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Topic # 115437 26-Mar-2013 07:59
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Hi all

Am going to ditch Sky and just wanting to make sure we have/get the right gear to enable us to do the Freeview thing.

We built this house three years ago and have had Sky since day one so haven't had to think about anything else re TV reception.

At the moment the Sky decoder is in the theatre room and is distributed around the house by HDMI via a HDMI splitter.

We have a Panasonic P50S10Z 50" plasma in the lounge which it appears has Freeview HD tuner built in.

Ideally I would like to replace the MySky box with a similar spec'd Freeview option, although perhaps can't see us recording as much without the channel selection that Sky has.

I understand in our location (New Plymouth suburb) we are best to go with terrestrial rather than satellite.

I have attached a picture of the aerial we have installed on our house already - will this suffice or do we need to get a new Freeview aerial?



Any assistance gratefully accepted.

Thanks.



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  Reply # 787006 26-Mar-2013 08:08
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Hi, assuming that antenna is pointing at the Tx on the mountain (which is with most certainty is) then you should be good to go.

Cyril

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  Reply # 787009 26-Mar-2013 08:15
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Can you find where the cable from that TV aerial (not the dish) comes out in your house? That aerial doesn't look like a "normal" UHF aerial but it may still work if the signal is strong enough.

The first step is to plug that cable into the back of your Panasonic to see if it picks up Freeview HD. You will need to go though some sort of set up and scan menu.

Recording is a whole other ball game and will depend on your answers to the questions below:

How much can you spend?

How many rooms do you want TV in?

How many things might you want to record at once?

Do you want to watch different things in different rooms?

Do you have a computer network in the house?

Is it wired or wireless?

How computer savvy are you (or your relatives!) Do you LIKE doing that kind of stuff?




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 787010 26-Mar-2013 08:17
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Oh and well done for ditching Sky. I've just done it too.




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  Reply # 787014 26-Mar-2013 08:30
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turb: That aerial doesn't look like a "normal" UHF aerial but it may still work if the signal is strong enough.


Yeah, looks perhaps like a 'Gizmo' style UHF/VHF combo?  As above though, you've got nothing to lose by simply trying what you've got already.  Assuming it's pointed in the correct direction, simply find the end of the cable running up to it, and plug that directly into your TV's antenna input socket.  Good luck!

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  Reply # 787039 26-Mar-2013 09:37
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quite likely you will find you record almost as much with freeview as you do with Sky.

A simple test: look at your MySky recordings now. I bet you an internet cookie that at least 75% of the space is taken up with recordings from FTA channels rather than Sky channels.

(I've asked lots of people this. I lose the bet probably only 20% of the time)

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  Reply # 787047 26-Mar-2013 09:56
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NonprayingMantis: quite likely you will find you record almost as much with freeview as you do with Sky.

A simple test: look at your MySky recordings now. I bet you an internet cookie that at least 75% of the space is taken up with recordings from FTA channels rather than Sky channels.

(I've asked lots of people this. I lose the bet probably only 20% of the time)


hahah internet cookie... and I agree on the recording ratio between FTA and PTV ! 


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  Reply # 787117 26-Mar-2013 11:36
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Yes the space is taken up by FTA, but the numbers are mainly History Channel.

"You've filled up the Sky Box with your stupid tank things!"

"No, you've filled it up with your stupid chick flicks!"

Etc etc




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 787582 26-Mar-2013 21:58
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cyril7: Hi, assuming that antenna is pointing at the Tx on the mountain (which is with most certainty is) then you should be good to go.

Cyril


Hi Cyril, it definitely is pointing toward the mountain (Egmont in this household).

turb: Can you find where the cable from that TV aerial (not the dish) comes out in your house? That aerial doesn't look like a "normal" UHF aerial but it may still work if the signal is strong enough.

The first step is to plug that cable into the back of your Panasonic to see if it picks up Freeview HD. You will need to go though some sort of set up and scan menu.

Recording is a whole other ball game and will depend on your answers to the questions below:

How much can you spend?

How many rooms do you want TV in?

How many things might you want to record at once?

Do you want to watch different things in different rooms?

Do you have a computer network in the house?

Is it wired or wireless?

How computer savvy are you (or your relatives!) Do you LIKE doing that kind of stuff?


The TV aerial just appeared on the house at the end of the build - we were unaware that it was included in the build and I had hooked someone else to do an install (which wasn't needed in the end).  There are plenty of aerial wall plugs around the house and on a non-freeview 32" plasma in the bedroom we can get 1,2 & 3 (not the best quality however, especially 1).  Will see if I can hook one of the aerial wall points up to the Freeview TV in the lounge.

As for recording - didn't want to spend too much.  Maybe we can do without recording.  I had planned something like this - aerial in to a freeview box, HDMI out of freeview box into existing HDMI splitter, signal distributed over existing HDMI network currently used by Sky to several places in the house.  At the moment we don't usually record more than one program at once and we don't want to watch different things in different rooms.

I have a wired ethernet network up and running in the house.  Cat cable was run and terminated at numerous wall points throughout the house when the house was built.  I'm pretty computer savvy (have built a NAS, have an Openelec media centre in the lounge on the wired network, attached to NAS) and I enjoy the geeky things Laughing.

NonprayingMantis: quite likely you will find you record almost as much with freeview as you do with Sky.

A simple test: look at your MySky recordings now. I bet you an internet cookie that at least 75% of the space is taken up with recordings from FTA channels rather than Sky channels.

(I've asked lots of people this. I lose the bet probably only 20% of the time)


About 50/50 - mainly Prime, BBC with a little bit of 2,3 and Sky Sport chucked in.



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  Reply # 787603 26-Mar-2013 22:45
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Since you have an HDMI splitter in place and wired ethernet also, if your tests show that the aerial is capable of receiving Freeview than I'm inclined to recommend one of the Panasonic recorders. The DVD (rather than Blu ray) model, since you don't want to spend too much. Likely cost (in sales) circa $500.

Cons
1. Somewhat more more expensive than other FV set top boxes.

Pros
1. Twin tuner
2. Decent sized hard drive
3. Decent quality
4. DLNA server and can connect to wired ethernet, providing an upgrade path if you decide you want to add cheap media players later
5. Will also play DVDs
6. Will also record from external AV if (say) you put a sky box back in the mix later
7. Can burn to rewritable disks if space gets low and you haven't watched stuff yet

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  Reply # 787685 27-Mar-2013 09:35
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JimmyH: if the aerial is capable of receiving Freeview than I'm inclined to recommend one of the Panasonic recorders.


Watch the VHF levels into the Panasonic units.  (Especially if you potentially have a combo UHF/VHF aerial).  They are known to not like too much VHF signal and may require you to use a (still cheap) diplexer at the unit to filter out any excess VHF signal.  eg:

http://www.supremeantennas.co.nz/view/baluns-diplexers-combiners/diplexers/diplexer-uhfvhf-f-connector.php

All TV's seem to do this filtering internally.



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 789876 31-Mar-2013 11:18
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cyril7: Hi, assuming that antenna is pointing at the Tx on the mountain (which is with most certainty is) then you should be good to go.

Cyril


Right - I borrowed a cheap Freeview DVB-T box off my brother in law.  Unplugged the aerial from the back of a non Freeview TV (that was receiving 1,2 & 3 through that aerial), plugged it into the back of the Freeview box, attached an HDMI cable from the Freeview box to the TV and got the set top box set up page.

Did a scan for channels and the box does not get any reception - no channels shown at all for either TV or radio.  The Freeview box was working fine for the bro in law.

I am now presuming that the aerial in the pic I posted originally does not do the UHF for Freeview, which means I will need a new aerial.

Does this sound right?

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  Reply # 789916 31-Mar-2013 14:29
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Is there any reason you couldn't just plug the aerial cable straight into your Panasonic with the built in Freeview?

But yes it is starting to look like you might have to get someone in!




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  Reply # 790001 31-Mar-2013 17:32
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tukapa1: The TV aerial just appeared on the house at the end of the build ... There are plenty of aerial wall plugs around the house

Are you sure that there is cable running from the aerial through a splitter to the wall sockets around the house?



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  Reply # 790024 31-Mar-2013 18:51
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turb: Is there any reason you couldn't just plug the aerial cable straight into your Panasonic with the built in Freeview?

But yes it is starting to look like you might have to get someone in!


The Panasonic with the Freeview built in is wall mounted with no space to get in behind it and I didn't want to have to un-mount it to test it out - that's why I went with the set top box option to test.

Deev8: Are you sure that there is cable running from the aerial through a splitter to the wall sockets around the house?


I get 1,2 & 3 from those wall sockets so it's looking like the aerial I have is VHF and not UHF.


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  Reply # 790041 31-Mar-2013 20:33
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You can get right angled aerial plugs. This makes it far nice to connect to the back of a wall mounted TV if your cable doesn't emerge from the wall directly in line with the TV's antenna in socket.

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