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Old 10-07-2004, 00:59
Tristan_B
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Hi there,

As you can see from the little box on the left, I've currently got cable from NTL, but I'm thinking about getting a Freeview box for a second TV.

I live in Broadstone in Dorset, postcode area BH18. We get our signals fed from Rowridge (I think*), and from what I can see this means that we'll have great difficulty in getting Freeview reception, depite the fact I got perfect analogue reception (before I started taking it directly from the cable!). The dtg.org.uk postcode checker says we won't even get channels 1 to 4!

So basically I was wondering if someone could tell me why it's so difficult to receive Freeview from Rowridge, and whether this situation is likely to change in the near future. With the analogue switch-off being eyed for sometime in the next decade, we're surely going to have to have somewhere near 100% DTT coverage by then...

I apologise in advance if I'm asking questions that pop up all the time -- I know lots about cable TV, but nothing at all about DTT!

Thanks,

Tristan

* it's just occured to me that we might be getting TV signals from the booster aerial at Corfe Hills -- those who live in the area will know what I mean. Does this mean no Freeview at all? Is there any easy way to check?
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Old 10-07-2004, 01:33
Roxof
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Hi Tristan_B

Rowridge is indeed your main station (there aren't any fill-ins) - but, at 28 miles, you will in all probability need a decent rooftop aerial (Group A, same as for analogue). There shouldn't be more to it than that unless you have nearby adverse conditions, e.g. hills, buildings, forests and things in the way. If so, perhaps consider Hannington, Mendip etc.

HTH

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Old 10-07-2004, 01:55
Tristan_B
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Thanks for the info. I get crystal-clear analogue reception, so if what you say is right, I should be able to get Freeview too.

I'm just curious as to why the DTG website thinks I'll be able to get less than 50% of the channels? In fact, I'm really curious as to what the problem is with Rowridge, period. We can't get channel 5, we can't get DAB, and Freeview reception is problematic. What gives? What makes Rowridge different from other transmitters?

Maybe I'll just bite the bullet and buy a Freeview adaptor anyway. Does anybody know what the general policy is of shops regarding refunds if you can't get a picture?
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Old 10-07-2004, 02:22
Roxof
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Hi Tristan_B

Ah, Channel Five is a completely different issue - there is only a feeble transmitter at Fawley (Southampton), but you might do as well with Croydon depending on geographical luck. It's to do with Britain's very careful measures not to spill over onto the continent.

As for DAB - sorry, still doing homework on that, but i'd imagine that the same modesty is leading to some rather poor coverage along the South coast.

If you're sure that your good analogue reception comes from Rowridge, rather than from the Poole or Canford Heath relays, there really should be "no problemmo" (E & OE ) Quick question - if you have a "regular" kinda aerial, are the bars vertical or horizontal? If all horizontal, it's Rowridge - otherwise (insert dramatic downbeat chords - you're on a local analogue relay and - eak!)

HTH

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Old 10-07-2004, 05:25
x-p-d
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I just got Sky last week, so i had a freeview box spare..
I kept the netgem i-player.... but took my nokie mediamaster 9850T round my dads house to see if it would work.

he lives in a ground floor flat, about 7 metres away from a railway line and station, there is also 2 massive towerblocks in the way of rowridge - i wasn't expecting much!

I used a very very cheap old indoor aerial, and pointed it out of the window.... i kept the setup i did at my house, knowing if i did a re-scan, i would lose most channels.... and to my suprise, the aerial balanced on a window ledge, piced up all bbc all sky shopping and music, every channel except channel 5. i was astounded it managed to pick up everything... i tried for hours to get chennel five picked up... then a train went past the window... and it picked up channel 5! - only problem is, when the train left the station, channel 5 went lol

What the hell is causing me to pick up these channel's ?? this has to be the worst possible reception area i could have imagined. i think with a signal booster, we might get channel 5 yet!

I thought the railway line could have boosted the signal ? is that possible ? because there is no other explanation for it!

The house is north of portsmouth.... so it's about 6-10 miles from rowridge - signal at my house is perfect with an indoor aerial.... so are we just extremely lucky? lol
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Old 10-07-2004, 09:32
mjk79
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Originally Posted by Tristan_B
I'm just curious as to why the DTG website thinks I'll be able to get less than 50% of the channels? In fact, I'm really curious as to what the problem is with Rowridge, period.
The problem is that the digital channels are broadcast on frequencies which are partly co-channel with the Stockland Hill transmitter (which serves parts of Devon and West Dorset) and a high powered French transmitter in Normandy...

For that reason the Rowridge transmitter is somewhat restrictive in how much signal it radiates out towards the East, West and South, and fires most of it's signal out to the North/North-West hence why the signal isn't especially reliable much East of Chichester or West of Bournemouth

It doesn't mean that you won't get a digital signal, just that it might be unreliable and prone to "disappearing" whenever there is a period of atmospheric disturbances which may make the signals from these more distant transmitters interfere.
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Old 10-07-2004, 19:57
Roxof
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Originally Posted by x-p-d
(snyppe!) he lives in a ground floor flat, about 7 metres away from a railway line and station, there is also 2 massive towerblocks in the way of rowridge - i wasn't expecting much!

I used a very very cheap old indoor aerial, and pointed it out of the window.... i kept the setup i did at my house, knowing if i did a re-scan, i would lose most channels.... and to my suprise, the aerial balanced on a window ledge, piced up all bbc all sky shopping and music, every channel except channel 5. i was astounded it managed to pick up everything... i tried for hours to get chennel five picked up... then a train went past the window... and it picked up channel 5! - only problem is, when the train left the station, channel 5 went lol
(snyppe!)
I thought the railway line could have boosted the signal ? is that possible ? because there is no other explanation for it!
(snyppe!)
Hi X-p-d

It might well be that you're getting a strong reflected signal, likely from nearby metalwork or buildings (and trains!) - i'd guess that the analogue picture looks fairly messy, if that's the case. Carefully moving the aerial around might find a signal for the missing multiplex too. Boosting - well, who knows, one of the stronger ones might swamp the rest but maybe not...

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Old 10-07-2004, 23:34
inthewildteam
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Originally Posted by mjk79
The problem is that the digital channels are broadcast on frequencies which are partly co-channel with the Stockland Hill transmitter (which serves parts of Devon and West Dorset) and a high powered French transmitter in Normandy...

For that reason the Rowridge transmitter is somewhat restrictive in how much signal it radiates out towards the East, West and South, and fires most of it's signal out to the North/North-West hence why the signal isn't especially reliable much East of Chichester or West of Bournemouth

It doesn't mean that you won't get a digital signal, just that it might be unreliable and prone to "disappearing" whenever there is a period of atmospheric disturbances which may make the signals from these more distant transmitters interfere.
I live in Worthing using a group A aerial, installed when this house was built (about 10 yrs ago) and run 3 Freeview recivers with no problems at all through a distribution amplifier. Get all digital channels (since Rowridge changed the digital frequencies earlier this year)

No analogue Channel 5 tho
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Old 10-07-2004, 23:39
inthewildteam
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NB, must edit profile! It says group b aerial

Homer moment?
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Old 11-07-2004, 10:34
InTheSand
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Originally Posted by inthewildteam
I live in Worthing using a group A aerial, installed when this house was built (about 10 yrs ago) and run 3 Freeview recivers with no problems at all through a distribution amplifier. Get all digital channels (since Rowridge changed the digital frequencies earlier this year)

No analogue Channel 5 tho
Hi,

I'm also in Worthing, but get digital TV from the Whitehawk Hill transmitter (Brighton), as well as a somewhat fuzzy analogue five (as it's out of band for the grouped aerial on the roof). I'm quite surprised you get a decent digital signal from Rowridge - I had no luck, even with one of the huge Televes wideband aerials, but Brighton does the trick for me. I guess it depends on the part of the town you're in (I'm in the Broadwater area and have a relatively clear line of sight eastbound).

Regards,

- Ali
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Old 11-07-2004, 10:45
scoobydooby
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Originally Posted by Tristan_B
Hi there,

As you can see from the little box on the left, I've currently got cable from NTL, but I'm thinking about getting a Freeview box for a second TV.

I live in Broadstone in Dorset, postcode area BH18. We get our signals fed from Rowridge (I think*), and from what I can see this means that we'll have great difficulty in getting Freeview reception, depite the fact I got perfect analogue reception (before I started taking it directly from the cable!). The dtg.org.uk postcode checker says we won't even get channels 1 to 4!

So basically I was wondering if someone could tell me why it's so difficult to receive Freeview from Rowridge, and whether this situation is likely to change in the near future. With the analogue switch-off being eyed for sometime in the next decade, we're surely going to have to have somewhere near 100% DTT coverage by then...

I apologise in advance if I'm asking questions that pop up all the time -- I know lots about cable TV, but nothing at all about DTT!

Thanks,

Tristan

* it's just occured to me that we might be getting TV signals from the booster aerial at Corfe Hills -- those who live in the area will know what I mean. Does this mean no Freeview at all? Is there any easy way to check?
Its your lucky day---Im also in BH18---I have Freeview OK (all mux's).

Occasionally during fine weather I get interference that wipes out mux2 ch28 (itv / c4 etc) but it soon passes.

I do have a high gain group A aerial facing Rowridge though, Im sure that you wont be recieving from Corfe Hills, A quick scan of your aerial to see its general direction will tell you

If you would like to PM me, I can pop round with a STB to see what your reception of FV is like if you wish.
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Old 11-07-2004, 16:00
inthewildteam
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Originally Posted by InTheSand
Hi,

I'm also in Worthing, but get digital TV from the Whitehawk Hill transmitter (Brighton), as well as a somewhat fuzzy analogue five (as it's out of band for the grouped aerial on the roof). I'm quite surprised you get a decent digital signal from Rowridge - I had no luck, even with one of the huge Televes wideband aerials, but Brighton does the trick for me. I guess it depends on the part of the town you're in (I'm in the Broadwater area and have a relatively clear line of sight eastbound).

Regards,

- Ali
Hi Ali,

West Durrington this end (near water board hq)

Could get a good signal even before Rowridge upped its output power. Most aerials in this road point to I.O.W. because the old Nissan building blocks Whitehawk Hill. We all get good analogue too except the usual french co-channeling summer times.

Bob.
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Old 11-07-2004, 16:27
David (2)
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I wonder if the original poster is getting tv from Rowridge? Broadstone is in the northern part of Poole, therefore theres a chance the tv signal is from an analogue (no freeview) only relay in that zone. If that it the case, chances are the poster will need a larger, rather expensive aerial due to weak rowridge freeview signals in that zone (due to terrain). In addition, one of the MUX's recently moved from outside the "A" band into the "A" band - along with the other parts of the freeview service. This fact may not have been taken into account on many web sites yet. It does mean however, that you could use an aerial designed just for "A" band (all 4 analogue signals are also in A band). An aerial designed only for A band will provide a better signal than a wideband aerial of the same thing. And in a weak reception zone, this can make the difference between getting the freeview service, and not getting it.

Dave
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Old 11-07-2004, 21:59
scoobydooby
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Originally Posted by David (2)
I wonder if the original poster is getting tv from Rowridge? Broadstone is in the northern part of Poole, therefore theres a chance the tv signal is from an analogue (no freeview) only relay in that zone. If that it the case, chances are the poster will need a larger, rather expensive aerial due to weak rowridge freeview signals in that zone (due to terrain). In addition, one of the MUX's recently moved from outside the "A" band into the "A" band - along with the other parts of the freeview service. This fact may not have been taken into account on many web sites yet. It does mean however, that you could use an aerial designed just for "A" band (all 4 analogue signals are also in A band). An aerial designed only for A band will provide a better signal than a wideband aerial of the same thing. And in a weak reception zone, this can make the difference between getting the freeview service, and not getting it.

Dave
I agree with most of this, I changed my wideband aerial for a televes high gain 'group A' aerial in early June, after mux 2 moved to from uhf 52 to uhf 28 back in May, whilst it didn't solve the problem of the (french possibly) interference on mux2 during the very hot weather a few weeks ago, I have noticed that I am getting much less instances of general interference-including traffic related interference.
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Old 11-07-2004, 22:06
RyFish
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Originally Posted by inthewildteam
Hi Ali,

West Durrington this end (near water board hq)

Could get a good signal even before Rowridge upped its output power. Most aerials in this road point to I.O.W. because the old Nissan building blocks Whitehawk Hill. We all get good analogue too except the usual french co-channeling summer times.

Bob.
West Worthing here and the majority of the aerials here point to the IOW. Get OK Freeview reception but analogue is awful - might be the aerial though as I've only just moved in
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Old 12-07-2004, 00:58
g3vpc
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Originally Posted by Tristan_B
<snip>
I live in Broadstone in Dorset, postcode area BH18. We get our signals fed from Rowridge (I think*), <snip>
* it's just occured to me that we might be getting TV signals from the booster aerial at Corfe Hills
Hi Tristan

That aerial at the school isn't anything to do with TV! It's got lots of stuff on it for mobile phones and waterboard etc.

I'm at Corfe Mullen and have a wideband 18 ele Maxview (8.98 at B+Q) in the loft and get 9.5 out of ten on all channels with my TU-CT20! My friend down by the island at B'stone shops has got a Goodmans GDB4 and he pulls in a pretty good signal although there is a bit of a tree screen around the roundabout and some hill just beyond the shops.

He got his GDB4 from WH Smith but they are now cheaper at Macro if you have a card. Many retail shops don't allow returns based on lack of signal so clarify that point before purchase. However, the Distance selling Regs allow you some time to return mail order/Internet goods for ANY reason which doesn't have to be disclosed.

HTH

Graham W
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Old 12-07-2004, 19:29
Markyloo
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Hiya, with regards to the Freeview, i live in parkstone poole, and although i am on a hill, i do get all of the digital channels from Rowridge (IOW).

Also you mentioned no DAB???

I have a portable dab radio and get fine signals in parkstone...
BBC channels (12B channel on DAB) Have recently started being broadcast from the big relay transmitter on ashley road parkstone, so you should at least be able to get those ok!!!

Digital 1 Network 11B or D i forget which!,
I can also get ok, but is patchy when travelling with the radio... and the signal isn't as strong as bbc channels,

The weird thing is, the local Channels on the NOWDigital frequency (11B or D) are the worst reception of the lot, and they are transmitted from Bournemouth!!!
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Old 12-07-2004, 21:33
Davec1
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I'm another BH18 Freeview user. I've had a Philips digi box since Ondigital days with few problems. I did upgrade the aerial to boost the signal and upgrade the cable to the tv. The only moan with the box is the time it takes to swap across some channels.

I'm on the hill halfway upto the school with our aerial pointing to Rowridge. We get all the channels and as per the other BH18 person find that occasionally some signals are lost temporarily particularly the group ITV, CH4, CH5 and ITV2, though mostly everthing is okay. I also get topuptv for my sins and have no problem with their signals.
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Old 12-07-2004, 21:44
spikej
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Hello Tristrian B

If your recieveing your TV from Corfe Hills, Parkstone or Tower Park, which is likely due to the hills at Canford, Parkstone and Tower Park blocking out the finest Muxs Rowridge has to offer, then you won't be able to get Freeview. This is because they are relays and hence only broadcast 1 - 4.

Your best bet might be Sky? Altho having said that sometimes it'll work, it really depends if you get enough signal, without too much noise.

Might be best to try a Setpal with a Group A aerial, and see how you get on with that.

Sorry I can't help, too tired from working a 12hr day in Poole!

Stu
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Old 12-07-2004, 22:53
Ignite
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Originally Posted by Markyloo
The weird thing is, the local Channels on the NOWDigital frequency (11B or D) are the worst reception of the lot, and they are transmitted from Bournemouth!!!
I know this is the DTT section but I just had to mention that in fact there is no DAB transmitter in Bournemouth. For Now Digital, there are 3 transmitters, St Catherines Hill (New Forest side of Christchurch), Nine Barrow Down (Between Corfe and Swanage - 2CR transmitter site) and Winterbourne Stickland (towards Blandford).
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Old 12-07-2004, 23:07
Ignite
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There are 4 relay transmitters in the Poole area.
The Poole transmitter is by the police station on the Ashley road in Parkstone. http://tx.mb21.co.uk/gallery/poole.asp
The Westbourne transmitter is on top of 1 of the highrise buildings at the County Gates roundabout (end of Wessex Way)
The Canford Heath transmitter is on top of the water tower at Tower Park http://tx.mb21.co.uk/gallery/canford-heath.asp
THe Luscombe Valley transmitter is in on the top of a tree in Luscombe Valley, just north of Compton Acres.
There is also a transmitter at Corfe Castle. http://tx.mb21.co.uk/gallery/corfe-castle.asp

Andy
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Old 13-07-2004, 00:19
Markyloo
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Originally Posted by Ignite
I know this is the DTT section but I just had to mention that in fact there is no DAB transmitter in Bournemouth. For Now Digital, there are 3 transmitters, St Catherines Hill (New Forest side of Christchurch), Nine Barrow Down (Between Corfe and Swanage - 2CR transmitter site) and Winterbourne Stickland (towards Blandford).
That's probably why Now Digital is so patchy in this area then!
I didn't actually know where the Now digital transmitter is, I just assumed it would be in Bournemouth!

I wish they would boost the signal though, i did have (albeit very briefley as it was stolen)a DAB car radio, and it was useless, well due to the coverage... i wouldn't have replaced it, but now BBC have switched on locally, i am considering it.

Anyway back on topic....
Looks like your best bet is to try and get someone to bring a Freeview box round to your house, and suss out where your ariel is pointing.

P.s. It's quite bizarre, using a forum like this and having so many people on it from the same area as yourself! you expect there to be less in some way!!!
Hello to everybody in the Poole/Bournemouth area!
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Old 13-07-2004, 15:53
plandregan
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I am in Blandford. Using a 52 element wideband antenna with masthead amp. On my Pace Twin I get 50-52% accross all muxes.
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Old 13-07-2004, 18:46
Ignite
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I grew up in Blandford, and I remember that when we first moved there in 1975, we were getting our TV from Rowridge. Sometime in the late 70's we got an aerial installed for the new Winterbourne Stickland relay. I would guess that most of the higher side of the town should be able to get something from Rowridge.

Andy
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Old 13-07-2004, 19:35
g3vpc
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Originally Posted by Ignite
There are 4 relay transmitters in the Poole area.
The Poole transmitter is by the police station on the Ashley road in Parkstone. http://tx.mb21.co.uk/gallery/poole.asp
The Westbourne transmitter is on top of 1 of the highrise buildings at the County Gates roundabout (end of Wessex Way)
The Canford Heath transmitter is on top of the water tower at Tower Park http://tx.mb21.co.uk/gallery/canford-heath.asp
THe Luscombe Valley transmitter is in on the top of a tree in Luscombe Valley, just north of Compton Acres.
There is also a transmitter at Corfe Castle. http://tx.mb21.co.uk/gallery/corfe-castle.asp

Andy
Thanks for that clear review, Andy.

spikej is a little confused since he said "...recieveing your TV from Corfe Hills, Parkstone or Tower Park, " because Corfe Hills is a communications tower and is miles and miles away from Corfe Castle, the TV relay.

Graham W.
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