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Changes to UK Free TV

I have been running this site in my own time since July 2002. After nine years I am considering making some changes.

I have been running this site in my own time since July 2002.
published on UK Free TV

The purpose of the site is to provide independent (from the broadcasters, infrastructure companies and Digital UK) information about the choice people can make to watch free to air television services in the UK.

Having many years of technical, managerial and communications experience - and particularly after seeing at first hand the failure of ONdigital to communicate the technical difficulties - I thought the would be plenty of people who would need straightforward technical digital TV assistance.

When the site launched the only form of "feedback" was a personal email service, but on 7 October 2005, I introduced a direct commenting service. This has on the whole been very successful and popular - over 88,000 comments have been posted since then.

Many people have assisted people from all over the UK and around the world, and these contributions have made the site a lively and helpful place.

However, 28,500 of these posting are mine, and it is taking an increasingly large amount of my time.

In addition, the number of occasions where personal attacks are being launched on me and my professional knowledge, or I have to deal with uninformed and incorrect answers being given to people has increased.

The main upshot of this is that I spend very little time doing the "top line" site tasks, such as writing articles, upgrading the database information, adding in new sections such as the radio transmitter and YouView pages and so forth.

Whilst I appreciate that visitors can reasonably think that "in a democracy we are free to discuss pros, cons and preferences", this site is not a democracy, UK Free TV is my project.

Therefore I am proposing that:

1. Certain sections pages will be closed to further comments. I really do not have the time to spend going round and round in the same loop discussing same things, such as with the tedious digital radio haters. Such discussions add nothing to helping out people with their reception issues and will be moved to a holding page or deleted if they are insulting.

2. Some sections will be pre-moderated. Comments will not appear until I approve them.

3. Off-topic comments will be deleted or moved. For example, questions posted about Freeview reception in Jersey posted on the Winter Hill page. I will normally move them to the general purpose Feedback page.

4. I will then will have the time to improve the resolution and accuracy of the transmitter coverage pages, upgrade the radio transmitters section and provide information about the upcoming local TV, IPTV and YouView.

I will instigate these changes shortly.

Bold indicates changes made from feedback.



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Comments
Monday, 28 February 2011
Briantist
sentiment_very_satisfiedOwner

7:26 PM

I always liked 'earthstation' as a name for a dish too.

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Briantist's 38,844 posts GB
T
Tom Fletcher
sentiment_satisfiedBronze

7:54 PM

brian
Can you clear a point up for me? they say there is no such thing as a digital aerial, so in the past when a customer rang saying can you fit me a digital aerial I would tell them there was no such thing what you call them are yagi aerials,not wanting to get my self in trouble with trading standers ,this became a bit boring so I stared saying yes we do fit digital aerials, are we braking any trading standards saying this ?

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Tom Fletcher's 73 posts GB
Briantist
sentiment_very_satisfiedOwner

7:59 PM

Tom Fletcher: There certainly is no such thing as a "digital aerial". The "digital bit" of the transmission is the COFDM encoding.

COFDM was designed to work with the existing aerials. The digital multiplexes broadcast in the same "channels" as the analogue UHF TV channels.

The main confusion has arose because the digital transmissions were so weak, as they used gaps left in the analogue frequency plan to prevent co-channel interference under "Inversion" conditions.

Therefore a selection of aerials were provided that performed better under these conditions, for people on the fringes of reception.

Remember in the ONdigital days, the output of most digital transmitters was at least half of what it was before switchover.

But the signal that comes of the dipole from any Yagi aerial is just a signal. Until you stick it into a receiver and try to decode it does it become digital.

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Briantist's 38,844 posts GB
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Tom Fletcher
sentiment_satisfiedBronze

8:15 PM

Brian
Thanks for that clears it up a bit. I do remember on dig we were subs for them, you had Johnny Vagus and his monkey telling everybody you could fit them faster than taking your cloths off! that bit the dust quick, the set top boxes were terrible things to tune .

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Tom Fletcher's 73 posts GB
Briantist
sentiment_very_satisfiedOwner

8:29 PM

Tom Fletcher: The joys of the "red dot".

ONdigital bought a enough pups on that one to fill the Battersea Home for them.

Which, as it happened, was just over the road.

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Briantist's 38,844 posts GB
Mark Aberfan Aerials
sentiment_satisfiedGold

8:41 PM

Hi Tom,

What I say is " I can fit you a aerial suitable for digital" Which avoids both confrontation with the customer / a discussion about why there is no such thing as a digital aerial ! Half the advice given out is totally wrong (see a recent post about advice given about freesat by a major retail chain or the which report about advices given by retailers.) I dont think you would get hung for letting a customers wrong description go.

Mark Aberfan Aerials


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Mark Aberfan Aerials's 1,059 posts GB
S
steve
sentiment_satisfiedGold

8:48 PM
Wrexham

Brian - If only the LNB of a dish is an aerial and the rest is a waveguide; surely the same applies to the reflector and director elements (ie most of the elements) of the yagi?

I too like "earthstation", but I think that would include the electronics too?

Mark - I think most people's problem is lack of basic understanding of what tuners and monitors do, which is understandable if the TV has until recently been a box with both inside. Then they get more confused with RF and SCART connections!

For me it is easy as I recall the set top box tuner we got to receive ITV!

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steve's 1,172 posts GB
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Tom Fletcher
sentiment_satisfiedBronze

9:02 PM

Hi mark
Or may be a Digital compatible aerial sounds good ,just laughing about what Brian said about on dig red dot ,red dot no signal, I'm colour blind and I dint know about that dot till one of the lads working for me at the time pointed it out to me happy days .

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Tom Fletcher's 73 posts GB
Briantist
sentiment_very_satisfiedOwner

9:02 PM

steve: I would say not, as it is the rest of the Yagi that induces the signal in the dipole, the aerial is not an aerial without them.

Whereas with a satellite receiver the dish only guides and focuses the signal on the LNB, it does not induce the signal as happens in a Yagi.

You could just point the LNB at the right bit of the sky and you would get a very weak signal.

Earthstation is what the original Goonhilly dish was called, and I suspect it probably also included the buildings and everything else.

You do see "dish antenna" but "aerial" is usually only used for non-dish receivers, even though "aerial" and "antenna" are technically the same thing.

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Briantist's 38,844 posts GB
Briantist
sentiment_very_satisfiedOwner

9:04 PM

Tom Fletcher: All aerials are "digital compatible", that gets back to the original point about it being a 8MHz wide UHF modulated radiowave.

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Briantist's 38,844 posts GB
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