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544 posts

Ultimate Geek

# 20700 3-Apr-2008 16:06
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Hi there all, long time reader (Well, not really. probably only a month or so), first time poster.

So the thought of Freeview popped into my mind whilst building a new PC, so I decided to get myself a card compatible.

First off, I'd like to thank those people from these there forums, the ones who I have found very helpful, Fossie, sbiddle and freitasm. Fossie, for your wonderful guide, sbiddle for your support and freitasm for providing a means of integrating DVBViewer into Media Centre.

Now, one thing that I have noticed which hasn't cropped up, or caught my eye, is what sort of aerial to use.
We currently have one on our roof, and it has a direct line of sight to the big tower out in the Waitak's that I can never remember the name of except it starts with W and ends with rua. (Line of sight thanks to our friend Mr Bowsaw)

My reception became marginally better after performing some arbory (I hope thats a word!), but still not really good enough. I get a broken picture (half rendered, has part of the last frame) and moves at about a frame every second or two.
Now when the picture quality comes through, its amazing. Although it does lock up my computer occasionally. It DID lock up on a frame of Mischa Barton, so it wasn't all bad!
So I borrowed the neighbours ladder and got up on the roof (3 story house btw, and I'm not a fan of heights!) and the aerial is pretty bung. Bottom mesh is missing, and a PCB which is hidden away in a plastic box which is all eroded and stuff.
So I figure that our house aeriel is not going to do any good.

What I'm wanting to know is (And that was a very long winded way of getting to this, I know) what sort of aerial will I need? I was thinking of getting an indoor UHF aerial to sit on my desk, and I can see the W<something>rua antenna right out my window.
BUT, I don't want to go investing in one if its not going to work.

Also, is there any software that is capable of displaying DVB-T signal strength? I'm not sure if DVBViewer has this feature or not.

ALSO! Just remembered this one. After installing Cyberlink 7 (Which conveniently came with my DVD Writer), I get the error message in DVBViewer stating "Invalid Pointer" and an error code, which I can't provide right now sorry, as I'm (hard) at work (Chuckle).
I'm thinking something along the lines of the Cyberlink H.264 codec, so may have to reinstall. But if anyone has encountered it and already knows the answer, that'd be great. I'll provide more detail when I get home.

Thanks for any help guys, and look forward to posting more in the future. (Honest, I promise they won't be this long again. Just that I've had my first coffee in like, a month)

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324 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 120764 3-Apr-2008 16:20
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When you say line of sight to Waiatarua, are we talking line of sight from the Hunuas, or from Mt Roskill???

I'm in Onehunga, I don't have line of sight, and I needed a 91 element yagi UHF, a -20db gain masthead amp and some new RG6.  Previously my analog reception was poor - ghosting even on Prime.  Digital is somewhat more forgiving, I believe it will lock down to -37db gain from a non-split feed.  So depending on where you are work your way through the above, by the sounds of it a new antenna first (size depends on location), new shielded-RG6 (if the antenna is old chances are the cable is crap by now too), and finally a masthead amp if the signal is still marginal.  If you live within a 10km radius of sky Tower you may also want to look at a FM filter.

544 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 120766 3-Apr-2008 16:30
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Cheers for the reply.

I'm in Glenfield actually. But when I say line of sight, I mean I can see the thing on the hill, standing as strong as morning wood. The only thing in the way is air.

Given the state of our house those, I'd say you're probably right about the cable.
I think I'm right on the brink of 10Km of the Skytower. Are they broadcasting from there now? I know Mediaworks went live on the first, but TVNZ are waiting for the Olymics.
I really don't know much about aerials, so I'm not sure how to tell what sort of aerial has what sort of gain etc.
I'm wondering if something like this will work:

Oh, just noticed it says "Digital Ready!" but if I've ever learnt anything, its that you don't take what DSE say as gospel!


324 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 120775 3-Apr-2008 16:46
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Thats an indoor aerial - you're going to look pretty silly trying to install that on the roof!!

Do a search on TradeMe for UHF aerials, find a 40-something element yagi, figure out how you are going to mount it - i.e. does the existing mounting look in reasonable condition, perhaps the antenna is even rusted to it so you might need a new mounting as well etc etc.  Then get some RG6 also off TradeMe and go for it.  It's not that difficult.

I would try without an amp, if you have line of sight from Glenfield you should be right.

Sky Tower = FM radio broadcasts which can pollute the UHF reception from your aerial, but again, in Glenfield you should be fine.

544 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 120778 3-Apr-2008 16:55
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Hahaah sorry, I wasn't meaning for that to go on the roof! Although I would imagine that it would look funny.
I just want it for my room. We've got Sky Digital, so we're not worried about the roof aerial.
Idealy, I just want an aerial for my room so I can watch DVB-T.

The less money I could spend, the better :)

6964 posts

Uber Geek


  # 120780 3-Apr-2008 16:57
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Pinehill may be a closer option for you in Glenfield, here is a list of Txs. Personally I would avoid an internal antenna, however if you must a L4017 may be a better option, I would remove the VHF elements as you dont need them.

Ýou are better of getting a decent UHF antenna like L4711 (Hills TCX16) or similar and a fresh run of RG6.

I am actually quite intruged by the marketing rubbish that Hills are peddling, their 16element antenna infact has only 8 elements by conventional Yagi terminology, there SF43 43element antenna has a similar number and gains that only indicate a classic 8-9 element Yagi. I realise they are stating the number of sub elements of each main element, all marketing hype.


324 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 120783 3-Apr-2008 16:59
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Ok, misunderstanding ...

Get the largest indoor antenna which supports UHF and has a reasonable cable.  If the signal is still no good, then you may yet have to have a crack on the roof.  And they're all "digital-ready", it's a meaningless term, as long as it will receive UHF in the ch30-70 range then you're set.

544 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 120909 3-Apr-2008 22:34
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Cheers Cyril, I picked up the L4017 on the way home and its working pretty good.
Works with PVRX2, but DVBViewer says: Cannot load source Filter: error: 0x80004003 Invalid Pointer.

I have a funny feeling that its to do with the Cyberlink ACC decoder, as DVBViewer picks that up as the only ACC decoder in the system.

Are there any other ACC codecs out there that I can download? I got Monogram, but its simply an ax file, and I'm not sure where to put it, or how to register it.
Any ideas?


324 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 120992 4-Apr-2008 09:38
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To register a filter manually e.g. , in Windows choose start, run and type regsvr32 <PATH>

544 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 120996 4-Apr-2008 09:44
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Yea, I search for other AX's, to get an idea where to dump it. Found a few in the system32 folder, so decided to chuck it in there. When I regsvr32 it though, it can't find DLL entry point. And I'm like "double you tee eff?" because it was just the AX file and no DLLs or anything!

242 posts

Master Geek

  # 121018 4-Apr-2008 11:35
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In the DVBViewer dir there is a filters dir (eg: c:\program files\dvbviewer\filters) run the Register.exe (sorry, not infront of my htpc at the moment so don't have the exact filename, but it's pretty obvious).

Edit: Register_DVBSource.exe    (run the unregister one first if needed).

22516 posts

Uber Geek


  # 121054 4-Apr-2008 13:26
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I am in beachhaven, with line of site and am using 3" of coathanger jammed into the end of a belling lee flylead bluetacked to the window. Cant use the roof antenna at the moment because my modulators and amplifier for the security cameras are crapping all over the UHF band till I get to borrow a spectrum analyser to change the levels etc. I had to lift the coathanger up since when it was behind the pc there were many freezes and issues.

No dropouts or anything evident from it.

If you are within range of the skytower for its FM to be a problem, then you should be fine picking dvb up from three in anycase.

I would look into replacing your cable first. When water gets into coax (which it clearly has done if the insides of the balun box are all corroded) it will totally stuff it and it will wick down the cable. I have seen it come out the other end on some cables. Check all splitters are proper F connector ones, not the aboirtions with the clamps.

Then just put the smallest outdoor antenna you can find on the other end. Your not much furthur away then me at all.


544 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 121118 4-Apr-2008 16:30
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Mattnzl, you're a bloody legend. Just RDP'd to my home PC, and it gets sound and picture now with no error message.

Although it didn't like being streamed through RDP :P ahaha

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