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New aerial for freeview

Discussion in 'Freeview & YouView' started by FunkyMonkey, Feb 20, 2003.

  1. FunkyMonkey

    FunkyMonkey
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    Movign to new house soon. Want to purchase a Freeview box. There will be aerial lead to loft (connections to TV aerial points). I notice you can get loft aerials suitable for digital reception from Argos/Index for what seems to be a reasonable £40. Question is, do I need to get a professional fitter out or can I fit them myself (I'm handy with DIY). Note that the description in Index catalogue says, "including full intructions and fixing kit".
     
  2. Fernsehman

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    It must be a damn good aerial for £40. How do you know it covers the correct band for your local transmitter?

    Be sure to connect it with double-shielded satellite coax cable and keep the aerial and cable as far away from mains wiring as possible. Freeview boxes are very susceptible to interference "spikes" caused by thermostats, switches and also car ignition.

    Don't direct it through bricks or water tank or you'll cut down the signal drastically! If you can put it well above the wter tank it might work better.

    Obviously an outdoor aerial will always work better than one in the loft.

    Some Freeview information on this web site.

    Fman
     
  3. GaryB

    GaryB
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    I would steer clear of the aerials supplied in High Street stores. They are OK but you can usually get better performance from something like an Antiference, Fuba or Jaybeam. As Fernsehman said, check your aerial group. Most High Street stores sell only wideband aerials and while these may be correct for your area, a correctly chosen grouped aerial will give better results.
     
  4. gaz.thomas

    gaz.thomas
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    I'd be tempted to go for an aerial by either Televes or Triax. I use a Triax Unix 52 with a masthead amp for my idtv and I can get all multiplexes even though i am well outside the coverage area. I got mine from a local aerial supplier for £30 but I think you can get them from maplin or similar.

    Gaz
    -x-
     
  5. FunkyMonkey

    FunkyMonkey
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    Cor blimey. I must thank you for the informative responses, but you've shattered the illusion that the tough part of installing an aerial was installing the aerial. I was more worried as to whether I could do a DIY job to install it, but it seems the tougher task is to get the correct aerial in the first place!! I will peruse my local rags to assertain a decent aerial provider and installer - it's gonna last decades, so I might as well "splash out" and get teh job done properly. Thanks, dudes.
     
  6. Fernsehman

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    Satcure also do aerials by mail order but I wouldn't automatically go for a wideband high gain antenna like the Unix 52. If the Freeview box happens to be that most sensitive Daewoo SETPAL DS608P, or one of its clones (Labgear DTT100, Triax DVB2000T setpal) then overloading it with a STRONG signal from more than one transmitter will result in the dreaded "green screen lockup" three times a day.

    You really need to look up which transmitter is nearest, which of the UHF channels 21 - 69 it uses for the four digital Freeview multiplexes. Also which it uses for the standard analogue transmissions if you still want to receive them. Then decide on the aerial group (or wideband) and make a guess at the gain required, which depends on transmitter power, distance and any obstacles. The book "Piping TV Around the House" which you can pay for (about 7 quid) and download explains a lot of this in reasonably simple terms.

    If you employ a "professional" make sure he installs the correct aerial and uses copper-on-copper satellite coax. If he tells you it's not necessary, he's risking problems with interference. There's no possible way he can guess whether interference will be a problem so there's no point in trying to save a few pennies. It could cost you dearly later on and you won't know if the "lock ups" and "picture break-up" are caused by the wrong cable, faulty Freeview box or static from the cat's fur!

    Later
    Oh, yes, and make sure the coax cable is one continuous length. Connectors and wall plates can do bad things to the signal AND let interference in. If an amplifier is needed, it should be as close to the aerial as possible.
     
  7. gaz.thomas

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    Absolutely - I echo all of the statements Fernsehman has posted. It's basically a question of getting the right aerial for the job - In my case i was uncertain as to which transmitter I would have the clearest line of sight to and required a wideband aerial in case I had to change. Depending on the predicted coverage for your new postcode you might get away with a much cheaper banded aerial (or maybe even the one that's there already.

    Best of luck

    Gaz
    -x-
     
  8. Teessider

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    I've just put a Thomson Freeview unit in the mother-in-law's and it works absolutely fine with the old aerial she used to have.

    I'd recomment putting the box in the normal aerial and only replacing it if necessary - you could spend a lot of money when you don't need to.
     
  9. jim.rae

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    A local contractor installed a new TV aerial on my very high chimney in the upstairs part of my house/office yesterday...

    It cost £55, feeds two rooms, and the pictures are superb.

    No way I would do it myself...
     
  10. Fernsehman

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    What are the regulations governing what you can put on a chimney? I've heard horror stories of a twelve foot mast with huge 75 element wideband aerial bracketed to a chimney which subsequently came crashing through the roof (the chimney).

    I understand that some chimneys are one brick thick and two are 2 bricks thick. How can you tell (apart from doing a Santa Claus act)? And how can you tell if a chimney is safe anyway?

    Also, I heard that you shouldn't fix an aerial bracket to the wooden board under the roof overhang (what are these called - "soffit", "barge board" or what?) But loads of houses round here have an aerial bracketed to the wood. (Some are already hanging off).

    I don't plan to climb any ladders myself but where do professional aerial installers get their information? I'm intrigued.
     
  11. FunkyMonkey

    FunkyMonkey
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    I need an aerial cos it's a new house and strangely does not come with an aerial. It comes with aerial points wherever you ask for them, but there is a wire to the loft without connection to an aerial. Strange, but true.

    I'm gonan buy a set top box and try it in a few aerial points before hand. If reception is oaky, I'll just get aerial man to put in damn good standard aerial.

    Thanks for all the advice.
     

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