Freeview reception problems?

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alywin
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Location: Penge side of Sydenham

Freeview reception problems?

Post by alywin »

A couple of times recently, we've turned on the TV to find a message saying that there is no signal detected. We're in line-of-sight to the Crystal Palace transmitter. Is anyone else having the same problem, or is it just us?

angela53
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Re: Freeview reception problems?

Post by angela53 »

I have had similar recently so retuned the TV. The channels returned but some had moved to a different number

John H
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Re: Freeview reception problems?

Post by John H »

There are lots of problems arising to the inappropriate choice of frequencies. While people upgraded their aerials to supposedly broadband ones few realised the downlead would present an issue. I have several sets in my house. On some it is possible to receive only some channels. There are lots of problems that can arise due to being so close to the main transmitter... don't let me bore you with the details... but look up "the Penge Effect" to see how this led to an interesting phenomenon in an earlier era.

If you do have problems and cannot see all the channels then it is time for a new aerial and downlead installation.

alywin
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Re: Freeview reception problems?

Post by alywin »

Actually, I'm starting to wonder whether it doesn't like the HD recorder I've temporarily got plugged into it. I'll see if the problem persists into next week.

John H
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Re: Freeview reception problems?

Post by John H »

If you are looping through the recorder that may well contribute to your problems BUT that does suggest downlead or even aerial issues.

alywin
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Re: Freeview reception problems?

Post by alywin »

Picture's been horrendous (as in totally unwatchable/unlistenable) tonight on the BBC Channels, and I think London Live and Channel 4, less bad on More4. ITV seems unaffected. Is this generally the case, or is it just my TV?

mosy
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Re: Freeview reception problems?

Post by mosy »

ITV is also transmitted by Crystal Palace so it's odd you can get that but not BBC channels.

Do you have an indoor aerial, i.e. set top? If so, do you have one of the flat panel ones as opposed to the metal ring or spiky array? Mine is a flat panel (I bought one with a longer lead to ensure it would reach a good spot) and also one for another room's TV and neither is having any problems.

Not much help. Have you asked your next door neighbours in case it's something very localised?

alywin
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Re: Freeview reception problems?

Post by alywin »

I thought ITV was from a different transmitter?

Anyway, fingers crossed, it seems to be okay again, but I'll keep an eye on things. And yes, I do have an internal aerial - metal ring. Never had a problem with it in the past 6 years or so.

alywin
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Re: Freeview reception problems?

Post by alywin »

It's been really bad again the past few days: surely can't all be the weather? Tonight I had a "no service" message for ages, and I had to watch the ITV news because the BBC one was so garbled. Channel 4 also quite bad.

mosy
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Re: Freeview reception problems?

Post by mosy »

No problems here. Are you still using your ring aerial?

JGD
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Re: Freeview reception problems?

Post by JGD »

There were some significant changes on a number of channels on Freeview on the 22 June 2020.

It requires ALL devices that do not have an automated retune option to be retuned manually.

It may not be the source of signal problems you are encountering, but the retune may help.

alywin
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Re: Freeview reception problems?

Post by alywin »

Oh, right, thanks. I hadn't seen any notification of that.

Yes, still using the ring aerial.

JGD
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Re: Freeview reception problems?

Post by JGD »

Should also have mentioned this.

I use a free app called "Find Antenna" for iOS that has a compass-style direction finder that points precisely to transmitters. I am unsure whether there is an Android equivalent.

It's excellent at ensuring aerials of all types are aligned accurately to the correct transmitter.

Locally I point mine at Crystal Palace. The app lists all of the nearest transmitters from which you can make a choice.

mosy
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Re: Freeview reception problems?

Post by mosy »

alywin, I'm surprised you're still using a ring aerial. My indoor aerial reception problems, especially helicopter disruption also suspected weather effect, stopped when I bought flat panel aerials (for each TV). I mentioned these about a year ago so the price has gone up a bit but still within £10 to £20. They are about the size of an A4 page or a bit bigger 10"x10" and lightweight vinyl(?) so are easy to pin or tab-stick to a wall or prop up.

Changes to channels which need a TV retune are unlikely to affect reception. I'm not sure a directional app would help either given we know where the transmitter is next door, because I found that one small flat panel aerial randomly placed worked straight away for all channels, yet in another room a larger one had to be in the "right" place so I was glad I bought that one with a long lead as a few feet made all the difference.

JGD
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Re: Freeview reception problems?

Post by JGD »

mosy wrote:
29 Jun 2020 21:51
Changes to channels which need a TV retune are unlikely to affect reception. I'm not sure a directional app would help either given we know where the transmitter is next door, because I found that one small flat panel aerial randomly placed worked straight away for all channels, yet in another room a larger one had to be in the "right" place so I was glad I bought that one with a long lead as a few feet made all the difference.
In advance and in the preparation for resetting channels it is possible that engineers will be making adjustments to transmitters and occasionally will reduce transmission powers and parameters during those changes.

It is possible that these activities In the run up to this retune caused short periods of "weak or no signal" which self-repaired without adjustment.

I use three antennae types - a very modern power boosted indoor model, an old fashioned A4 rigid style indoor model and an out-of-date outdoor model that needs replacement and to be re-cabled. The indoor models perform best when they are precisely aligned - when that precision is achieved the signal strengths are excellent, pixilation is at a minimum and "weak signal" messages are rare.

In my experience of course.

alywin
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Re: Freeview reception problems?

Post by alywin »

JGD wrote:
29 Jun 2020 08:15
I use a free app called "Find Antenna" for iOS that has a compass-style direction finder that points precisely to transmitters. I am unsure whether there is an Android equivalent.

It's excellent at ensuring aerials of all types are aligned accurately to the correct transmitter.

Locally I point mine at Crystal Palace. The app lists all of the nearest transmitters from which you can make a choice.
We have one of those: it's called "line of sight" :)

alywin
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Re: Freeview reception problems?

Post by alywin »

mosy wrote:
29 Jun 2020 21:51
alywin, I'm surprised you're still using a ring aerial. My indoor aerial reception problems, especially helicopter disruption also suspected weather effect, stopped when I bought flat panel aerials (for each TV). I mentioned these about a year ago so the price has gone up a bit but still within £10 to £20. They are about the size of an A4 page or a bit bigger 10"x10" and lightweight vinyl(?) so are easy to pin or tab-stick to a wall or prop up.
Thanks, mosy. I have just realised that the ring aerial dated back to our old CRT TV, while we now have a small flatscreen. I wonder whether that makes any difference? Either way, the problem has been noticeably bad over the past few weeks, especially around 10 pm.

JGD
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Re: Freeview reception problems?

Post by JGD »

Transmission bands in the UK were "cleared out" somewhat starting over two years ago to accommodate 5G.

The Freeview bods restructured their bands and decreed that older forms of external aerials were no longer technically suited for the job of receiving the re-organised bands and offered free aerial renewals and re-tuning. It worked fairly well for a lot of people but I am not sure what the take up rate was.

I think that may provide a pointer to you that an old ring aerial might just be a tad below par.

JGD
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Re: Freeview reception problems?

Post by JGD »

alywin wrote:
1 Jul 2020 00:26
We have one of those: it's called "line of sight" :)
Love it.

I have too - if I get a thirty foot ladder out, climb up onto my highest chimney and stand on one leg.

mosy
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Re: Freeview reception problems?

Post by mosy »

JGD wrote:
1 Jul 2020 08:16
...
I have too - if I get a thirty foot ladder out, climb up onto my highest chimney and stand on one leg.
Go on, you know you want to ;) (Please don't.)
I climbed a ladder to paint the upstairs outside windows and did the stupid thing of overstretching. I started to feel the ladder going and corrected my centre of gravity just in time. Phew. I'll tell you what was disconcerting also, as you climb up a wooden ladder it flexes in and out, weird feeling. A roof's a brdige too far.

alywin, for the sake of £10+ a flat panel aerial is worth a try. Several on Amazon to choose from which you could return (14 days?) if it makes no difference. All I know is that my former problems disappeared overnight. Incidentally, I'm near the station so quite high up geographically re the transmitter, meaning I shouldn't have had problems given minimal intervening impediments - unless something else was responsible.

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