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Freeview without external aerial?!


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Old 22-08-2006, 13:50
gregas
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I live in a flat in a protected building - so Sky is out of the question as they won't allow a dish to be put up. The communal terrestrial aerial is poor and there are no plans to replace it.

I currently have cable through NTL but the service has been poor lately - not to mention overpriced.

I'm in a very good Freeview signal area but without the option of a suitable external aerial i'm limited with options.

Is there an internal aerial or other solution that would produce a picture/service suitable for the main set in the property?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 22-08-2006, 14:23
GavinK
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Until very recently I've been using an ordinary indoor arial to receive freeview from a ground-floor location and it worked very well. I'm about 15 miles from the transmitter and from the ground floor location I was using I had very nearly line-of-sight to the transmitter with not much of anything other than empty air between. Reception in the core of the building was not possible

So if you're in a heavily built-up area with a lot of obstruction and/or on the 'wrong' side of your building you may not be lucky. It very much depends on your local conditions.

See if you can borrow a box and arial to give it a go.
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Old 22-08-2006, 15:19
David (2)
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Yes, and also how strong the signals for freeview are in the area (the signal strength is far from universal). Other buildings, hills, and so on also act as a blocker to the signal.

If the signal is marginal, you might discover that an indoor aerial works on one side the building, but not the other - eg, being on the side closest to the signal makes a difference. Having a window facing the transmitter is even better. Ofcourse, one of the problems is that of the 1,100 transmitters in the UK now, only 80 are pushing out Freeview - and thats on reduced power as well.

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Old 22-08-2006, 15:49
chrisjr
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I would be tempted, if you haven't already done so, to try a box on the communal aerial. You may find it works perfectly. Having a poor analogue signal does not necessarily mean you will get poor digital reception. Any more than good analogue indicates good digital.

For instance my aerial is of dubious parentage. The cable is old and probably a bit waterlogged by now. It has a joint made up of two UHF plugs and a back to back adaptor that used to be taped up - I doubt you could get it apart now for all the corrosion. I live East of a transmitter that only radiates DTT to the South and West. Analogue TV is noisy and suffers ghosting, especially on five. In fact it is so bad I only use analogue to auto-set the clock on the DVD recorder there is NO aerial plugged into the TV at all.

Yet despite my best efforts I get near perfect digital reception. 80% + signal strength on all muxes. Very little picture break-up and virtually no interference from the notorious pizza delivery mopeds (do a search on DS ). And I was watching Freeview for a year or more before the post-code checkers told me I could get it.

Equally I get s*d all off a set-top aerial. So you never can tell what you might get until you try.

An alternative to the set-top aerial, though rather inelegant, is to stick a full size (or as big as you can bear) aerial on top of a wardrobe/cupboard that happens to be pointing roughly in the right direction. This will give you better signal than the set-top aerial but obviously isn't as easy to get in the optimum position ! (understatement of the year probably).

The biggest problem with set-top aerials is lack of signal. Both because they are smaller than roof aerials so suck less signal out of the air anyway and because they are used indoors. Walls attenuate UHF signals and the lower down you are the worse the signal will likely be as well. All of which conspires to make DTT reception difficult given the DTT transmitters are on a fraction of the power of analogue.
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Old 22-08-2006, 16:50
David (2)
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it should be noted also that just as some people get good digital reception, but poor analogue, other people get excellent anaogue pictures, but no freeview reception at all. This would be the case where reception is from one of the smaller transmitters that provides analogue, but not freeview (yet).

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Old 22-08-2006, 17:54
GCG
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I live about 15 miles from the tansmitter and have 2 freeview boxes working off indoor aerials on the ground floor. Each cost 6.99 from a local store.The reception is watchable most days but not perfect depending on weather conditions. Scans dont always pick up all the channels so I sometimes have to do a manual scan for the missing ones. I get an unwatchable picture on analogue for Channel 5
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Old 23-08-2006, 13:33
David (2)
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you can normally improve the picture on one analogue channel while dropping the picture quality on other analogue channels by moving the aerial around.

A similar thing happens with freeview. The freeview channels are spread over 6 frequencies. Moving the aerial around may improve reception (so they get detected, or no longer breakup), of some frequencies (some channels) while lowering the reception of others (channels that were good now breakup or cant be detected in a scan).

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