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back to article Freeview suddenly UNWATCHABLE dross? It may just be a 4G test

AT800 - the guys tasked with stamping out radio interference caused by 4G mobile broadband - will switch on 4G transmissions near Dudley to see if Freeview survives the experience. It's feared national 4G deployment at 800MHz will disrupt terrestrial telly viewing for about two million homes, but exactly how many and what …

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With

The amount of crap on repeats on TV I won't be missing much anyway.

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Happy

re. ".. left of Birmingham and south of Dudley ..."

Mixed directions are not a good idea.

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Happy

Re: re. ".. left of Birmingham and south of Dudley ..."

They are if they mean Brierley Hill

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FAIL

Hmmm...

I notice that if you have a masthead amplifier AT800 will only cover the first £50 of fitting a filter between it and the aerial! Most aerial techs will want more than £50 just for driving to your house.

Why should anyone pay anything for a solution they are forced to have that is caused entirely by an problem not of their own making?

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Unhappy

Re: Hmmm...

This is a real issue as the people most likely to be affected by 4G interference are, precisely, those on long paths with mast head (and other) amplifiers.

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Re: Hmmm...

Or in other words: the people best suited to switch to using Freesat.

It'd be cheaper and generally more reliable than fartarsing about with filters up a pole, even if you bundle a Freetime DVR kit.

TVDX should be a hobby, not the means to obtaining the 6pm news.

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Freeview suddenly UNWATCHABLE dross? It may just be a 4G test

Or just someone tuned to one of the ITV or shopping channels by mistake?

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Coat

Freeview suddenly UNWATCHABLE

No...it's been like that for a while.

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MJI
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Long distance as well

I have had DTTV since 1999, via an early IDTV, tried subscription TV with a CAM, 2 channels worth having Carlton Food Network for my wife and Discovery Wings for me.

Went to a PVR as well after Ondigital went bump, never got a Monkey either.

All along I have been told no digital TV available at my house until switchover. I am probably at limit for Sutton, no other transmitters suitable (hills or power), I have a large aerial and a mast head amp, I will not be losing my TV reception for the few I do watch, and as far as I am concerned 4G WILL NOT put me out of pocket, if it does legal action happens.

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MJI
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Re: Why the downvote?

Just curious

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Anonymous Coward

Why do it anyway?

Why would anyone plan these channels to be so near to long-existing users (TV) that interference would be a problem? Apparently it has been known about for some time so makes even less sense than if it happened by pure thoughtlessness. For many decades now those in the business of spectrum planning would leave "guard bands" between user segments to avoid possible interference, so for allocations to be deliberately planned so close together that interference is highly likely is beyond belief !

Until now it has always been the responsibility of the organisation causing any interference to rectify the situation by whatever means necessary and to meet the costs of doing so - why would mobile companies be subsidised by their victims. Of course even if the costs were to be waived they would not disappear but merely be spread across all subscribers, so once again the poor old public is being required to pay for the mistakes of others who cannot be bothered to take their responsibilities seriously.

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Holmes

Re: Why do it anyway?

Money

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why do it anyway?

""Until now it has always been the responsibility of the organisation causing any interference to rectify the situation by whatever means necessary and to meet the costs of doing so - why would mobile companies be subsidised by their victims. ""

Which part of the MNOs stumping up £180Million did you not understand?? OTOH in order to make the money last, you have to put limits on potential scammers looking for a free antenna upgrade.

Most people are expected to be interference free. To be affected you have the confluence of DTV antenna power and position, 4G antenna power and position as well as the rejection capability of your existing equipment. A further factor is whether you even have a 4G phone/dongle in the house and if so where it is placed (unlikely to be sat on top of your freeview box).

So the hype is based upon worst case scenario, and moderation is advisable.

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Re: Why do it anyway?

Of course it would help if TV equipment had the same rejection capability as mobile phones...

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Stop

Re: Why do it anyway?

"Most people are expected to be interference free."

If OFCOM were any bloody good, ALL people would be expected to be interference-free.

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Stop

Re: Why do it anyway?

This red herring keeps coming up. It has nothing to to do with interference on nearby TV channels.

The spectrum associated with TV used to extend to 860MHz. As part of the digital switchover Ofcom reduced this to 800MHz, and sold off the higher frequencies for 4G. A lot of people who were out of range for pre-DSO Freeview installed aerial amplifiers to bring weak signals up to viewable levels. many of these installations used amplifiers which covered the whole 470-860MHz TV band, even when that wasn't actually necessary .

If a 4G signal in the newly-released band above 800MHz is strong enough it will cause the amplifier to overload, and when that happens any channel within the amplifiers passband can be affected, not just those that are "near" to the 800MHz top end.

I would expect any arguments here to centre around whether the amplifier was required to get local TV, or was installed as a way of getting a weak signal not intended for the given reception area. In the former case full compensation should be forthcoming, in the latter case I suspect you're on yoiur own.

This all sounds so like the power-line comms issues. Its funny how people don't care about interference when a service they like interferes with "a few beardies" , but get so upset when a service they don't care about spoils their reception of Corrie. At the end of the day, it's the same situation, well designed radio gear won't interfere with well-designed equipment. If it does, action should be taken against the user who causes the interference.

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Coat

Re: Guard bands

"For many decades now those in the business of spectrum planning would leave "guard bands" between user segments to avoid possible interference..."

Guard bands? I thought they were called "shopping channels".

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Anonymous Coward

Freeview unwatchable

It might do our good English Bürgers to give the old telly a rest, or even god-forbid turn the bastard off.

There's been little on TV for years.

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MJI
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Re: Freeview unwatchable

Still some decent stuff on BBC.

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Re: Freeview unwatchable

I must confess there were a few games of rugby at the weekend that made the license fee more than worthwhile.

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FAIL

The Majority

Will most people know this is happening or know who to complain to?

Actually to have HD, 3D and other new TV services the DTT needed to keep this band. Governmental greed driven by 3G auction results. The amount of spectrum and number of operators means when economical subscription levels are reached the performance will be no better than 3G.

Operators will cherry pick locations rather than use this band to give Universal Rural coverage (the frequency is too low for small cell sizes needed to give decent Urban capacity).

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Oh dear. My freeview is already pretty bad, and this digital crap handles a low signal much less gracefully than analog. North London!

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MJI
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Quality drop

DTTV has dropped in quality a lot since it was introduced.

Originally the DTTV pictures were very similar to a decent DVD, now they are to be honest a bit poor.

Back around 2000 DTTV was the best picture you could get for the BBC in your house.

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Unhappy

Re: Quality drop

This is purely down to cramming more channels onto each mux. My hope was that, after the analogue switch-off, the Freeview channels would be spread over many more multiplexes, decreasing the compression ratios and, therefore, improving quality.

However, the govtards saw the analogue switch-off as a money-grab, resulting in the same compressed-to-hell-and-back picture quality, but now with the added bonus of interference from 4G.

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MJI
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Re: Quality drop

So sad, especially when you remember the early days when BBC was running at quite high bit rates

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I can see this coming...

They will discover that a certain number of properties within a given range of the towers will need attention and budget for it.

Some time in the future when LTE phones are ubiquitous they will realize that the accumulated noise from all the handsets interferes with everybody else's reception

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Alert

How do I know if I'm affected?

How does the 4G interference manifest itself - e.g. how do I know I am affected? We used to have a crystal clear Freeview signal from Winter Hill until about 6 months ago where it just starts to go blocky on certain channels and the Freview HD channels have started to get "choppy " sound. Seems to happen more so in the evenings

Or could it just be the crap weather?

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Anonymous Coward

Can I use the £50 to...

...take my old aerial down? Thanks to the genius planners at Ofcom I've had zero signal whatsoever for Freeview for the last 4 years while the transition happened. In that time I had no choice but to go to Freesat. Now it's finally working it's about to stop working! I might as well remove the aerial.

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