Simple Question I Hope - Freeview without an Aerial

Harters

Novice Member
Sorry, I'm at a loss what to think.

My parents have no aerial or Dish. They currently piggyback off neighbours Aerial but want to avoid this as soon as possible plus the signal is pathetic due to their location

I am trying to find a Freeview Play Recorder box (they love to record stuff) that we can ONLY have connected to their broadband via WIFI.

I am looking at Humax 5000t or the Aura. From what I read they can stream and last night I downloaded Freeview play app onto my phone which has an EPG and I could watch on demand. When I click on something it took me to the relevant app like a player and opened the content there - that's fine.

BUT

Will my parents be able to watch the 6 o'clock news or other live broadcasts BBC / BBC /ITV content via ONLY an internet connection by selecting it from the EPG and it "JUST PLAYS" ... I'll download whatever apps are needed and create their accounts on Iplayer etc but as many of you know, having 80-year parents, it needs to be simple for them...

(and no, they have no possibility to have a dish or an aerial of their own - I know that's weird but how it is as - they live at the bottom of a 360 degree surrounding hill terrestrial signal is appalling even with boosters... so its WIFI/ETHERNET or nothing for them unfortunately

Is Humax Aura for them? or something else.... love to hear some expert answers - I asked Currys and they clearly had no idea
 

Rodders53

Distinguished Member
No Freeview Play TV or recorder box will be happy with no aerial connected.
No freesat box will be happy without a satellite dish connected.
You'll need to read the forum threads on the boxes you mention for the details as this issue has been encountered before (while people are waiting for antennas - aerials or dishes - to be installed.

You may find that devices like Chromecast TV, Apple TV and Fire TV will be able to supply both near-Live and streamed TV from the main TV channels? Some are cheap enough to buy and try. Some research on those devices would be worthwhile?

It's rare to be obscured from both terrestrial and satellite but not unheard of. Remote antennas on long cables are the main solution (if land is owned or the install/use can be agreed with the land owner) although sometimes communities installed their own 'self-help' licensed transmitters on the offending hill with permission via Ofcom (and landowner). Power is always a big issue though.

It sounds like your parents are, effectively, using the remote aerial solution already... So if that can't be improved or they have to pay the neighbour for the 'service' I can see why they are anti using that method.
 

Harters

Novice Member
Thanks Rodders.
Appreciate the time to write the reply !!

You say they won't be happy without an aerial but what does that mean? Nothing works? Or does that mean they can't view the 10 o'clock news live but can view the runs of Downton Abbey on iPlayer or something else?

I've searched for the answer all over Google and here but can't find an exact answer to what they will get and won't get...it's confusing.

I'll search again...thanks again Rodders
 

Rodders53

Distinguished Member
AIUI any Freeview Play box (and likewise the You View ones before) needs setting up on an aerial before much else will work. This is because the main EPG is delivered over the air from the transmitters. Only the backward EPG is derived from internet.

Thus no aerial = no current/next/future EPG. Probably with nags about 'no signal'.

The Arris freeview 4k box has a similar issue when no working satellite connection is missing. Again the EPG is satellite delivered.

So pure catchup streaming TV solutions are likely to be your friend. Although the TVs and recording boxes have catchup apps I'd suggest their user interface will default / push parents to the over the aerial method. So maybe best to stick with a dumb TV rather than get a new one with the catchup capability?

NB Recording boxes like the Arris and Aura can't record the catchup/live streams anyway. So would be a simple waste of the money they cost.

Streaming boxes are far, far cheaper too.

How good the user interface is for your parents' use is for you to assess.

Note that iPlayer has it's own UI and that live TV is readily available (you can see the PC or phone version, streaming sticks will be similar but individually 'tweaked' by the BBC to suit the hardware involved). But it's not a simple up/down channel change process, even for the BBC channels in iPlayer.
 

MReed

Active Member
I would have thought that going down the Freesat route would be their best option. Other than that, maybe Virgin cable?
 

Rodders53

Distinguished Member
I would have thought that going down the Freesat route would be their best option. Other than that, maybe Virgin cable?
Remote satellite dish with long cable, booster amps etc.,. would be needed - as with a TV aerial. OP discounted a simple local dish due to the topography.

I visited a location where the valley obscured the satellite - well on the side of the road with houses at least ;)

Virgin would be good, if expensive - but I suspect most unlikely to serve the (probably rural) location?
 

Harters

Novice Member
Thanks both...think I get it now...EPG etc ...sounds logical.... That's helped a lot.... I guess they can use neighbour's aerial for set up and even bring the box to ours every 6 months or so for any updates ... I figured that as humax have dropped freesat boxes that they realise TV via broadband is a real option now we all have decent download speeds... Even my parents get 30mb now... So I kinda hoped you can get all things free now through tinterweb and a 250 quid box could do that... Freeview play on my phone has a perfectly acceptable EPG it got via WiFi....

Anyway...really do thank you for your time and information....
 

Rodders53

Distinguished Member
A £40 Fire TV stick will do most catchup players and allow live streaming, and ability to switch TV on/off. Other similar devices are available at similar prices.

The £250 box will be wasted unless the aerial is used to make recordings and get the current/future EPG... No good being done at random intervals - it's only 7 days in the future transmitted.
 

Clem_Dye

Distinguished Member
Isn’t there a risk of electrical problems if you share anything between a neighbour‘s property due to the differing electric phase? I know that we’re only discussing an aerial feed here, but an electrical fault in one location could cause problems elsewhere.

As for a streaming solution, what about an iPad with HDMI adapter to connect to a TV? Live streaming is, I believe, available on iPlayer and the All4 app. The best solution, based on the above, would, as already been suggested, is Freesat. The Arris PVR will, with the correct LNB, handle up to four streams at once, giving the option to record and watch live at the same time.
 

winston2010

Well-known Member
Isn’t there a risk of electrical problems if you share anything between a neighbour‘s property due to the differing electric phase?
Not really. For a start you would need 2 faults. If the aerial is properly earth bonded no problem. If isolated aerial plates are used no problem. If both are done you get belt and braces.

Virgin Media share their connections with many properties with no problems.
 

Rodders53

Distinguished Member
The best solution, based on the above, would, as already been suggested, is Freesat.
:mad:Which bit of
(and no, they have no possibility to have a dish or an aerial of their own - I know that's weird but how it is as - they live at the bottom of a 360 degree surrounding hill
do people responding not see and understand before suggesting a satellite install? :mad:
 

Clem_Dye

Distinguished Member
Have you actually had an installer out to check? As I and others have pointed out, the best solution would be Freesat, if possible. If not, and there’s no line of sight to a transmitter, then something that uses the Internet is the only real option, other than moving house.
 

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