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Freeview reception issues - Brighton Area

yeswoody

Established Member
Hi All,

I'm really hopeful someone here can help.

I have a Samsung 32" LCD, with freeview tuner, as well as a Humax PVR-9300T Freeview+ box. The symptoms I'm having are similar on both tuners, leading me to think it's an aerial / reception issue.

I live at the top of a 13 storey tower block, and have always had my aerial pointed to the Rowridge Transmitter on the Isle of wight. Its the way it was when I moved in and never had any problems, until recently. After the 25th March frequency changes at rowridge (which I only found out about after googling my issues) I had poor reception, channels missing all the usual freeview problems. Retuned, didn't fix. Contacted Humax, who gave me a step by step guide to removing all trace of existing channels then retuning manually, worked in part - the channels where I get good quality are perfect, the channels where I have poor quality I get nothing (and potentially symptom no.1 on channels/MUX's with poor quality I get quality rating constantly alternating from 0/10% to 70/80%) .

So, I decided to point my aerial at the Brighton Whitehawk hill transmitter. I'd heard it was low powered, but I'm close to the transmitter and have relatively none of the obstacle issues people at 'house height' would have. This again worked in part, good quality on some MUX's and the channels are great, alternating poor/zero on others and no channels (different tv channels available compared to rowridge). This time a new symptom of the '800' channels. Channels that tune in but are automatically assigned to 801,802, etc by the freeview box.

Things I've tried since:
- By-passing the booster to ensure no interference is coming from that. I learned it actually did quite a good job at boosting signal.
- Adding an attenuator in case I had too much signal. Channels I could get before I could still get but with less signal, channels I couldn't get, I still couldn't get.

Additional symptoms:
- I get rubbish analogue signal too

I've read that if you pick up 2 signals for certain channels it can confuse(?) the tuner, leading to channels assigned to the 800 range. So this leads me to think I need to somehow block out the reception from rowridge, but how would I do that on top of a tower block?

The only other piece of information I can think of right now is environmental, there are mobile phone masts pointing out from the building - whether or not they could interfere I don't know.

I'm soo miffed at the fact that rowridge have changed something which has meant I no longer get tv, especially bbc1 and bbc2 which I pay the licence fee for, without even publicising in the Brighton area how, when or why it would be happening.

Any tips, advice, things to try would be hugely appreciated. Anyone in Brighton having, or having sorted, a similar issue please also get in touch.

Thanks to anyone taking the time to read all this too :)
 

grahamlthompson

In memoriam
Hi All,

I'm really hopeful someone here can help.

I have a Samsung 32" LCD, with freeview tuner, as well as a Humax PVR-9300T Freeview+ box. The symptoms I'm having are similar on both tuners, leading me to think it's an aerial / reception issue.

I live at the top of a 13 storey tower block, and have always had my aerial pointed to the Rowridge Transmitter on the Isle of wight. Its the way it was when I moved in and never had any problems, until recently. After the 25th March frequency changes at rowridge (which I only found out about after googling my issues) I had poor reception, channels missing all the usual freeview problems. Retuned, didn't fix. Contacted Humax, who gave me a step by step guide to removing all trace of existing channels then retuning manually, worked in part - the channels where I get good quality are perfect, the channels where I have poor quality I get nothing (and potentially symptom no.1 on channels/MUX's with poor quality I get quality rating constantly alternating from 0/10% to 70/80%) .

So, I decided to point my aerial at the Brighton Whitehawk hill transmitter. I'd heard it was low powered, but I'm close to the transmitter and have relatively none of the obstacle issues people at 'house height' would have. This again worked in part, good quality on some MUX's and the channels are great, alternating poor/zero on others and no channels (different tv channels available compared to rowridge). This time a new symptom of the '800' channels. Channels that tune in but are automatically assigned to 801,802, etc by the freeview box.

Things I've tried since:
- By-passing the booster to ensure no interference is coming from that. I learned it actually did quite a good job at boosting signal.
- Adding an attenuator in case I had too much signal. Channels I could get before I could still get but with less signal, channels I couldn't get, I still couldn't get.

Additional symptoms:
- I get rubbish analogue signal too

I've read that if you pick up 2 signals for certain channels it can confuse(?) the tuner, leading to channels assigned to the 800 range. So this leads me to think I need to somehow block out the reception from rowridge, but how would I do that on top of a tower block?

The only other piece of information I can think of right now is environmental, there are mobile phone masts pointing out from the building - whether or not they could interfere I don't know.

I'm soo miffed at the fact that rowridge have changed something which has meant I no longer get tv, especially bbc1 and bbc2 which I pay the licence fee for, without even publicising in the Brighton area how, when or why it would be happening.

Any tips, advice, things to try would be hugely appreciated. Anyone in Brighton having, or having sorted, a similar issue please also get in touch.

Thanks to anyone taking the time to read all this too :)

To get rid of unwanted channels you have to manually tune the uhf channel numbers of the transmitter you want to use. First identify the 6 mux frequencies you want to use. Delete all the existing channels (menu/edit channels/delete channels) and then goto installation/manual search and input each mux channel in turn
 

yeswoody

Established Member
Ahh yes, this was the advice given by Humax, and it solves the 800 channels issue, but not the fluctuating reception on known uhf channels for a specific transmitter.

Thanks



To get rid of unwanted channels you have to manually tune the uhf channel numbers of the transmitter you want to use. First identify the 6 mux frequencies you want to use. Delete all the existing channels (menu/edit channels/delete channels) and then goto installation/manual search and input each mux channel in turn
 

ROYOLD

Prominent Member
I presume that when turning your aerial towards the Whitehawk transmitter you re-aligned the aerial VERTICALLY. The Rowridge transmitter has radiation HORIZONTALLY Polarised.

Freeview on Whitehawk Hill TV transmitter | ukfree.tv - independent digital television and switchover advice, since 2002

Freeview on Rowridge TV transmitter | ukfree.tv - independent digital television and switchover advice, since 2002

Also note that Rowridge uses channels in the first half of the band whereas Whitehawk uses channels in the latter half. Difference being a group A aerial for Rowridge and a group C/D aerial for Whitehawk.
 

yeswoody

Established Member
Woah there cowboy, you're blowing my mind. Point the aerial up? Ok, will do tonight.

Secondly, the aerial group. Whats the definition of the various groups?

All the info I can find on my aerial:

Frequency Range: 470-860MHz
Forward Gain: 11dB
Group: Wideband
Acceptance Angle: 21?
Front to Back Ratio: >24dB
Channel Number: 21-68

Most people surely don't have to go thru all this with their aerial??

Thanks
 

grahamlthompson

In memoriam

yeswoody

Established Member
Ok, so my aerial is jack of all trades and master of none.... but if I'm going for whitehawk, at the higher end of the range, I'm more likely to get a good reception.

Thanks for the link, I'll have a read later

Yagi widebands have a very poor gain at the bottom end of the uhf spectrum and so are not a good choice if your transmitter is group A and you don't have a good signal.

More info and gain curves here

ATV`s Choice Of Aerials
 

grahamlthompson

In memoriam
Ok, so my aerial is jack of all trades and master of none.... but if I'm going for whitehawk, at the higher end of the range, I'm more likely to get a good reception.

Thanks for the link, I'll have a read later

Like all things in life :D aerial design is a comprimise, to get wideband performance you have to sacrifice gain. And yes they work much better at the higher end of the uhf spectrum.
 

LV426

Administrator
Staff member
Point the aerial up? Ok, will do tonight.
That's not what vertically means in this context. It means that the main strut is still horizontal pointing towards the transmitter, but the much smaller elements are oriented vertically (i.e. with their longer dimension set up/down rather than left/right).
 

yeswoody

Established Member
Thank god it was raining last night, too wet to clamber on to the roof. Also I was having difficulty divising a plan as to how I would get the aerial to point towards the sky without new equipment, whilst pondering why no one elses does.

Ok so this is a much easier remedy, and weather permitting I should be able to do this within about 15 minutes.

Would anyone like to venture an opinion on the likelihood this simple change will allow me to receive a full complement of channels?


That's not what vertically means in this context. It means that the main strut is still horizontal pointing towards the transmitter, but the much smaller elements are oriented vertically (i.e. with their longer dimension set up/down rather than left/right).
 

ROYOLD

Prominent Member
Point the aerial up? Ok, will do tonight.

I was going to comment on this but I see LV426 has already done so.

Aerial elements vertical = X X X X X X X X X X

Aerial elements horizontal = >< >< >< >< >< >< >< ><

Like he said - in both cases the mounting pole is upright.
 

yeswoody

Established Member
Nice usage of illustration Royold :)

I'll let you know how I get on.


I was going to comment on this but I see LV426 has already done so.

Aerial elements vertical = X X X X X X X X X X

Aerial elements horizontal = >< >< >< >< >< >< >< ><

Like he said - in both cases the mounting pole is upright.
 

yeswoody

Established Member
Hi All,
just wanted to report back.. managed to get up on the roof this morning, and switch the aerial round to the vertical orientation. I've also tuned every UHF channel separately and found ALL channels I was hoping for, all with 100% quality.

I'm amazed that worked so well, and very grateful for your help... its been 2 very irritating months of messing with settings, but happy it seems to be all over now.

Cheers
 

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