Older type of TV's and Digital aerials

welshpet

Standard Member
:lease:Help!!!

Hi I have 2 TV's which I had in the bedrooms upstairs. I have bought a new Digital Indoor aerial, but can't seem to get it to work. Am I doing something wrong? I connected the aerial to the TV but nothing happens!
Is there something I am doing wrong? Does this mean I will have to replace these older TV's with new flat screen types?
The TV's I have are working fine, one is a TV/VCR which was being used by my grandchildren, the other is just an ordinary Wharfdale 19" box type TV which I bought to use in another bedroom that is used as an upstairs lounge/spare room.
I would appreciate some feedback on this, so that I can either buy a new flat screen TV or sell the Digital Aerial!!!
Any advice would be appreciated. :confused:
Thank you
 

Gavtech

Administrator
:lease:Help!!!

Hi I have 2 TV's which I had in the bedrooms upstairs. I have bought a new Digital Indoor aerial, but can't seem to get it to work. Am I doing something wrong? I connected the aerial to the TV but nothing happens!
Is there something I am doing wrong? Does this mean I will have to replace these older TV's with new flat screen types?
The TV's I have are working fine, one is a TV/VCR which was being used by my grandchildren, the other is just an ordinary Wharfdale 19" box type TV which I bought to use in another bedroom that is used as an upstairs lounge/spare room.
I would appreciate some feedback on this, so that I can either buy a new flat screen TV or sell the Digital Aerial!!!
Any advice would be appreciated. :confused:
Thank you

The TV's will not be capable of receiving anything unless they have Freeview digital tuners in them.
If they are of a certain vintage they probably wont, but it is the first thing you need to establish.

Assuming you have the manuals that came with them have a look at the front of them.
If they have a digital tuner, there will be a Freeview logo on the frontispiece of the manual.

If they DO have digital tuners you will need to do a tuning scan after connecting the aerial.

If they DON'T have digital tuners an option would be to add a cheap Freeview Set top box to make them function.
 

welshpet

Standard Member
Thanks Gavtech, I hadn't thought of that solution. I think that is the best solution to take.

Thanks a lot :clap: :smashin: Petula
 

lbear

Well-known Member
One tip. When you get the new Freeview boxes, use the TV aerial in your main room and the set there to tune the boxes in. Then connect them to the bedroom sets and do not attempt to retune the boxes. Once you have set the televisions to the SCART input, you can find the "sweet spot" to locate the aerial. You will likely find there is a place where you get a perfect picture but at a slightly different location you get nothing. You will waste a lot of time if you try to find this without tuning in first.

Indoor aerials are only designed for good to strong signal areas. There is also no such thing as a "digital" aerial, just one that receives transmissions in specific frequency ranges.
 

winston2010

Well-known Member
There is no such thing as a digital aerial, you have been a victim of marketing hype and lies. You are within your rights to return it under the sale of goods act, not as described, as it is described as something that does not exist.

Bear in mind that even if you get Freeview boxes you may still not get reception on an indoor aerial depending on where you live. The TV network is designed for outdoor aerials 10 metres high, so lots of people cannot get satisfactory results on indoor aerials.
 

maldonian

Active Member
lbear said:
There is also no such thing as a "digital" aerial, just one that receives transmissions in specific frequency ranges.

So presumably you would also say there is no such thing as a "DAB" aerial, and there is no such thing as an "FM" aerial.
 

mike7

Distinguished Member
So presumably you would also say there is no such thing as a "DAB" aerial, and there is no such thing as an "FM" aerial.

Aerials are different dimensions depending on the frequency they are designed to pick up. DAB requires smaller dimensions than, say, a VHF(FM) aerial which is broadcast at a different frequency. VHF/FM aerials have been available in various sizes depending on their use for TV (now redundant) and FM radio. Now terrestrial aerials are designed to work on the UHF band, again they come in different sizes and configurations. Not all such aerials are for TV transmissions. You will often see them used as radio links to gas, water and electric substations. Public services, police, fire, ambulance, etc also use the UHF band, but a different part of it to that used for TV.

As has been stated frequently 'an aerial is an aerial'. They are often boxed as Freeview, or DAB etc. Any nonsense such as describing them as 'Digital' is just packaging hype. My favourite is a brand that is marked as a 'Colour' aerial. They really don't discriminate
 

maldonian

Active Member
mike7 said:
As has been stated frequently 'an aerial is an aerial'. They are often boxed as Freeview, or DAB etc. Any nonsense such as describing them as 'Digital' is just packaging hype.

In my experience TV aerials are much more frequently described as Digital than Freeview. "Digital" is now synonymous with digital (terrestrial) TV and Freeview. This has been reinforced by various logos and schemes, such as Digital Ready, the Digital Tick, Digital Switch Over, Digital UK, etc, where the word digital has been used to mean digital TV or Freeview.

It's not a term I like, but I would say a "digital aerial" is a TV aerial that meets one of the CAI's aerial benchmark categories, and I think that's how it's normally used. Until recently the retail boxes for benchmarked aerials could carry the Digital Tick logo. The aerial benchmarks are specifically for aerials that are intended for digital reception. Now analogue signals have been phased out, digital signals are the only ones available, but there are many old TV aerials out there that would not meet the CAI benchmarks, mainly because they don't have baluns.
 

lbear

Well-known Member
So presumably you would also say there is no such thing as a "DAB" aerial, and there is no such thing as an "FM" aerial.

I would add to Mike's excellent post the point that as a rule of thumb. printing the words "Digital" and "High Definition" on the box a UHF aerial comes in usually each add £5 to the price.

You might like to ponder why you make a distinction between a "Digital" aerial, presumably designed principally for UHF television transmissions, and a "DAB" aerial. DAB stands for "Digital Audio Broadcasting", so why is that not called a "digital" aerial? I believe you will also find that an aerial suitable for the FM band is also required for a few stations in the USA still using frequencies in that range for digital TV.

As has been said time and time again, an aerial is designed to provide the best acquisition of radio frequency signals within certain range. That's also why you have to have regard to the UHF aerial group that is appropriate for the frequencies used by local transmitters. It is irrelevant whether that frequency was used for analogue television or is now for DVB-T "standard definition" TV, DVB-T2 "high definition" TV or, shortly, 4G telephony.

In fact, a maker specifying an aerial as "digital" (usually on an indoor aerial) often meant that it was so omni-directional that it was impossible to view analogue television because of multipath signals. DVB-T and T2 are remarkably tolerant of these and most receivers will pluck out the strongest from very many reflections.
 

maldonian

Active Member
lbear said:
You might like to ponder why you make a distinction between a "Digital" aerial, presumably designed principally for UHF television transmissions, and a "DAB" aerial. DAB stands for "Digital Audio Broadcasting", so why is that not called a "digital" aerial?

It's common use, "Digital" has become a common contraction of "Digital TV", it is widely used to refer to digital terrestrial TV or Freeview.

As has been said time and time again, an aerial is designed to provide the best acquisition of radio frequency signals within certain range. That's also why you have to have regard to the UHF aerial group that is appropriate for the frequencies used by local transmitters. It is irrelevant whether that frequency was used for analogue television or is now for DVB-T "standard definition" TV, DVB-T2 "high definition" TV or, shortly, 4G telephony.

It is relevant whether the aerial is used for analogue or digital TV. The CAI cable and aerial benchmarks were introduced for cable and aerials that are intended for digital reception because of the quality of installed cable and aerials at the time. Most cable had poor screening and most aerials did not have baluns. They were ok for analogue TV because it is relatively immune to impulse interference. Digital TV, on the other hand, can be badly disrupted by impulse interference. The better screening in a benchmarked cable reduces penetration of the screen by interference. The balun in a benchmarked aerial blocks interference picked up on the coax screen from reaching the dipole connection. It also improves the cross polar rejection and reduces distortion of the polar diagram by blocking signal pickup on the coax screen from reaching the dipole connection.
 

grahamlthompson

In memoriam
It's common use, "Digital" has become a common contraction of "Digital TV", it is widely used to refer to digital terrestrial TV or Freeview.



It is relevant whether the aerial is used for analogue or digital TV. The CAI cable and aerial benchmarks were introduced for cable and aerials that are intended for digital reception because of the quality of installed cable and aerials at the time. Most cable had poor screening and most aerials did not have baluns. They were ok for analogue TV because it is relatively immune to impulse interference. Digital TV, on the other hand, can be badly disrupted by impulse interference. The better screening in a benchmarked cable reduces penetration of the screen by interference. The balun in a benchmarked aerial blocks interference picked up on the coax screen from reaching the dipole connection. It also improves the cross polar rejection and reduces distortion of the polar diagram by blocking signal pickup on the coax screen from reaching the dipole connection.


All of which would apply equally to a quality aerial designed long before DVB-T, DVB-T2 was even invented and would equally apply to weak analogue reception conditions.

The best aerial for other than very weak signal areas is a log periodic invented long before digital TV and post DSO and would give good reception for most.

Basically your post is simply perpuating the rip off designed to sell new aerials to those who post DSO would not need them, often the elderly.

See Scams

Digital UK - Consumer Protection

Pre DSO you may have a very weak point, post DSO none at all.

My elderly neighbour was quoted £150.00 for a new aerial 2 months before DSO at Sutton Coldfield, guess what post DSO no problems :D

I guess it's OK but misleading to say an aerial is suitable for digital TV, it would be suitable for reception of any signal modulated onto a UHF carrier signal.

An aerial is an analogue device, designed to pick up analogue carrier signals, it has no interest in the modulated information the carrier contains.

Apart from the obvious (and affecting a tiny number) where a different aerial group is required them anyone with good analogue reception would not have any problems.

Describing indoor aerials as digital is frankly daft :D
 

Sonic67

Banned
So presumably you would also say there is no such thing as a "DAB" aerial, and there is no such thing as an "FM" aerial.
They exist. Some aerials are better for DAB and some are better for FM. Both are aerials though in that they are pieces of metal. Of these two you quote one is an aerial for digital technology and one is for analogue technology but the aerial itself is unremarkable.

Some headphones are marketed as being "digital headphones". Google for it.

It is marketing. There are no digital headphones or digital aerials. You could say they are "aerials or headphones suitable for digital technology". But it is just a marketing ploy to sell more. Any pair of headphones worked fine with your CDs whether they were "digital" headphones or not. Any traditional TV aerial works fine whether it is sold as being "digital" or not.
 

grahamlthompson

In memoriam

maldonian

Active Member
grahamlthompson said:
All of which would apply equally to a quality aerial designed long before DVB-T, DVB-T2 was even invented and would equally apply to weak analogue reception conditions.
It would apply equally to any old (pre-digital) aerial if it's got a balun, but most old aerials are contract types that haven't got baluns.

Basically your post is simply perpuating the rip off designed to sell new aerials to those who post DSO would not need them, often the elderly.
You are of course entitled to your opinions Graham, but everything I said is correct. We are post DSO in case you hadn't noticed!

I guess it's OK but misleading to say an aerial is suitable for digital TV, it would be suitable for reception of any signal modulated onto a UHF carrier signal.
Are the following organisations being misleading?

The Radiocommunications Agency (part of Ofcom)
CAI Aerial Benchmark
A standard specification that describes the parameters necessary in a UHF antenna to enable reliable digital terrestrial reception. The benchmark defines the level of performance and characteristics needed to attain certification by the Confederation of Aerial Industries (CAI) as a product suitable for digital applications.
The CAI
Aerial Benchmarking
This scheme lays down the minimum standards for the technical performance of UHF TV aerials based on the specific requirements for satisfactory digital terrestrial TV (DTT) reception.
The DTG
The basis of the scheme is to lay down minimum standards for the technical performance of domestic TV aerials based on the specific requirements for satisfactory DTT reception.

grahamlthompson said:
An aerial is an analogue device, designed to pick up analogue carrier signals, it has no interest in the modulated information the carrier contains.
I agree. The issue is the method used to connect a balanced aerial (the dipole) to an unbalanced feeder (the coax downlead). If there is no balun the outer surface of the coax screen is connected directly to one side of the dipole, so interference picked up on the coax screen will be added to the signal on that side of the dipole and will pass down the feeder with the signal. Interference generated inside the home by electrical equipment such as switches, thermostats, electric motors, etc can be picked up by the downlead, possibly more strongly than directly by the aerial. Digital and analogue TV signals react very differently to interference, especially impulse interference that just produces spots on an analogue picture - you can still see the picture - but produces blocking and picture breakup on a digital picture, or even complete disruption of the DTT signal decoding. If the decoding is disrupted it can take seconds to recover.

If the signal to interference ratio during the impulse interference falls below the threshold for digital reception and the error correction can't cope with it there will be picture breakup. If the ratio falls further by just a couple of dB or so there will be no picture. The more marginal the reception is, the more likely impulse interference will be an issue. Conversely, the stronger the interference is, the stronger the signal has to be to avoid it being an issue. This is why a benchmarked aerial and benchmarked cable are recommended for new installations, and are worth considering if you've got an old aerial system and you suffer from occasional or intermittent picture breakup, freezing or loss of picture.

Impulse interference wasn't a problem for analogue reception in fringe areas, which was why you were able to get away with cheap 'low loss' cable and cheap aerials without baluns.
 

maldonian

Active Member
Sonic67 said:
They exist. Some aerials are better for DAB and some are better for FM. Both are aerials though in that they are pieces of metal. Of these two you quote one is an aerial for digital technology and one is for analogue technology but the aerial itself is unremarkable.

I was making a slightly tongue in cheek response to lbear's comment that there are just aerials that receive transmissions in specific frequency ranges, which implies that an FM aerial, for example, should be called a VHF Band II aerial, not an FM aerial, because it can receive any transmission in VHF Band II.

In the same vein, the reason frequently given by the no-such-thing-as-a-digital aerial brigade is that the aerial can receive a carrier with any type of modulation, not just digital TV. The same argument could be applied to an 'FM aerial', i.e. there is no such thing as an FM aerial, it can receive a carrier with any type of modulation, not just frequency modulation.

I'm just questioning the reasoning. I am comfortable with the terms FM aerial and DAB aerial.

Any traditional TV aerial works fine whether it is sold as being "digital" or not.
It's not quite as simple as that. The CAI aerial and cable benchmarks were introduced because of shortcomings in aerials and cable that allowed impulse interference to get onto the signal, and because digital TV signals react very differently to this interference.
 

grahamlthompson

In memoriam
It's not quite as simple as that. The CAI aerial and cable benchmarks were introduced because of shortcomings in aerials and cable that allowed impulse interference to get onto the signal, and because digital TV signals react very differently to this interference.

Which is fair enough if every aerial with digital in big letters had at least some of the performance improving aspects like say a balun. They don't there is a so called digital aerial in our local cheap shop. It's made of bacofoil, it has no balun just a folded dipole with direct connections to the two ends of the dipole loop. It will no doubt work just fine in a location fairly close to a transmitter with direct line of site where the field strength is high. Because of this buying an aerial that says digital on the box guarantees precisely nothing.

Because there is no definition of what a digital aerial should have as a minimum the term is totally meaningless. This is an entirely different argument to the CAI, who incidentally don't test aerials at all they farm out the tests and do not actually back up the information with gain curves etc (ATV Aerials actually test aerial themselves and issue the results often disagreeing in some respects to the CAI results which do not compare build quality into the recommendations as far as I can see).

The best coax cable for digital TV is actually described as satellite cable (not digital or anything else).

For most Webro WF100 or it's equivalent is arguably the best cable for most.

Note it's design predates the publication of the DVB-T TV standards by at least 2 years.

http://www.webro.com/tv-satellite/webro-wf100-tv-coax/
 
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maldonian

Active Member
grahamlthompson said:
Which is fair enough if every aerial with digital in big letters had at least some of the performance improving aspects like say a balun. They don't there is a so called digital aerial in our local cheap shop. It's made of bacofoil, it has no balun just a folded dipole with direct connections to the two ends of the dipole loop. It will no doubt work just fine in a location fairly close to a transmitter with direct line of site where the field strength is high. Because of this buying an aerial that says digital on the box guarantees precisely nothing.*

Because there is no definition of what a digital aerial should have as a minimum the term is totally meaningless. This is an entirely different argument to the CAI, who incidentally don't test aerials at all they farm out the tests and do not actually back up the information with gain curves etc (ATV Aerials actually test aerial themselves and issue the results often disagreeing in some respects to the CAI results which do not compare build quality into the recommendations as far as I can see).

I wouldn't be surprised at anything you might find in a cheap shop.

The recommended aerials for terrestrial TV are benchmarked aerials. There is a list on the CAI website. As you say, the benchmarking scheme doesn't cover build quality and some aerials are quite flimsy so it's up to you to check this aspect. The CAI don't publish their results (sadly) presumably because the scheme is voluntary and they don't want to put manufacturer's off, but they do publish the benchmark figures, so you know that an aerial that has passed has met or exceeded those figures.

The best coax cable for digital TV is actually described as satellite cable (not digital or anything else).

I've got benchmarked cable labelled Digital/Satellite, and your Webro link describes their cable as digital:

'WF100 TV Coax is the UK’s best selling digital approved TV-Satellite coaxial cable...why?'
and
'TV and Satellite Digital Coax'

Clicking on the latter takes you to a page headed 'TV & Satellite Digital Coaxial Cable Range':

TV & Satellite Digital Coax - Webro
 

grahamlthompson

In memoriam
I wouldn't be surprised at anything you might find in a cheap shop.

Which brings us full circle, the very first post in this thread.

I have bought a new Digital Indoor aerial

Your argument is pointless and merely perpetuating the ripoff.

Certainly some aerial designs are more suitable for digital TV in certain circumstances, they aren't and never will be digital.

We now have a new potential problem 4G. Will your CAI vaunted aerial help here especially the wideband designs.

As I said before you should look at the best website before buying an aerial. (it's not the CAI one)

Here's a post from Justin on the latest incarnation of the log aerials with designs designed to help with 4G interference.

Digital Spy Forums - View Single Post - Log aerials tuned to reject 4G
 

maldonian

Active Member
grahamlthompson said:
Certainly some aerial designs are more suitable for digital TV in certain circumstances

That is the point I have been making.

We now have a new potential problem 4G. Will your CAI vaunted aerial help here especially the wideband designs.

Do I detect an anti-CAI attitude? 4G is a separate issue. I should think all the major aerial manufacturers are working on designs that roll off above channel 60 instead of channel 68, and possibly on incorporating 4G filters too. They may be short-lived though if the 700MHz band is grabbed for mobile broadband.
 

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