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Best Indoor TV Aerial?

Discussion in 'Freeview Forum' started by arthurwise, Oct 17, 2011.

  1. arthurwise

    arthurwise Member

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    Hi people!

    Would someone be able to advice me on the best indoor TV aerial that would be able to pick up all of the freeview channels and freeview HD channels?

    Also does anyone know what dB means? I have been looking at some aerials and apparently some of them are amplified and some are HD ready. What is amplified? Does this mean they cannot pick up HD channels?


    Thank you very much for reading and your time!:lease:
  2. lbear

    lbear Active Member

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    An indoor aerial may or may not work or may need adjusting on retuning depending on your location, the tuner and the room you are using it in. Thick solid walls and double glazing with a metallized layer reduce the signals.

    There is a site giving the test results from the people who produce Which? magazine. ricability.co.uk

    Amplified indoor aerials should be avoided if possible as they will amplify all the interference and should therefore only be used where you have a good signal quality but low strength. In my experience they are no better than non-amplified versions and can be worse.

    In a strong signal area and with line of sight to the transmitter, you can get away with a "wet piece of string" or rather a cheap £1 aerial. They are also helpful is strong signal areas where you have to rely on reflected signals from nearby buildings as DVB-T/T2 tuners are good at plucking out the strongest signal from a mess of multipaths. The fact they are non-directional actually helps in these cases (I use one in my bedroom with an HD tuner and it works well virtually all of the time a friend uses a similar aerial and sometimes has to adjust its position. Note that we are both quite close to Crystal Palace).

    If they claim to be HD ready, avoid as this is a pure marketing ploy to bump up the price. dB stands for deciBell and in your context will indicate the amount of amplification. It is a 'log' scale which means a 3dB increase equates to (roughly) double the signal.
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    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011
  3. arthurwise

    arthurwise Member

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    Very interesting! I do not have a strong signal as my double glazed windows are facing a block a flats and trees so its quite hard to get all the channels even thought i am based in Fulham.

    The aerial that i have at the moment is a plug in booster type one and its very old, i bet its like 12dB. The one I'm after is actually 46dB: Buy Amplified One For All Indoor TV Aerial Up to 46dB at Argos.co.uk - Your Online Shop for TV aerials, boosters and accessories. from Argos (Dont know any other places to buy from:blush: )

    What would you do/buy in my position?
  4. Andy98765

    Andy98765 Active Member

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    Personally I would put the £36 towards getting a proper aerial fitted. Do not know about London buy round my way it is about £120.
    Once fitted a distribution amp can be fitted to supply as many TV's as you want.
  5. arthurwise

    arthurwise Member

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    Yes, I had a TV aerial fitter guy out to my flat, theres already a roof aerial fitted but I do not have access to it via sockets, it dont have the connection going through my flat. Anyway the guy quoted me nearly £400 for fitting and labour. Tottaly insane!

    Do you think that aerial from Argos would do the job?
  6. lbear

    lbear Active Member

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    NNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!


    I would avoid Argos at all costs except unfortunately they are the only place where the Ricability recommended are reasonably available. In my own opinion, the combination of Argos and All For One is toxic. The UHF bit is the loop on top. The two "bunny ears" telescopic aerials are designed for VHF and are redundant in the UK

    Indoor TV aerials are a guaranteed moneyspinner for store and Argos exploits this to the full. Have a look at the Tesco site - many of their own brand aerials are sourced from the same people that make All for One. Even they must make huge profits. The one I use in my bedroom is identical to this one but cost me £1 from a poundshop (or may have been 99p!) I am tempted to say nip to the local big Tesco and see what they have in stock - if one of these work for you, return it and get the cheapo one without the Tesco label on it!. If it does not, you can work through their stock until you find that one that works - or work out how to get an outdoor aerial installed.

    You are in a strong signal area and all a more powerful amplifier will do is amplify the noise. Are the flats and trees between you and Crystal Palace or do you face the opposite direction and the flats reflecting the signal?
  7. arthurwise

    arthurwise Member

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    Hmmm ok then. what about this one then? Buy John Lewis JLPA003 High Performance Amplified Indoor Aerial online at JohnLewis.com
  8. lbear

    lbear Active Member

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    Have a word with the landlord/managing agent for your flats and ask them about the existing aerial. If it is a communal aerial, you should be able to take a cable from some form of junction box. If it was put in by another tenant, they may be willing to let you install a distribution unit so you can share the signal. £400 was a rip off.

    As I keep repeating, your problem is not signal strength, it is signal quality Amplification is only making things worse so buying one with a more powerful amplifier than in your existing one is pointless and a waste of money. The outside aerial will tell you what direction Crystal Palace is. If your flat faces in the same direction, one of the recommended by Ricability aerials that look a bit like a cut down outside aerial may work. They are far more directional than the loop type.

    The other factor that I mentioned is the sensitivity of your tuner. Those built into televisions are often less sensitive than separate set top boxes. What TV etc are you using? From experience, my Samsung TV a lot less sensitive than my STBs. Similarly my Technika STBHDIS2010 in my bedroom is more sensitive than my considerably more expensive Humax HD Fpx T2. (If you have a HD ready television without a HD tuner, these are a worthwhile buy at £19.99 refurbished on Ebay at the moment)
  9. arthurwise

    arthurwise Member

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    well i just bought a brand new panasonic plasma with hd freeview tuner. so i guess that helps the signal
  10. mike7

    mike7 Active Member

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    How does that make any difference, or sense? You are really not taking note of what ibear is saying. Indoor aerials, at any price, are pretty ineffectual except in very particular conditions. Whether you buy amplified aerials or boosters from Argos, Maplin or John Lewis does not make any difference to the case. You may get good reception on some channels and no, or intermitant, reception on others.

    If you examine the reviews for the Argos device you will find they are roughly divided between half who get 'fantastic results' and the rest who get nothing at all. The John Lewis reviewer appears to work for them. Hardly impartial.

    The type, make, price of the TV does not make much difference either. As you have already been told even some very expensive sets are not as sensitive to poor signals as some cheapo set top boxes. An expensive plasma is not going to 'suck in' more signal! The expectation from the manufacturer is that you have a good solid signal, preferably from an outside aerial in order to get the best results.
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    Last edited: Oct 18, 2011
  11. jack616

    jack616 Member

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    If you need an indoor this is what I would recommend:
    Digitop amplified indoor aerial.

    Argos used to sell them (I think I got mine there - I tried lots before finding these so I'm not certain)
    There are 2 types - make sure you get the amplified one. It didnt make me happy but it was the very best of a bad lot.

    Just looking at the physical design of the one you looked at - I would not recommend it.

    I get as good a picture with this as I do with my huge roof aerial with amplifier attached.
    That could just be my area being bad but I can only pass on my own experience.
    (Freeview is a rubbish broadcast design essentially so many people have trouble)

    Any modern TV will be as good as any other. There was a minor change in reception designs
    last year so I'd advise against using a very old set top box.
  12. Tight Git

    Tight Git Active Member

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    They wouldn't have trouble, if only they'd use a proper, ideally rooftop mounted, aerial.

    But so many people buy a new tv, costing many £100's, and then won't spend more than a tenner for a glorified coat hanger!

    Still, where would this section of the Forum be without them...
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  13. lbear

    lbear Active Member

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    Those are the ones recommended on the Ricability site which the OP has clearly not read.
    As I already told him, Argos are about the only generally available store to stock these but he still went for a more expensive one from John Lews. An amplified aerial would not be suitable in a location about a dozen miles from the UK's most powerful transmitter. The problem in his location is clearly not signal strength, it is signal quality or it may be that the signals are completely blocked by the nearby flats. Either way, no amount of amplification on an indoor aerial is going to help.
    You are clearly in an area where the signal strength is low, not the case for the OP

    Not so, the sensitivity of tuners varies from make to make and between different models of the same make. In addition they differ in their ability to process multipath signals
    The OP states he has recently purchased, no doubt at considerable cost, a Panasonic plasma Freeview HD TV, He clearly got one quote from the local cowboy to install a proper outdoor aerial so went the indoor route. Because that was unlikely to work, I gave him two options to get access to the existing aerial on his block (I thought getting an alternaive quote was too obvious). I am afraid until you answered I gave up on the thread since he was ignoring all the advice given. I was awaiting his "will my new BMW diesel work better on unfiltered secondhand oil from my local fish and chip shop or the Chinese take-away?" thread.:D
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  14. Chris Muriel

    Chris Muriel Active Member

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    At least that last one is based on a yagi rather than low gain rabbits ears and loops dating from the 1950s.
    My dad used to beat their performance with cobbled up bits of metal (a high chair rest and a couple of metal rods).
    That last one might actually have at least a little measurable aerial gain.
  15. mike7

    mike7 Active Member

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    All very well, but was this arrangement HD Ready ?
  16. jack616

    jack616 Member

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    Yep - that'll teach me to live in the second largest city in the country.

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