Need to buy returnable FreeView box

Discussion in 'Freeview & YouView' started by Bursar, Aug 30, 2003.

  1. Bursar

    Bursar
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    I'm interested in getting a box so I can watch the various free to air channels. Because my house is close to a listed building, I can't have an external aerial.

    The Freeview site says I can get coverage, and the loft aerial produces a great picture on the 4 main channels (can't get C5 with it though).

    What I'd ideally like to do is buy a box to see if it works. If it does, great, I'll keep it. If not, I'll return it, and see about replacing the aerial before trying again.

    I notice that Argos have a range of boxes, but they say that they are excluded from their 16 day money back guarantee.

    So does anyone know where I can buy a box from and return it if it doesn't pick up the channels?
     
  2. Arthur Dent

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    I can't understand why they are excluded from 16 day return either. I asked at Argos when I bought my Thomson DTI1100 but they didn't know (doh !!). 'Spose you haven't tried other High street sources like Comet, Dixons etc ? Re the chan 5 problem. If you can't get it very well on analogue, then it's unlikely that you'll get it (or any other channel served by the same MUX) with Freeview either. On a second aerial (external) set up in my bedroom, Five was very grainy on analogue and thus couldn't be received with Freeview box. The problem was solved by fitting a high gain masthead amp and with a second booster "cascaded" from it. If you go down that route with your loft aerial, then Maplin do a 23dB gain masthead amp with associated power supply. HTH.
     
  3. Bursar

    Bursar
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    If I have to, I'll trawl the shops, but I was kind of hoping someone might be able to point me at a shop with a reasonable returns policy on them. Would save my legs a bit :)

    Strangely, my step-daughter can get C5 on her portable TV with its built in aerial, so maybe I should look to upgrade the aerial first.

    The other hassle I have is that I don't have any electric sockets in the loft, so would have to try and rig something up off of one of the lighting circuits.
     
  4. MonkeyDonkey

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    Because if they weren't everyone would take advantage of Argos's return policy. Every post on here that asks about freeview reception someone suggests buying one from argos and returning it. ;)

    Bursar, I think your best bet would be to go to a small independant shop. They may lend you a box on the condition that if it does work you'll buy it off them. (or possibly just ask about general reception in the area?)
    I'd also put off the aerial upgrade until you have decided whether you want to try freeview, you may require a different type of aerial for dttv. Again the small local shop will probably be best to ask about this too, and may be able to install it for you.
     
  5. gringottsdirect

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    Agree with MonkeyDonkey.
    A local independent will typically sell you a Freeview box on the understanding you can have a refund if unsatisfactory.
    They usually deliver and tune it in to TV and VCR if required too, useful for elderly customers, in this instance the price of a box will be refunded but not the delivery charge if unsatisfactory.
    Aerial upgrades are possible.
    Comet / Dixons mostly use the postcode to decide whether or not it will work properly, which is not dependable in practice.
     
  6. Arthur Dent

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    If you are going to use a masthead amp to increase gain, then you don't need power in the loft it is powered from a "plug in" power supply. This is simply plugged in the mains, near to the TV if poss. and it feeds 12V up to the masthead amp via the centre conductor of your co-ax downlead. The other connector on the PSU is connected to your TV. Bingo, amplified RF signal.
     
  7. Bursar

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    Ah right, cheers Arthur. Makes it much simpler!

    I shall try and contact some local places on Monday then :)
     
  8. Wayne Moule

    Wayne Moule
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    QVC have a 30 day return policy.
     
  9. scooby do

    scooby do
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    Sainsburys stock Netgem and Nokia and no problem returning, I have direct exprience of this.
     
  10. Bursar

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    Nice one :) Off to the local Sainsburys then :)
     
  11. andy572

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    As far as I know, there's no correlation between analogue and digital output; it's down to what's thrown out in your area! :D

    Some months ago, I checked the various sites for Freeview and the 'Postcode Checker', then during the last couple of weeks bought my gran and myself a box each. Neither of us could catch anything beyond four channels on analogue and I was somewhat wary of what either of us would receive with digital. Turns out that we get the whole lot! :eek: :smoke: :zonked:

    For what it's worth, we have one external aerial and one loft-mounted aerial (mine). The external aerial was probably there at the Dawn of Man and the one that I use is a cheapish, DIY store doohickey, with fifteen years on the clock. Perhaps unsurprisingly, analogue reception was terrible - though I guess the location of the house and its shadowing by others was more of a factor. Anyway, I've got all the channels with no outlay but the box. I'll say nothing about the quality... Yet :devil:
     
  12. Bursar

    Bursar
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    That's a warming tale. I was half tempted to buy a box at lunch time, but decided against it in the end.

    Maybe I'll just go over the shortlist of boxes again and grab one tomorrow.
     
  13. Arthur Dent

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    As a matter of interest, have you had a look at www.itc.co.uk, there's lots of useful info and links re coverage of digital TV and transmitters and the like ?
     
  14. Bursar

    Bursar
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    A quick browse around there, and then onto the Channel 5 site shows that I'm in the overlap of 2 analogue transmitters (Cambridge and Sandy Heath) and Sandy Heath is closet digital transmitter. The Channel 5 site reckons I should be able to get a clear picture. I suspect they're right. I should be able to pick up something from one of the transmitters.

    Out with a map and compass I think, and then I'll try and make sure the aerial is pointing at Sandy Heath and twiddle it about until I pick something up.

    And wouldn't ya know it, the element in my oven has just died, so that's gonna cost me the same as an STB to get replaced :( Tough choice. More TV channels, or hot dinners...
     
  15. andy572

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    More TV! More TV!!! :clap:

    [/Homer]
     
  16. LV426

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    A quick scan through this thread and I didn't see anyone mention the TYPE of aerial being used. UHF TV aerials come in several different configurations, each optimised for a different frequency range. Typically the digital muxes are on a different range (read.. aerial group) than the analog channels. Often C5 is also on a different group to the other 4. The main 4 are always in the same group. This often explains why C5 is more difficult to receive - it's often just down to the aerial. And the same applies to the digital muxes.

    So, to get good results, you may need another aerial of a different group. IIRC the ITC website will tell you what your analog group is, and what your digtal group needs to be.

    You can buy wideband aerials (ones that cover all the groups) but they tend to be a bit less sensitive than dedicated group aerials.

    To echo what others have said, I know of a few independent retailers who will loan you a box (for a deposit) so you can try it, before you buy. Look out for these in your area. Many will also offer aerial advice.
     

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