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Topic # 126767 19-Jul-2013 08:12
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As a bit of backstory I live in an apartment in central Wellington and when we moved in 4 years ago I was using an HTPC with a few tuners in it for TV/recording duties. 

The reception was never particularly stellar but by 'jiggling' (technical term) the cables from the tuners into the wall the reception would some times get better. 

We eventually got sick of it and I put a small aerial on our balcony which worked better until bad weather came along. 

Instead of staying with a DVB-T Freeview stream we moved to a Sky TV satellite feed. This has been good (for the most part) until recently when we have decided that we'll look into dropping our Sky TV subscription and perhaps investing in a new TV (the old one is a 7 year old Plasma with no freeview, or HD for what it matters). 

My question lies in that I don't really want to spend money on a new TV with built in freeview when we can't actually use the built in freeview. 

Are there people/companies that I could get in to check to see what the signal quality is like on our aerial connection? The powers that be would be less than impressed if we invested in a new TV to find that we still need a DVB-S (non HD) freeview box to watch TV on our new (full HD) TV.

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  Reply # 862003 19-Jul-2013 09:33
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Well from Sept this year everyone else in your apartment block (and all other apartment blocks) will be in the same boat i.e no moe analogue TV.
If FreeviewHD is not satisfactorily distributed to each apartment you have only two options.
Get the UHF distribution to each apartment sorted or go with Sky.
Satellite Freeview may be an option but would still require adequate antenna (dish) distribution to each apartment.



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  Reply # 862014 19-Jul-2013 09:56
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Yeah, I know. But if you've never dealt with a body corporate before then imagine parliament, but everyone is their own party with totally different views. It's anarchy. Then there's the fact that apartments closer to the aerial will have better reception than those down the chain so not everyone will experience the same problems.

I just want to make sure a new TV will actually work. It may have been my tuners on the HTPC were dying. Who knows.

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  Reply # 862020 19-Jul-2013 10:13
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Have you asked your neibours?



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  Reply # 862021 19-Jul-2013 10:15
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Yep, well, I asked the old neighbours and they were weirded out that I was asking them and said they had no troubles. I'm a skeptical optimist so don't really believe them but hope it's OK. 

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  Reply # 862023 19-Jul-2013 10:19
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Disrespective: Yep, well, I asked the old neighbours and they were weirded out that I was asking them and said they had no troubles. I'm a skeptical optimist so don't really believe them but hope it's OK. 


Well Id assume from what they said, they are more than happy with their tv?
Does your apartment have a 'group'? or a person who represents you all with the owners?  You could ask them if you can conduct a survey (perhaps on a notice board or somthing)?




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  Reply # 862025 19-Jul-2013 10:23
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We have the body corporate. It's like trying to arrange hyperactive children. I could email everyone I suppose.

For all I know it's my wiring and I need it fixed. But i'd like to know that before I spend any money. Can you get/buy/borrow signal testers or anything like that for freeview?

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  Reply # 862026 19-Jul-2013 10:25
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Disrespective: Then there's the fact that apartments closer to the aerial will have better reception than those down the chain so not everyone will experience the same problems.


Really?  Your building should have a TV signal distribution system with amplifiers and filters so what you describe shouldn't happen.

To answer your original question though, any decent TV aerial installer should have a signal meter where they can check the signal you receive.

If you have a mate with a small ish TV with Freeview HD tuner you could invite them round for dinner and ask them to bring their TV :)



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  Reply # 862029 19-Jul-2013 10:32
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Our building was renovated by Terry Serepisos in the late 90's. There are many problems with the work and I wouldn't assume anything with what would typically be done.

And yeah, I've thought about asking friends, none of whom have freeview TV's, or even something below 42" with freeview for me to try. I'll just call around some aerial places to see what they could do.

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  Reply # 863214 21-Jul-2013 20:36
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If the building is supposed to have a reticulated TV antenna installed and its not working, the body corp needs to solve it as it is part of the communal property. Any installer you call should refuse to work on it without the authorization of the body corp.




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  Reply # 863216 21-Jul-2013 20:39
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richms: If the building is supposed to have a reticulated TV antenna installed and its not working, the body corp needs to solve it as it is part of the communal property. Any installer you call should refuse to work on it without the authorization of the body corp.
Yeah, I understand that. I don't want anyone to play with the aerial just yet. I would like someone to come and check if our reception is good enough, I can then use his/her results as proof to the body corp that something needs to be done. 

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  Reply # 863384 22-Jul-2013 10:16
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Disrespective:
richms: If the building is supposed to have a reticulated TV antenna installed and its not working, the body corp needs to solve it as it is part of the communal property. Any installer you call should refuse to work on it without the authorization of the body corp.
Yeah, I understand that. I don't want anyone to play with the aerial just yet. I would like someone to come and check if our reception is good enough, I can then use his/her results as proof to the body corp that something needs to be done. 


Yes, exactly and if the problem is the socket in the apartment the installer can fix that.



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  Reply # 863609 22-Jul-2013 14:51
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So our reception (to all wall DVB-T and DVB-S sockets) on the guys reception meter showed between 40-45 (%, db, something) and he said it was patchy. I already knew we were affected by the weather but he confirmed that.

Without doing extensive inspections to see how the signal is routed through the building he wasn't sure if it was fixable. :(

I'm guessing the aerial comes into the building and is split to each floor where it is split to each apartment and then split again for each wall jack. The guy mentioned that we'd be losing quality at every split and none of them were amplified. He mentioned something about a splitter that doesn't lose quality. I wonder if just one of them at the splitter point closest to the arial would help enough. That being said, it could just be bad wiring...

So it's not a definitive answer and I might just have to live with bad reception. I still want to ditch sky, though. *le sigh*

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  Reply # 867018 27-Jul-2013 12:28
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    sounds like the whole block needs upgrading  with a matv system new devices cable and outlets the body corporate would have to agree and the job costed .

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  Reply # 867025 27-Jul-2013 12:48
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"I'm guessing the aerial comes into the building and is split to each floor where it is split to each apartment and then split again for each wall jack. The guy mentioned that we'd be losing quality at every split and none of them were amplified. He mentioned something about a splitter that doesn't lose quality. I wonder if just one of them at the splitter point closest to the arial would help enough. "

That being said, it could just be bad wiring...

"

I would guess that it is amplified, 45 dB would give you reliable reception ,
but ,if the incoming signal ( or the system design) is poor
amplifying will keep the dB levels up but not necessarily the quality ie BER, etc

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  Reply # 867096 27-Jul-2013 16:34
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They usually run a fat cable down the building and use a tap on each floor so that the levels are consistant on each floor, then split that taps output to each apartment. The amplification should be a channelized amplifier so that they have one filter for each channel that it needs to pass. It was probably put in during the era of sky having a UHF service and the channels it lets thru properly are those ones.

if noone has upgraded it to have an amplifier for each of the freeview muxes then all you will have is the overspill from the other amplifiers. Usually enough to work with digital, just not very well at all.




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