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TV antenna transmitter

shermans
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,082
Thanks: 32
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Registered: 07-09-2007

TV antenna transmitter

Can anyone advise please on TV equipment ? 
I am embarking on a project to convert the top of my garage into a granny annexe (6m x 6m).  One problem I have is a television signal supply.  I am in deep countryside with a very weak TV signal.  When Jonathan Ross was being paid his £millions by the BBC, I stopped paying the TV licence because I figured if the BBC has so much money to waste on rubbish, they did not need my TV licence money - that was at least six years ago.  However, though I have no TV and do not miss it as I have so many other interests, I still have the aerial on the house chimney.  I could therefore attach a cable from there, run it down the house wall and out to garage five meters away and from there up into the annexe.  But that would certainly require a booster, and in the old days, I needed a booster even inside the house.  The garage is far too low to receive a signal directly.
The alternative might be to find some way of transmitting the signal from the antenna on the house chimney wirelessly to the granny annexe.  That would save having to dig up te drive to bury the cable.  Can anyone tell me if there is any such system available on the market at a reasonable price to achieve this ?  Not being a TV buff, I have no idea what is available these days.
Thanks.
26 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,274
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Registered: 24-10-2013

Re: TV antenna transmitter

cheapest and most sensible way is to simply use the existing aerial and have it properly wired to the new location.
then once that's done you can go online and pay the tv licence that you will need.
DaveyH
Seasoned Pro
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Registered: 15-11-2012

Re: TV antenna transmitter

Sounds like you'd be better off going down the Freesat route
Community Veteran
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Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: TV antenna transmitter

1st thing comes to mind... If you needed a booster from your house antenna to your house t.v. ...... then running a long aerial cable from that antenna to the garage will not provide enough signal to the tv at the garage end..
So.. as you rightly think,  you need some alternative method of getting a signal to the garage..
first of all..... you have to catch the signal.... an antenna does that... BUT.. it then needs to be amplified,  ( your original booster was ( almost ) sufficient ... but for longer distances you will need a proper receiver at the antenna, and then a "repeater" transmitter to send it to another antenna, or receiver and then to the garage..
some places in extremely rural Wales, used such a system, by having the reciever and antenna at the top of a local hill/mountain, and then retransmitting that signal down to the farmhouse/local village.
Not sure if there is a "small" system, available on the market  (suitable for your use) ... but maybe your local TV shop will be able to give you some advice or pointers as to where to look on the internet.
As DaveyH says... maybe FREESAT would be the cheapest option... at least you get it all in one package...
shermans
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,082
Thanks: 32
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Registered: 07-09-2007

Re: TV antenna transmitter

Freesat ?  I googled and it appears to be a satellite service and is free with a freesite box. Is that only catch-up TV or for live TV as well ?  It would certainly seem to be the obvious answer, assuming the freesat boxes are not exhorbitantly expensive and that the satellite system really works.  I thought of using perhaps broadband, but our broadband service here is too slow (max, max, max 4mb).
If freesat really works, why do people still have aerials ?  There must be a catch somewhere, I fear.
Thanks for the idea.
dorkasaurus
Dabbler
Posts: 14
Registered: 27-02-2016

Re: TV antenna transmitter

Hi Shermans,
What speed is your internet? I assume the fact your on here that you actually have internet?
There are several solutions if your net is fast enough one of which is a raspberry pi kodi media centre with the i[layer addons and the ITV addons, run that with a wireless USB dongle from the router in the main part of the house, there's a lot of other "interesting" addons too, obviously this is assuming you have over 2-3meg internet
Total cost around £50 and no ariels needed, I run about 5 kodi boxes here off a fibre connection and they all work nicely Wink
shermans
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,082
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Registered: 07-09-2007

Re: TV antenna transmitter

Thanks for that .  The kodi boxes sound a good idea. I will look further into that - presumably suitable for radio also - DAB here is a complete non-starter and even BBC on FM only works upstairs - downstairs is hopeless without a chimney aerial.  So we are limited for radio but kodi might solve that problem too.  Do you think it would ?
The only snag is that we get an internet speed of about 4 mb only.  Our tariff says 4 -8 mb, but I doubt it !  While writing, I have done a PlusNet speed test - it tells me I am getting 6.14 Mb download and 0.39 upload which surprises me !  So I have been maligning PlusNet - unless they were reading this discussion and rushed out to do something about it !
I will now definitely look further into the kodi solution.
Thanks again.
SpendLessTime
Aspiring Hero
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Registered: 21-09-2009

Re: TV antenna transmitter

@shermans
Yes Freesat is real. It is free to air TV via satellite. I'm using an old Sky dish with a Humax Freetime recorder box. ( I cancelled Sky 6 years ago and bought a Freesat box, just replaced the Sky box with the Freesat box)
Look at their website at http://www.freesat.co.uk/
There you will find a TV guide showing what channels are offered and what's on for the next 7 days.
For costs of the boxes look at Currys http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/search-keywords/xx_xx_xx_xx_xx/freesat/xx-criteria.html
The Freetime box is Freesat with a 7 day catch service via your Internet connection.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
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Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: TV antenna transmitter

FreeSat is very real, I run two HD boxes (in different rooms) off a Quad-LNB dish. Also have Freeview TV's as well, but mostly we watch FreeSat.
Basic channels are "similar" though FreeSat has more peripheral ones (many more...)
You still need a TV licence for it.
FreeSat like Freeview has SD and HD programs.
I happen to have a Hauppauge tuner in my main PC that is dual-HD (FreeSat and FreeView) though is currently only normally used for Freeview.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 06-11-2014

Re: TV antenna transmitter

Splitting a signal between two sets halves an already weak signal, and a booster just boosts the whole spectrum, including interference and reflected signals, so, put up another aerial, that way you get the best signal for both receivers, and avoid the shiny gold-coloured bacofoil things from argos, they're junk... Smiley
Have a read here, they have a list of what aerials are good for low signal areas, and their site in general is quite humorous in places:
http://www.aerialsandtv.com/atvschoiceofaerials.html
Satellite is of course the other option, if you can see the sky (no, not the murdoch empire corporation, the thing above the planet's surface), then you have access to satellite TV, which with a bit of time and patience and the right dish is easy to set up, with plenty of advice from people here:
https://www.satellites.co.uk/forums/
Smiley
PeeGee
Aspiring Pro
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Registered: 05-04-2009

Re: TV antenna transmitter

You may, or may not, think Freesat has an advantage as you are able to get other  "regional" BBC broadcasts as well as local. The "advertising funded" channels are more difficult to get, though.
You can also use the postcode to have another region set as your "local" region.
Phil
Plusnet Fibre (Sep 2014), Essentials (Feb 2013); ADSL (Apr 2009); Customer since Jan 2004 (on 28kb dial-up)
Using a TP-Link TD-W9980 modem-router.
nadger
Rising Star
Posts: 4,498
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Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: TV antenna transmitter

Add me to happy Freesat user list using Humax box from Humax Direct managers specials.
2u2me
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 318
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Registered: 27-09-2013

Re: TV antenna transmitter

Yes, same here, sony tv with built in freesat,  cheap sky hd box from auction site, (dish already in place when moved in) 
Luzern
Seasoned Pro
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Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: TV antenna transmitter

Quote from: shermans
...The only snag is that we get an internet speed of about 4 mb only.  Our tariff says 4 -8 mb, but I doubt it !  While writing, I have done a PlusNet speed test - it tells me I am getting 6.14 Mb download and 0.39 upload which surprises me !  So I have been maligning PlusNet - unless they were reading this discussion and rushed out to do something about it !............

A little off main topic
The PN speed test is not IIRC reliable. I'd suggest OOKLA or the one from Think Broadband. Do you know what type of ADSL you're on, or what your local exchange's status. Try Sam Knows site. Distance from exchange?
Just wondering if a change of ADSL mode might give an increase, which could be beneficial for streaming.
No one has to agree with my opinion, but in the time I have left a miracle would be nice.
shermans
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,082
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Registered: 07-09-2007

Re: TV antenna transmitter

Thanks for the tip.  I tried OOKLA and got 6.17mb download and 0.39mb upload, which is more or less the same as the PlusNet speedtest.  I also checked with Sam Knows and was advised that I can only get BT ADSL and BT ADSL Max, which should give me a speed above 5 mb.  So I reckon I must be on BT ADSL Max.  I live down a cul-de-sac in unspoilt Dorset countryside about a mile across the fields from the village.  When I compare it to my house in France which is in a similar location, down a cul-de-sac a mile from the exchange also, I get only 512 k minus, at a cost three times as much as PlusNet !
In France, my landline and internet went down at the beginning of December.  I called the ISP from a friend's house at least ten times, only to be told repeatedly that I had to telephone from my landline at home which I told them did not work, to which they always replied that I had to telephone from my landline at home which I told them did not work, to which they always replied that that I had to telephone from my landline at home which I told them did not work, to which they always replied that that I had to telephone from my landline at home which I told them did not work, to which they always replied that that I had to telephone from my landline at home which I told them did not work, to which they always replied that .... ad infinitum.  I got nowhere for more than two months.  All that happened was the usual French gallic shrug and the words "So ?"  Eventually, I got someone who told me what to do to test their router, so I went home and found that the router was A1 OK.  I called them back and they agreed that the fault must be outside the house which was no surprise.  But still nothing happend.
Finally, I drove fifty miles to their office and told them that I would sit in the office until I got some action.  They threatened to call the Gendarme but I stood my ground.  At last, a manager agreed to send an engineer the next day.  To my surprise, the engineer arrived on time.  He went up the pole and confirmed that the fault was thirty meters up the road, and then discovered that the old copper cable insulation had broken in the frost.  It took him less than twenty minutes to replace the cable between three poles altogether , and at last we were back on telephone and internet.
So we had been without any service for nearly three months, but there was no question of any refund for the rental from the ISP.  Oh no, read the small print.  And of course, there is no equivalent of Ofcom to whom you can complain due to the state monopoly of France Telecom.  I even went down to the village Mairie and asked the Mayor to help.  He called the ISP (and the French usually sit up and take notice when someone as important as the Mayor calls !) but he got nowhere either.  There is no such thing as service in France, and I have therefore learnt not to take the generally good service which we get in the UK for granted.  It is unthinkable that a business in the UK would treat customers with such disdain as they do in France, no matter whether it is a public service, a shop or any other business where the customer just does not matter.  All you ever get is the gallic shrug when something goes wrong, accompanied by a "pfffff".  So the sooner we cut the apron strings from the EU the better as far as I am concerned, because it is all going to collapse around our knees very soon.
Glad I got that off my chest, and so thanks for all the helpful advice on this topic. !