back to article One For All SV9380 Freeview HD indoor aerial

Most indoor aerials are priced between £10 and £20 but the One For All SV9380 is a different beast to most indoor aerials, selling for between £40 and £50. Whatever you pay, this boy needs to really deliver to justify its premium price. The first note of caution is that the packaging boasts of Full HD compatibility, a spurious …

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  1. Mage Silver badge
    Alert

    HD

    There is NO SUCH THING as a digital or HD aerial at all.

    An aerial that differentiates between horizontal and vertical is better.

    An amplifier in a indoor aerial is almost pointless. Amplifiers are to overcome coax loss. To get more signal you need a higher or better sited aerial or higher gain aerial.

    An £8 aerial will work just as well.

    See http://www.paras.org.uk/

    If an aerial in same room (so called set-top aerial) isn't perfect, then you are best to put an outdoor aerial in attic, top of cupboards, wardrobe etc and if that's not good, then outdoors.

    £50 on an Indoor Aerial is wasting money and rewarding dubious Marketing.

    1. Steve X
      Thumb Down

      gold plated?

      A gold plated RF socket is a clear sign of snake oil, designed to appeal to people who have no clue about technology. Like the badge on a BMW it serves only to increase the price people will pay for no extra value.

      1. SuperTim

        and why an RF input?

        Why does it have a gold plated RF input? Surely an RF output would be more useful!

  2. Rob Davis
    Thumb Up

    Encouraging review if better than all other internal aerials as stated...

    Good realistic review.

    "My 11th floor flat has line of sight of Crystal Palace’s transmitter."

    My friend also lives in line sight of the same transmitter on the Anerley Road in Crystal Palace. So I'm hopeful of the same experience as yourself.

    "Even so there is no guarantee that it will work for you, as every situation is different, with several variables coming in to play. Indeed, for some, only a rooftop aerial will suffice."

    Realistic comment.

    "No portable aerial can do anything with a really poor signal but some are better than others with medium to weak signals. From my experience, the SV9380 outperformed all other indoor aerials including the Philex 27770R."

    Encouraging - that would be the key statement that would make me buy this unit. I've tried another aerial off of amazon.co.uk for 15quid, they miss some key channels such as BBC.

    Ideal for flats where no aerial socket seems available.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Realistic review??

      "My 11th floor flat has line of sight of Crystal Palace’s transmitter."

      Having direct line of sight with Crystal Palace, I'd expect a coat-hanger to work reasonably well. Would have preferred more detail about the Essex house with patchy signal.

      1. Chad H.
        FAIL

        Except

        As the reviewer stated... They've used a number of internal Antennae in this location with poorer results - so a coat hanger clearly won't work "Reasonably Well".

        1. Systems

          No antennas involved I hope!

          The plural of antenna in the broadcasting sense is antennas, not antennae. Antennae are what insects have.

          I know, I'll get my coat.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Chad H.

          Chad, then I'd say that each internal antenna that was tested which *couldn't* get a result be classified as "shit" and move on. It should be a test that proves the basic function and no more.

  3. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    Boffin

    Cheaper option

    Up here in the land of stone houses and horizontal rain internal antennae don't work and external ones last 10 minutes.

    Instead make a totally waterproof dipole out of plumbing parts for about £10.

    You will need:

    3 bits of 15mm copper pipe, two about 22cm long and another bit any suitable length for the upright

    One 15mm Speedfit plastic Tee, or probably any similar push-on plumbing fitting.

    Two solder on or push-on 15mm end caps. (Stop ends)

    Two bits of copper wire stripped from some mains cable about 100mm long.

    Some sleeving or tape

    Some silicon sealant

    Some co-axial TV wire, long enough to reach your TV.

    A couple of 15mm pipe clips, Hospital clips are the best they stop the pipe rotating in strong winds and are made of brass.

    Form a coil on the ends of your copper wire and solder to the inside of the short pipes.

    Feed the wire through the Tee and sleeve them.

    Fix end caps to the other ends.

    Feed the co-ax up through the other pipe and join to the copper wires.

    Push this pipe into the plastic Tee and seal the bottom end with a good squirt of silicon.

    Fix your Tee shaped dipole to the chimney breast or wherever.

    Result 100% signal strength!

    100% waterproof as all connections are inside a bit of plumbing!

    1. Robert E A Harvey
      Thumb Up

      Practical Wireless

      It's good to know there are still some geeks about who understand radio engineering. I like your impromptu impedance matching.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    i'd like to believe it will work

    But my experience of internal antennae, for digital, has been bad. I don't live in the best signal area, the net claims that after the digital switchover it will be much better! I also live in a flat that is converted from an old building, ie listed, so no external antennae or satellite dishes are allowed, thank Christ it's in a cabled area!

    I can get a passable analogue signal, not perfect but by no means unwatchable, for digital nothing i have tried has been able to get anything, if i get the sweet spot, a scan will actually pick up some channels, but they are nothing but a broken mess.

    It's about time that portable antennae's claiming to be suitable for digital, are exposed as a bit of a joke with the current coverage. Having a line of sight to the transmitter should mean that if you don't get a perfect signal then something is seriously wrong with it, not that it's particularly good if nothing goes wrong!

  5. Christian Berger Silver badge

    There's no such thing as the "SNR" of an antenna

    What there is is the noise figure of the amplifier, and the gain of the antenna itself. There is no SNR as such as it depends on the strength of the signal.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Rooftop aerials are recommended

    The official recommendation is to use a rooftop aerial.

    The transmitters are designed and placed to give most people a usable signal outdoors at roof height. (The BBC has a van with a typical household antenna mounted on a ~20' telescopic pole, so they can drive around to test this).

    Indoor aerials... well they _might_ work, if you have a really good signal.

    References:

    http://www.freeview.co.uk/Resolutions/About-Freeview-availability/Aerial-information/Can-I-watch-Freeview-using-a-portable-set-top-loft-aerial

    http://www.ricability-digitaltv.org.uk/pages/test-reports/indoor-aerials.htm

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A title is no guarantee of success

    Somebody wanted to know the gain.

    It's in the press release, found at http://www.journalism.co.uk/66/articles/536790.php by searching for some of the more improbable phrases in the review.

    "The state of the art amplifier uses a low noise linear microcontroller to amplify terrestrial High Definition television signals up to 42dB"

    1. Steve X

      wrong gain

      The request was for the gain of the antenna itself, not for the gain of the amplifier. An amplifier, no matter what it's gain, can't create a signal by magic if the antenna hasn't got enough gain to pick one up in the first place.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Talking Rubbish

    "Also, a low noise microcontroller is used to amplify terrestrial signals up to 42dB."

    Rubbish, microcontrollers do not amplify signals, amplifiers do. I've seen better technical knowledge from a Curry's salesman. Next you'll be telling us that the gold plated connectors improve the picture quality.

    1. Marcus Aurelius
      Pirate

      Not to forget

      ..saying how Monster cable will solve any remaining problems

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "low noise linear microcontroller"

    That's what AC 11:22 (me) called a "more improbable phrase", and what AC 11:25 called "rubbish". I think we are agreed :)

  10. JeffyPooh Silver badge
    FAIL

    42 dB gain RF preamplifer?

    Is normally called an oscillator.

    When a product is accompanied by this much technically-incompetent marketing bull-feathers, then it doesn't matter if it actually works or not. It's too embarrassing to even be seen in the same room with.

  11. Mage Silver badge

    The gain?

    If it's two patches on a single feed line, then it might be about 2dBd after losses.

    Lower gain than the 3 director + dipole + reflector set-top yagi type aerial that costs about £5

  12. Robert E A Harvey
    Thumb Down

    Dodgy map

    You provide a link to the manufacturer's coverage map, which is rather neat: the transmitters are shown on a mashup map, with neat colour coded concentric rings, and the colours map to a colour-coded range of products.

    Two snags:

    * The coverage areas round TV transmitters are not circular, but rather odd shaped, conditioned by beams and by the landscape

    * The oneforall web page won't display on the rather short screen on my netbook. Oh, I get a scroll bar, but scrolling it does not change the bit of the page I can see.

    http://www.thebigtower.com/live/Belmont/121P24000703011.htm

    http://www.mds975.co.uk/txmaps/belmont.html

    Do those look like circles to you?

  13. leona 2
    Unhappy

    Digital TV is a con

    Never had any problems with Analogue signal, now forced to switched to digital and have to put up with freezing video and sound drop outs even with full signal strength, not at all impressed with this freeview nonsense. Tried 2 aerials (approved for Digital TV, etc etc), both give the same results. I live in a good signal area. I'd rather have 5 watch-able channels that 30 un-watch-able ones. Quantity over quality, the wonders of the modern world :(

    1. Tony Smith, Editor, Reg Hardware (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Digital TV is a con

      Try a signal amplifier - 15 quid from Maplin or somesuch. Made a big difference for me.

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