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View Full Version : Problem with TV signal for getting Freeview, Sky TV and analogue TV



barryk
04-01-2012, 02:34 PM
Hello PressF1 forum,

During the recent bouts of heavy rain on the North Shore, the heavy rain appears to have really mucked up the Freeview TV reception :groan: . What happens is that either the entire signal is lost resulting in the "No signal" message appearing on the TV screen or some of the signal gets lost resulting in extremely messy Freeview images on the TV screen (it's like an artist splashes all sorts of different colours everywhere on a canvas :D).

I have just checked outside the house (located in west Glenfield, North Shore City) for what is up on the roof and I saw a sat dish and an aerial. The sat dish is about 35cm in diameter and it points a little west of north (bearing of 350 degrees) and at about 25 degrees to the horizon. The aerial has about two V shaped elements (for picking up the signal), the aerial points northeast about parallel with the horizon. I saw that the aerial does not have many "ears" (=elements) for picking up the TV radiowave signal.

For more information about how aerials & TV reception work, see http://www.jaycar.com.au/images_uploaded/tvrecept.pdf This info was useful to some degree but is maybe out of date as we now have digital TV stuff like Freeview and digital Sky TV. I'm not knowledgeable about how digital TV reception and decoding work.

I do not know what is exactly causing the problem. The problem may be with the aerial not having enough "ears" and not being the right type of directionality (narrow or wide for picking up the signal)? Or is the problem caused by old cords running from the sat dish & TV aerial down to the room with the TV in it (there are two TV reception cords - one that comes out of a socket in the wall and the other that comes down through a window)? Or is it the heavy rain that is causing the loss of the Freeview TV signal?

I have a Dick Smith Freeview TV decoder.

What are my options here for fixing the TV reception problem?

Appreciate your help :).

barryk
04-01-2012, 02:36 PM
Also, are there recommendations of a good technician for sorting out the aerial, sat dish and the reception cords? That's if I want to call one for coming out to look at, diagnose and fix the TV reception problem. Thanks.

CliveM
04-01-2012, 02:59 PM
Is the freeview signal coming via the dish. It would seem so. Heavy rain can result in loss of signal and produce the symptoms you describe.

CYaBro
04-01-2012, 03:11 PM
It sounds like you are getting Freeview via satellite, however a correctly aligned sat dish shouldn't get rain fade / signal loss due to rain unless it is really really heavy.
We've had Freeview here since it started broadcasting, about 3 years now I think, and only ever had a rain fade issue twice that I can remember.

You may need to get someone to realign the dish.

Safari
04-01-2012, 03:41 PM
If you are getting rain fade, no signal problems when there is no rain in sight it is most probably a faulty LNB, the bit that is out in front of the dish.
Had the same problem with my sky signal was getting rain fade everyday at times and the LNB was replaced and only lasted a day and got rain fade again. Another LNB was fitted and it has been ok since. Is seems some types of LNB are very unreliable,

pctek
04-01-2012, 04:10 PM
It sounds like you are getting Freeview via satellite, however a correctly aligned sat dish shouldn't get rain fade / signal loss due to rain unless it is really really heavy.


We have. NOt when it's not raining, but it doesn't have to be real heavy either, I think Sky use that regardless of what the actual problem is. Generic fail message.

I also had it the other day for a really brief period while waterblasting....

coldot
04-01-2012, 05:07 PM
Can we determine how you are receiving Freeview?
Do you have a Freeview set-top box if so what type is it - "Satellite" or "Terrestrial"?
Is that aerial lead coming in through the window connected to anything - set-top box or TV set aerial socket?
Terrestrial:
I recently replaced an old UHF aerial with a new more compact one and that improved terrestrial Freeview reception tremendously.
The connections on old aerials are often corroded - a cause of poor reception on terrestrial Freeview.
Satellite:
If the symptoms are very similar on both Sky and Freeview via Satellite then there may be a problem with your dish or cable.

Richard
04-01-2012, 05:37 PM
Get a reputable serviceman in. It will save you a lot of hassle. Your cabling could be stuffed and need replacement.

linw
04-01-2012, 09:13 PM
Yep, get a man in. Some things are best left to experts on the ground (or on the roof!!).

barryk
05-01-2012, 12:16 AM
Thanks for your replies.

The decoder I have is a terrestrial receiver. I have just checked this device and saw these words & names printed on the front of the device: "DSE HD Digital Terrestrial receiver". I do not know if the receiver is receiving the signal from the aerial or from the sat dish. I will check in the morning where the cord (that is carrying the signal at present) is coming down from - the aerial or the sat dish, and then let you know. I know the cord is coming through the window - but not where it comes from.

I had used the terrestrial receiver at my old apartment. I know the signal there was coming down from an aerial. The aerial was picking up analogue TV signals for my Sony TV (and the analogue TV reception was terrible then!! Which was why I bought the Freeview receiver to banish the reception problems). Once I got Freeview TV going properly (after two days' of trial and error type efforts), the TV picture and Teletext was flawless :)

Can we be certain that the terrestrial receiver definitely does not take signal from a sat dish? i.e. it can only take signal from a terrestrial aerial?

The cords and metal bits (connectors?) look old to me.

There is currently no Sky TV on in here. i.e. no subscription to Sky TV.

The reception problem only occurs when there is heavy rain.

What makes some of you think I'm getting the TV signal from the sat dish.

There is also an old TV in another room that I think is getting a TV signal too - via a wall socket? Do not know if that cable comes through from the sat dish or the aerial too. Will check that one too.

Trev
05-01-2012, 07:19 AM
They were just jumping to conclusions about you getting the signal from the sat dish. No it won't work from the dish only from the aerial. I have Freeview terrestial which is connected to a UHF aerial. As already mentioned get a pro to check it out if you can't do it yourself.
:)

CliveM
05-01-2012, 07:47 AM
Ok. You should definitely be getting the signal from the aerial not the dish.

1. Is the aerial correctly aligned with the transmitter?
2. Is the cable in good condition?
3. Are all connections clean and well made?
4. Do you actually receive a good signal in your location? No trees etc blocking it.

As already suggested getting a tech in to check it out is probably the quickest way to sort it all out unless you feel competent to go through it all yourself. Do not fall of the roof it would not be a good way to start the year.

barryk
05-01-2012, 10:40 AM
(Quote by Trev) They were just jumping to conclusions about you getting the signal from the sat dish. No it won't work from the dish only from the aerial. I have Freeview terrestial which is connected to a UHF aerial. As already mentioned get a pro to check it out if you can't do it yourself.


Ok. You should definitely be getting the signal from the aerial not the dish.

1. Is the aerial correctly aligned with the transmitter?
2. Is the cable in good condition?
3. Are all connections clean and well made?
4. Do you actually receive a good signal in your location? No trees etc blocking it.

As already suggested getting a tech in to check it out is probably the quickest way to sort it all out unless you feel competent to go through it all yourself. Do not fall of the roof it would not be a good way to start the year.

Ha ha, I'm going to have to be careful not to fall off the roof!! :D I agree that a tech would be a good way to sort out the setup. However I want to investigate this further so that I find the best option for fixing the reception problem.

I checked outside and found that the reception cord runs down from the aerial, not the sat dish. I have seen where the sat dish's cord runs to and it runs to nowhere i.e. the other end of the sat dish cord is not connected to anything. I still do not know where the wall socket cord runs from - pretty hard to look inside the walls to see where the cord runs from...

To answer CliveM's questions:

1. Is the aerial correctly aligned with the transmitter?

I do not know as I do not know where the transmitter is. Perhaps the transmitter is the one on top of Sky Tower in central Auckland?

The aerial is pointing a little right of north - the bearing is 5 or 10 degrees east of north. But Sky Tower is to the southeast of here. I do not know of another transmitter northeast of here - if there is, it would have to be in Albany or a line 5 to 10 degrees to the north of here.

Would getting a Freeview satellite receiver and connecting it to the sat dish cord fix the problem and also enable Sky TV to be received here? That may be another option for fixing the reception problem. The sat dish would have to be correctly aligned with where the transmitting satellite is.


2. Is the cable in good condition?

No, it does not look like it. The cable looks old and worn.


3. Are all connections clean and well made?

No, it doesn't look like it. The metal bits look old and worn.


4. Do you actually receive a good signal in your location? No trees etc blocking it.

Well if the weather is dry, yes I get a good signal, the TV picture and Teletext picture show up clear. I do not think there are tall objects blocking the signal from getting to the aerial.

Trev
05-01-2012, 11:42 AM
If you go to Freeview satellite it is not broadcast in HD.
:)

Winston001
05-01-2012, 10:55 PM
Don't know if this helps but I was initially puzzled about Freeview and hadn't tried it (have Sky). Reading google searches suggests that the terrestrial signal is much better than satellite. Also that aerials, connections, and cables corrode so the problems you are experiencing are common - it isn't just you. :D

So - I now have a plasma with built-in Freeview and decided to try it out a couple of weeks ago. Coax from aerial into TV and bless my soul - there it was, beautiful clear signal without any tuning or fuss. But only TV3... A bit more google, then up my trusty ladder to a precarious perch on the edge of the roof. Sandpapered the contacts on the aerial, noticed the neighbours house was in the way, thought about asking them to move...., but instead turned the aerial a few degrees - yep most channels showing some interest now. Then I hauled on the main aerial strut tilting it 20 degrees or more up from horizontal. Bingo. Clear signals on all 300 Freeview channels including some extraordinary Macau pron stuff which the kids mustn't find....

So that in a nutshell is what you could experiment with. Thrilling stuff and you probably won't fall at all.

Peter H
06-01-2012, 12:09 PM
300 freeview channels?? You are dreaming for sure.

barryk
08-01-2012, 12:35 PM
Don't know if this helps but I was initially puzzled about Freeview and hadn't tried it (have Sky). Reading google searches suggests that the terrestrial signal is much better than satellite. Also that aerials, connections, and cables corrode so the problems you are experiencing are common - it isn't just you. :D

Yeah, my thinking is that the reception problem is caused by:
1. Misaligned and old aerial with too few elements.
2. Corroded, old cable and connectors.

I was getting "no signal" messages again with today's heavy rain (when will it stop raining??! Weather forecasters' answer: March).

Winston001, are you still getting a clear Freeview TV signal even in heavy rain? (I see that Invercargill isn't getting as much heavy rain as us Aucklanders?)

Can't go up on the roof till it stops raining anyway :D

barryk
08-01-2012, 12:39 PM
How come you're getting 300 Freeview channels? I thought Freeview advertised only about 10 channels available through Freeview (such as Maori TV, Parliament TV)?

CliveM
08-01-2012, 01:49 PM
Rain should not affect your terrestrial freeview signal there must be a bad connection somewhere. I would replace the anntena, the cable and connectors and also make sure it is all pointing the right way. Have a look at any others nearby yours should be pointing the same as the majority of them.

gary67
08-01-2012, 02:39 PM
To see where the cable from the wall socket goes you could go up in the roof space of your house above where the box is in the wall below, and carefully look right under the eaves to see if you can spot the cable coming out the top of the wall plate

dugimodo
08-01-2012, 03:49 PM
Not the most reliable method, but look around and see where the majority of UHF Aerials point.
Your TV may have an option somewhere to show the signal strength also, that might be helpful.

Winston001
08-01-2012, 07:40 PM
How come you're getting 300 Freeview channels? I thought Freeview advertised only about 10 channels available through Freeview (such as Maori TV, Parliament TV)?

Just jokes! 10 channels or thereabouts.

The signal is generally good but not totally reliable. I suspect my aerial is old.

Billy T
09-01-2012, 05:32 PM
Freeview Terrestrial is transmitted from the mast on top of the Waitakeres at Waiatarua, however there may be some repeaters on the Sky Tower and at other locations to fill in blind spots. If you can't see the Waitakeres or your neighbourhood has lots of TV aerials on ridge mountings, or other arrangements to provide extended height then you may not be in a very good area.

What street are you in? I am pretty familar with most of the bad TV reception areas on the Shore, having been a specialist antenna consultant in a bygone life.

I am not in the best of areas myself, and needed a better than average antenna system, but I have just installed two Freeview enabled TVs and two decoders for my older TVs and I get (Freeview Terrestrial) channels 1 to 11 inclusive, plus 21, 22, 25, 28 & 33. I also get Radio Channels 50 (RNZ), 51 RNZ Concert), and 71 (Base). That is 16 TV channels, not all of which are worth watching, and 3 radio channels.

That is the current package for Auckland so you should get no less. It is a great pity that Triangle is not on Freeview and I hope it does make the shift because it has some very good programs.

I had average analog reception on all channels except Prime, which had been OK but changed suddenly one day, probably due to transmitting antenna realignment. All channels were coming in on a very old VHF/UHF antenna system feeding seven or eight outlets (including an underground feed to the Man-Shed). I had a VHF/UHF amplifier at the distribution hub and that is still in place but backed off to minimum gain on both VHF and UHF. All Freeview channels are perfect and I have left the old VHF antenna in place to provide for FM radio.

With Freeview terrestrial (or satellite) you either get all channels or none as they are transmitted as a single digital package which is broken down in the decoder. If you had adequate reception for analog TV, you should be OK for Freeview Terrestrial.

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

P.S. I bought two decoders, the first lasted 24 hours and the second was DOA. The replacements are working fine.