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Topic # 105563 7-Jul-2012 07:44 Send private message

We've recently moved into a new house that doesn't have a UHF aerial, and are looking for a quick way to get up and running with our TV with built-in Freeview (32" Panasonic Viera FWLIW). The house has aerial output points throughout the house, but only a Sky dish on the roof. Ideally I'd like to get an antenna installed, but as a short-term solution I was wondering if I could get up and running with an internal UHF antenna. Is this feasible, or will an internal antenna not be good enough to get a decent signal?

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  Reply # 652170 7-Jul-2012 07:56 Send private message

In all seriousness there nobody on here can give an answer to your question.

It may or may not work, and will depend entirely on your location, distance from a transmitter, and the material your house is built from and whether you've got LOS from the internal aerial to the transmitter, ie through windows.

The only way you're going to know whether it will work or not is to buy one and test it.






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  Reply # 652171 7-Jul-2012 08:09

I was in a similar situation, just grab some rabbit ears from the $2 shop and give it a crack. I did that and then tried the wee aerial that came with a cheap USB tuner I got off Trade Me and it worked a treat, you might get lucky too.



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  Reply # 652175 7-Jul-2012 08:21 Send private message

sbiddle: In all seriousness there nobody on here can give an answer to your question.

It may or may not work, and will depend entirely on your location, distance from a transmitter, and the material your house is built from and whether you've got LOS from the internal aerial to the transmitter, ie through windows.

The only way you're going to know whether it will work or not is to buy one and test it.



Thanks for the input. I thought that may be the case, but at least I know it may be feasible, rather than a blanket "Nope, an internal antenna will never work".

The house is a 2003 Brick and Insulclad house (with Insulclad around the level where the TV will be). We have direct line of sight to Sky Tower from some rooms of the house, but I suspect this LOS is obscured by the house across the road in the room with the TV.

I guess I'll see if I can find an antenna cheap enough so it won't cheese me off if it doesn't work, and then get a Freeview installer around to give us a quote to have a better solution in place. I'm hoping that having the aerial jack points in so many rooms of the house means that this will be a relatively simple installation, but of course I know that is no guarantee.

On that note: Can anyone recommend any decent installers in Auckland? There are a couple listed on the Freeview site as a starting point, but I'm open to other recommendations. 

ajw

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  Reply # 652194 7-Jul-2012 10:42 Send private message

Freeview do have coverage maps once you insert your address.

http://www.freeviewnz.tv/coverage.aspx

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  Reply # 652235 7-Jul-2012 12:58 Send private message

I'm pretty sure dick smith has a really good returns policy so if you retain all the packaging you can just return it for full refund. (unless this has changed in the last 2 years). The Warehouse also is extremely easy to return goods (Unless this has changed in the last year).




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  Reply # 652366 7-Jul-2012 21:09 Send private message

Dick Smith have indeed changed their returns policy...
'Buying it to try' always seemed drastically cheap to me, buy it right is my philosophy. Heck, driving to a store to return an aerial may well cost me half the price of a pair of rabbit ears.

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  Reply # 652655 8-Jul-2012 21:53 Send private message

It *might* work.

I don't quite have line of sight. I got one, and it didn't work, then they re-stacked the frequencies off Kaukau and now it works fine.

You will need a good signal for it to work. Also, get an amplified antenna, ones without any signal boost are much less likely to work. I got one of the slightly more expensive one-for-all models from the Warehouse, because it offered 39db of gain, and I recall it cost around $80. The ones at Dick Smith were around $20 cheaper but (from memory) topped out at only 28db of amplification.

Regardless of amplification, it won't work as well as a rooftop antenna, so you will need to be in an area with a fairly good signal.

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  Reply # 652668 8-Jul-2012 22:18 Send private message

If you're talking $80 for an internal may/may not situation then buy an outdoor 'proper' one and be done with it? Unless you're renting/not staying long this really is the better route to go down.

sbiddle said it all right at the start. There's no way to know if it will work for you unless you try it, but if you are spending too much you might as well go the whole hog.



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  Reply # 652674 8-Jul-2012 22:29 Send private message

We bought a cheap $17 internal UHF aerial, and no luck (although we do have access to the soon to be obsolete analog channels). So I guess I'll be getting an external one installed. Here's hoping the fact that we have output points throughout the house means this will be a simple install.

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  Reply # 653093 9-Jul-2012 17:50 Send private message

I was using a rabbit ears to pickup Freeview just fine until the retuning a couple of weeks ago. I'm about 10 meters too low to have line-of-site to the Kaukau transmitter so reception isn't great here. If you've got reasonable reception, you should be ok.

I got one of the UHF antenna kits from Dick Smiths for $50 on sale, and considering it comes with 10M of coax which is worth about $25 by itself, it was a bargain. Build quality is "acceptable", pulls in the channels just fine.




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  Reply # 653312 10-Jul-2012 08:59 Send private message

A friend of mine who is not really tech savvy recently moved her Samsung TV to the other side of her living room and had to unplug it from the wall socket as the antenna cable couldn't reach to the other side of the room. Amazingly, the 1m piece of cable dangling down from the TV was enough to get a signal which rarely breaks up. Obviously I've advised her to get an extension cable for the roof antenna, but if she needed to use an indoor antenna then it would probably work without any signal breakup at all.

She's in the western suburbs of Wellington and doesn't quite appear to have line of sight to Kaukau, but there can't be much in the way of obstructions.



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  Reply # 654315 12-Jul-2012 09:03 Send private message

We've arranged to have a UHF aerial installed, and this should hopefully be done by next Wednesday. I say "hopefully", as this process was not as easy as it should've been.

We contacted one of the two accredited Freeview installers (according to the Freeview website). They were supposed to come two days ago to give us a free quote, but never turned up. We contacted the other one today, who gave us an estimate over the phone, but don't do free quotes. They can come out and give us a firmer quote, but if we don't proceed with the work, we are liable for a $90 service charge (WTF?). As the estimate was within a range that was acceptable to us, we decided to go with them.

I then rang up the first company we contacted, and told them to not bother coming out, as we decided to go with another company when their rep failed to show up or contact us to rearrange another time. Instead of an expected apology, all I got was "No worries. Goodbye".




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  Reply # 654355 12-Jul-2012 10:00 Send private message

dclegg: We contacted one of the two accredited Freeview installers (according to the Freeview website). They were supposed to come two days ago to give us a free quote, but never turned up. We contacted the other one today, who gave us an estimate over the phone, but don't do free quotes. They can come out and give us a firmer quote, but if we don't proceed with the work, we are liable for a $90 service charge (WTF?). As the estimate was within a range that was acceptable to us, we decided to go with them.


Out of interest, how much is the estimate? I know that it will vary between homes but I'm curious at to the approximate cost.


I then rang up the first company we contacted, and told them to not bother coming out, as we decided to go with another company when their rep failed to show up or contact us to rearrange another time. Instead of an expected apology, all I got was "No worries. Goodbye".


It sounds like you should be feeding that back to Freeview. I'm sure that they'd be interested to know if their approved installers aren't performing to a reasonable standard.



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  Reply # 654362 12-Jul-2012 10:12 Send private message

alasta:

Out of interest, how much is the estimate? I know that it will vary between homes but I'm curious at to the approximate cost.


$300-$350 for an aerial installed and exposed to one outlet, with a possible $95 for each additional outlet. This is in a 2 story house, although the quote was given to me before they knew this information. What I'm curious to find out is whether this $95 per additional outlet will actually be necessary in our case, as we already have outlets in many of the rooms. It all depends on how these were catered for when the house was built, I guess. My expectation is that wires would've been run to a central point somewhere (in the roof seems logical to me), but who knows?

If the $95 cost per outlet still stands, we'll only go with the single outlet, as that's all we need for the foreseeable future. It would be nice if we can get the entire house sorted now, but its not worth it to us to double the install cost.

alasta:
I then rang up the first company we contacted, and told them to not bother coming out, as we decided to go with another company when their rep failed to show up or contact us to rearrange another time. Instead of an expected apology, all I got was "No worries. Goodbye".


It sounds like you should be feeding that back to Freeview. I'm sure that they'd be interested to know if their approved installers aren't performing to a reasonable standard.


That's not a bad idea.

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  Reply # 654383 12-Jul-2012 10:40 Send private message

Thanks, that's in the ballpark that I expected.

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