Gradual TV Quality Reduction - Help please.

Discussion in 'Freeview & YouView' started by Chris23, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. Chris23

    Chris23
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    Next week we will be visiting my mother in law (190 miles) away & one of my jobs is to sort out her TV reception.

    The house is 45 years old & the cabling has never been changed. The aerial is in the loft - it cannot be moved outside - & is about 10 years old. From memory it is nothing special.

    In the good old days the TV picture was fine but gradually over several years it has been deteriorating. We purchased her a Panasonic freeview box 3 years ago & all the channels tuned in just fine.

    2 years ago we got her a "back of TV" type aerial amplifier because the picturer was getting worse. It helped for a little while.

    Now the Panasonic box can barely find a Freeview signal, the analogue picture has deteriorated to the point where Channel 4 has gone & the rest are awful.

    She is in the Sutton Coldfield transmitter area & should have a good picture. No significant building has taken place & she does have any new equipment.

    What to try first?

    I have a nasty suspicion that it might be the downlead but I don't want it to be. Fitting a new one will not be easy & she will see the wire which I will hear about forever. As the coaxial is fully internal to the house it is hard to see how moisture could have affected it.

    If I need a new aerial I am considering a Unix100 with a masthead amplifier if necessry but I would appreciate your thoughts.

    The problem is that I need to go fully equipped to sort out the problem as I won't have time to order anything & get it delivered - but what to take?

    Thoughts please

    Chris
     
  2. mike7

    mike7
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    Given the, understandable, constraints I can see that the intervention into this problem might be limited. I agree it is unlikely that the cabling has deteriorated as it is all indoors. I think an aerial inspection is called for. It may have moved for some reason. If an outside aerial is out of the question your idea to replace it with a good amplified job is a good one. Is there anyway you could test the present set-up with another TV?. There is just a chance that might be where the problem is sourced. Check all the aerial plugs and sockets in the living room. They can work loose over time.
     
  3. Costas

    Costas
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    I suggest you first remove the aerial amplifier if it is still there. They can and do go wrong. Then re-connect and check again. Try to re-align the aerial for possible better stronger signal. If you have a signal meter that can help too.

    Check the connections at all ends. Most houses get dump and quite wet in the inside of the roof in the very cold months and when the heating is on and ventilation is limited. Replacing the old aerial should be next if nothing happens after you do all the previous checks.

    Perhaps other friends here could give you some more ideas too... what i have told I have definitely experienced doing such things for old parents and relatives!

    Hope you do not end up running a new lead for which ..you will have to ..finally convince her!
     
  4. Chris23

    Chris23
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    I redid all the socket to TV wiring when we were there at Easter with no real improvement & it has got worse since then. Soem days it is less awful than others.

    As the aerial is indoors & nobody has been in the loft for years - certainly during the recent deterioration - I think it unlikely that the aerial has moved.

    She has 2 Tv's & the problem is common to both. The second TV is a portable & she has gone back to the bent wire that came with it as it gives a better picture! That is despite the portable aerial signal having to go through the entire house to reach the TV!

    Is a signal meter anything other than a voltage measure on a multimeter?

    Thanks for helping
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2009
  5. Costas

    Costas
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    Mmhhh.... .I think it is definitely worth visiting the loft!
     
  6. radioredcat

    radioredcat
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    Sounds like trees somewhere in the signal path that could be causing a null in signal at the aerial,They don't have to be close to you to cause that kind of problem and because they are slow growing reception alters slowly.

    You will need to have a look in the loft and check all connections and double check the connections in wall sockets also check the fly leads the short lead that connects the freeview aerial signal to the tv.

    andy
     
  7. Trollslayer

    Trollslayer
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    We had a similar problem once - some had a house extension put up and that pushed the signal too far.
    The aerial needed replaced anyway so the new one was put a bit further up.
     
  8. Chris23

    Chris23
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    I will have to have a look.

    The path is clear to the aerial as the direction is straight accross some allotments for the first 400yds & then nothinh that we know of has been built for several miles & there are no obvious tress that might have caused the problem.

    I am hoping the aerial has fallen over!

    Chris
     
  9. Chris23

    Chris23
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    Well we have sorted it & I thought that reporting back might help someone.

    It appears that very little had changed at my mother in laws end but that the Sutton Coldfield transmitter has seen ongoing continuous work all this year. What gave it away is that Channel 5 was still OK but the rest were rubbish & Channel 5 does not come from the Sutton Coldfield transmitter but another one up the road somewhere & was thus unaffeted.

    The original aerial/ leads etc must have been very marginal & the reduced transmitter power was enough to make it all fail.

    As I didn't want to change the lead -& thus make it visible- a better aerial sorted it out & hopefully will get even better when the transmitter is fully operational.

    Thanks for the help everyone.

    PS A good few people in the road were interested as to why their analogue TV was not as good as before & a fair few have had new aerials fitted to cope.
     

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