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back to article Londoners in mass test of telly tech savvy as 4G filters mailed out

Some 28,000 London suburbanites will have 40 days to fit their free 4G filters, before Freeview television frequencies are swamped with faked 4G networking signals in a mass test of the British public's ability to plug stuff in. The filters come from at800, the orgainisation tasked with spending £180m of telco cash to mitigate …

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Silver badge

I don't follow this phrase:

"...while only 37 per cent of primary sets are using Freeview the vast majority of the remaining 1.27 TVs are reliant on free-to-air digital TV which is vulnerable to 4G interference..."

There is no broadcast terrestrial TV in the UK except Freeview now, and it is essentially the same thing as "free-to-air digital TV " unless satellite (Freesat) is being considered, which won't be susceptible to 4G.

I suspect that what is meant is that 37% of TVs have built-in Freeview, and the rest rely on separate Freeview boxes, in which case all will be equally (in)vulnerable to the problem.

It will be interesting to see the outcome of the experiment, though.

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I read it to mean that 63% of primary TVs (living room) are watching via satellite (whether that be Sky or Freesat) or cable. Seems high to me, but it at least makes sense in principle. Most secondary TVs (bedrooms, kitchens, etc.) are then still using Freeview, which is where the wording of the article perhaps becomes loose.

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Anonymous Coward

Heard at an at800 meeting...

"You know guys, I've been thinking, going out and fitting these damn filters is going to eat into that pile of cash those idiots gave us - hell, I don't know if there'll be enough cash left over for a Ferrari and a boat each. How about we just mail out 28,000 of these suckers to the punters? Sure beats actually doing anything and then we can get down to ordering these cars and boats."

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Unhappy

Really hope I don't have any issues when they hit my area. My DTT setup: DAT 75 with integral powered MRD, feeding into LoftBox using F-Connectors. Any Londoners out there with similar? Let me know how it goes please.

(I very much doubt the filters mailed out will use F-Connectors since they expect most to go straight into the Freeview TV/STB.)

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Boffin

@Badvok

I don't know what connectors the filters will use but they are not expected to go straight into the TV/STB. If you don't have an amplifier there SHOULD be no problem and no need for the filter. The filter needs to be inserted BETWEEN the aerial and the amplifier where an amplifier is in use.

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Re: @joseph

Masthead amps tend to use f plugs, the shitty diy ones plugged in at the tv end usually don't. There's a lot of capacity for mismatch here.

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MJI
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Pint

DAT 75

Upvoted for knowing your aerial

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Re: @Paul

Fair enough, I'm lucky enough never to have had to mess around with them myself (although I have found attenuators necessary at times). Do the "shitty diy ones plugged in at the tv end" help at all with digital transmissions? I thought it was more often the signal quality than the strength that was a problem on digital although maybe it depends on the TV/STB.

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Silver badge

Re: @Paul

They might not be as good but they can do the job 'well enough' for many, especially if the cabling is good. Hell of a lot cheaper than hiring an installer to fit a masthead system unless you're already replacing the aerial. A lot quicker as well, quick trip into Argos and seconds to plug in for instant gratification.

There must be millions of them from the years of reduced power digital transmission though arguably just disconnecting them will solve the problem. I suspect the owners will find it more appealing adding a filter than removing a redundant booster though!

There are also distribution amps, sometimes it does make sense keeping them close to the receivers, cuts down the downleads needed. I have a 4 way one feeding my HTPC, could probably just get away with going passive since the least sensitive tuner died.

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Re: @Paul

the 'tv end ones' rather depends on your signal... If you are using an ae amp from the wall socket next to your TV, it will amplify the noise and 4G signal as well!! try removing the amp, to see if that works before calling an expensive engineer... It is usually **danger money** in case of a fall from 20 feet off a roof!! :)

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xyz
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WTF?

So London will be saved!!

Well, that's alright then. Christ, I don't even need an aerial to receive some MUXes in London, so who the hell is going to have a signal booster within the M25? Maybe they should try it in somewhere remote, like err, Bedford where you really need a f**k off aerial per TV in order to get a signal (and even then it gets screwed when a bird sits on the aerial, never mind 4G), or maybe Kenilworth or some other remote outpost of the empire where existing freeview coverage is crap. Of course Scotland won't count (I'm Scottish, so I know this) and won't be able to get a signal at all if they ever roll out 4G there.... which they won't until at least 6G comes along.

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FAIL

Re: So London will be saved!!

I've lived inside the M25 in several NW locations since the start of Freeview, and I've never had a decent Freeview signal - it was the reason I first got a sky subscription.

I still can't get a good signal without a booster (still inside the M25), despite having a large aerial on the roof - in fact, it was such a pain I bought an Octo LNB for my sky dish and ran cables from it to the other TVs in the house to get Freesat (or more accurately, Free Sat From Sky or FSFS)

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Re: So London will be saved!!

@xyz: I live not 16 miles from the nearest transmitter but because of the wooded hills between it and my aerial I needed to install a big f**k off aerial to get decent Freeview reception. So, being near a transmitter is no guarantee that you will get a good signal.

Off topic: because of the spacing of the original analogue channels I had to install a wideband aerial and this may leave me at risk to overload of the 4-way distribution amplifier I use to distibute the signal around the house. The current muxes are all well away from the 800MHz band but I'm not going up on the roof to change the aerial - I just hope I am not affected.

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Stop

Not understanding this.

London doesn't use any UHF channel in the high 60s any more? It's the high 60s that are near or at 800MHz, yes? So 4G signals at 800MHz aren't likely to interfere with any Freeview signal?

Although I do recall someone in the comments section on a Freeview article in The Register suggested that it would still interfere if people were using a wideband aerial that is designed to accept signals from the full UHF range.

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Mushroom

The amplifier will be amplifying all frequencies coming into it and if the 4G base-station is nearby this has the potential to overload the amplifier (TETRA at the other end of the band can have the same issues - indeed it screwed BBC ONE East Midlands from the Nottingham transmitter for me a few years ago - alas an amplifier was needed for Freeview back then - but as Freeview was fine I didn't care analogue BBC ONE was unwatchable).

Alas here in the East Midlands (Waltham transmitter) we need to use Wideband aerials instead of the old C/D aerials and anyone using either an old C/D aerial or wideband antenna is going to be in the "we'll try doubly hard to screw your reception group" - as the 4G signals will be right where analogue ITV-1 and BBC TWO used to be.

For once I'm hoping mobile reception remains marginal (from masts around 90' to the aerial too) and the local TV multiplex is strong enough (just outside predicted coverage - and when I say just, the other end of the 600meter long street is inside coverage as is the next street over and it's not like it's hilly) to allow us to continue with just passive f-connector splitters! Still have a box full of the half dozen signal boosters we used pre-DSO.

Weren't the previous tests done in another Group A area too?

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Silver badge

What about flats

I have a communal ariel serving 12 flats in my block. Is there an amplifier between the ariel and the wall socket? I have no idea. Of course I don't have a TV licence and therefore don't use the ariel, so I will never know if the filter box is required, or whether or not it will work.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What about flats

So, is that Ariel the two seater, Ariel the little mermaid, or Ariel the washing powder?

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Headmaster

Re: What about flats

..or the 2-stroke motorcycle, the goddess from Warhammer, or the symbolic name for Jerusalem?

I keep telling my teenager that spelling is still important!

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Headmaster

Re: What about flats

... or the Ariel who can put a girdle round about the earth in forty minutes?

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Childcatcher

Re: What about flats

I so hope it's not the Little Mermaid... serving 12 flats.

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Re: What about flats

No, it was a Sqariel.

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