Digital reception pixelated/freezes

Discussion in 'Freeview & YouView' started by Guy Wilson, Jun 13, 2015.

  1. Guy Wilson

    Guy Wilson
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    During the last month or two, digital reception (std def*) is often freezing/pixelating and on some channels giving no signal at all. Some days are worse than others. Today for example, BBC1 & 2 work OK with just the occasional freeze, but on ITV1/C4/C5 I'm getting no signal. My neighbours aren't getting these problems.

    I had a new aerial plus integrated 4-way amp installed last October (or so the paperwork says - I've not climbed onto the roof to check if there's an amp). The cable from the aerial goes into a Wolsey WPS100/2 booster, and from this another cable connects to a powered splitter from which I run 5 TV's around the house. All 5 TV's suffer with the same problems simultaneously.

    One TV is quite close to the booster and splitter so I ran a fresh piece of cable to it directly from the booster, thereby by-passing the splitter. This made no difference, so I guess this eliminates the splitter as the cause of the problem.

    I then connected the aerial lead directly into this TV, bypassing the booster. This was much worse, no signal at all. So this suggests to me that the signal from the aerial is so weak it has to be boosted to provide anything at all. Is this a reasonable conclusion?

    I had a visit from an engineer of the installation company and tried to convince me that the cables I run to the various TV's were the problem and that the TV's should all be connected directly to the aerial/amp with dedicated cables. Really??

    (* the HD channels don't appear to be affected)
     
  2. Rodders53

    Rodders53
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    WPS100/2: The WPS (Wolsey Power Supply) 100 (100 mA output) / 2 (2-outlets) is a power supply to the masthead amplifier... with a built-in 2-way splitter so that two sets can be fed from the one unit. [Wolsey also do a WPS100/1 psu with a single outlet.]

    By-passing the WPS100/2 and connecting direct to the amp would give absolutely no signal (unless said TV had an antenna power option and that was enabled when it would supply the masthead electronics).

    Technician is correct in that cascading amplifiers is not the best way of distributing TV signal and that running three new cables up to it would be better.

    However: Why was a 4-way masthead supplied and fitted originally when a 1-way masthead unit would have done the job?

    The fact that the pictures break up when the set is fed direct from the WPS100/2 does suggest that the aerial/masthead combination is at fault. However, do check if better quality versions of the ITV mux channels have been stored in the 800s on the TVs during an auto tune.

    Your approximate location (town, village, suburb) and transmitter being watched would be helpful in further thinking on the issue.
     
  3. Guy Wilson

    Guy Wilson
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    Hi Rodders53, thanks for your reply.

    I didn’t realise the WPS unit was integral with the aerial, I always had it in mind this was a bolt-on addition to boost the standard setup. I have the receipt from 10 years ago, it shows a “DM15” aerial for £158, a mast head amp for £78, something with no description for £27 and a 6-way amp for £88. (Could the “6-way amp” be the powered splitter…this is 6-way). I think the WPS was installed at this time so would this be the “mast head amp” at £78 or the “no-description” item at £27? The work I had done 6 months ago (after storm damage) lists an “LP28” with 6ft mast at £160, and then a “lash bracket, lash pk and 4-way amp” costing together £120. So the existing WPS100 was retained.

    The main reason I wanted to connect a TV directly to the WPS100 with a new piece of cable and by-passing the splitter was an attempt to debunk the engineer's theory that my cabling around the house is the issue. I think I’ve done that, would you agree?

    Do you think the WPS100 may be at fault?

    After an auto tune, SD BBC1/2 ITV C4 C5 are stored as 1,2,3,4,5. The HD versions are 101, 102, etc… There are no alternatives in the 800s.

    I live in Leamington Spa and www.digitaluk.co.uk shows my main transmitter is Sutton Coldfield, it’s 39Km away but has a “child” transmitter in L/Spa only 2Km away so I assume my aerial is tuned into this?
     
  4. MartinPickering

    MartinPickering
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    Put your postcode here wolfbane.net
    and you'll see all the information relating to your signal. It's unlikely that you're using the local transmitter, since it doesn't carry all stations. More likely you are using Sutton Coldfield some 25 miles away on a compass bearing of about 330 degrees.

    If the coaxial cable is old (more than 10 years) or damaged (might not be so easy to inspect) then get at least the outdoor section replaced with something modern and decent (e.g. WF100). Cable indoors should last a lifetime but bear in mind that:
    1. Your "storm damage" could mean that water got inside the cable, in which case it's ruined and must all be replaced.
    2. Your cable is probably not a double-screened type suitable for digital TV, which is somewhat more susceptible to impulse interference than analogue.

    The prices you list are, in my opinion, exceptionally high. I'd be concerned that your aerial fitter was a cowboy and he hasn't waterproofed the outdoor connection so rain has got inside. There's only one way to find out and you might as well replace all the cable at the same time.

    Even if you don't do the job yourself (you wouldn't get me up a ladder!) it helps to understand the subject thoroughly so you can be sure that your "expert" is doing a good job.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 16, 2015
  5. Guy Wilson

    Guy Wilson
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    Happy to say this is now resolved. The company sent another engineer who agreed with me that I'd de-bunked the first engineer's conclusion about my wiring. He climbed up to the aerial and immediately saw that water had been getting in to the cable; he not only made a new watertight connection but gave me a free upgrade to their top-of-the-range aerial! Needless to say, the reception since then (about a month ago) has been tip-top and more importantly I feel my masculinity (or whatever) is now restored over the quality of my wiring!
     
  6. Gavtech

    Gavtech
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    Thanks for reporting back.
     

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