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aerial for block of 30 flats

Discussion in 'Televisions' started by jon_mendel, Jul 5, 2005.

  1. jon_mendel

    jon_mendel
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    The aerial on the flats where I live is playing up - reception got much worse after storms a couple of months ago (despite living in the centre of a city, analog reception is poor and access to BBC freeview channels intermittant) so my best guess would be that something was knocked out of place. The housing association (to whom we pay a service charge to maintain these type of things) has been 'investigating' the situation for 2 months, apparently based on the fact that analog is due to be switched off in a few year :( Frankly, though, I'm not sure what there is to investigate... If anyone who knows about these things could help me figure out if there's a good reason why this is taking a while, or if they're just dragging their feet, I'd be grateful.

    Assuming the aerial has just been blown out of position (which seems most likely) is it likely to be expensive to fix? Or if it needs replacing, would we need a 'special' type of aerial to be compatible with the switchover to digital or would any one do? And is getting an aerial for 30 flats likely to be difficult/expensive? Basically, though, I'm trying to figure out if there's a good reason for the Housing Association to take so long...

    Thanks in advance,

    Jon
     
  2. Tight Git

    Tight Git
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    Hello Jon,

    Can't comment on the efforts (or otherwise!) of your Housing association, but from the technical point of view:

    What you have is probably a whole aerial system, with distribution amplifiers, power supplies, filters and a lot of cable!

    The design and installation of these is rather specialised, but once you're up and running, any competent aerial technician should be able to fault-find.

    Assuming everyone is affected equally, then the problem is going to be at the "head-end", that is the aerial/amplifier/cable up on the roof.

    Do you have easy access to this part of the system?

    If so, a visual inspection will reveal if the aerial has blown down or whatever.

    If it's simply turned in the wind (compare with other nearby aerials) then you can probably DIY!

    Otherwise, professional help will be required.

    If the aerial needs replacing, this is a good time to make sure it is suitable for digital.

    (Perhaps it's worth mentioning that there is no such thing as an aerial for 30 flats. What you need is a "normal" aerial, but one that's made to a higher standard than usual.)

    Good luck! :thumbsup:
     
  3. jon_mendel

    jon_mendel
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    Cheers. Can't get to see the aerial without difficulty (it's unsurprisingly on the roof, and the flats are one of the taller buildings here). Basically, though, the course of action should be pretty simple (afaik, everyone's effected) - either:
    a) get someone in to repair this (it's awkward to get on the roof, so don't fancy trying it myself...)
    b) replace it with an aerial that's definitely (more) suitable for digital.

    What I think was delaying matters was that the housing association was considering if it would be possible to somehow split the digital from the analogue signals :confused: Presumably, though, one can buy aerials which are suitable for both digital and analogue, so one of these should be sufficient both before and after the analogue switch-off?

    Jon
     
  4. Tight Git

    Tight Git
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    Yes, indeed.

    Don't know where you are in the UK, but most of the main transmitters have analogue and digital channels interleaved, so the "normal" analogue aerial covers digital as well.

    Otherwise you'll need a wideband aerial to cover both.

    (If you're really unlucky, the analogue and digital signals will come from different directions, but let's not get into that!)
     
  5. jon_mendel

    jon_mendel
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    Cheers - so, so long as we get an aerial that will do both digital and analogue now, it will also work after the analogue switch-off?

    That said, the TV reception seems to have improved today :confused: maybe the wind blew it back into position...

    Jon
     
  6. Tight Git

    Tight Git
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    Yes, at least on existing digital channels. :smashin:

    (There's the possibility of extra digital channels after analogue closes, but nobody knows exactly, so let's not worry about that now.)

    Well, wind can do funny things... :rotfl:
     
  7. jon_mendel

    jon_mendel
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    OK, the aerial appears to be out of position again :( Apparently the reason it's taking so long to fix the aerial is that the landlord wants a system that "is future proof, provides residents with options for receipt of digital and satellite transmissions. [They] are currently awaiting a quotation for the installation of an Integrated Receiving System, which is the latest available technology". Can anyone explain what this means?

    Thanks,

    Jon
     
  8. ScootermanRoger

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    "Integrated" probably means "complete" in this context.
    A wideband UHF Group E aerial and wideband UHF distribution amplifiers should fit the bill, fed through top quality coax cable (eg CT 200) whether it's for analogue or digital. It's not rocket science!
     
  9. Tight Git

    Tight Git
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    Jon,

    You mention satellite above.

    Be aware that this will require a completely different reception system (dish, LNB, etc).

    It's a good idea to cover all possibilities, but much more complicated (and hence expensive).

    From what you say, it should be fairly easy to get your existing system restored.

    You can then plan the satellite system at leisure.
     
  10. jon_mendel

    jon_mendel
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    Thanks for the info. Will be in touch with the housing association.

    Jon
     

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