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Digitial TV reception

Dear all,

I've been living in Great Blakenham for the last 3 weeks now and loving it, however-

One question I do have is:

How do people in the area find the digital TV reception?  I seem to be able to pick up some of the Freeview channels, but can't seem to get BBC1, BBC2, ITV, C4 and C5.  It looks like some of my neighbours TV aerials are pointing in a different direction to my house, but my next door neighbour is pointing in the same direction as ours.

I know it's not a problem with the TV's because at our previous house, all 3 TV's were able to show the above channels, so I am assuming it's to do with our aerial position, signal strength and/or the aerial needs upgrading.

It's not a major problem as we have Sky TV, but the house is has aerial sockets in the bedrooms so it would be nice to be able to watch terrestrial TV in our bedroom etc. 

Thanks in advance.



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Graham H inactive
Hi Rossi

There's no such thing as "terrestrial TV" anymore - the old analog signal (which most authorities refer to as "terrestrial") was discontinued nationwide some months ago. You can now only receive digital signals, which means that old-style TVs need some sort of set-top box, whether it be Freeview, Sky, or whatever. Modern TVs sometimes have Freeview decoders built-in, so these can be connected directly to an "old" aerial socket.  On the plus side, every transmitter is obliged to transmit a particular set of channels, and BBC1, BBC2, ITV, C3 and C5 are amongst these. The full set of what you can receive will depend on where you live, and which transmitter you're pointing at.

Hope that helps.

Hi Graham.

I didn't phrase my last sentence very well - what I meant by Terrestrial was the "normal" BBC1, BBC2 etc.

All my TV's have a built in digital decoder which should in theory show Freeview as at my old house. Like you say, I'll have to get somebody in to take a look at aerial age, positioning and so on. It appears that there is a relay transmitter at Bramford which some people seem to point towards so may need to try that.


Spotty Dog
Like you, I understand Terrestrial TV to be TV transmitted from masts on the ground whether it be digital or analogue. Freeview Digital TV is transmitted from ground transmitters. In Gt Blakenham you will be able to receive signals from two transmitters, One in Sudbury and another in Tacolneston (near Norwich) which may explain why your ariels are pointing in a different direction to your neighbours. The strongest signal is likely to be from Sudbury unless there are some tall buildings or trees blocking a view in that direction (and in that case, it may have been previously proven that the signal is better from Tacolneston). You should be able to determine which direction your ariel is pointing (and thus where you are receiving your signal from). As the digital signals in this area are now very strong I suggest that you are receiving some signals, but not all, 'off the back' of your ariel. Have you retuned your sets? because if you have moved there from an area around Ipswich your transmissions would more than likely have been from Sudbury) then if your ariel is pointing to Tacolneston you will need to retune all of your sets or move the ariel to point in the same direction as at your previous residence in order to receive good reception.
We have our ariel pointing in a different direction to our neighbours as it didn't work when it was the same, and our TV works fine with freeview. Just one thing, does anyone else get "interference" when helicopters fly over?
I'm with Out of the blue
Graham H inactive
Yeah, I get a lot of dropouts when cars go by, or when the house upwind runs their washing machine, etc., even on the strong signals. It's far worse on Pick, Quest, and Dave, for instance ... sometimes these channels are unwatchable. I still have an "analogue aerial", as they call it, but I've had a masthead amplifier installed which I'm told has reduced the error rate to within the specified limits, but drop-outs still make viewing a frustrating experience. I get the feeling that unless I spend hundreds of pounds on a top-quality system, I'm stuck with this sort of sub-standard performance ... but for the small amount of stuff that's worth watching, I'm not prepared to do that.
Charles B
Because of the terrain I have re-positioned my aerial to the Tacolneston   transmitter and retuned, and I also have a signal booster , I now find my reception is very good on all channels. 
James L
I'm in Bramford, on Tacolneston transmitter. Good reception until about four weeks ago, since then many dropouts, worst on BBC but ITV not much better.Strangely
Ch's 4 & 5 hold up quite well.
We usually watch on Freesat, but have to record on Freeview and many times have had to give up, as programs have been unwatchable. Must add we do have an aerial booster installed as well.
Anybody else had these problems.?

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