Are freeview aerials much of a muchness?

swee'pea99

Legendary Member
Been going mad recently trying to re-establish tv reception, which suddenly died a fortnight or so ago. We're in a very poor reception area, and could barely get telly till I fitted a masthead amplifier 6 or 7 years ago, since when we've been fine. But now we've lost reception completely ('No signal') and a succession of new amps has made no difference. So now I've decided to try replacing the ancient (and pretty crappy looking) roof aerial with one advertised as being right for Freeview. There seem to be quite a few on ebay and amazon, from sort of 20-ish to sort of 50-ish....but I really don't know what I'm looking at/for. 450W says one. 28 element says another. Anyone know what I should be looking for?
 

ColinJ

Puzzle game developer
It seems a bit odd that your signal would suddenly just go altogether. Are you sure that your aerial hasn't come loose and ended up pointing in the wrong direction?

I've seen aerials hanging down and pointing at the ground. A good aerial is very directional to pick up the maximum wanted signal and minimum unwanted signal so it is important that it points straight at the transmitter mast. You can't necessarily go by where neighbours' aerials are pointing. When I looked out of my parents' house I could see their various opposite neighbours' aerials pointing over a 180 degree arc!

Find out what transmitter you are getting your signal from. If you are in a valley you might be getting your signal from a local repeater station. Make sure that your aerial points at it. Here in Hebden Bridge, for example, most properties can't see the Yorkshire TV mast at Emley Moor so we get our signals from a repeater on the local hillside. Unfortunately, that doesn't yet transmit Channel 5 or Freeview.

Another possibility is that your coaxial cable is faulty or not attached to the aerial properly. I heard of one case where a cable had filled with water and shorted the signal out!

Of course it could be that your current aerial genuinely is no good and perhaps the loss of signal is due to a new building going up between it and the transmitter or something like that, in which case you might need the best aerial you can buy.

In answer to your question - no, Freeview aerials are not much of a muchness - there are good ones and there are bad ones. There is lots of information online - try reading this.
 

marinyork

Resting in suspended Animation
Location
Logopolis
There aren't freeview aerials. Aerials come in many different shapes and sizes, it's a myth that the yagi won't work perfectly well in some low signal areas if installed properly.

Try wolfbane and see what it reckons for the signal strength. Once you know that you can narrow down your choices.
 

PpPete

Guru
Location
Chandler's Ford
I'll do most things around the house but that's one thing I would ask a professional in for help.

When we had our roof redone the old crappy but (just) functioning, aerial came off. I went to B&Q got one of their supposed best aerials (£45 IIRC) for poor reception (which we are). Couldn't get Freeview at all on it, analogue just barely if it was pointed right. Even an amp didnt help.

Called in local firm who charged £110 for half day's work for boss and his "boy" to remove old (inadequate) bracket, put up new stronger bracket, mast and aerial, get everything working, perfect. Seemed very good value. His comment about the supposedly "high gain" B&Q aerial was rather pithy to say the least.
 

gaz

Cycle Camera TV
Location
South Croydon
marinyork said:
There aren't freeview aerials. Aerials come in many different shapes and sizes, it's a myth that the yagi won't work perfectly well in some low signal areas if installed properly.

Try wolfbane and see what it reckons for the signal strength. Once you know that you can narrow down your choices.
quoted for truth. There are some big con men in this game. and they will charge over the odds for work that doesn't need doing.
 
OP
swee'pea99

swee'pea99

Legendary Member
Thanks guys - very helpful. I don't really understand the wolfbane info, but I know we've got a really crap signal - the street's famous for it, and we're at the very bottom of the valley, with a high ridge directly between us and the transmitter at Crystal Palace. I've ordered one of the aerials recommended on that site, so with any luck I'll be able to fit that at the weekend. And if that doesn't work I'll probably jump.

Oh yes, and I agree that it's all very odd. The aerial hasn't shifted, and nothing else has changed. Hopefully a decent aerial will sort it.
 
OP
swee'pea99

swee'pea99

Legendary Member
I'm guessing that's sort of like putting a u-tube in plumbing? Ie, a good place for rain to drip from, rather than getting into the gubbins?
 
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