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Getting a lot of 'no service' messages on Freeview channels

Discussion in 'Freeview' started by KPG1, May 19, 2011.

  1. KPG1

    KPG1 Member

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    Hey everyone.

    Recently we've been losing an increasing number of Freeview channels - black screen, 'no service' message.

    I haven't scrolled through all the stations but it particularly affects +1 channels (eg, Dave Ja Vu, E4+1) and Five's offshoots. The problem was first noticed at weekends - I thought perhaps there was a transmitter maintenance issue - but several channels now seem to be permanently lost, both on my Panasonic 32LX70 TV and Panasonic DMR-EX79 DVD recorder (connected via HDMI).

    So I'm looking for possible causes/remedies. Our TV aerial is located in the loft, not on the roof (and has been ever since we've lived in our house), so perhaps that needs replacing/upgrading? According to UK digital TV reception predictor my 'local' transmitter is either Crystal Palace or Hannington.

    Any suggestions?
  2. lbear

    lbear Member

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    Sounds like a classic case of dodgy aerial plugs. Check to make sure they are secure and there are no "whiskers" of wire from the external shielding touching the central core. This is the simplest to check before you go onto more exotic possibilities.

    Alternatively, have you put anything new in the loft that could have affected the reception conditions/had the loft relagged or a neighbour built a loft extension?

    The other thing suggested by the increasing losses is the signal being blocked by growing trees or tall ones coming into leaf. Any of your neighbours fans of laylandii?
  3. KPG1

    KPG1 Member

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    Thanks for responding lbear.

    I'll check the plugs, though they've not been jarred or dislodged recently.

    The loft was relagged last year, but this is a recent development.

    Our next-door neighbours are having some building work done at the moment, but nothing as extensive as a loft extension. I do need to check with them whether their own reception has been affecte though.

    As for trees, there are some big 'uns nearby (no leylandii), so I suppose that could be the culprit, given the time of year.

    Can one compensate for these factors, if any of them are to blame (obviously I could get new aerial leads)?
  4. lbear

    lbear Member

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    Remaking the plugs - just unscrew them and the way they work will be obvious unless the central core is soldered to the plug.

    Your reception should be considerably improved by this time next year when the power of CP is increased after DSO. Usually DVB-T and especially T2 signals are quite robust and the system copes well with "multipath" signals - those reflected off surrounding buildings. I am about 5Km from Crystal Palace but on the opposite side of a building that blocks signals completely (2/3ft thick walls) I can get a fairly reliable reception from the signals bounced off Canary Wharf and the surrounding towers plus the river using a crude stick aerial on the windowsill. Analogue is unwatchable.

    While it may put your analogue reception out, it could be worthwhile trying a different position for the aerial in the loft to see if you can get a reflection off a nearby building that avoids the trees
  5. KPG1

    KPG1 Member

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    Thanks again.

    I haven't yet tried rescanning the channels. Could that be worth a shot, or more trouble than it's worth?
  6. Gavtech

    Gavtech Administrator

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    If you rescan for channels at a time when they are not receivable then your equipment will lose those channel placeholders and you will not receive them ever again unless you rescan when they are receivable.
    At least in the present condition channels will return if and when the signal strength rises above the receive-ability threshold.

    In other words- Do not rescan under these circumstances. It would be counter -productive and make your problem worse.


    Note that HDMI cables are notorious for causing reception problems. Check whether this can be impacting on your problems by connecting temporarily by scart only. If reception improves under such conditions , you require a new HDMI lead.
  7. KPG1

    KPG1 Member

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    Thanks Gavtech.

    I'll post here if any of these remedies solve/ease the problem.
  8. luggsie

    luggsie Member

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    Are you down in a valley ? Similar effect happens here annually when the trees start blooming and affect the propagation over the hill tops from Crystal Palace 40 miles away. The picture returns to what passes for normal in the autumn.

    We haven't had DSO yet so I can switch back to analogue and actually watch the picture flickering and colours distorting as the wind blows.
    I use Freesat when things get too bad.


    luggsie
  9. KPG1

    KPG1 Member

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    No, we're not in a valley.

    The problem seems to be restricted mainly to weekends and evenings (especially evenings at weekends!). Which makes me doubt that my cables could be at fault.
  10. buzzybee79

    buzzybee79 Member

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    Hi. Sorry to butt into the thread but i was having problems getting channels on my pvr and on trying the scart lead, i can now get almost all channels. I take it this means i should try a new, better hdmi cable? Are you able to recommend any i could try? Many thanks :)

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