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Signal strength

siouxsue

Active Member
Hi everyone,

Just came across the site and after some advice if possible please.

We recently moved home, in our old house we had multiroom suscription, connection downstairs and upstairs withseperate wall boxes,

from the upstairs box we had an extension via a splitter from the wall box going into our daughters room as we had no outside aerial therefore used a virgin box we had previosly before upgrading which virgin allowed us to keep to give her just the basic channels (1-5) and cbeebies etc in her room.
Before splitting the upstairs connection our box worked fine, however after splitting we noticed pixelation etc obviously due to the weaker signal, nothing major just every now and again the box would be jumpy etc. It wasnt too bad so didnt bother us that much.

As i said we moved last month and the new house already had one connection coming in downstairs.
When the tech came to install the upstairs box again, he basically just added a 3 way splitter to the one wall box downstairs, ie one connection going to tv, one going to broadband and one going upstairs to the bedroom.

Yesterday we upgraded to V+ for downstairs and added another V box upstairs in our bedroom, all with the full package.
Again the tech left the connections as previosuly stated, however split the connection from my daughters room in order to take the line into ours.

Therefore one connection with 4 splits.

Since doing this we are failing to receive all of the channels on our set-top boxes upstairs, no sky movies or sky sports at all in our daughters room, and only one or two movie channels in our own room.

The v+ downstairs has all channels it should, however is extremely pixelated and very jumpy making it virtually impossible to watch certain channels, mostly the sky movies and sports premium channels.

When the engineer was here he checked the connections and said the signal was weak and that although he thought it would be ok, we may encounter slight problems with it, therefore he would have his boss contact us regarding a possible signal booster, or at worst they may have to replace all of the cabling.


What i wanted your opinion on was the connection setup,
As the cable coming in goes to one white box on the wall (sorry not sure what this is called) then is split between 3 seperate cables with one of these being split again, (ie 4 splits in total from one connection) is this possibly the cause for the weak signal, or at least a contributing factor ?

Obviously having the full shabang we are paying around £100 a month for these services which i dont mind at all, however obviously i do not want to be paying this kind of money for a limited service.
I'm awaiting them getting back to me about it, and plan to call them to discuss it as its far from ideal.
We settled down to watch a film last night and it was immpossible, football today is also only just watchable but very annoying with the interferance and pixelation as well as the jumpy sound.

Any help greatly appreciated, especially regarding how i should handle it from our end, ie if they want to add a signal booster would this be enough to sort the problem or would i be better pushing for new cabling throughout with access points (white boxes) in each room therefore limiting cable splitting.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, sorry its so long but wanted to give as much info as possible,
And thanks in advance for any replies x
 

mike7

Distinguished Member
Sounds like a weak signal problem and Virgin Medias responsibility to put right. Basically they can step up the signal level by stages from the terminal box in the road which serves your house. I assume they will give you the maximum available. It is probable that a weak(ish) signal combined with serving several boxes is the cause of your problems. Don't try using an 'aerial amplifier' as they are not intended for digital signals. Keep complaining until they put the matter right.
 

essjay

Active Member
Hello and welcome to AV forums.

This should be really an easy fix, unfortunatly you will have to ring faults (150 fom your phone)

Just tell them the picture is un-watchable on all 3 boxes


This would be 5 minute job for the engineer just to move you up a tap in the cabinet this would "boost" your signal.

You shouldn't need your cabling replaced.
 

siouxsue

Active Member
Hi, thanks guys.

Have spoken to the faults dept this afternoon and the guysaid he will try to boost our signal over the next couple of hours, failing that if we still have problems to call back tomorrow and they will send an engineer out to look at the main box.
The other engineer who installed yesterday said the main box was quite a distance away so dont know if that affects it any.

Will see how we go tonight and call back tomorrow & see what they say.

Does the cabling layout i mentioned through the house make any difference, ie 4 splits from one cable, or is it ok leaving it as it is
as far as signal strength goes?

Thanks again for taking the time to reply.
 

essjay

Active Member
Hi, thanks guys.

Have spoken to the faults dept this afternoon and the guysaid he will try to boost our signal over the next couple of hours, failing that if we still have problems to call back tomorrow and they will send an engineer out to look at the main box.

Utter rubbish VM cannot boost the signal like that, what he has done is send a hit to the box, which basically refreshes your services, the only way to increase your signal is physically moving your cable in the cabinet to a higher output
The other engineer who installed yesterday said the main box was quite a distance away so dont know if that affects it any.

Yes it does the further you are away the weaker the signal, if you are already on the limit they will have to install a low loss cable (RG11)

Will see how we go tonight and call back tomorrow & see what they say.

Does the cabling layout i mentioned through the house make any difference, ie 4 splits from one cable, or is it ok leaving it as it is
as far as signal strength goes?

Thanks again for taking the time to reply.

Depends on what 3 way splitters they have used some split the cable over all 3 outputs 3 x 6.5 db loss, the other type splits only 2 of the outputs ie 2 x 7.5 db 1 x 3.5 db.

I would phone them straight back, the installer should never have left it in that state
 

siouxsue

Active Member
Utter rubbish VM cannot boost the signal like that, what he has done is send a hit to the box, which basically refreshes your services, the only way to increase your signal is physically moving your cable in the cabinet to a higher output


Yes it does the further you are away the weaker the signal, if you are already on the limit they will have to install a low loss cable (RG11)



Depends on what 3 way splitters they have used some split the cable over all 3 outputs 3 x 6.5 db loss, the other type splits only 2 of the outputs ie 2 x 7.5 db 1 x 3.5 db.

I would phone them straight back, the installer should never have left it in that state


Hi thanks for your reply,

When we called earlier the person we spoke to was a foreigner so dont know if maybe he picked things up wrong, was purely trying to get the missing channels to kick in or purely just told fibs regarding fixing the problem that way, either way i'm not happy about being given the run around.

Called them again 5 mins ago, transferred to someone else to arrange a technician, explained the details to this lady and she got cut off / hung up, we simply stated the problem no argument or heated discussing at all so cant understand that at all (suppose it was another technical fault) lol

On the phone again now for the 3rd time in a row to try to get an engineer out asap.

Problem still stands, no premium channels upstairs except sky movies premiere and one sky sport channel.

Low and hehold, line has gone dead again.

Time for a 4th phone call!!!:facepalm:

Will keep trying, and fire off an email to them now as it seems impossible to get anything done via 150 for some strange reason !:thumbsdow

As for the connection i dont have a clue, sorry,
From what i can see its just a 3 way splitter downstairs and a two way splitter upstairs, but dont have a clue about which type or how it splits the signal.

Now on the 5th phone call - its beyond a joke !!!

At this rate i think we may cancel and go with sky!! lol

Thanks again for your help.
 

siouxsue

Active Member
6th phone call,

Just been told by the person that his senior technician has done something to the signal, and we cant order a technician to come out until 24hrs is up,
he basically said within 24hrs the missing channels would kick in and the v+ box would be working,

After what you've said i have my doubts but we'll see.


My o/h was getting pretty annoyed as there seemed to be a lack of understanding / lost in translation.
They've said they'll credit our account for £5 to cover the 2 days we've lost, which is something i suppose.

Will give it another 48hrs and if things dont get any better think i'll threaten them with cancelling due to poor performance and go with sky.
Might be a bl**dy plan, lol

Thanks again
 

siouxsue

Active Member
Well, a bit further forward today, called again as channels still not working, error code 1202 and 1203 on both v boxes and still the pixelation on the v+, explained everything to a different rep, this one british so no language / accent problems, and he has said a senior technician will look into it asap and try to diagnose the problem within the next few hours and if that cant be done they'll call us back later and arrange a tech to come out.
Hopefully we'll be sorted soon.
Thanks again for your replies guys.:thumbsup:
 

essjay

Active Member
1202 and 1203 are box tuning failure error messages.

You will most certainly need a visit from a technician to adjust your levels.

Tell them you've got no pictures at all they will soon come out
 

siouxsue

Active Member
1202 and 1203 are box tuning failure error messages.

You will most certainly need a visit from a technician to adjust your levels.

Tell them you've got no pictures at all they will soon come out

Thanks essjay,

After about a dozen phonecalls and 3 emails we finally have an engineer coming tomorrow - whooo hooo,
Just hope they dont have to do anything too much and can fix the problem asap as we've been without most of our services since install. Seems its only the BB that isnt affected.
Told them there's no way we'll be paying for the services we havent had !!

Its a shame as we've never had too many problems but this has put me off big time, i fell like cancelling the whole thing.
Hopefully be feeling better tomorrow if we can settle down and enjoy a film tomorrow night. Fingers crossed. lol

Thanks again x
 

Boostrail

Distinguished Member
Firstly don't be put off siouxsue- IMHO the VM package is the best. Plusses and minuses for sure but...

No- one else delivers even a tenth of the BB speed I have (20Mbps) round here!

All inclusive phone - defo the cheapest for my user profile.

TV excellent upscaled SD probably now watch around 25% of my viewing profile in HD ....but would like Sky sports in HD and ITVHD ..the latter if only because their SD version of a footy match is ...horrendous!

I do not think anyone who is not a VM user really appreciates the immense facilities for VOD offerred by VM.

I must say that I cannot relate my experience to this problem of getting an engineer out? I have had problems in the 10+ years I have been a VM or its predecessors customer - ( about 5-6 times I think) but have mostly got next working day enginneer visit response - but never more than 48 hours.

PS IMHO your problem is due to faulty splitters which VM will replace or they need to up your signal in the street box.
 

siouxsue

Active Member
Firstly don't be put off siouxsue- IMHO the VM package is the best. Plusses and minuses for sure but...

No- one else delivers even a tenth of the BB speed I have (20Mbps) round here!

All inclusive phone - defo the cheapest for my user profile.

TV excellent upscaled SD probably now watch around 25% of my viewing profile in HD ....but would like Sky sports in HD and ITVHD ..the latter if only because their SD version of a footy match is ...horrendous!

I do not think anyone who is not a VM user really appreciates the immense facilities for VOD offerred by VM.

I must say that I cannot relate my experience to this problem of getting an engineer out? I have had problems in the 10+ years I have been a VM or its predecessors customer - ( about 5-6 times I think) but have mostly got next working day enginneer visit response - but never more than 48 hours.

PS IMHO your problem is due to faulty splitters which VM will replace or they need to up your signal in the street box.

Thanks for you reply,
I do agree with you and rate VM, otherwise i would have jacked it in already,
It just irks me that i am paying a substantial amount of money per month and unable to access the services.
All our boxes are at times completely unwatchable, which if it where evry now and again would be manageable, but it is grating on me big time being unable to watch movies, football, etc and my daughter being unable to watch the Disney channels.

Had they dealt with the problem immediately, as i would have expected, i would have been happy with that, its the lack of concern and shocking customer service which annoys me most.
No offence to foreign call centre workers either but there always seems to be a communication problem,
We finally got an engineer appt arranged by luckily getting to speak to a UK rep by going through to connections as we were sick of complaining through the faults line and being cut off.

I've never experienced this kind of service from them, and i dont want to put anyone reading this off as i can honsetly say this isnt the norm with them as far as my experience has gone,

I just hope the connction gets fixed tomorrow and we can access all of the services we are paying for.


Thanks again for your replies guys. :)
 

siouxsue

Active Member
Utter rubbish VM cannot boost the signal like that, what he has done is send a hit to the box, which basically refreshes your services, the only way to increase your signal is physically moving your cable in the cabinet to a higher output


Yes it does the further you are away the weaker the signal, if you are already on the limit they will have to install a low loss cable (RG11)



Depends on what 3 way splitters they have used some split the cable over all 3 outputs 3 x 6.5 db loss, the other type splits only 2 of the outputs ie 2 x 7.5 db 1 x 3.5 db.

I would phone them straight back, the installer should never have left it in that state


Well, the technician came this morning and you were 100% correct,
The cabinet is 140 metres away and although we were in the highest tap, the signal is still extremely poor. Also the splitters were weakening the signal aswell.
He has installed an amplifier and now we can actually watch the channels we are paying for. He said we may still get a few slight hiccups ie picture freezing etc but that is nothing compared to what we had (or didnt have as the case was)
He also called and arranged an appointment for them to install new cables (RG11) as you correctly pointed out, which will be installed on 8th Feb.

Just glad to be able to access our services again, and wish all of the VM employees were as dedicated as this one was.

On a side note, i've sent an email vie their website giving positive feedback for the technician who came as he was fantastic,
He was out of Glasgow,
does anyone know if they have a diedicated centre there and if so their contact details as i'd like to email them also and commend the guy to his boss if possible.

Thanks

Oh forgot to ask, How will they go about replacing the cables, do they all have to be removed and rewired completely from the cabinet to the house and throughout or ?, just wondering how long it should take.
Sorry for my ignorance, i havent a clue when it comes to this kind of thing, lol

Thanks again
 

siouxsue

Active Member
Sounds like a weak signal problem and Virgin Medias responsibility to put right. Basically they can step up the signal level by stages from the terminal box in the road which serves your house. I assume they will give you the maximum available. It is probable that a weak(ish) signal combined with serving several boxes is the cause of your problems. Don't try using an 'aerial amplifier' as they are not intended for digital signals. Keep complaining until they put the matter right.


Hi Mike7

You were 100% correct also,
Hopefully we are on the road to having it sorted with the best possible result.

Thanks for your reply x
 

essjay

Active Member
On a side note, i've sent an email vie their website giving positive feedback for the technician who came as he was fantastic,
He was out of Glasgow,
does anyone know if they have a diedicated centre there and if so their contact details as i'd like to email them also and commend the guy to his boss if possible.

VM are currently using Installers and Technicians to back fill due to amount amount of service calls received, your not in Manchester by any chance ?

Thanks
Oh forgot to ask, How will they go about replacing the cables, do they all have to be removed and rewired completely from the cabinet to the house and throughout or ?, just wondering how long it should take.
Sorry for my ignorance, i havent a clue when it comes to this kind of thing, lol

Thanks again

Should be relatively easy to re-pull and RG11 yes all of the cable is replaced from the cabinet to your property, since you already have a cable there, the easiest way is just to attach to the current cable and pull the new cable through, If the installers don't run into any problems shopuld take them around one hour.
 

siouxsue

Active Member
VM are currently using Installers and Technicians to back fill due to amount amount of service calls received, your not in Manchester by any chance ?

Thanks


Should be relatively easy to re-pull and RG11 yes all of the cable is replaced from the cabinet to your property, since you already have a cable there, the easiest way is just to attach to the current cable and pull the new cable through, If the installers don't run into any problems shopuld take them around one hour.

We are near Glasgow,
The tech has been with them for a number of years as he came out to our old property aswell and he was the only one who actually seemed like he knew what he was talking about.
As i said i've emailed them my feedback and they said it would be passed to the relevant person so hopefully that should do.
Just want to give credit where credit is due.

He did say the installation work was manned out to another firm that that basically they arent interested, they're only interested in getting in and out in the quickest time and know that any problems will be rectified by VM themselves.
I'm still awaiting the phonecall from the guys supervisor - wont hold my breath on that.


Thanks for the description with the cabling, seems simple enough then,
The tech said it was a 2 man job and i just had a fear of it taking days but an hour or two sounds good.

Everything seems to be working much better now so hopefully things will run smoothly until the cabling is replaced then it'll be all systems go after that.

Thanks again for all your input ! x
 

Seadog-Peter

Standard Member
Had a re-cable here as the old one developed a fault on the telephone service. The exterior pull was done independantly of the formal appointment to reconnect from the street to our house.
The final reconnection from road to the house was very quick (approx 15mins) The only reason they needed to come in at all was to check all the services were OK on both boxes phone and broadband.
 

StvC

Standard Member
Hi all, similar problem here but think I may have a couple of problems contributing to a wider issue.

We've just been installed after a house move and although we've moved successfully before without any hitches with our Virgin service this time has been a nightmare. First they took our old V+ box which was compatible with our NZ tv with no Scart or HDMI inputs not to mention the 70 hours of recordings we had. But now after getting our old box back we cant get a picture. AV channels just b & w, very flickery nd only occasional snippets of sound. This sounds like the same problem as original poster, however.....

in our previous two houses we have always operated Virgin from channel 6 on regular tv, now we can't get any signal at all, not even a flicker. I don't get it. Does it matter though as was this an inferior way of receiving Virgin picture all along. Didn't want to call technician out too hurredly if I couldn't even replicate the set up I had at previous addresses.
All houses have been in same WV4 4 area btw.

Any help much appreciated.
 

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