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Crystal Palace Digital TV and Sky Reception


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#1 James

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Posted 08 April 2005 - 10:25 AM

http://www.bbc.co.uk...ers/today.shtml
http://www.bbc.co.uk...v_crystal.shtml
http://www.digitalsp...errestrial/mux/

I am trying to set up Digital TV using the Sony VTX-D800U. It is giving me a good signal strength but bad signal quality. I used to have an OnDigital box so my aerial should be okay. Nessa seems to think you can even get by with an Indoor Aerial.

I realise that TV reception varies from one location to the next, due to local conditions (reflection off nearby buildings etc) but I was wondering if anyone has installed an attenuator on their aerial?

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#2 weeble

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Posted 08 April 2005 - 10:41 AM

Sounds familiar. We have had nothing but grief with digital. We have had the high strength / low quality issue as well.

The boyfriend deals with the techy stuff - I'll ask him whether he's tried the attenuator business.

#3 Axean

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 03:13 AM

What exactly does your box say is wrong? Can you get none of the muxes (groups of channels)? If its just saying the signal quality is continously poor I'm confused. I thought signal quality was linked to signal strength. The signal quality always going to be slightly less than the signal strengh.

I've read the stuff about attenuators, I cant say that I totally understand it, but it makes sense.

I have an aerial in the loft. A cheap argos one just dumped on cardboard box.
I own a phillips dtr1500, and get a strong signal and slightly weaker signal quality, on all muxes.
This give a perfect picture. I'm in thicket rd, anerley

I think signal quality can be damaged by picking up interference on the cable(aerial lead) beteen the aerial and set-top box. This can be a problem for some people. Your aerial lead should be protected by a wrapping of "aluminium" foil around the copper wire. But most aerial leads are old and cheap and dont have this. Even when people go to buy new leads they are often not of the quality needed. One of the advantages Sky has is forcing its intallers to use good quality lead when installing on their behalf.

But I have only heard of this causing a split-second of partial picture breakup when pizza-scooter drove by, or a hoover was turned on. Is there anything around you that might be causing interference?

I am assuming your getting nothing?, and I have not heard of this happening. Maybe your set-top box is bust.

Just incase anyone reads that my Phillips dtr1500 works and thinks that might be a good one to buy....dont. Its now the old model. The phillips dtr500 is the new model. They both have a brilliant reputation for putting a picture on the screen and surpressing split-second interference. But whatever model you get, you'll probably want to change it in a few years time. The newness of freeview means boxes are evolving constantly as the manufactures discover and copy new ideas off each other.

Edited by Axean, 10 April 2005 - 03:18 AM.


#4 James

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 06:34 PM

I spoke to Sony about what they would advise me to do when the tuning information says "good for signal strength" and "bad for signal quality". They said that that don't do reception advice and I should speak to a professional aerial installer. I tried to argue the point that providing a few pointers for the setup or even explaining exactly what the indicators meant was expected of them. But they were uncooperative. The reception is the same on all muxes.

I'm going to assume it is the flylead and I'm going to get a better quality one and see if it helps. I already have RF suppression circuits on my phone lines (which receive a Spanish radio station) so I'm guessing the problem involves getting interference or the signal is overpowering the freeview box. Maplin have a TVI filter which can cut out CB radio, and Attenuators. What I'm thinking is that attenuators must be used in some cases or nobody would mention them. And when you consider the power output of Crystal Palace is 1000kW, the highest in the UK, nearest rival a paltry 10kW (Reigate, Guildford, Hemel Hempstead) you'd be bonkers not to consider it may be a factor.

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#5 Sylvester

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Posted 11 April 2005 - 09:59 AM

We have a cheap and basic digital box for Freeview only and we get excellent reception at the South Norwood end of Church Road - next to the NTL transmitter.
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#6 Mango

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Posted 11 April 2005 - 03:08 PM

James

Let us know how you get on - I'm thinking about buying this box myself . . . :)
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#7 Axean

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Posted 13 April 2005 - 01:41 PM

Looking at your original post led to me visiting the exellent Digital Spy Webite.

I had a look at their Freeview Message Board I noticed a post that might have some usefull info in it.
Its post number 10 at this topic.
http://forum.digital...ad.php?t=208977

By the way, I have a neighbour who can pick up freeview without an aerial. He had an aerial socket in his wall and pluged his lead into it assuming it was connected to an Aerial somwhere. It wasnt connected to an aerial, the cable just ended in the flats loft space. He got a very poor analogue signal, but it was strong enough for his freeview box to read the digital signal and produce a perfect picture.

Edited by Axean, 13 April 2005 - 01:46 PM.


#8 gekko

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Posted 13 April 2005 - 03:25 PM

We use Freeview without an aeriel. It pixelates from time to time but it's perfectly watchable if not ideal.
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#9 James

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Posted 13 April 2005 - 10:25 PM

"no cables were harmed during the making of this picture"

Step 1: Connect Exterior Aerial to Freeview Box using good quality screened coaxial flyleads

Signal Strength: Max
Signal Quality: Min :(

Step 2: Move BT wireless telephone away from TV area (well away)

Signal Strength: Max
Signal Quality: Max :)

Hooray! Naughty BT!

It may help people to know that my analogue reception doesn't include Channel 5 but I was still able to get all Freeview channels. No attenuator was required.

The Sony VTX-D800U Freeview Box does a good job even if Sony support is a bit lacking but bear in mind it does not accept viewing cards for encrypted channels (e.g Top-Up TV). This wasn't important to me because if I wanted encrypted channels I would have gone for Sky.

I spotted something on a text channel that suggested I could still have my box receive some encrypted channels. You call them, part with some cash, and they give you a number you key in to the box using the remote.

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#10 weeble

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Posted 14 April 2005 - 09:41 AM

I think it is possible that some kind of interference is also causing our problems - when we moved the TV to the other side of the room it worked much better (ironically we only moved the TV in order to drill huge holes in the wall to install a roof aerial - which did nothing!)

#11 James

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Posted 21 April 2005 - 01:01 PM

http://tx.mb21.co.uk...alace/index.asp

Crown Castle NGR: TQ339712 Tower Height: 196m
Analogue TV: BBC1: 26 BBC2: 33 ITV1: 23 Ch4: 30
Digital TV Mux1: 25 Mux2: 22 MuxA: 32 MuxB: 28 MuxC: 34 MuxD: 29
BBC National Radio R1: 98.5 R2: 88.8 R3: 91.0 R4: 93.2 R4: 720kHz
Ind. National Radio Classic fm: 100.6
BBC Local Radio: LDN: 94.9
Ind. Local Radio Choice FM: 96.9 Xfm: 104.9 Virgin: 105.8
Spectrum: 558kHz Mean Country: 1035kHz
Digital Radio BBC, Digital One, Switch London
Comments: Analogue Ch5 transmitted from Croydon, not Crystal Palace
BBC national FM radio relays Wrotham

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#12 centralhilleagle

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Posted 02 November 2005 - 12:31 PM

Hi all, I live on Central Hill, near the Westow Hill end. Was wondering why my analogue TV signal is so rubbish? There's one one of the major transmitters in the country within spitting distance! I've got the correct channels installed: BBC1: 26 BBC2: 33 ITV1: 23 Ch4: 30 Ch5:37. Ironically the channel 5 signal (transmitted from Croydon) is perfect. ITV1 is pretty good as well, but the rest range from poor to pants. Does anyone else have this problem? Any solutions? I'm not aware of any problems caused by being too close to a transmitter (interference, feedback etc.) but then I'm no expert... :huh:

#13 James

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Posted 02 November 2005 - 12:35 PM

If your CH5 is perfect then you must have it pointing towards the NTL TV transmitter at the end of Church Road (towards Croydon). Point your aerial towards the bigger TV transmitter near Crystal Palace Park to get BBC ITV CH4 etc. I had problems getting CH5 with all the others until I went digital. I still rarely watch CH5 though.

There's more information here...
http://www.virtualno...?showtopic=1359

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#14 centralhilleagle

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Posted 02 November 2005 - 01:05 PM

Thanks for the info. I think the arial on the roof is shared between 7 flats, so I'll need to talk to other residents before messing around with it I think! I've tried a set top aerial and it seems pretty poor whichever way I point it.

#15 Borgus

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Posted 02 November 2005 - 01:25 PM

In addition to what has been previously said, there are several other factors that may be affecting your signal reception:

1. If the aerial is wrong type for the transmitter, then this would cause problems.

2. If the aerial is old, it probably is not the correct type for channel 5 reception and would need to be upgraded.

3. If reception is better when it is raining, then it may indicate aerial or connections are in a poor state and need replacing.

4. Signal strength locally is an issue and affects picture quality. We have a 12dB attenuator fitted to reduce problems. These are available from Maplin Electronics.
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