Thanks for your help



M
MikeB
Friday 25 July 2014 10:32PM

Cliff Sinclair: Dont be embarrassed - frankly, TV's generally work until they dont, and we seldom have to deal with that.

As for sleep - depends if the kids keep waking me up...

C
Cliff Sinclair
Friday 25 July 2014 11:11PM Leicester

Cliff Sinclair:
would you believe....
i now have some interesting additional channels?
I am sat in central Leicester watching 'the boot room ' on Notts TV channel 8 (which i have been told im not supposed to get.) More HD channels (BBC News, al jazeera, community, C4+, BBC 4) and a load of 200 channels I've not seen before.
"come with me to another dimension!!!!!!"

I think I'll go and get back in my dark box and wait til tomorrow

regards and best thanks

cliff

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