Which Aerial Booster to buy for Freeview?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by StuR6, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. StuR6

    StuR6
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    Sorry guys, not sure where to post this question. I have come across lots of theories regarding this so far.

    I own a decent Panasonic TV with built in Freeview. This works great and gets a perfect signal on all freeview chanels. However, I need a seperate freeview box to record onto DVD and stupidly missed the opportunity on buying the Pineer DBR-TF100GB. (My problems explained HERE.). I ended up buying the Sony VTX-D800U, as many people rate it, and I can see why, ie has great menues etc.

    However (on the Sony), I have recently lost picture to most of the chanels (except BBC & Film 4). The box tells you two things about the signal strength, both are high on the scales; however I doubt the accuracy of this and suspect we are in a poor area. And I only think the Panasonic TV does a good job because it might be better / narrow band (understand that bit?).

    Some of you may suggest its to do with the software auto downlaods - I hope not and I've turned that off now.

    To fix the problem I'd like to buy a bigger aerial but because its a rented house, I cant do that. Therefore...

    1. Is it worth buying an aerial booster - and which one to buy?

    2. once I move house; can anyone recommend a decent aerial?*

    * edited
     
  2. omega1

    omega1
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    Hi.
    I think in your situation I would buy a decent 2 way setback amplifier.
    Put the aerial into the input of the amplifier.
    Feed one of the outputs of the amplifier to the panasonic TV.
    Use the second output of the amplifier to the sony freeview box.
    This in theory is not the best way to amplify signals(masthead amp and power supply supply is best) but has worked for me on a number of occasions.
    If you buy the amplifier from Argos and it doesnt work take it back and get a refund.
    You are correct in thinking the signal strength displays are sometimes optimistic to say the least.
    It is definitely correct to say that some freeview boxes will work on weaker signals than others but I am suprised that the sony does not do as well as the panasonic tv as I have always regarded the sony boxes to be one of the best for weak signals.
    Go for an amplifier with the highest gain lowest noise figure you can find. (ie gain 12 db per leg noise 3 or 4 db)
     
  3. StuR6

    StuR6
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    Cheers omega; good call. However, this leads me onto...

    once I move house; can anyone recommend a decent aerial?

    NB: I think its unfair for a manufacturer to sell an item like this and not be quoting sensitivity or should I say "ability to pick up a narrow or wide band of signal". I might have bought a different box had I known the Sony was such a wide/weak box. Lets hope an aerial fixes it though.
     
  4. Sonic67

    Sonic67
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    I got a professional installer in to do it. Partially because I live in a hollow in the area so I needed an aerial on a tall mast to get a signal. He was able to advise me that pointing my aerial to one transmitter would give me a better Freeview signal the other way I’d get a better analogue signal. As I was getting Freeview boxes for around the house I went for the best Freeview signal. It also saved me the worry of falling off the roof. They have professional equipment and if you stay away from the cowboys they should be able to advise you.
     
  5. GaryB

    GaryB
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    A professional installation would be best as the aerial needs to be aligned correctly for best results. If you decide to fit it yourself, check out the Benchmarked Aerials section on the CAI's website.
     
  6. gobstopper

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    Agreed. I too got a professional installer in and he spoke of the "high gain" aerials available from local DIY stores saying that they were OK at best. If I wanted really good results I should consider a proper installation.

    The resulting monster on my roof did cost the better part of £200 and it looks as though I'm sub-contracting for GCHQ, but my god it's good! Even my analogue signal which was only passable with the old aerial is absolutely crystal clear! A few weeks later I drove past my local Travelodge hotel and realised they had exactly the same aerial on their roof (though it doesn't look quite as comical as it does on mine).
     

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