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56 posts

Master Geek


# 41589 19-Sep-2009 08:57
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I live in an approximately 10-year-old apartment complex in Christchurch and I am a newbie to both Freeview and HD LCD TV. My flat has a small wall panel housing two jacks: the lower one, a regular aerial outlet which was connected to the old CRT television – and, at present, the new LCD one – and just above it, a second one which is similar but very slightly smaller, and with a screw thread on the outside. I suspect this leads to the dish on the roof – perhaps someone could confirm that for me.

A week ago I bought a Sony Bravia 32” LCD TV. (Model KDL-32V5500). Over the last week my feelings have ranged from (at first) 90% disappointment and a resolve to return it and get my money back, to (now) 90% satisfaction and being happy with keeping it and finding a home for the CRT TV it replaces –  and with a strong hunch that what remains of the problem can be solved. I just need a little advice!

Incidentally, assistants at two different TV stores have given me demonstrably incorrect information, so I am continuing to work using my own research efforts (Google, and now Geekzone which a friend recommended yesterday).

The problem appears to be all to do with my aerial leads, and possibly the antenna itself. When I first made all the connections and tuned the TV, I got excellent reception for all the analogue programmes, but only 4 Freeview ones: ONE, TV2, TVNZ 6 and TVNZ 7. The picture for these was mostly excellent, though with a little intermittent pixilation. After some Internet research, I moved the TV to the other side of the room next to the aerial wall jack and connected the two with a brand new single lead, replacing the long lead (made up of 4 or 5 joined together which I had previously used). I also connected the new lead direct to the TV, rather than via my VHS recorder. This action improved things immensely, and made me decide not to return the new TV after all. But it’s still not perfect – I can't get either of the TV3 programmes (TV3 or TV3 plus 1) at all, and the degree of pixilation seems to vary, ranging from none at all to unwatchable.

Somewhat perversely, when I reconnected the VHS recorder to the aerial, and connected the VHS recorder and the TV, I got 100% perfect Freeview reception for ONE – but no reception at all for any of the other programmes! So I’ve gone back to the direct wall jack-to-TV connection.

I’ve thought of two possible courses of action to improve my reception situation: go the satellite option with a decoder box (and waste the hundreds of dollars I’ve already spent on a TV with an inbuilt Freeview which uses a UHF tuner – a pity no one told me when I bought it that my TV couldn’t be connected to a satellite dish!), or lobby my apartment’s body corporate into checking / replacing / updating whatever UHF antenna is currently on the roof. As a mere owner-occupier, I can’t access the rooftop – indeed I can’t even see this antenna from ground level. Judging from the height of the building and the lack of other nearby tall buildings though, I can’t imagine that reception could possibly be bad, given the correct antenna.

Any other suggestions, or comments? I could live with the reception as it is – just – but I feel I shouldn’t be putting up with a picture that’s less than perfect. And I’d quite like to get TV3 along with all the others, too!

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481 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 256989 19-Sep-2009 11:15
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Living in a Christchurch apartment it should be possible to get an excellent Freeview|HD signal, but it depends on exactly where you are.

colmack: ... or lobby my apartment’s body corporate into checking / replacing / updating whatever UHF antenna is currently on the roof.

That's probably what you will have to do - unless a good signal gets as far as your appartment, there's nothing you can do to recover it. What's more an apartment building is more complex than a single home. As the signal has to be split multiple ways, to provide one or more feeds into each apartment, that almost certainly means that the signal obtained from the aerial has to be amplified, and the amplifier should be close to the aerial rather than in your apartment close to your TV. There's a lot of useful information about the principles of aerials, amplifiers and splitters on this website: Aerials and Television It's a British site, but the basic principles are universal.

Before you start to lobby the apartment’s body corporate, it would be worth asking people in other apartments in the building if they have Freeview|HD, and if so do they have any problems. In other words check if the problem is the issue with the aerial and distribution system rather than a problem in your apartment.

colmack: I moved the TV to the other side of the room next to the aerial wall jack and connected the two with a brand new single lead, replacing the long lead (made up of 4 or 5 joined together which I had previously used).

Several leads joined together is a bad idea - there is the potential for signal loss and picking up extra noise with each connection.

colmack: I’ve thought of two possible courses of action to improve my reception situation: go the satellite option with a decoder box (and waste the hundreds of dollars I’ve already spent on a TV with an inbuilt Freeview which uses a UHF tuner – a pity no one told me when I bought it that my TV couldn’t be connected to a satellite dish!) ...

It's not surprising that nobody told you that you couldn't connect your TV directly to a satellite dish - there simply aren't any TVs available that are capable of that.

You could explore the Freeview satellite option, but you will have to check that everything is in place for that. However if you can get Freeview|HD via UHF aerial, the High definition broadcast would be worthwhile.


922 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 256994 19-Sep-2009 11:29
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So prime on analogue is perfect?

 
 
 
 




56 posts

Master Geek


  # 257042 19-Sep-2009 15:41
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Thanks for your comments, Deev8. Yes, andrewcnz, no problem at all with analogue prime reception.

481 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 257064 19-Sep-2009 18:05
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colmack: ... no problem at all with analogue prime reception.

If you're getting near perfect reception of Prime AND you receive Prime on channel 62, then you should probably get decent Freeview|HD.

The point about getting Prime on channel 62 is important as that shows the apartment building's UHF aerial is directed towards Sugarloaf, whicj I believe is the only Freeview|HD transmitter serving Christchurch. Analogue Prime is available from other transmitters in the Christchurch area, for instance an oldish map I have shows it's on channel 27 from the Southshore transmitter.

Likewise Maori TV is broadcast on channel 46 from Sugarloaf, but is also available on other channels around Christchurch.

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Uber Geek

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  # 257115 19-Sep-2009 22:27
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Hi, its quite possible and quite normal for a MATV system in an apartment to have filters in the head end amp that remove all but wanted channels. As the building is 10yrs old its reasonable to assume that the only channels the system passes are the normal old analog channels (including Prime) and depending on how the filters are tuned it may pass Ch47 (TVNZ mux) as this is adjacent to MaoriTV on Ch46, but others may be blocked.

Being in the city there should be good clean DTT reception at the roof antenna, but as to what channels are passed to the sytem is dependant on how its setup.

I suggest you bring the status of the MATV system to the attention of the body corp/owner and have it checked by the responsible technician. As someone who installs and maintains MATV systems for a living this issue is occurring more and more everyday. In any building that I now have anything to do with I ensure that the UHF digital muxs are servicable, and where possible I install transcoders from the sat service to replace the off air analog channels, and naturally the systems must also support LBand for Sky and FreeView Sat, however all this comes at a cost that many body corps or building owners dont want to know about.

Cheers
Cyril

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