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Freeview Reception Problems ?


hilldweller
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Is anyone else having problems receiving the BBC channels on Freeview from the Emley Moor Transmitter ?

Ours started yesterday and seem to be getting worse. Only programmes on Multiplex 1 (channel 52) are affected, everything else is fine. When I went into the signal information screens on our T.V.'s it showed normal excellent signal strength but very poor signal quality on that multiplex. This makes me think it might be a co-channel interference problem due to work on other transmitters. I enquired of the BBC helpline and was told that they were aware of problems but no other work is scheduled until the September changeover. I just hope it resolves when the mast goes over to full power operation. I suspect it might only affect barmpots like me living up in the clouds.

HD

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I suspect it might only affect barmpots like me living up in the clouds.

Is it barmpots or balmpots ? and what is the origin of "Gormless" ... ? Both phrases in common useage by an Uncle of mine - but where do they come from/what do they mean ? Anyone know please ?

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No problems here HD,

just set up my testing kit (old 5" JVC portable) 'Sagem' freeview box,

and a broken £ Land aerial stood on a jam jar.

Picture and all channel reception is perfect., as you can see.

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Is it barmpots or balmpots ? and what is the origin of "Gormless" ... ? Both phrases in common useage by an Uncle of mine - but where do they come from/what do they mean ? Anyone know please ?

Can help on "Gormless" :)

The French for attention is "Gaum" which becomes in Middle English "Gome". So it's really somebody who doesn't pay attention.

I wreckon the other word is from the beer brewing trade, as barm is the yeast that is formed, which is presumably scraped off and put in pots! Perhaps of no use to the beer makers! However I don't know on that bit for certain.

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I suspect it might only affect barmpots like me living up in the clouds.

HD

I've since discovered that all my neighbours are affected as well. Fortunately for them they have Sky to fall back on. My antagonism to the Murdoch empire (which goes back years before everyone else jumped on the bandwaggon), prevents me from such alternatives. I suppose I could get Freesat but Freeview gives me all the channels I want normally.

HD

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There are regular reminders to users to retune from time to time due to the switchover. By the way co-channel interferance only affects analogue signals. With digital you either get a picture or you don't, weak signals just produce no picture.

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A bit off subject but a few really funny stories from Television magzine. They are true incidents from TV engineers.

Visting the house of a chap who had lined the walls with silver foil to prevent the TV licence detector van picking up his TV :blink:

A woman who had no picture on his telly, just the sound, so she watched his neighbours TV with a pair of binoculars. lol

It can't be much, (too pay) it was perfect till it exploded! ;-)

The ten year old lad who, disappointed at not seeing his cartoons, switched the mains back on as the engineer was wiring a mains socket :o "I don't care what his mother said he would have heard that sort of language sooner or later in his life and got the same sort of hammering". lol

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There are regular reminders to users to retune from time to time due to the switchover. By the way co-channel interferance only affects analogue signals. With digital you either get a picture or you don't, weak signals just produce no picture.

I beg to differ on that one. If the signal level is right at the point of the "digital cliff" then you will get a picture with partial pixallation which is what my neighbours and I are getting. I had a conversation with a BBC engineer yesterday and he told me that they expect to get problems due to digital co-channel interference during the transitions to full digital transmission. I found a website for TV installers that flags the problem we have. If there was no problem with co-channel interference then the TV transmitters could have been swopped over in one go instead of the multiple changes for each transmitter.

A quote from a OFCOM document:-

6.2 Digital co-channel interference

Co-channel interference occurs when signals are received not only from the wanted transmitter but also from one or more distant transmitters operating on the same channel. It can degrade the bit error ratio of a DTT multiplex until the failure threshold is exceeded, resulting in prolonged loss of picture.

Apparently the situation may improve when further changes take place on other transmitters on the 11th August. Carrying out a re-tune on one TV has resulted in multiplex 1 disappearing altogether.

Ofcom quote added

HD

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I beg to differ on that one. A quote from a OFCOM document:-

6.2 Digital co-channel interference

Co-channel interference occurs when signals are received not only from the wanted transmitter but also from one or more distant transmitters operating on the same channel. It can degrade the bit error ratio of a DTT multiplex until the failure threshold is exceeded, resulting in prolonged loss of picture.

Apparently the situation may improve when further changes take place on other transmitters on the 11th August. Carrying out a re-tune on one TV has resulted in multiplex 1 disappearing altogether.

Ofcom quote added

HD

That what I said, you loose signal ;-) With the analogue you got ghosts, so you have only the engineer saying it's co-channel, all you really know is your picture will not appear. The blocks you see are just the previous good signal remains being held in the system memory, what you are getting signal wise is like the beam of light from a lighthouse that rotatates. Signal - No Signal - Signal - No Signal.

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I've since discovered that all my neighbours are affected as well. Fortunately for them they have Sky to fall back on. My antagonism to the Murdoch empire (which goes back years before everyone else jumped on the bandwaggon), prevents me from such alternatives. I suppose I could get Freesat but Freeview gives me all the channels I want normally.

HD

You could do what I do hilldweller.

I use Richard Branson's alternative (Virgin Media) to Rupert Murdochs empire (Sky)

So far no digital problems at all.

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You could do what I do hilldweller.

I use Richard Branson's alternative (Virgin Media) to Rupert Murdochs empire (Sky)

So far no digital problems at all.

I could if it was available to me DaveH, but unfortunately the cable system stops about 2 miles short of my house.

I think the chances of any further expansion of the network are about as good as me winning the lottery, (I don't do it).

My sister down in Hillsborough is on VM and gets a broadband download speed less than my ADSL2+ 3 km from the exchange speed.

HD

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That what I said, you loose signal ;-) With the analogue you got ghosts, so you have only the engineer saying it's co-channel, all you really know is your picture will not appear. The blocks you see are just the previous good signal remains being held in the system memory, what you are getting signal wise is like the beam of light from a lighthouse that rotatates. Signal - No Signal - Signal - No Signal.

I think that the problem we are getting is two different digital bit-stream signals on the same frequency 722 Mhz. The signal strength shows as higher than normal for that multiplex, the signal quality shows as very poor due to the conflicting bit-streams. I think the problem is due to the 900+ ft asl of our receiving site and hopefully when everything is on digital transmission at full power, 174 kW erp instead of 10 kW it might resolve. There again it might get worse.

HD

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A bit off subject but a few really funny stories from Television magzine. They are true incidents from TV engineers.

Visting the house of a chap who had lined the walls with silver foil to prevent the TV licence detector van picking up his TV :blink:

A woman who had no picture on his telly, just the sound, so she watched his neighbours TV with a pair of binoculars. lol

It can't be much, (too pay) it was perfect till it exploded! ;-)

The ten year old lad who, disappointed at not seeing his cartoons, switched the mains back on as the engineer was wiring a mains socket :o "I don't care what his mother said he would have heard that sort of language sooner or later in his life and got the same sort of hammering". lol

A pal of mine used to be a TV service engineer many years ago. He was sent out to a titled client who lived in a palatial pile in a posh Derbyshire village. It was pouring with rain and my pal had to walk right around the spot to find an entrance. The door was answered by a housekeeper who took one look at his soaking clothes and muddy boots and told him to wait right there. She eventually came back and told him that it would not be possible for him to enter in that condition but if the butler moved the set to an open window would he be able to repair the set through the window. This was in the days when TV's had live chassis if the mains plug was reversed and the valves operated from about 200 volts.

My pal told her in no uncertain terms that he could not comply with her request and left.

The next day which was dry his boss made him return to the house and take a pair of carpet slippers with him as he did not want to lose a valuable client.

HD

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I could if it was available to me DaveH, but unfortunately the cable system stops about 2 miles short of my house.

I think the chances of any further expansion of the network are about as good as me winning the lottery, (I don't do it).

My sister down in Hillsborough is on VM and gets a broadband download speed less than my ADSL2+ 3 km from the exchange speed.

HD

My VM download speed is up to 10mbs, - plenty for my use as I don't play games and I don't try to use my computer as a TV set or juke box and download loads of films and music, - I still prefer more traditional ways of doing that.

The actual speed I get depends upon the site I am downloading. If I was using ftp to download a large file, say the latest version of Linux Knoppix to play around with then I would get very close to that. However some sites are much, much slower.

One of the worst is Sheffield History.

..and when the site ran slow earlier this week and became unusable for a couple of days it was because my download speed went much slower than dial up ever was. It must have been down to about 30 baud, so slow that the site "timed out" and just displayed the "Internet Explorer cannot display this page" message and suggested that I check the connectivity.

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Many people have problems with Freeview because they still have the brown coax cable connecting the tv to the aerial. If anyone still has it get shut of it and replace it with the black cable used to connect satellite boxes to dishes. It will stop a lot of interferance from cars and motorbikes, which have dramitic effects on the signal. You can get a MASSIVE reel of it for around £20.

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Many people have problems with Freeview because they still have the brown coax cable connecting the tv to the aerial. If anyone still has it get shut of it and replace it with the black cable used to connect satellite boxes to dishes. It will stop a lot of interferance from cars and motorbikes, which have dramitic effects on the signal. You can get a MASSIVE reel of it for around £20.

Another good tip is to make sure that any wall sockets are of the shielded/screened variety. Also if purchasing satellite cable make sure that it is the type with both braid and screening foil made of copper. Some of the cheaper stuff has an aluminium foil with poor copper content in the braiding, some of it doesn't even have a proper foil, only a mylar film with a bit of aluminium sputtered onto it. Sky installers are supposed to use the copper/copper stuff. If moisture gets into the cheap stuff it can cause rapid deterioration.

HD

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Is anyone else having problems receiving the BBC channels on Freeview from the Emley Moor Transmitter ?

Ours started yesterday and seem to be getting worse. Only programmes on Multiplex 1 (channel 52) are affected, everything else is fine. When I went into the signal information screens on our T.V.'s it showed normal excellent signal strength but very poor signal quality on that multiplex. This makes me think it might be a co-channel interference problem due to work on other transmitters. I enquired of the BBC helpline and was told that they were aware of problems but no other work is scheduled until the September changeover. I just hope it resolves when the mast goes over to full power operation. I suspect it might only affect barmpots like me living up in the clouds.

HD

And as if by magic, I switched on the TV this morning and everything is back to normal. Signal strength 90%, signal quality 100%.

Whatever they have been playing with, they've put it right again. One thing I have noticed is that the analogue picture with a good signal strength is at least as good as the digital picture. Of course if we had stuck with analogue the government wouldn't have been able to sell off all the extra channels possible with digital encoding.

HD

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And as if by magic, I switched on the TV this morning and everything is back to normal. Signal strength 90%, signal quality 100%.

Whatever they have been playing with, they've put it right again. One thing I have noticed is that the analogue picture with a good signal strength is at least as good as the digital picture. Of course if we had stuck with analogue the government wouldn't have been able to sell off all the extra channels possible with digital encoding.

HD

There is an aerial supplier in Sheffield with a brilliant website covering every aspect of radio and TV aerials. It is packed with good practical advice and not without a touch of humour.

It can be found at www.aerialsandtv.com/

Well worth a perusal.

HD

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One thing I have noticed is that the analogue picture with a good signal strength is at least as good as the digital picture. Of course if we had stuck with analogue the government wouldn't have been able to sell off all the extra channels possible with digital encoding.

HD

Assuming we are not talking about HD-TV which is now available and we stick to standard TV transmissions in either standard format (4:3 aspect ratio) or widescreen (16:9 aspect ratio) then there is ne reason why the analogue signal picture, given a good strong signal with no interference, shouldn't be every bit as good as the digital picture signal.

The TV picture is made up of 625 lines, and not all of these are used for the picture, but if they were then the maximum vertical resolution would be 625 "pixels" (it is actually a bit less). The horizontal resolution is really controlled by the bandwidth but it should be comparable to the vertical resolution. This means a standard 4:3 picture would be about 840x625 "pixcels" and a widescreen 16:9 picture, with no black margins on screen and a screen of that format would be about 1100x625 "pixcels"

This resolution is determined by the way the TV picture is built up and is a limiting factor. Neither of these resolutions are particularly high by todays digital imaging standards (0.525 megapixcels and 0.6875 megapixcels for widescreen, - both less than 1 megapixcel!!).

This sort of resolution is well within the capabilities of both analogue and digital systems.

Despite the low resolution the picture looks very good at normal viewing distances on a reasonable sized screen (not the new fill your living room wall up cinema style screens!).

I don't think, on these smaller screens HD-TV would look any better, as the limiting factor for resolution then becomes the viewers eyesight. My eyesight is getting worse as I get older and I need my glasses for most things now.

Trying to sell me a HD-TV would be like trying to sell a stereo sound system to someone who is totally deaf in one ear.

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There is an aerial supplier in Sheffield with a brilliant website covering every aspect of radio and TV aerials. It is packed with good practical advice and not without a touch of humour.

It can be found at www.aerialsandtv.com/

Well worth a perusal.

HD

Brilliant HD - thanks.

I now understand (well sort of) why I get 3 different "Look Norths" on 3 different TVs using 2 aerials.

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Brilliant HD - thanks.

I now understand (well sort of) why I get 3 different "Look Norths" on 3 different TVs using 2 aerials.

I think at least one of them will be the version which me and Stuart call "Look Leeds" because, although it is a regional news programme for the whole of Yorkshire, it only ever seems to concentrate on News about Leeds. If a nuclear bomb had gone off in Sheffield completely destroying the City and killing thousands (as in the film threads) and at the same time someone in Leeds had tripped up and hurt their big toe on the pavement, then they would report on this trivial incident in Leeds and wouldn't be bothered about a major disaster in Sheffield. It's as though Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster, Wakefield, Barnsley, Halifax, Hull, York, Selby, Harrogate and to a lesser extent, Bradford don't exist and only Leeds is important.

I am sure this situation has come about because the BBC Look North department is based in Leeds and all their staff live there and they can't be bothered to get off their fat backsides and go out to where the news is in the rest of the region, - they idly just get the news they can see through their office window.

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DaveH we all know what regional news is for! It's to see your local bus and say there's the 95 bus as you watch the box. lol

Try watching flowing water on freeview :blink: It's a mess of pixcells!

I want them to make a 23:9 TV so I can watch the movies in that format without the black boxes up and below. Of course you would get a black box on the left and right for 16:9 pictures, but that's not too bad, however 4:3 would be shocking! Mind you our Sony TV just streches the 4:3 to the 16:9 when the brodcaster switches off the wide signal. You can't set the 4:3 to default on that TV, either. So imagine if the 23:9 set did that! A 4:3 picture of the 60's model Twiggy would make her look fat! :blink:lol

Postscript Phillips have! Yes it's a 21:9 TV and it does indeed show the full widescreen pictures without black bars on top and bottom! However it's a first so as you can imagine it's not cheap! They have just updated it after releasing the first model. The new model is over £4,000 :o The older one has been knocked down to just over £1,000 :huh:

The reason that other companies have not yet jumped on the bandwagon is to do with those black bars! They are not simply dead space, but part of the picture. Which means you can't get rid of them. So the TV has to ZOOM in. However when you do that you would cut off the sides! So Phillips had to come up with technology to adjust the picture to prevent the picture being cut off!

21:9 pictures can be added to a Blue-Ray disc, but as there is no demand yet they haven't got them on. It seems the film companies whould have to change to this method of making DVD's & Blue Ray's so till then zoom and adjust will be the norm on these TV's.

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If you have lost stations today you should retune your Freeview TV or Box now. Do so even if you have not. They are messing around with the thing today so stations will go and not come back till you do!

They are going to do the same on the 24 August so again put it in your diary RETUNE BOX/TV.

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If you have lost stations today you should retune your Freeview TV or Box now. Do so even if you have not. They are messing around with the thing today so stations will go and not come back till you do!

They are going to do the same on the 24 August so again put it in your diary RETUNE BOX/TV.

The Digital UK lot are making a big show about Sheffield viewers retuning in August, as are the BBC Look Leeds (sorry North).

I only know of one household within my family and friends that get their signal from the Sheffield transmitter. If you look around Sheffield you will see that the vast majority of aerials are horizontally polarised (elements in the horizontal plane). This means that they are not aligned on the Sheffield transmitter and are probably pointing at Emley Moor. If you have still got your analogue BBC2 signal be prepared to retune on September 7th and 21st when the Emley Moor signal changes.

HD

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It's not just the Sheffield Transmitter that's being affected by these Freeview changes at the present time. My TV which get's it from Emley lost channel four, E4, channel 30 5* and others. Retuning brought them back, but I had to do it several times, because stations just would vanish!

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