Sunday, November 28, 2010

Where's my Hammer?

Bloody televisions!


Our old TV was still a 26 inch tube, with a chip in the screen and was generally not as clear as it used to be. The only freeview we had available was through a Sky box (though we no longer subscribe to Sky), and the old DVD & hard disk recorder has been playing silly buggers for some time. So, also bearing in mind that VAT his going to shoot up, we decided it was time to invest in some new equipment. We got a Sony LCD flat screen (with integral freeview) and a Panasonic DVD & hard disk recorder. And I haven’t even got to the stage of turning on the second of these on.

I unplugged about twenty metres of various cobwebby cables and detached all the other equipment, then got the new TV and recorder in place – nice and simply connected with an HDMI cable. All a lot neater, lighter, better…

The instructions were of course pretty simple. They always are until something goes wrong. I ran the automatic tuning on the thing and all seemed hunky dory and the picture was superb. Then I checked the digital program list and found ITV, Channels 4 & 5 and numerous other channels missing. I tried again, but they were still missing. I tried the manual retune but could make neither head nor tail of it until I researched it on the Internet. Meanwhile Caroline turned on the TV in the bedroom only to discover heavy interference on all channels. We searched out the manual for that, retuned it, but with no luck.

Tomorrow I’m going to have to call up ‘Academy Aerials’ since, it seems, either the connections in the co-ax in the loft are causing problems, or we need a new aerial. But I’m still not sure how that relates to the problems with the bedroom TV.

Aaargh!

12 comments:

Philip said...

Usually the commercial channels (for technical reasons to do with trying to cram more into the same multiplex signal) are more susceptible to a weaker signal. BBC 1 and BBC2 are usually ok even with a borderline aerial. Looks like you probably need an aerial replacement (especially if your current aerial is starting to look sorry for itself). I would guess that your transmitter is Crystal Palace so you will need a Group A horizontally polarised aerial. Looking at the signal coverage map the signal is pretty good where you live so you shouldn't really be experiencing these problems.

Philip said...

Have a look at this web site:

http://www.ukfree.tv/txdetail.php?a=TQ339712

If you look a further down the page you will see the list of channels on each multiplex signal. I would guess that the ones that you are missing are the ones on multiplex 2 and A.

Afront said...

I recently bought a Sony Bravia too - set it to autotune but disappointed to see it only found a few channels. Then I realised that it was set to analogue by default. I flipped it to digital then saw it had heaps of channels - doh!

Neal Asher said...

Philip, yes, I've checked things on the Internet and the ones we're missing are precisely those with 'aerial upgrade' next to them. We probably need a new aerial and, with the problems caused to the second TV, new runs of co-ax in the loft. Of course, they never fucking told me that in Curry's!

Ah, it autotuned for both and I soon saw the difference.

It is annoying. My mother has done a similar thing, has an oldler aerial, and has had no problems.

Graeme said...

Take heart, we needed to replace our arial when we got a telly with freeview built in.

The only issue is, now we have loads of channels full of shit that aren't worth watching.

Graeme said...

PS: Maplins do a fine selecion of ariels. Better than curry's and co, and they sell the coax and connectors. So if you are ok on a ladder you can save your self the installation charge. They may even sell the racheted widgets that strap it to the chimney.

Neal Asher said...

I ain't climbing on the roof. I've got some guy coming to do it for me whilst I rant and ... write books.

Graeme said...

Same here. However at £140 quid for half an hour I wished I had fitted it myself. You wouldn't mind I supllied all the gubbings.

It is with a sense of shame that I admit this.

Spencer said...

Well, on a lighter note, if it is fixed by tonight, at 9pm on national geographic (or nat geo wild maybe if you have it) is a very good documentary/film entitled restrepo, following a group of US marines in afghanistan for a whole year. Set in one valley where the fighting is quite fierce, this documentary as won lots of independant film awards and is really worth a watch. For fans of Generation Kill, Jarhead, stuff like that. But if your signal is still fucked or you dont get this on freeview, i guess you can make a mental note somewhere. Just file it away from the Jain and Polity sections of your brain!

Neal Asher said...

Graeme, looking out the window now I know that I've made the right decision. Maybe I would have attempted it in the summer, but right now I'm not in any hurry to even step out the door. I've got a quote now and the worst case scenario, including a powered signal booster in the loft and new cable: £170.

Spencer, I didn't think National Geographic was freeview? Anyway, I'll bear it in mind and file it away from that portion of my mind where the weird stuff happens.

thatsskarwithak said...

I assume you did your research and bought a TV with freeview HD/freesat built in ?

Neal Asher said...

Freeview and HD, Skar.