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Digital Television In My Area

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Digital Television In My Area

Heard that Border television area will go digital in 2008.

A pensioner who lives 8 miles from the Caldbeck transmitter currently has a poor analogue signal no matter the combination of chimney stack antenna etc.

The signal is prone to hill screening and has multipath interference into the bargain, which as you can imagine causes some picture artefacts.

The problem was guaranteed to be resolved by the only qualified aerial man in the area who said he could bring digital tv to this old codgers front room.

A new antenna was installed on the chimney stack with a new masthead amplifier, together with new downlead and set top box......

And he even added a new aluminium mast into the bargain.

The set top box was tuned in, all the lovely clear channels came booming in and the received picture was indeed very crisp and clear.

Unfortunately the signal strength varied significantly from 50% down to 25% for the BBC channels and a little bit higher for the remainder.

So this caused lots of problems with the reception especially when a car or motor cycle went passed his house, the picture would freeze, break up and he would miss most of his favourite programmes.

Even a hedge trimmer would disrupt the signal so having suffered drop outs, frozen pictures, digital drop out noises he was forced to revert back to his analogue signal, only this time from a transmiiter near Dumfries, some 30 miles away.

The charge for this little episode including the £90 set top box was a few pence short of £600.

Thats £600.

No doubt all the country will gasp at this price but that is the going rate here to have a new television antenna installed .

Smewhere between £400 to £600 is the norm.

Appart from that though the digital signal in our area is poor, no doubt it will be boosted once the analogue signal is switched off but having experienced the problems with digital television here it doesnt do much for peoples confidence.
11 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,878
Registered: 04-04-2007

Digital Television In My Area

I think in bad signal areas they would probably advise on getting Digital Satellite which costs about £150 for FreeSat and gives clear reception in the whole of the UK. It sounds in this case the person you mentioned has been ripped off.
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Digital Television In My Area

My granny lives in central devon and cant get Channel 5 at all. We will just be setting her up on Sky Satellite. Dont see why someone would go through so much hassle and cost for an aeriel that is generally out-of-date.

There is a FreeSAT Sky Card from Sky that gives you all the free channels, five, BBC1 etc etc. This is what we will be using and probably what the guy should of got a hold of.
Rich
Grafter
Posts: 184
Registered: 30-07-2007

Digital Television In My Area

Being able to receive Channel 5 (or not) IS NOT a guide as to whether or not you will be able to receive Digital. We are not able to get a watchable Ch5 picture, even with a large antenna and booster.

We can get freeview digital at 85 to 95% signal strength - all channels
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Digital Television In My Area

Well.. If your off a relay then you wont get Channel 5 or Freeview. So your wrong, it is a guide if your picking up from a sub-transmitter, there are hardly any relays at the moment that are digital transmission and carry Channel 5 (analog).

Please note in my post I said that she cant "get Channel 5 at all" that is very very different from getting an unwatchable Channel 5.
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,877
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

Digital Television In My Area

Just to add my two pence; when digital first started appearing we got ourselves an "ON Digital" box we were told no problem; you should get all the channels where you are perfect signal.

We didn't; we had our airiel replaced free of charge by ON Digital; we still didn't. The reception was at times extremely choppy and often we had to switch back to analouge.

Eventually we got sky digital instead (they didn't do the channels we wanted when we signed up to ON Digital but by that point did). The On digital box went in the cupboard for a few years; but was recently revived (I nabbed it for my room so I could use it as a freeview box).

I get:

BBC1
BBC2
BBC News 24
"Ideal World" (shopping channel)
A few radio stations.
and other assorted rubbish.

I do not get nearly as many channels as freeview offers.

The signal can still be very choppy at times though not as bad as originally.

I think before analouge can be switched off situations like this need to be sorted out especially if you live say in a flat where you are not allowed satelite dishes and outside the area of cable TV.
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Digital Television In My Area

Yeah hopefully this will be sorted soon as mentioned in my post above most relays do not have Digital capability but this is suppose to change, I guess before they remove analog altogether although I could be wrong lol.

Easy way to tell if your on a relay and have no chance of getting digital tv is if your aerial elements (the metal sticky out bits that look like ladders) are pointing downwards towards the ground (vertically) rather than horizontally which means it is on a main transmitter.

If your picture was jumpy the only way to sort it without Sky would be with a larger aerial, but as you can see from the main post above its not often worth the extra money.
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,877
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

Digital Television In My Area

Quote
If your picture was jumpy the only way to sort it without Sky would be with a larger aerial, but as you can see from the main post above its not often worth the extra money.


We already did that a few years back when we first got the box!

I can't really tell about the ariel as I don't know where on the roof it is nowadays; but we're walking distance from the town centre and aylesbury is a fairly large town!
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Digital Television In My Area

Its often related to the terrain rather than distance, such as being too low down or a hill blocking the view to the main antenna. Often the antennas are on the highest hill about, my local one is on Winter Hill and I can see it light up at night from where I live and its a good few miles away.

You can use this link to find out what your neatest antenna is:
http://www.dtg.org.uk/retailer/coverage.html

Then find out its location with google and see just how far you are away and what the terrain is like between your house and the mast.

This is what I got:

Winter Hill
BBC Region: North West
ITV Region: Granada
Switchover: 2009
Muxes received: ALL
Compass bearing: 293°
Distance: 17 kilometres
Aerial group: C/D Horizontal
Location: Grid Ref SD660144
Aerial elevation: 704 metres



Wouldnt like to be the engineer who looks after that :lol:
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,878
Registered: 04-04-2007

Digital Television In My Area

Thats a great photo.

That websites pretty good too. For my area (Sheffield) it shows full availability by one transmitter and most channels available by another, but I've got Sky and not a single analouge TV is tuned in, so Im not bothered Smiley

For my old stomping ground (The Wirral) in some areas it says they wont get Digital at all.

Chris
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Digital Television In My Area

I have a Windows MCE computer here (like a freeview box with recording capability etc) and when you buy a decent TV card for your computer you always get a free aerial.

Anyway most people throw these aerials away, they are about 2 inches long and pretty crap, for me I get the entire freeview package with the whole 2 inches lol :lol:
LiamM
Grafter
Posts: 5,636
Registered: 12-08-2007

Digital Television In My Area

This site is handy, it'll tell you which direction you need to point your aerial in, what multiplexes you should receive and how far from the transmitter you are :

http://www.wolfbane.com/cgi-bin/tvd.exe?