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Freeview - special aerial

Brooktop

Established Member
I'm toying with the idea of getting a freeview box. I have a 42" Panasonic plasma and the picture from my terrestrial aerial is excellent (I have a strong reception). The picture from my NTL analogue cable is very poor, but it only costs me £4 a month. Not particularly fussed about getting digital cable as I tend to watch DVDs. I am in a freeview signal area.

My question is, because I have a good signal and am in a FV area, will I get a picture or could the aerial let it down as it probably isn't brand new (only lived in the house 2 yrs)? ie do you need a special aerial?
 

Chris Muriel

Distinguished Member
How much performance will have degraded from installation time of the original aerial will depend on tooo many factors to guess this - how well connections were sealed, how corrosive your local environment etc.
Best thing would be to borrow a friend's Freeview box and see how good or bad the results are.
There is no such thing as a "digital aerial" so don't get fobbed off by salestalk about that. Freeview will be on different channel(s) to your existing analogue terrestrial ones but that doesn't necessarily mean that a new antenna is needed.
You'll have to suck it and see.

Chris Muriel, Manchester.
 

MarkE19

Moderator
Brooktop said:
My question is, because I have a good signal and am in a FV area, will I get a picture or could the aerial let it down as it probably isn't brand new (only lived in the house 2 yrs)? ie do you need a special aerial?
As Chris has said, there is no definate way to tell other than trying it!
Good analogue reception also offers no guarentee of Freeview reception. There is a chance that your analogue transmitter does not transmit FV and therefore you would need to point the aerial to another transmitter that may give poor reception due to tall buildings/hills blocking the line of sight. Then there are problems with interference from local factories, noisy mains supply etc etc.
My analogue reception is very poor, but I get very good FV reception with a loft aerial and single shielded coax - which goes against all the recommendations for Freeview reception.

So to repeat again - the only way to find out if you can get good Freeview reception is to plug a STB in and see what the results are.

Mark.
 

Brooktop

Established Member
Thanks guys - I've just bought a 2nd hand Panasonic FV box off e-bay. At least that way, I can always re-flog it if I can't get a FV reception.
 

LV426

Administrator
Staff member
visit www.dtg.org.uk - retailer/installer section to find out what type of aerial is needed at your transmitter for DVB reception.

If it's A B or C/D (followed by either H or V) then you're in with a chance. If it's WV or WH, then this means wideband aerial and its probable, but not certain, that you DON'T already have one of these. In which case your DVB reception may be poor and/or only work for certain channels; a new wideband aerial would then be required.
 

Brooktop

Established Member
Thanks LV426 (you an 'Alien' fan then?)
looks like I may need a new aerial then. Any idea how much I should expect to pay to have one fitted? Cheers
 

LV426

Administrator
Staff member
1: Beg borrow or steal (or buy) a Freeview box and try it, before you spend money on an aerial - your may work OK.

2: If it gives glitchy reception on some channels, call a local Aerial contractor. It's a long time since I had one installed, but I don't think they are too costly. Guesses at about GBP50.
 

Brooktop

Established Member
Just phoned one and they said about £100 + vat - but a mate told me he'd seen ads in the paper for £40 fitted.

I could always just buy the aerial and cable (about £20 - £25) and ask my builder to fit it; but how would he know where to point it as it may not be the same direction as everybody else's aerials are pointing as I guess they'll be towards analogue transmitters?
 

LV426

Administrator
Staff member
The transmitters are the same (unless you need to go to a different one because your local one doesn't yet carry freeview - which is still the case for some low power local repeaters). You should still try a box with your existing aerial before you go further.
 

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