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back to article 10x power boost for Freeview as London analogue signal cut

London's analogue TV signal was silenced at midnight yesterday, paving the way for 4G mobile data networks in the nation's capital. The analogue signal was transmitted from the Crystal Palace station now owned by Arqiva, which runs the UK's terrestrial broadcasting system after a previous government flogged it off. Crystal …

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Better reception?

I wouldnt bet on that - the receivers on a lot of the boxes are so shit they will overload.

At least you can just point the arial a bit of target if you know what you're doing.

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Re: Better reception?

Is that why I lost a shedload of channels when they switched off analogue round here?

I've little time to watch TV so it's not much of a problem though the lack of BBC4's a pain.

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Joke

Re: Better reception?

Think I might see a gap in the market for tinfoil hats here....

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Re: Better reception?

All the BBC channels are on the same multiplex, if you can get one of them you can get them all.

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This post has been deleted by its author

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Headmaster

Re: Better reception?

> At least you can just point the arial a bit of target if you know what you're doing.

Stuff a bit of mortar in and angle-grind the serifs off.

Solid steel mortar-board hat because I bet I made a mistake somewhere.

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Re: Better reception?

@fuzz

not quite true - the BBC HD channels are on a second mux (along with c4 & ITV HD).

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Retune?

No obvious retune required this morning, unlike at the start of the switchover. Or could it be later today?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Retune?

I had to retune this morning and I'm pretty close to the CP transmitter

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Go

Hannington...

Hannington users will also need a retune today, as some post-DSO channels in use were temporary, awaiting the London switch-over.

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Anonymous Coward

4G, not not on your iPad

As that will never work with Euro 4G.... LOL.

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Re: 4G, not not on your iPad

Err, not if Ofcom has its way and makes us buy all new TV equipment so they can shuffle around the TV channels again...

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Stop

Re: 4G, not not on your iPad

No, existing TVs are going to be fine. Ofcom's proposal is that the upper end of the current range of TV channels (61-69) be used for 4G while the lower end (channels 21-60) continue to be used for TV.

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About time they finished this off. We switched over 4 years ago. Seems like a decade.

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Finally. Maybe now I'll actually get to watch ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5. I might even be able to watch the HD channels that neither my Panasonic TV or bluray recorder could pick up.

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"Maybe now I'll actually get to watch ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5."

Don't get *too* excited.

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Happy

Not hugely excited, it was just always a very odd gap in my channel lineup. BBC1, BBC 2.... Then straight to BBC 3, ignoring everything else.... Or maybe my TV's just a snob?

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Not a snob - it just has standards.

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Snob? And it gets BBC3. Pffft.

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Anonymous Coward

Only if...

... your TV and bluray recorder have DVB-T2 (Freeview HD) tuners built in.

Your equipment may have been labelled both "HD Ready" and "Freeview compatible", but that doesn't mean it can receive Freeview HD. That would be far too simple and non-misleading.

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Unhappy

EPG Issues ?

Does anyone know if this will fixe the gaps that started to appear in the EPG from about two days out - I only started noticing them after the first retune. Being away from home most of the week it's been a real PITA.

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Black Helicopters

Turn up the wick!

Nice spin. They omit to mention the increased power will still result in lower coverage than analogue.

The signal will still be 17db lower than the analogue signal so if you live in a fringe area, don't get your hopes up.

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Re: Turn up the wick!

Nope, the old DTV powers were roughly 17dB down on analogue. Post DSO powers are typically 6-10dB down (pretty much on all sites) - that was the whole point of DSO - switch off the high power analogue and you free up spectrum to increase digital powers.

Also, directly comparing analogue radiated powers with digital to establish coverage areas is not a good idea. Digital can work with much lower strengths than analogue. If you need proof of this just look at the radiated powers in the analogue system for analogue sound, and NICAM digital sound. The NICAM carrier powers were around 1/10 of the analogue power, yet NICAM could still give solid reception when both vision and analogue audio were very noisey and starting to fail.

However, as another poster has pointed out, the biggest problem for some people now will be too much signal, overloading all those cheap and nasty freview boxes. This is particulary so for those who have installed high gain "digital" aerials and amplifiers. It's been a problem in other parts of the country, and it's effect is for some channel to be missing completely and is difficult for people to diagnose correctly. At least with analogue, overloading was fairly self evident from floating pictures in the background.

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Re: Turn up the wick!

@Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward:

Good points on the power comparisons.

Actually it was usually the high power analogue carriers that caused the overload, and they're gone!

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Re: Turn up the wick!

Ah didn't realise. The article I read must have had the wrong stats on it which look like they were cribbed from Wikipedia as they also say the same thing.

I had one of the only NICAM portables which I got during the 1994 World Cup. 75 quid more than it mono sibling. Thing was the speakers on it were *terrible*. Luckily it had a built in amplified speaker output on the back so I wired it to some 1970's Hi-Fi speakers. Worked well then.

Although when the set was warming up the NICAM light would flicker and it would make farting noises as it switched between NICAM and mono.

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Now if only they can make the programmes 10x more interesting they could be onto a winner.

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Coat

I wish there was a setting on the tv so you could turn up the intelligence.

They made one called "brightness" but it appears to be broken.

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@haku

>They made one called "brightness" but it appears to be broken.

Ah, no, the meaning changed. Whereas is used to mean intelligence (as in "he/she is quite bright) it now means "enthusiastic media whore".

The problem is that everyone turning it up to make things more intelligent only resulted in the creation of Chico and then Jedward as people turned it up even more.

In retrospect, I probably should have mentioned this earlier. Sorry.

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FAIL

But they've already lost their audience?

When they switched over to digital in our area, the TV is now essentially unwatchable for me. For most people slight fuzziness on analogue is perfectly watchable. But one blocking-artefact per ten minutes is highly irritating. One dropped frame per minute spoils my enjoyment to the point where I don't bother to watch the channel. Not can't, don't.

Instead, now I watch iPlayer (only). The quality is no worse than broadcast, and in fact miles better for anything except the Beeb, but at least I get to choose exactly what I want. ITV or Channel 4, with all their adverts - gone. Not interested at that level of quality.

Maybe I'm weird, but I'm not so sure....... For my parents and all their friends (in their 70's / 80's), this re-tune stuff is beyond them. In their day, the TV repair-man re-tuned the telly. Sure, their son can visit & tune the telly every couple of months. But as far as Mum is concerned, "it's broken again in a month". So, she's not interested in the "value proposition" of TV any more. She listens to Radio 4 FM, and is quite happy. Not as good as the old days of course, with two whole TV channels (in the evening), but really not such a hardship.

Yeah, I'm aware of Virgin - went round to someone's house and saw it. Didn't want to hurt their feelings, because they pay as much in 3 months as my TV license is for a whole year. But it was SHIT. No drop-outs, but the compression is laughable. You can't seriously watch a play, let alone a football match when everyone is made out of Lego. It was like one of those conversations where your friend has just shelled out £12K to have solar panels put on the roof, to save themselves £300 leccy a year, and you have to bite your tongue.

Maybe you laugh - but that's almost all of the population that ITV just lost. The young watch the internet, the old revert to the radio because digital TV is unusable. Remind me, how is ITV's share price doing these days? I just can't understand why ITV let them do it. Group think at its finest.

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Re: But they've already lost their audience?

ITVs remit appears to be reality talent shows and whatever scraps of football fell of the bskyb table.

The fact that the yoof can now watch this on ITV on their 50" LCD TVs followed by the followup programme on ITV2 followed by some other celeb nonsense on ITV4 falls right into their demographic.

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Re: But they've already lost their audience?

Good call on Virgin Media though.

Watching their output is like watching TV through a bathroom window.

Cop shows don't need to pixellate faces, Virgin Media does it for them.

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Just checked my box and blundered into the Jeremy Kyle show. Its utterly hideous. Bleuurrgghh. No. DON'T LOOK, it'll damage you!

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Freeview USB sticks

Has anyone ever managed to actually get a channel, using those silly little portable antennas that are supplied with those Freeview USB sticks?

I am wondering now, whether it it even worth trying to find the damn thing again.

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Re: Freeview USB sticks

I managed it, but from a high place with pretty much clear line of sight to the transmitter. The USB stick itself has come in handy for guesstimating what'll show up on the telly when granny buys a set-top box though.

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Re: Freeview USB sticks

Yup, approximately three or four miles from Blue Bell Hill more-or-less line of sight, albeit through an aerial amplifier.

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I was watching CSI when the change over happened...

I was watching CSI when the change over happened and everything went blank. I can normally see the Crystal Palace tower (on a good day). I use just a cheap internal aerial pointing in the right direction.

I retuned immediately and a few (21 I think) channels came up immediately, but NOT the 5* channel I was watching - never did get to see what happened. :-(

After a while, maybe half an hour, a few more channels appeared making about 41 or so.

I gave up on telly then, and tried to sleep.

A bit later, about 3am, I turned the set on again, retuned, which showed the usual 120 (ish) channels. Then spent another half hour removing all the stupid sales channels, wank channels (why are they so ugly?) and the talking bollox channels.

I hope I don't have to go through all that again...

P.

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Mushroom

Re: I was watching CSI when the change over happened...

I was also watching CSI when it went blank. It was a good episode too. DAMN YOU SWITCHOVER! *shakesfist!*

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Pint

crystal palace ,

I seem to think it was crystal palace that was the first transmitter of freeview, way back in the day.

now its the last ( almost ) to loose analog,

have a drink on me PAL,

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Devil

And now...

...perhaps I'll be able to watch HD without the signal disappearing every time a bus goes past Larrington Towers

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