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Common Questions Regarding Aerial Reception

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No. C254

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Q. Can I receive Digital TV where I live?

A. To check the services that are in your area try this link.. DigitalUK

Q. Can my current aerial receive digital Television?

A. It is possible to receive digital television signals on any UHF television aerial though we advise that a quality Benchmarked Aerial be used. A Benchmarked TV Aerial will have a dipole with a fitted balun, which will allow optimum signal transfer and cancellation of unwanted impulse noise interference. Installed correctly with the use of a Spectrum Analyser of course will assure you get many years of viewing pleasure. WE OFFER A FREE TV AERIAL CHECK AND HONEST ADVICE LOCALLY

Q. What is a dipole and balun?

A. The cable is connected to the dipole section of the aerial. This is where the TV signal is received and where the coaxial cable is connected. The balun (balanced to unbalanced converter) is the small printed circuit that is located in the dipole plastic housing and is used to match the dipole to the coaxial cable. This has the effect of maximizing the signal transfer from the aerial to the cable whilst minimizing the effects of impulse noise interference. something you really need to avoid!.

Q. What size of aerial will be required?

A. There is no easy answer to this question as the size of aerial depends on available signal strength, which in turn depends a great deal on the distance from the transmitter. Our service transmitter for Digital is in Sutton Coldfield. In the majority of installations you will get a good signal from a good quality 10-18 element aerial. Having to much signal can also create havoc, so if you are not sure, a good rule of thumb is to look outside on the roof-tops. or communicate with you neighbours. Still not sure!. email or call me. Don’t go down this route

Q. Can the aerial be mounted in a loft?

A. Yes any TV or Radio aerial can be mounted in a loft but there will be a loss of signal strength due to the roof material and construction used. But do take into consideration that we live near one of the most powerful transmitters in the UK.

Q. What is the difference between a Grouped Aerial and a Wideband Aerial?

A. The grouped aerial is designed to receive and maximise signal over a particular group of frequencies within the UHF TV spectrum. A Wideband aerial covers the complete band and has slightly less gain than the grouped version. But it is advised to use Wideband for Digital Reception in Lichfield at the present. You never can be sure of change, it as a habit to change. At Digital Switchover we will be allocated Group E, so Mux 6 will fall short on signal if you have an old B group aerial.

Q. What aerial group will I need for Digital in Lichfield?

A. .A Wideband Aerial to be assured of receiving all of the multiplexes after switchover. Sutton Coldfield will be group B after switchover but a Wideband will benefit you if future plans are afoot to add an extra multiplex higher up the channel spectrum. For extra assurance that the aerial will perform correctly have an aerial installed  that displays the Digital Tick Logo. This Aerial as been Benchmarked and conforms to the new standard for Digital Components.

Q. What cable should be used to connect the Aerial to the TV?

A. The cable should be a suitable “Bench Marked” coaxial cable, a double screened coaxial with good sheilding against impulse noise again look for the Digital Logo Tick

Q. Is the digital signal strength the same as that for analogue signals?

A. No the digital signal is transmitted at a lower power than analogue. The Set Top box or decoder has the ability to recognize the digital signals and distinguish them from the noise inherent on the carrier allowing the lower signal power to be transmitted.

Q. How can I increase my signal level?

A. The first thing is to do is to make sure the correct aerial is being used a higher gain aerial may just be suitable. Using amplifiers ‘Boosters’ to increase the signal level can create problems if the signal is lifted to high. Used only if the signal needs to be distributed to a number of outlets.

Q. My picture “freezes”, “breaks up”

A. This can be caused by a number of things – look at installing a good quality aerial first and check all connections for loose fitting components, fly-leads from the wall to the TV are a major source of interference. These symptoms can also be caused by the system picking up high levels of impulse noise from un-suppressed sources such as electrical motors or thermostats. The recommended cure is to try to increase the signal strength and to also use suitably screened cable and outlet plates.

Q. What is a Diplexer?

A. The diplexer unit consists of two filters in parallel that allow two input signals (Radio and TV) or (Satellite and TV) on separate cables to be combined onto a single cable. This is a passive device and can also be used in the reverse way allowing two signals to be filtered separately from a single cable. A TV – Radio Outlet is sometimes called a diplexer outlet.

Q. What is a Triplexer?

A. This is a three-filter device allowing three input signals (Radio-TV-Satellite) from three cables to be split or combined onto a single cable. A TV – Radio – Satellite Outlet is sometimes called a triplexer outlet. Plates for SKY+ and SKY-HD use the triplexer

Q. Do I need an aerial for each individual TV receiver?

A. No. Aerial signals can be fed into a suitable filtered amplifiers and can be fed to other tv sets. see Distribution.

Q.How can I get information about Digiboxes

A. Try This link..DTG.Freeview Receivers

Q. I live outside your area, I need to find a Registered Digital Installer in my area

A. Here is the link, go to Public and follow instructions to locate by postcode.

Q. Sometimes my box Locks up, is this normal?

Most Freeview boxes suffer from serious design faults and bugs in their software. These manifest themselves in various ways. Some Freeview boxes are prone to locking up. All these problems are normal, unfortunately.

When a Freeview box locks up, unplug it from the mains, leave it a few seconds, then plug it back in and if necessary switch it back on. This will almost always fix a lockup.

Because of the enormous complexity of broadcasting from a variety of sources with various different technical specifications to a variety of transmission methods with various different technical specifications, broadcasters make mistakes fairly frequently. A failure to transmit subtitles is probably the most common mistake, closely followed by aspect ratio errors. The frequency of these mistakes is much greater on Freeview than on analogue television.

It is often very difficult to know whether a transient problem lies with the broadcaster or the Freeview box.

On-air downloads frequently include attempts to fix software problems. However, as with computer updates, they often introduce new problems. Manufacture updates can be found here

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