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New Digital Aerial Required - which is best?

Community Veteran
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New Digital Aerial Required - which is best?

OK.... we have an old "analogue" tv aerial, and because of this, we are missing out on some freeview channels on our tv... so I need to buy a new Digital Aerial, but not sure which would be the best type... this one
http://www.maplin.co.uk/tri-fold-43-element-high-gain-digital-tv-aerial-221128
or .... this one...
http://www.maplin.co.uk/high-gain-wideband-analogue-digital-tv-aerial-with-fixing-kit-217681
I am inclined towards the first one, because it does not need "putting all the bits together"..... and looks quite nice !  Roll eyes
As they are the same price... techy`s please advise...
29 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Re: New Digital Aerial Required - which is best?

There is no such thing as a digital aerial
The first thing you need to check is which bands your digital signals use now (or in the future if the digital switchover hasn't happened yet)
I seem to remember that you live near Portsmouth and if so your transmitter is Rowridge http://www.ukfree.tv/txdetail.php?a=SZ447865 unless you are at present using a repeater station
This means that you would need a Group A horizontal aerial - having an aerial of the correct design is much better than a wideband aerial
Is your present aerial in the loft or on the roof and have you tried seeing if it will work with a digibox or digital TV
Have you tried putting your post code into here http://www.freeview.co.uk/availability
Community Veteran
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Re: New Digital Aerial Required - which is best?

Yes Jim.... I understand about the polarity etc... and yes, I think the signal is from I.o.W... as the aerial points in that direction !...
The TV is a brand new flatscreen digital TV with Freeview installed....
Going thru the channel listing on "setup" we are missing BBC4 and also 38 QUEST.... and a couple of others I think... So am thinking that the elements of the analogue aerial are not properly "tuned" to pick up a strong enough signal on those frequencies.
We had the "first kind" of aerial fitted to our bungalow in Cowplain.  (Over the hill (Portsdown hill)  and about 40 miles distant from I.o.W) yet we had a full set of channels on Freeview.
Current location is at sea level, with possible lower signal strength... however I have also bought an inline mains powered booster, which has improved the signal quality.
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: New Digital Aerial Required - which is best?

dont know about your tramitter, but in Anglia they are mucking around
The Sudbury went digital a while back, but when  Tacolneston,  went digital this month some channels went up to the end of the spectrum and dropped power, we had to retune on the 16th, I lost a lot of stations at that time, we are due another retune next June and are due to get back the lost stations.  noneof the recent moves were published
there are engineering works currently on the Rowridge transmitter
see http://www.ukfree.tv/txdetail.php?a=SZ447865

198kHz
All Star
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Re: New Digital Aerial Required - which is best?

As Jim points out, a grouped aerial is the best choice - good information here - http://www.aerialsandtv.com/
Remember you are unique - just like everyone else
Community Veteran
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Re: New Digital Aerial Required - which is best?

If you are missing BBC4 and Quest then you are missing Mux A and Mux B
Can you get Sky News channel 82 which is Mux C or Film 4 which is Mux D
There is a possibility that the aerial is pointing to the self help relay PORTSMOUTH DOCKS 2 km N city centre 50 homes Estimate. Group of houses'
Can your neighbours get all the channels and are their aerials pointing in the same direction as yours as it may be that the relay is only transmitting Mux 1 and 2
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Re: New Digital Aerial Required - which is best?

Yes, Can get Sky News on 82, and Film 4
All aerials in the area are pointing in the same direction...
Thanks for the linky 4C

Community Veteran
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Re: New Digital Aerial Required - which is best?

That doesn't sound like an aerial problem per se as the bands used by the various Mux's/channels are as below and you appear to be missing only some of the middle ones but not BBC1 which is between them
Band              Channel/Mux
C21                    Channel 4
C24                    BBC2
C27                    ITV1
C28+                Mux B
C30-                  BBC1 
C31                  Mux A
C32+                Mux 2
C33+                Mux D
C34                  Mux 1
C37+                Mux C
Have you tried retuning the TV with and without the booster - it is just possible that the booster is giving too high a signal strength
Community Veteran
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Re: New Digital Aerial Required - which is best?

Looks like MUXB could by iffy according to http://www.digitaluk.co.uk/postcodechecker/main/trade/po93jn/65/0/eb910iiikhern4d615th66nl65. hopefuly this postcode is close to shutter's actual location.
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Community Veteran
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Re: New Digital Aerial Required - which is best?

@ jim... yes, I have tried tuning with and without the amplifier.... same result (except the signal strength is improved with the amp)
@godsell.... thanks for the linky... not far out. on the postcode !... put my own in, and get the transmitter as Rowridge, and bearing as 238, so pretty much the same.... checked the direction of the aerial with a compass, and it is pointing in the general direction of 240 as far as I can determine... (standing underneath the aerial, and pointing my face the same way !)...
according to the "correct postal address" all the channels are showing green... including the MUXB  up to 7 March date on the left.... however nothing appears in the MUXB boxes after that date  Undecided
Your postcode is a good bit more elevated from sea level to my current location AT sea level + 20 feet !.....
PM me if you want my postcode... Wink
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Re: New Digital Aerial Required - which is best?

Quote from: shutter
according to the "correct postal address" all the channels are showing green... including the MUXB  up to 7 March date on the left...

And that could well be an error, there are so many factors which affect recieved signal quality it maybe your reception is more like the postcode I used.
Do you have lots of repeated channels in the 800 channel number range? This suggests the TV can see more than one transmitter if you do.
Can you manually tune your TV? Most can, it is a little annoying to do so, but it can help us know which channels you are having a problem with.
[1] disconnect the arial from the TV and put the TV back to factory default if you can, or get the TV to auto scan with the aerial disconnected so it finds zero channels.
[2] manually set it to scan channels 34, 32, 30, 37, 33 and 28.
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Community Veteran
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Re: New Digital Aerial Required - which is best?

My Location is at sea level + 20feet... and the "line of sight" to Rowridge is "inhibited" by buildings about half a mile distant, and (of course) those behind that between them and the IOW...so signal level will be much different on certain freqs  compared to the location you postcoded... which (from local knowledge) can just about "see" the IOW at ground level, whereas there would be an uninterrupted "view" from the chimney pots ! ! !  Cheesy
Won`t be retuning tonight, but might find time to have a go at your "manual" tuning of 28, 30, 32, 33, 34, & 37 tomorrow...
The only other transmitters the aerial could "see" are in entirely opposing directions, and some 25 - 40 miles away, so I doubt if they would be able to be received at ground level. 
(my aerial is about 25 feet max above ground level, and there is no way I can get it higher. !.) (local restrictions).
Community Veteran
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Re: New Digital Aerial Required - which is best?

Well, I have had a go a re-tuning, and did get BBC4 and Quest... . Quest is showing 62% and breaking up......BBC4 is showing 60% but a blank black screen with occasional very blocky pic for a second or two.
it keeps breaking up on ITV3 ( Channel 10)  reporting only 62% signal level, whereas the other "good" channels are reporting 32% and are rock solid pics..... Undecided..........Film 4 is showing 72%...solid pic................... .
MrT
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Re: New Digital Aerial Required - which is best?

Time to ditch Freeview and go for Freesat instead.
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Re: New Digital Aerial Required - which is best?

or wait until 21st March next year when the power will increase from 20kw to 200kw and you will also have the option of switching to vertically polarized
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/broadcast/guidance/tech-guidance/Meridian.pdf