Digital TV - Crap signal Govt fault or the weather ?

I don’t get to watch TV regularly but I compensate by checking the programmes for the coming week and recording them, not many...mainly documentaries and the odd film. Generally it works well, but recently I’ve sat down to watch a programme and have found that the digital picture freezes intermittently, or it becomes pixilated and the sound becomes a staccato patois complete with bleeps and squeaks from the speakers. Obviously the picture and sound have lost sync for that second or two which makes for very frustrating viewing.

This evening I sat down to watch the Bomber Command documentary made by Ewan MacGregor and his pilot brother. ( They made one on the Spitfireand the Battle of Britain last year which was in the summer and a perfect piece of telly. Not this time though - and it’s not their fault. I had to ditch the idea and I’ll catch it on i-player later). Quite simply the dodgy signal got on my tits and the blood pressure began to rise.

Nothing to do with the recorder, Sunray Domestic complained that the same thing was happening the other night watching a favoured programme on ITV. It seems to be the same other digital channels too.

I’ve always had my doubts about digital tv, but it would seem to be getting worse. My own theory for the current problem is atmospherics, seems to cock-up in cold weather. I had noticed it last year during that big freeze when we had clear skies and sub zero temperatures.

So, techno-Arrsers, what’s the score ? Atmospherics ? Or have were been sold a dummy by Nu-labour back in those dark days ? They flogged the gold, so did they think to make a packet on flogging the FM wave band too ?

Snottogrammme to the proper ministry is going to be composed.....erm what Ministry though ? Is there a Ministry of Digital Fuckwittery ? Is SOinC on the advisory panel. We need to know.
I sometimes get a poor signal/lost signal too. It used to never happen on the main channels such as BBC and ITV, but now those are affected too. I suspect there are various reasons for it happening, but there was this one time when a plane flew by and the problem stopped once it was out of earshot. A spokesman on a question session on local radio a couple of years ago said that currently the power levels were only at about 10% of what they will be after switchover. So that might make a difference to this problem. I've tried re-tuning a couple of times but this seems to make no difference.
Atmospherics will cause the picture to pixillate, especially if there is a lightning storm. Problem with digital is it's either there or it's not and the weather can play havoc with it. However, you need to check a few things yourself. Does your aerial need upgrading? Some of the analogue aerials can cope with analogue but may not be good enough for the digital signals.
Is the aerial pointing in the right direction? Some areas could receive two lots of analogue signals, for example in Leicester area you can pick up West and East analogue signals. With digital, you will get a poor signal from the back of the aerial so check where the digital transmitters are in your area. However, I do think there may be a backlash when the analogue is switched off and everyone goes digital. When picture drop out and the screen goes scratchy and horrible during bad weather, people might think they have been sold a pup, especially those in areas quite a distance from the transmitter or have a bloody great hill in the way. (City dwellers, look away now as you won't be affected so much).
Big hill to the south of us. We pick up the Isle of Wight transmitter. There is also a transmitter in Salisbury (Harnham), so the dual signal could be the problem and I'll get that checked. But I rather think that it's going to be the low signal power that is the reason, so hopefully the problem will go away on switch over.

Thanks for the info. Incidentally - just watched the programme on BBC I-Player with no problem. I Player will soon be the medium of choice I think.
My area has changed over to digital only and reception is very poor and noticeably worse in cold weather.I can't get some of the major channels like Film 4 or Sky News. Can't afford Sky TV so I'm thinking of getting Freesat. It seems to be a one off charge and you can get everything, including HD channels.
Ooooh, my telly picture is shit, that's must be the ******* government's fault!

Ooooh, my shoelace is undone, that must be a CIA plot!

Ooooh, I'm full of ******* shit, that must've been my parents fault!
I have been experiencing a poor picture for some time. First thing most mornings I have to retune the TV and quite often the picture was pixelated so badly it was unwatchable. . I blamed the transmitter etc. About a month ago, I decided to phone a TV aerial installer. Upon arrival he looked at my aerial and told me it was an FM aerial, which was ok before we went digital. Had a new aerial and cable fitted and parted with my £85. Picture is brilliant and unaffected by wind or cold. Just wished I had it done sooner. Seems to be a problem if you have an aerial from the analog days or are watching TV using a satellite dish.
There are so many things that can affect the signal, starting at point where your signal cable is plugged into the back of your telly all the way up to what you have on the roof.

Though I do like the instant case of otherenditis as soon as you can't get your fix of idiot box.
Ooooh, my telly picture is shit, that's must be the ******* government's fault!

Ooooh, my shoelace is undone, that must be a CIA plot!

Ooooh, I'm full of fucking shit, that must've been my parents fault!
Danny Boy calling Broadsword: Encrypted message received and understood. Danny Boy out.
I live in an apartment here in Florida, but the TV principle is the same - instead of an aerial, we have a cable company distribution amplifier outside the building.

I was getting periodic iffy reception of the digital TV signal and Broadband and the cable co was reporting 100% good signal at the dist box for both. I made new cables to go between the wall sockets and the TVs / VCRs and the Router. No difference. It wasn't until I took the wall plates off and checked the in-wall cable terminations that the problem was solved. Whoever had installed the in-home cable system had left the cable distribution block with two ports open and unterminated with 50 ohm pads, and had kinked the input cable badly.

I put pads on the open ports and cut the kink out and put a new connector onto the incoming cable - instant success, with a rock steady clean picture. That was about three months ago and all has been fine ever since.
(Apart from Cernunnos), I appreciate the views and the chat. TV isn't my main off duty hobby because there is so much reality shite on most
channels....but just occassionally, after mining through loads of crap, you can come up with something good and I perfer to watch it when
I want to. Knock the Beeb all you want, but Frozen Planet and Earth Flight was top notch and although the licence fee irritates the crap
out of me, I'm content that we get stuff like this on a regular basis. I have too much to do in my spare time than to 'mong' it in front of the
crystal bucket, as Clive James calls the Telly.

Blaming the Govt ? Well, I'm sure that there has been a great deal of commercial interest in the FM Wave Band and I guess it's correct that
it should be exploited.....but not at the expence of quality, which seems to be the case at the moment.

My question was genuine, TV fault ? Weather, or simply Govt ineptitude. After the posts received, I'm inclined to believe that the low
power theory is likely, which is down to the operatores / geeks who decided on what quantity of juice to use until switch over time.

I'm surprised at cernunus's remarks because he's usually quite a wit, so I'll put it down to the onset of dementia because he's probably
searching for the NAFFI where he's usually at his best.


I detest digital and want analogue back, if a butterfly farts the picture fucks up, never got that with the old system.
NAAFI not NAFFI :wink:
Yep, got me there. The NAAFI. My degrees in English Literature and Language should be
handed back forurth / firth / forthwith.


the problem at the moment is that two signals are being broadcast ie anolouge and digital, untill the anouloge signal is switched of completly this is going to be an ongoing problem. the aerial is having to share two signals and therefore not as strong as it should be. hopefully things should improve once this is done. however the lower range signal is to be sold to mobile phone companys, they will then use this for the introduction of 4g signal for mobile and broadband. so it could be a case of the signal once again being crap. personally i hate the digital free channels they have never been of a good enough standerd thats why im happy to pay for sky. nothing worse than watching a program then it cuts out and freezes.
Bit of an update here... I had the switchover 10 days ago now and I'm still on my same old aireial er areial, aerial, ha! Aerial that's the one. Since the switchover I haven't noticed any lost signal or freezing picture or any of the stuff that I used to get. I had to retune the box of course, which only took moments but overall I've had no problems. I can only imagine that the power has been turned up, like the bloke on the radio said would happen.

As a side issue, I tried to find this thread using the search function and got nowhere. The search function is naff, which must explain why so many topics get multi-posted. Not only that, but some of the thread titles are misleading. So unless someone wants to read through loads of threads physically searching, it's easier just to not bother searching. Just an observation.


Book Reviewer
being brought up in the days of wireless, betamax and 8 track cassettes you no doubt will understand where i am coming from. I bought two HD tvs in the hope that once we converted to digital i could receive HD progs.
I got freeview built in and dolby stero to boot . So why cant i get bbc hd or any other type of hd, other than on my computer which i bought for work? .
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