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  • TV Aerials, HD STBs, HD DVB-T Receivers, SAT TV.

    Being that Coffee Snobs is predominently male membership, I thought there might be a good chance that a few here would either be in the industry or have an interest in the technology in the title of my post.   Im hoping I might be able to pick some smart brains so I can sort out some technical aspects of my own currently poor quality TV reception.  

    Heres a quick rundown;

    TV: I have a LCD TV hooked up to SD STB,.. (not sure whether its worth upgrading to a HD STB just yet,.. but will eventually)

    Aerial: The aerial on the roof, was installed when we built 10yrs ago,.. dont recall what it is, but dont think it is anything flash..can provide pics if needed. Reception was good once, without SD STB and with, but over the years has gotten worse.. and two out of the three main channels are cwap,...maybe because of extra buildup, trees?? I dunno.  I noticed that the aerial is not pointing in the same direction as the neighbors,..though they all have flashier looking aerials than ours so who knows. I also noticed, that aside from the direction,.. it looks to me like the aerial is not really tall enough and doesnt quite make it over the crest of our iron roof. Surely it would benefit being higher and pointing more towards the tower??

    Now,.. I know nothing about aerials,.. but Im guessing all aerials aint just aerials and there a different qualities and purposes???  Is there such a thing as a HD aerial? if so,..would it be benefitial to upgrade a HD?

    PC:I bought from Aldi last week a HD DVB-T receiver (been wanting one for over a year but waiting for prices to come down). A bargain on special for $59. It is fantastic!!!,. and has the potential to keep me very content by allowing me to watch/listen to whole TV programs on my computer while I surf the net and do all I do,..since I practically live on this computer (hubby controls the remote here and is a constant and rapid channel hopper, so I never get to watch a whole program unless I sit right in front of the TV with the remote under my butt).  Anyway,.. again,.. reception is so bad. I can get one channel really well and the other 22 are cwap.  I tuned in the HD DVB-T receiver via the aerial outlet at the TV,..and I have another outlet near the computer but it gets little reception from it,..I think I will need to get up in the roof and see why this outlet is not giving me the same reception and the TV outlet and maybe connect it to the aerial differently.  Buuuut,..it is the aerial that I really need to sort out first me thinks.

    Anyway,.. any advice, tips at all would be greatly appreciated.



  • #2
    Re: TV Aerials, HD STBs, HD DVB-T Receivers, SAT T

    Im no expert Remy but did get an aerial installed last week.

    Currently I use rabbit ears to run the TV thru the PC and it OK but should have thought to run an extra point to the study.
    As it is though he did provision for it so I could run the cable myself.

    He mounted our aerial below the crest of our tiled roof.

    From what I understand, unless everyone else has got it wrong your aerial should be pointing in the same direction as the neighbors.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: TV Aerials, HD STBs, HD DVB-T Receivers, SAT T

      Remy,

      Firstly, yes there are a range of aerials - but they arent designed for a special purpose (analogue, STB, HD etc) but rather for "gain" the amount of signal which they capture. Bigger aerials with more elements (the rods which come away from the centre) are designed for areas with lower signal strength..... they have higher gain (and are more expensive!)

      Now the aerial MUST be pointed at the TV tower.... and certainly not at an iron roof (the iron roof acts just like a mirror does for light and reflects it). So if there is an iron roof between you and the transmitter tower.... raise the aerial so that it is above the roof for best reception.

      Outlets in the house. I assume they are the coax type (a round cable rather than the flat cable which was used many years ago). If they are coax then there will be a balun (a little box) at the aerial to convert the signal (I wont go into the technicalities).... this will deteriorate over time.... moisture will corrode the connections and spiders etc will make a home in it!! This will lose your signal. Also the coax which runs from that box into the house is attractive to rodents (especially rats) who will chew through it.... more signal loss.

      Now as you have more than one outlet.... the odds are whoever wired them up have just connected the two together with the coax.... that is a no-no. To run more than one outlet you need a splitter..... the cable from the aerial connects to that and then the two (or more) sockets are fed from the splitter. A splitter will reduce your signal - but not as much as the outlets just connected to each other will.

      Unless familiar with these items, it is often best to get a professional aerial installer to do the work..... it is expensive unfortunately but they will have the right gear for your aerial and your installation.... (gain of aerial, possibly a splitter with built in amplifier etc,,, etc.... and also know where to point the aerial for best reception.

      You can get all the bits yourself and do all the work yourself - but it is not a trivial exercise unless you know a bit about electronics....

      Hope that helps and best of luck!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: TV Aerials, HD STBs, HD DVB-T Receivers, SAT T

        Originally posted by Thundergod link=1206260940/0#1 date=1206265110
        Im no expert Remy but did get an aerial installed last week.
        OMG..what a coinkidinks!! *thud*

        Currently I use rabbit ears to run the TV thru the PC and it OK but should have thought to run an extra point to the study. As it is though he did provision for it so I could run the cable myself.
        When we built this house,.. we had some aerial outlets wired up but not connected to aerial and I cant remember whether this one where my computer is was set up this way or to the aerial (need to get up they and have a look),.. those not connected to the aerial were originally meant for connecting kids TVs to a central video/dvd player, but we never bothered with it and they now have there own dvd player anyway.  In hindsight we should have had them connected to the aerial because none of them have good TV reception in their rooms. :

        I would have thought though that this one under my computer desk,.should be connected to the aerial because it is in the family room about 5 metres across the room the big TV (it would have been aerial to allow for furniture rearrangements me thinks,..yet the reception from this outlet is near zilch).

        He mounted our aerial below the crest of our tiled roof.

        From what I understand, unless everyone else has got it wrong your aerial should be pointing in the same direction as the neighbors.
        Aaar,.. yep as I suspected,..sounds like mine is waaay too low and facing the wrong direction. Thanks heaps TG

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: TV Aerials, HD STBs, HD DVB-T Receivers, SAT T

          Have a read through the DTv forums. Great source of info and should be able to find a reputed installer on there.
          http://www.dtvforum.info/

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: TV Aerials, HD STBs, HD DVB-T Receivers, SAT T

            Originally posted by JavaB link=1206260940/0#2 date=1206265265
            Remy,

            Firstly, yes there are a range of aerials - but they arent designed for a special purpose (analogue, STB, HD etc) but rather for "gain" the amount of signal which they capture. Bigger aerials with more elements (the rods which come away from the centre) are designed for areas with lower signal strength..... they have higher gain (and are more expensive!)
            This is great to know,...and I wont make a fool of myself asking for a HD aerial either :. The guy next door has one that looks like a space craft,.. it has two outer  wings that are parrallel facing and rods are running vertical. The middle section looks like a regular aerial....erm like mine in fact.

            Now the aerial MUST be pointed at the TV tower.... and certainly not at an iron roof (the iron roof acts just like a mirror does for light and reflects it). So if there is an iron roof between you and the transmitter tower.... raise the aerial so that it is above the roof for best reception.
            its definitely not pointing towards the TV tower, and definitely too low in that case.

            Guess what Ill be doing tomorrow *heavy sigh*.  This should be interesting,.. because we have a very high pitch on the roof and the aerial is on top of one continuous face, running from eave to over 2nd storey loft  ,.. thankfully where they installed the aerial,. it is right next to a courtyard (oh that would mean a 2 storey drop into the courtyard from the aerial..hmm....gees I hope the shadecloth isnt rotten,lol) and I will be walking up a timber beam of the pergola(which follows the same pitch but with shadecloth on will give some grip). If I dont post again.........  :

            Outlets in the house. I assume they are the coax type (a round cable rather than the flat cable which was used many years ago). If they are coax then there will be a balun (a little box) at the aerial to convert the signal (I wont go into the technicalities).... this will deteriorate over time.... moisture will corrode the connections and spiders etc will make a home in it!!  This will lose your signal. Also the coax which runs from that box into the house is attractive to rodents (especially rats) who will chew through it.... more signal loss.
            Yes they are all coax cables. Yes I saw the balun(though didnt know its name or purpose)and it is funny you should mention deterioration because when I was looking up at the aerial,.. the first thing that crossed my mind after thinking about the direction and height of it, was that the attached cable and box thingy has been weathered for 10 years!!!.. how could it still be working. The cable does look weathered.

            Now as you have more than one outlet.... the odds are whoever wired them up have just connected the two together with the coax.... that is a no-no. To run more than one outlet you need a splitter..... the cable from the aerial connects to that and then the two (or more) sockets are fed from the splitter. A splitter will reduce your signal - but not as much as the outlets just connected to each other will. Unless familiar with these items, it is often best to get a professional aerial installer to do the work..... it is expensive unfortunately but they will have the right gear for your aerial and your installation.... (gain of aerial, possibly a splitter with built in amplifier etc,,, etc.... and also know where to point the aerial for best reception.

            You can get all the bits yourself and do all the work yourself - but it is not a trivial exercise unless you know a bit about electronics....

            Hope that helps and best of luck!
            I have a feeling they might be wired together you know,.. cos I dont recall seeing a splitter on the cable up there.  I will have a crack at doing this myself,.. I have wired heaps of other stuff including extra phone outlets here, computer networking (my job once), all my car stereos bar the last two that came with decent stereos in them ;D.  I am guessing I can buy a splitter to accomodate four or five cables? cos if I am going to go to this much trouble, I am going to get it all right once and for all and hook up the kids rooms too.  The cables are already through the wall cavities,.. ready and waiting for me to hook em up to a vid/dvd player like I mentioned in my post to TG,.. but I will connect them to the aerial instead. Will I be correct in assuming that cable connectors will also mean some loss in signal. I most likely will need to buy more cable and join to whatever is already up there to reach the aerial as the cable allowed from the kids rooms would likely only be enough to travel down the cavity wall to the outlet positioned at the back to the familyroom TV .

            Thanks JavaB,..great info,..I have a better understanding now and will get the aerial sorted out first.




            Comment


            • #7
              Re: TV Aerials, HD STBs, HD DVB-T Receivers, SAT T

              Originally posted by rice link=1206260940/0#4 date=1206272584
              Have a read through the DTv forums. Great source of info and should be able to find a reputed installer on there.
              http://www.dtvforum.info/
              no,.well dar... I never thought to search specifically for a digital TV forum *smack*.   I tried searching for TV reception in [local area] and aerials  Thanks Rice, I will check that out.

              EDITED TO ADD: Awesome forum Rice!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: TV Aerials, HD STBs, HD DVB-T Receivers, SAT T

                Just to add to my above post....

                Digital TV isnt subject to ghosting and all the other nasties that affect analogue TV....

                But just like digital phones compared to the old analogue phones.... Analogue phones would work with poor signals.... you would get noise and drop outs.... but they worked! Digital phones require a sufficiently strong signal or they wont work at all - and the same with digital TV.

                Any aerial will work as long as it collects enough signal..... and your cabling is good enough to get it to the STB...... but if it isnt being collected or it is being lost along the way .... it wont work!

                I have 4 televisions (two digital and 2 analogue) in 4 different rooms all running off the same aerial..... plus Foxtel and the DVD player output are also distributed to all 4 rooms on the same coax....

                That was a fun exercise.... but required lots of cable/connector termination, soldering etc.....

                By the way, the other advantage of using an installer (well a good one) is that they have a signal strength meter and will check the best location to instal the aerial..... and that is VERY important unless you are close to the towers....

                And Im not, nor have even been, involved in installing TV antennae..... but as a licensed amateur radio operator have installed plenty of antennae.... both transmitting and receiving..... and as that TV program says..... its all about "location, location, location" (and the correct choice of components....)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: TV Aerials, HD STBs, HD DVB-T Receivers, SAT T

                  In case it helps Remy, my splitter was put under the house as the installer ran the cable from the aerial to there and then split to all the room points.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: TV Aerials, HD STBs, HD DVB-T Receivers, SAT T

                    Originally posted by JavaB link=1206260940/0#7 date=1206275400
                    Just to add to my above post....

                    Digital TV isnt subject to ghosting and all the other nasties that affect analogue TV....
                    then this would mean my SD STB is not connected to my TV properly then?.. or is it that I am still just receiving only analogue somehow? Now Im confused. I have a SD STB plugged in to the main TV. Arent all stations now transmitting digital as well as analogue. I know HD is again different and there are currently only SC10HD, ABC HDTV, WINTVHD, PrimeHD, & SBS HD available here.. all currently offering limited HD viewing and lots of HD Demo loops *sigh*.. Surely I should not be getting ghosting then if Im receiving digital correctly through my STB.

                    But just like digital phones compared to the old analogue phones.... Analogue phones would work with poor signals.... you would get noise and drop outs.... but they worked! Digital phones require a sufficiently strong signal or they wont work at all - and the same with digital TV.
                    aaar ok,.. so maybe my signal has gotten so poor in quality that the digital has actuall dropped right out....it mightbe possible that I am only getting analogue now then. Like I said earlier,.. the picture used to be awesome,..when I first connected the STB I remember the picture being significantly better than experienced before. The ghosting and sometimes channel dropout completely has crept in over say the last year -18months.

                    Any aerial will work as long as it collects enough signal..... and your cabling is good enough to get it to the STB...... but if it isnt being collected or it is being lost along the way .... it wont work!
                    right.. got it.

                    I have 4 televisions (two digital and 2 analogue) in 4 different rooms all running off the same aerial..... plus Foxtel and the DVD player output are also distributed to all 4 rooms on the same coax....That was a fun exercise.... but required lots of cable/connector termination, soldering etc.....
                    We have 8 TVs : and 2 old-but-still-working-poorly..on the way to the dump. All have cwap reception atm,. the 3 kids TVs have little to no reception and they can only really watch dvds on their TVs because it is to frustration trying to watch TV programs on them. I really do need to get in and sort this out,. not sure I want to go to the trouble of soldering,.. have done soldering before but could I be bothered to try and find all the soldering gear in the garage?? Nope!

                    By the way, the other advantage of using an installer (well a good one) is that they have a signal strength meter and will check the best location to instal the aerial..... and that is VERY important unless you are close to the towers....
                    Yeah,.. Im of two minds whether to just get on the phone to an installer,. would certainly be an easier option (though more expensive obvioulsy).. might just see what I can do first.

                    And Im not, nor have even been, involved in installing TV antennae..... but as a licensed amateur radio operator have installed plenty of antennae.... both transmitting and receiving..... and as that TV program says..... its all about "location, location, location" (and the correct choice of components....)
                    Yeah.... be all accounts,.. my location should still be good despite the area being more built up.... the components I think, is what needs some attention.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: TV Aerials, HD STBs, HD DVB-T Receivers, SAT T

                      Originally posted by Thundergod link=1206260940/0#8 date=1206280267
                      In case it helps Remy, my splitter was put under the house as the installer ran the cable from the aerial to there and then split to all the room points.
                      Im on a slab(slab heating too  ;D  mmmmmm) There are two more roof cavities I need to check... these cavities are smaller single roof cavities but closer to the aerial itself,.. its possible the splitter could be in one of these. Ooooooh redbackkkkks *shudder*

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: TV Aerials, HD STBs, HD DVB-T Receivers, SAT T

                        Soldering isnt necessarily the only option available Remy,

                        If you head to your nearest DSE or Jaycar outlet with a rough plan of the existing/preferred layout, they will be able to supply you with everything you need to do the job without the need to solder connections..... All the components are dry-fit designs and only require that you know how to strip the insulation from the ends of the cables and fit the various connectors, etc.

                        Have recently rewired the antenna cabling in our house end never needed the soldering iron at all 8-).

                        All the best,
                        Mal.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: TV Aerials, HD STBs, HD DVB-T Receivers, SAT T

                          Originally posted by Mal link=1206260940/0#11 date=1206327089
                          Soldering isnt necessarily the only option available Remy,

                          If you head to your nearest DSE or Jaycar outlet with a rough plan of the existing/preferred layout, they will be able to supply you with everything you need to do the job without the need to solder connections..... All the components are dry-fit designs and only require that you know how to strip the insulation from the ends of the cables and fit the various connectors, etc.

                          Have recently rewired the antenna cabling in our house end never needed the soldering iron at all 8-).

                          All the best,
                          Mal.
                          Thats what I was hoping/imagining it would be. JavaB.. has probably done something a little more flashy than I will need to be doing. Yep stripped many-a-wire and fitted with connectors/lugs/terminals in my time...too easy.  

                          Didnt get a chance today to check the aerial,..furniture moving then rain  : was on the cards today instead. Too late to get in the roof too...Im stooofed!  So tomorrow I will fight my way through the sheets of spider webs,.. its revolting,.. redbacks galore up there,..might spray on my way back out me thinks.!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: TV Aerials, HD STBs, HD DVB-T Receivers, SAT T

                            Originally posted by Remy link=1206260940/0#12 date=1206332717

                            Thats what I was hoping/imagining it would be. JavaB.. has probably done something a little more flashy than I will need to be doing. Yep stripped many-a-wire and fitted with connectors/lugs/terminals in my time...too easy.


                            Yep, my electronics work is just like my coffee..... I like to do it the best way possible!

                            I must admit I dont like the screw fit terminals.... as they dont always make good connection further down the track (more subject to corrosion and signal loss)..... but if you get good ones (read more expensive!!) then they probably are OK.....

                            To me the el cheapo screw fit connectors vs proper solder connectors is a bit like a $100 coffee machine compared to a Silvia (6910 8-))...... both will produce cr@p coffee if you dont know what you are doing..... but only the Silvia/6910 will produce outstanding coffee when you do!

                            However, having said that.... most commercial firms use the el cheapo connectors anyway :

                            And with your number of outlets you definitely need an amplified splitter (and as Mal suggested - Dick Smith and Jaycar can supply these).

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: TV Aerials, HD STBs, HD DVB-T Receivers, SAT T

                              Yeah,.I dont like screw fit terminals either,. crimp fit not so bad if done properly,.. in situations where the wires are subject to moving, vibrating etc,.. like car stereos systems,..its only a matter of time before your speakers turn themselves on and off according to whether youre doing a right or left hand turn  >  : .  Up in the roof,..as long as the rats  :-/ leave the cables alone and well meaning tradies take care where they step,.screw fit should be fine as youd know because they wont be moving at all.

                              Yep Ill pick up and amplified splitter,.. DSE is just around the corner,.. I love DSE :} .

                              Here is the aerial I have to get to,.. angle of the roof doesnt look accurate in the pics because of the where I was standing, but to get some idea,..workmen wont get up it,. the aircon tradesman freaked and they had to make alternative arrangements to fit the ac on another face which was more friendly,..and legally had to have more than one guy there at all times and they used harnesses,..I cant remember what angle it is,..and just asked hubby if he could remember and he said.."bloooody steep" ;D,..so the roof is not ideal to climb up on :..the roof if a lot longer/higher than it looks here, with another 1.5mtrs up from the point where the aerial is attached. Good footwear is a must.

                              In the pics, the aerial also looks like it clears the crest of the roof, but it doesnt.. the top of the aerial appears to be level or even a little lower than the top of the crest in real life. The aerial needs to come right up to the top of the pole and swung anti-clockwise about 45deg. It might even be better if fitted a longer pole??. Seems the neighbors aerials are quite a lot higher off their rooftops, and I think that at best,.. this aerials top half will clear the crest. Its likely that this was how it was originally,.and has probably just worked its way down the pole and around,..but will see how tight the U bolt is when I get up there to determine for sure if its just worked its way down,..and whether it could benefit with a longer pole. I can hardly wait to get up there : :-/

                              [img]www.studioheath.com/images/bits/aerial1.jpg[/img]

                              [img]www.studioheath.com/images/bits/aerial2.jpg[/img]





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