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After retuning my freeview box i have less channels and worse reception than before?

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  • stewartshay3 Oct 02, 2009

    BT51 4TH and my freeview box is built into my Toshiba Regza TV.

  • stewartshay3 Oct 02, 2009

    Hi Rob



    Not sure if I sent this correctly the first time, but my postcode is BT51 4TH and my freeview box is built into my Toshiba Regza TV. The Tv is only a view months old so it is a fairly new model.



    Cheers

    Sindy

  • stewartshay3 Oct 02, 2009

    Sorry rob



    But will this effect the big switch over to digital or will there be afurthe upgrade that we might benefit from before that?



    Sindy

  • stewartshay3 Oct 02, 2009

    Thanks for your help Rob, you have given me lots of options to start putting in place. Sindy

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  • Master
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Hi, I'm Rob and I'm happy to try and help you but I need a few more details in order to do so.

Which postcode area do you live in and what is the exact make and model of your Freeview box?

Posted on Oct 02, 2009

  • Obertelli
    Obertelli Oct 02, 2009

    The Regza range has not been reported as having problems with the Freeview update, and the Limavady transmitter which served Coleraine with analogue transmissions has been upgraded to provide Freeview signals.

    But... the analogue signals were transmitted at 100kW (100 000W) and the Freeview signals as always are vastly weaker at just 800W. This means that a strong analogue tv signal does not always result in a strong Freeview signal, and as there are now more digital channels sharing that 800W output, each channel is now proportionally a bit weaker.

    The official line for poorly performing updates on equipment which should work is to try the retune again; ensure that you retune as a fresh install and not by using the add channels mode. I often find that a Freeview retune in the middle of the night works better and can only assume that it's because there is less interference from other signals at that time. Before doing so double check that you have a good aerial connection to the tv and that the aerial cables are sound and have no bare conductors showing. In strong terrestrial tv areas it used to be common practice to add an in line attenuator to the aerial feed to cut the signal; if you have one of these it's typically between the incoming aerial lead and the first device and looks like an extra long aerial plug and must be removed for good Freeview performance. You'll also get a poor signal if your aerial is shared between more than one tv especially if you have any splitters in the aerial feed: each of these typically cuts signal strength by 60%, and you also lose significant Freeview performance if you have an indoor aerial (an absolute no-no for Freeview) or if you use signal boosters. Even if you have an outdoor aerial then most of the ones I've dealt with are typically over twenty years old, poorly aimed and with a junction box full of moisture, corrosion and dead insects.

    Ultimately you may have to upgrade your aerial system if you have not already done so. Freeview does work best with aerials designed especially for digital signals and with modern coaxial cables which are more efficient. Ideally you're best with a separate aerial dedicated to each tv, but this is not always practical or possible but you can maximise efficiency by carefully designing the system from the start to use the highest gain aerial you can get along with the best coaxial cable with the shortest cable runs and fewest splitters. Coaxial plugs and sockets should ideally have soldered connections and the RF shielding should be carefully peeled back at the cable ends to maintain screening integrity.

    One further point is that the integrated Freeview boxes in most televisions are usually pretty poor performers. You may wish to try and borrow a separate Freeview box to see if there's an improvement.

    Sorry I cannot give you any more specific help, but I've been in the TV sales/rentals/installation business for over twenty five years and cannot offer anything more specific to your problem.




  • Obertelli
    Obertelli Oct 02, 2009

    Hi Sindy, there will undoubtedly be further updates as they are made continuously; major retunes are less frequent though and this is the third one which I've dealt with.

    Anything which you do to improve your digital signal now will be fine for after the big switchover if you choose your components carefully. What I failed to make clear in my previous posting was that my comments about avoiding splitters and amplifiers only related to the type of equipment which you can buy on a DIY basis. A good professional aerial installer can fit a single good quality aerial with carefully matched masthead amplifiers and special "F-connector" splitters which are vastly superior to the usual push fit type. A really good aerial doesn't need to cost more than £25 or so and F connector splitters cost between a fiver and £15 depending on the number of outputs, even good coaxial cabling is fairly cheap, but as with all things you end up paying for the labour. This is why I limited my advice to the DIY options for now.

    Coleraine isn't completely in the back of beyond and mostly has a good signal, so if you wish to upgrade your aerial system start with the cheap basic simple fixes and then look for a professionally designed solution when you need to: a good quality installation should be good for up to thirty years. The best way to find a good aerial installer is by word of mouth, you might also want to look at the website address below to see how NOT to do it!

    http://www.aerialsandtv.com/cowboyslocke...

    There is a long established installer in your area:-

    Aerial Services Coleraine
    88 Hazelbank Road,
    COLERAINE,
    BT51 3DZ

    028 703 44297

    Please note that this is for information only: I know nothing about the company or the quality of work but your local trading standards department may be able to tell you whether the company is known to them.

    Please feel free to ask anything else but I'm going offline now and may not be able to answer again until later or tomorrow.

    Rob :-)




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