Archive for September 10th, 2008|Daily archive page

Freeview on an Internal Aerial – no chance!

I’ve invested in a small LCD tv with built in DVD player for the bedroom.  It’s a nice little unit, and plays DVD’s fine.

Unfortunately a few years ago I got rid of my external aerial, and went over entirely to Sky+.  This means that to use it as more than a DVD player I need some method of receiving signals.

I bought the top-of-the-range, boosted internal aerial (£40, not cheap), and tested it before I came home at a house which has ‘line-of-sight’ of the Sutton Coldfield transmitter.  This was encouraging, and I received all freeview channels no problem.

So I headed home, and set up the new TV.  Number of digital channels available – none.  Number of analogues channels available – none.  Level of frustration – high.  I’ve tried adjusting the aerial, but still no luck.  So the internal aerial goes back to PC World tomorrow, and I have three options.

  1. Install an external aerial for the bedroom.  Around £100 I think, though I’ve got to get a quote, but should be fairly straightforward to do, and would give me an alternative should my Sky dish fall off the wall.
  2. Go FreeSat, with a new satellite dish, and box.  This is the ‘elite’ option, and if I wanted to pay extra I could go HD too (though HD on a 19″ tv seems a little bit of overkill).  This is the most expensive option (£140-£220), but would give me a lot of flexibility.
  3. Invest in a TV transmitter/receiver from my Sky box downstairs upstairs – also called a video sender. This means that all my Sky+ stuff downstairs can be watched upstairs… but also means that someone can’t watch something downstairs whilst I watch something upstairs.   This has pros and cons, but I’m really not sure about the limitations of the technology.  Cost seems to be from £25 – £80, a huge variation.

I can see another visit to Maplins real soon!

Update – visit made to Maplins, and back.  The video sender I bought worked OK in theory, but as always was let down by the final 10%, with a terrible clicking sound on the otherwise good picture.  I’ve tried every combination of plugs etc. to no avail.  It’s really frustrating, and I hate it when technology lets me down like this.  So tomorrow it’s to work via Maplins and PC-World.  As those who know me, I say… Grrrr.

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