Loss of digital TV signal today - anyone else??

Susie Finch
(site admin)
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Sun 12 Mar 2006, 15:27

I am sympathise with you all here - when we first came to Charlbury we were lucky if we even got Channel 4. No Channel 5. However, we know have Sky (some of the packages are very good) and I would recommend going to Corbett TV in Chipping Norton, as he had alot of experience installing Sky systems in Charlbury. Much better going to him, than getting a Sky installer to do it. We have no problem now with any viewing at all.

Igor Goldkind
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Sun 12 Mar 2006, 07:59

Geoff: You're quite correct that BBC Digital has since updated it's information to exclude Charlbury and surrounding from their catchment area; however that information wasn't available at first and certainly not at the time they were promoting Freeview or I would have waited.
Instead, I got confused and conflicting information

As to SKY, I overcame my nausea at the prospect of ever buying anything from Murdoch only to find that SKY itself could not find a contracter or even one of their own engineers willing to install a dish on The Slade because of the tree line. (One guy didn't even bother gettng out of his truck before driving away!)

Because SKY is a monopoly corporation, I can't even turn to a satellite competitor; which of course goes far towards explaining why they're cavalier with potential customers. Afterall, where else can I go?

Did mention the digital radio transmitter I bought after the BBC started promoting their extra digital radio stations? I was really enjoying the additional content and clarity of reception even though the website clearly showed only a partial to good reception cachment in and around Charlbury.

It was great until last April when the signal just stopped.
I checked my equipment, I even bought a bigger digital antenna, nothing.

I have to say my general experience has not been good.
Any help or suggestions that doesn't cost me another arm and a leg would be greatly appreciated.

Malcolm Blackmore
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Sat 11 Mar 2006, 23:17

I was under the impression that the Walcot repeater is analogue only. That might change on switch over. I haven't done any homework on digital to understand if the issue of conflicts is frequencies or digital "packets" or whatever combination. So suppose must do some self education sometime. But the best case scenario is that the repeater then puts out a digital signal. Anyone genned up technically on this stuff?

Anyway, we're in a bad digital patch at the moment, with poor reception and none at all in some. Unfortunately my digital box uses the channel 5 carrier to do its online updates for the bios/firmware, and thus cannot update anything, the carrier being too low quality to complete a download.

Radio signals on the 700 channel range have disappeared almost totally - this is a nuisance 'cos I was using videotape at 8 hours LP to record Radio 3/4 programmes for time shifting. I suppose once they start putting those TV program identification numbers on radio programs (can't remember what they are called on TV listings) I might finally be tempted to get a hard disk recorder for those few TV programs I might watch and the much larger range of radio stuff I find interesting.

Or set up MythTV on an old computer running under linux with a nice fat 250+gb disk stuffed in it (anyone locally done this?).

I fear that with the fragmentation of audiences that is occurring that TV quality is just going to continue downwards to the lowest common chav err I mean denominator. At least one can do pretty good content on radio with a cheap tape recorder, some brains, writing ability, and an element of articulation.

Tho' the "wildlife porn" of our David's latest is impressive. I wonder how many more of those we'll see? If only 'cos the wildlife isn't going to be there much longer :-(

graham W
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Sat 11 Mar 2006, 21:12

We are already paying £126.50 for a TV license and the quality of the picture (esp up in the The Green area) in diabolical, so by adding another £150+ is absurd. I am sure that the power output from the Beckley transmitter is being wound down so we all have go to a satellite medium.

Yes I know I could direct mt ariel towards the Walcot booster but that means that we get the Birmingham news etc (however I do stand to be corrected).

John Munro
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Sat 11 Mar 2006, 19:54

Why not try FreeSat from Sky at a cost of £150 and no on-going subscription charges?

Derek Collett
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Sat 11 Mar 2006, 18:34

Igor: ever thought about getting Sky?

When I moved to Charlbury I was shocked to discover that I had no TV reception whatsoever. Installation of a signal booster solved that problem, but only partially. I now had grainy reception of BBC1 and could not receive Five at all (essential for my beloved baseball!). I enquired about Freeview but it was not available with my postcode. I therefore saw no alternative but to purchase a Sky satellite system. I don't like lining the pockets of Rupert Murdoch but they are so thickly lined already that a few more quid will make little difference! The decision to move all live cricket coverage from terrestrial TV to Sky was the final straw for me. The prospect of a whole summer without cricket is too bleak to contemplate! Sky's rugby coverage is also far superior to the BBC's shambolically amateurish Six Nations broadcasts.

I have now had Sky for almost a year. Apart from two brief breaks in transmission during heavy storms the reception has been perfect and even though I have an old and very ordinary TV set the picture quality is very good. Sky would seem to be the logical (and probably the only) solution to Charlbury's TV reception problems.

Geoff Belcher
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Sat 11 Mar 2006, 17:38

Go to BBC Digital before getting the freeview installed, it does say not availiable in this area. See the following!!

Why can't I get the BBC's services on Freeview yet?
Because if Freeview was broadcast any more widely it would interfere with traditional television signals. At present about 75% of the population can get Freeview.

Other areas of the country will be able to get the BBC's extra services on Freeview only when their existing analogue signals can be switched off to make room for them ("switchover").

If you can't get Freeview yet, you should have the alternative option of digital satellite without subscription (or with subscription). Digital cable is available in many areas as well.

Cant be more informed than this, go against this info and you may finish up like Igor.

Igor Goldkind
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Fri 10 Mar 2006, 09:31

Malcolm, having spent over £400.00 on a new digital antenna, freeview box and high conductivity cabling to compensate for the poor signal in and around Charlbury, I've given up on ever gettng a reliable signal for any consistent period of time.

There appears to be a certain amount of 'experimentation' going on with the Oxford digital transmitter (according to BBC digital), that affects the consistency of the signal and its range. That's why you can experince strong signals across all the channels in one week, then poor signals the next week and some weeks no signal at all.

BBC digital is quite helpful however, they don't fail to mention to me every time I contact them that Charlbury is in a 'grey area' and they make no guarantees as to signal strenghth.

Questions about what one can do afer the digital switch over are met with shoulder shrugs.

Although the commercial electronics shop in Chippy did have a more subtantial suggestion: I could move.

Personally, I'm amazed that I could be living in NW Oxfordshire, effectively in the very centre of the country with the poorest television signal, the poorest service and a befuddled agency that is either incapable or unwilling to come up with any answers much less solutions.

But that may just be me who thinks if I'm paying over a hundred poinds for a TV licence that I might be entitled to the actual service I'm paying for.

Silly me.

Malcolm Blackmore
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Sat 18 Feb 2006, 20:40

Point taken. And sat does have the advantage of being in a straight line! I watch so little TV nowadays I wonder if its worth the expense of a decoder for satellite freeview ... but then pretty well all I watch is BBC4 nowadays. OK, a member of the lumpen intelligentsia!

Geoff Belcher
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Sat 18 Feb 2006, 17:27

Malcolm you did say Digital, you did not specify sat or Terr, thought I was helping with my info, sorry you did not appreciate my reply.

Geoff Belcher
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Sat 18 Feb 2006, 16:08

Not as many miles as mine comes!

Malcolm Blackmore
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Sat 18 Feb 2006, 14:58

Completely different system - satellite. This is terrestrial broadcast from Forest Hill, miles away.

Geoff Belcher
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Fri 17 Feb 2006, 23:04

I have Sky, no problems with my set. did lose sound for a while about10:00pm approx.

Malcolm Blackmore
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Fri 17 Feb 2006, 22:12

That's it - no digital TV signal on all channels. Anyone else lost this today? Trying to pin down if its our aerial or something wider in issue.

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