Poor Freeview Reception on HD channels

Roly58

Novice Member
Freeview reception dropping out on HD channels, pixelating and unable to record programmes.

I thought I’d share a problem and its resolution…

For 3 months or more I tried to find out why all the HD channels were flaky and kept pixelating and going to a blank screen for 5 seconds or so and then coming back. I’d get the Humax error screen saying poor or bad signal and I’d press the Back key to resume watching but it would all happen again. It was very frustrating. I installed an aerial and masthead amplifier two years ago. The cabling was good quality with direct runs. I checked the connections, often replacing the baluns and fly leads for better quality but to no avail. I checked there were no immediate obstacles to reception and the aerial was accurately pointed to the Oxford transmitter.

I did notice that BBC 4 HD was almost 100% for signal strength and quality but the other HD channels fluctuated between 0-20%. With the BBC 4 HD knowledge I knew my connections, cabling and reception were okay. So I swapped out the Humax box with another but the problem persisted. I gave up and called in the local aerial installation engineer. They came and put their scope on the RF in cable and found a mess of signals. The guy said I was receiving too many conflicting signals and suggested my aerial was too good, too much metal he said. My masthead amplifier was probably too old and I needed a new one with a 4G filter! That might work but it would be a challenge he said. Yeah right. All my neighbours had similar aerials and amplifiers…

I said thanks and send me a quote. I had no intention of taking up his offer.

In the meantime I thought about what he had said. If I was receiving signals from both Mendip and Oxford transmitters then is my Humax and my TV tuned into the same transmitter and also the strongest signal?

I auto tuned the TV and changed it to Oxford. I retuned the Humax to Oxford.

Amazing, problem solved. 100% on ALL channels, both Oxford and Mendip. No dropouts. No signal loss. PERFECT!

The TV and Humax box were tuned to Mendip because that is Western Region and we like to watch programmes/news from our region, not Oxford and the South East.

The Mendip transmitter is coming from the opposite direction to the one the aerial is pointed, so a poorer signal being swamped by Oxford. Hence the poor HD reception.

So I didn’t need a new aerial and amplifier and some engineer scratching his head because he hadn’t solved the problem. All I needed was some common sense and tune to the transmitter the aerial is pointed at!!!

Hope this helps those with Freeview HD reception problems.... :)
 

A1944

Active Member
Good that you have solved it.

The lesson here, for others now, is making sure which transmitter you should be using, rather than the one that your equipment wrongly believes is the best one.
 

zen89

Novice Member
Freeview reception dropping out on HD channels, pixelating and unable to record programmes.

I thought I’d share a problem and its resolution…

For 3 months or more I tried to find out why all the HD channels were flaky and kept pixelating and going to a blank screen for 5 seconds or so and then coming back. I’d get the Humax error screen saying poor or bad signal and I’d press the Back key to resume watching but it would all happen again. It was very frustrating. I installed an aerial and masthead amplifier two years ago. The cabling was good quality with direct runs. I checked the connections, often replacing the baluns and fly leads for better quality but to no avail. I checked there were no immediate obstacles to reception and the aerial was accurately pointed to the Oxford transmitter.

I did notice that BBC 4 HD was almost 100% for signal strength and quality but the other HD channels fluctuated between 0-20%. With the BBC 4 HD knowledge I knew my connections, cabling and reception were okay. So I swapped out the Humax box with another but the problem persisted. I gave up and called in the local aerial installation engineer. They came and put their scope on the RF in cable and found a mess of signals. The guy said I was receiving too many conflicting signals and suggested my aerial was too good, too much metal he said. My masthead amplifier was probably too old and I needed a new one with a 4G filter! That might work but it would be a challenge he said. Yeah right. All my neighbours had similar aerials and amplifiers…

I said thanks and send me a quote. I had no intention of taking up his offer.

In the meantime I thought about what he had said. If I was receiving signals from both Mendip and Oxford transmitters then is my Humax and my TV tuned into the same transmitter and also the strongest signal?

I auto tuned the TV and changed it to Oxford. I retuned the Humax to Oxford.

Amazing, problem solved. 100% on ALL channels, both Oxford and Mendip. No dropouts. No signal loss. PERFECT!

The TV and Humax box were tuned to Mendip because that is Western Region and we like to watch programmes/news from our region, not Oxford and the South East.

The Mendip transmitter is coming from the opposite direction to the one the aerial is pointed, so a poorer signal being swamped by Oxford. Hence the poor HD reception.

So I didn’t need a new aerial and amplifier and some engineer scratching his head because he hadn’t solved the problem. All I needed was some common sense and tune to the transmitter the aerial is pointed at!!!

Hope this helps those with Freeview HD reception problems.... :)
Good to know that you solved it on roadrunner email your own.
 
Last edited:

anotheruser

Active Member
Although how do you tell a TV to tune to a particular transmitter?
And if you're pointing at Oxford, how are you getting Mendip news?
 

A1944

Active Member
The way to tune to a particular transmitter is by looking up the UHF channels that the transmitter uses, then clear out all the current tuning information and then carry out a manual retune for each of the UHF channels in turn. That is, of course, totally dependent upon there being sufficient signal strength from that transmitter and no interference from any other transmitter.

Although not ideal, it is perfectly possible to receive a transmitter to which your aerial is not pointing, but the results are very unpredictable. Before they changed the frequencies a few years ago I could get BBC channels from the Midhurst transmitter, even though my aerial is on Crystal Palace about 90 degrees away.
 

anotheruser

Active Member
That's good then.
I wonder if I can tune to local BBC channels while using the other transmitter for everything else.
Didn't think about that!
 

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