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All posts by Norm De Plume

Below are all of Norm De Plume's postings, with the most recent are at the bottom of the page.


James, you haven't given your postcode so it's difficult to tell, but for most people this situation is caused by not enough signal on the multiplex which carries Film4 etc (COM6). Because of the need to not interfere with adjacent TV areas, this multiplex was temporarily moved, in November, to a higher channel number than is ideal and set to a very low power. As a result of this, many people on the Sudbury transmitter cannot receive Film4. This should be cured on 20th July, once Dover have had their digital switchover and COM6 moves to an easier to receive channel and is boosted to the same power level as the BBC and main ITV multiplexes.

If it is a case of distance from the transmitter, my recommendation would be to upgrade the lead from the wall socket to the TV itself to a quality item - it's easy to make them up and you can get the wire and the connectors in DIY stores. After that, you should try to upgrade the main cabling (in both cases here, use double screened satellite quality cable). Next, it would be interesting to see if a small amplifier would help you out, but I would recommend borrowing one first because you won't need it in 3 months time after the July retune.

There is, however, another type of issue and that is actually caused by being too close to the transmitter. If that is the case, the high power received from the BBC and ITV multiplexes swamps the receiving circuit in the box and ruins reception on the lowest power channels. In this case, the solution is less power and not more. Check out Freeview signals: too much of a good thing is bad for you | ukfree.tv - independent free digital TV advice in case that is the problem. Even if it is not a case of too much power, there are still some good tips on that link that you should check out about tuning. (IP142JJ)

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Sudbury (Suffolk, England) Full Freeview transmitter
Thursday 19 April 2012 7:23PM
Stowmarket

Tim - thanks for the date correction, I had thought it was June but in my haste I read the wrong date at the top of the page. At least the update works in James's favour :)

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Sudbury (Suffolk, England) Full Freeview transmitter
Friday 20 April 2012 6:13AM
Stowmarket

@Nick - signal meters don't 'log on' and turning the aerial to point to Sudbury should be sufficient.

You will need to to rotate your aerial so that the wire elements are horizontal because Aldeburgh is a repeater a Sudbury is a master transmitter.

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Sudbury (Suffolk, England) Full Freeview transmitter
Saturday 21 April 2012 9:33AM
Stowmarket

@Nick,

I am on Sudbury and there are no adverts for Meridian, so you are receiving another different transmitter altogether. It would help if you could say what the channels your box has tuned into are.

I suggest that you manually tune to the Sudbury Channels, see the top of this page. On the Aldeburgh page, it looks like all the channels for Aldeburgh are 28 and under, so it's possible that you have a Band A aerial. You will need a wideband aerial for Sudbury and that would explain why you are having difficulties tuning in.

Also, you didn't mention the orientation , but you must make sure that the elements for the aerial are horizontal and not vertical.

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Sudbury (Suffolk, England) Full Freeview transmitter
Saturday 21 April 2012 10:03AM
Stowmarket

@Nick - Congratulations on building your own aerial, it must be very satisfying. However, I can't see how you can possibly expect to receive channels between 38 and 68 (the current Sudbury spread) without a wideband.

I understand what you mean by 'log in' now - I thought you were referring to intelligent tuners which add extra channels based on what has been received, not just checking a value on a signal strength meter.

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Hi Nick - IN the table above under Transmissions Frequencies, look for "After Wednesday 20th July 2011" and that will show you the channels for the muxes, including 3 on C56, C58 and C60 (and the C60 mux is actually on C63 at the moment until late June).

I suspect that your browser may just not be showing you all the information - does your table appear to stop at C47? If so, try a different browser like Firefox or Opera and see if that shows the channel info.

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Nick, Your reception depends a lot on the bandwidth of the aerial. It is possible that your tuning efforts have been targeted at maximising reception in the range 40-50 and that there is a steep drop off in reception strength outside of that. For example, a group B aerial, one that is optimised for channels 40-50, drops off like a cliff above channel 53. In the graphs I have seen (e.g. Aerials, TV Aerial and Digital Aerial their reception strength is about 15db down by the time it gets to channel 60.

If you are buying an new aerial, then go for a log periodic, not a wideband. They have lower overall gain but they have much better characteristics, such as they are less susceptible to impulse noise from badly suppressed ignition systems on cars driving past.

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James, this isn't a website run by any authority, it is independently run. However, the answer to your question is that power on Sudbury is increasing again on 27th June. At the same time as the power increase, ArqB (the multiplex with those channels) will move from its temporary frequency of C63 to the final frequency of C56, which also is a lot easier to receive.

In the meantime, if you haven't already done so, replace the leads from the wall to the TV/STB etc with quality replacements. It may sound strange, but the signal lost through bad cables is often equivalent to the signal boost you would get from an aerial amplifier.

You can make cables yourself with nothing more complicated than a penknife, pliers and a small screwdriver. All of the cable and connectors are easily available from suppliers like Screwfix or Maplin. Make sure that you use double screened cable, something like the SLX PF100 which is available in white.

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G Sawyer, as Dale says, the channel that is used for Yesterday is operating at around 1/100th of the main channels. Not only that, but it is in a part of the frequency range that is right at the edge of receivability for most people's equipment. This is not a good combination and if you look back through this part of the forum you will see that the majority of recent problems are from people unable to receive Film4, Yesterday etc., all of which are carried on the same channel. This situation will improve in late June when there is a final retune which will move this channel to a better part of the band and will also increase the power to the same level as the others.

You haven't given your location but you said that you live 6 miles from something/someone. If you happen to live 6 miles from the Sudbury transmitter, then you probably have a different problem called desensitisation. In this situation, the high level of signal received from the more powerful stations swamps the smaller signals from channels like ArqB (the Yesterday channel). If that is the case, the solution is typically to successively cut down (or attenuate) the signal until you hopefully reach a sweet-spot and all channels can be received cleanly. Have a look at the page Freeview signals: too much of a good thing is bad for you | ukfree.tv - independent free digital TV advice for more information.

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Richard Owen - you are likely to be suffering from too much signal. If you check out the post 2 above yours that situation is covered at the bottom.

It should get a lot better on 27th June when all the signals will be broadcast at the same level.

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