TV Signal Booster Box - is it worth it???

#1
Not quite sure if this is the right forum but......

Mrs BoF's tv doesn't get a great signal on some freeview channels. This means they break up and generally aren't watchable. Most annoyingly this includes the 'Dave' channel and so i am unable to watch Top Gear repeats :x and other such gentleman's programmes. The aerial is an oldish analogue one but is pointing in the right direction. I / we don't want to fork out for a new aerial, and she doesn't want satellite. Will one of those little booster boxes work or are they just a gimmick???

Cheers!
 
#2
SPoke to a bloke who is rolling this system out, and basically its in trouble already, so yes you would be advised to get a booster. They are cutting costs already and quality is a big issue, quality = lack of service.
 
#3
Ta - they are fairly cheap so think i'll get one!
 
#4
Boosters can work to improve the reception......... however, they can also work against you. Any interference will also be boosted.

If you live in a built up area it may not be a poor signal, it may be ghosting due to reflection. In that case an attenuator may be needed.

It's a bit of a gamble either way.
 
#5
hopefully becuase the system is digital there is less likely of ghosting. However if in doubt get a bigger antenna, either will do the job
 
#6
Has there been a general deterioration in the ITV signal recently? I've got a booster box and a mast amplifier and Mrs LISpace still gives me grief over ITV 3 breaking up, which it wasn't doing 6 months ago. And on Sunday I had to switch to analogue for the GP on ITV 1 as digital was difficult/unworkable. When I switch off the booster the signal disappears altogether.

Any techies out there who can help? I can't think of anything else I can do to improve things. I'm out in the sticks so the usual urban problems don't apply.
 
#7
A booster wont boost the signal your receiving, its for sending a bit more signal along long cable runs or when you wish to run more than two tv's from one aerial prevent a loss of signal, you need to get a high gain aerial.

(former aerial erector extrordinaire)
 
#8
check all your cables top and tail

maybe its worth cutting the ends of and re terminating

how big is your antenna/reflector (maybe you need a bigger one) trees grow over the years etc as well as degradation on the towers etc.

Dont expect them to fix it quick you will either have to get SKY or a better antenna system. Digital TV needs a bigger antenna system compared to analogue

check the link out just in case

http://tx.mb21.co.uk/info/
 
#10
The main channels are all ok on Mrs BoF's tv. Her neighbour had a quote about their aerial today and the bloke came up with £150 for new digi aerial and all the fittings. Seems a lot to me but i'm not too sure! Anyone else had a new aerial put up recently???
 
#11
its possible the transitter your on does not do the normal TV guff, they distribute them around for various econmic reasons. its possible itv could be on another transmitter.

check the linke out tx.mb21.co.uk/info/

it mayhelp (or try the bbc website) http://www.bbc.co.uk/reception
 
#13
Well, unless I'm reading it totally wrong, the link Rattler provided says I'm going to lose a ton of channels in 2012 (unless the 'after' bit means 'as well as those you have now' which I don't think is the case as the commentary says 'you're going to lose channels')

Blimmin' flip! What can I do about this?? Apart from get Sky?

Tried the BBC website, when I typed in my postcode it said page not found so a prob with the website I think.
 
#15
The_Rattler said:
http://www.digitaluk.co.uk/
Thanks, that worked. I got a 'variable reception' and 'aerial upgrade may be required' throughout, and:

'Some transitional problems. For a short period of time you may experience disruption to some digital channels.
An aerial upgrade may be required to receive these channels.'

It sounds to me that I'm a bit stuffed by my location, ie there's not a lot I can do to improve things and I'm going to have to live with the variable reception.
 
#16
Just a word of warning, the boosters I have used have been very vulnerable to lightning strikes.
 
#17
DON'T dash out and buy a very expensive amplified high gain aerial!

I've been down this route and wasted money, often having no improvement in signal whatsoever.

Having looked through many internet posts on the subject, many pointed towards Telecam indoor (nominally set-top) aerials. At the time that I bought mine, these were among the cheapest ones available at Argos (don't know if they still do them).

At the top of the house, one kid has the unamplified version and has no problems at all. Signal strength is excellent.

In the middle of the house (three storeys), the other kid has the amplified version (unamplified version didn't work). This struggles, probably because this bedroom falls into the signal shadow caused by a hill. By taking the aerial and TV to the top of the house, the TV can be tuned into the channels. Then take them back to the middle-floor bedroom and fiddle with the aerial to get the alignment exactly right - aerial sitting on about half a dozen books on the window cill to clear the signal shadow. Result, reasonable reception on most of the channels. Unfortunately, closing the curtains disturbs the position of the aerial, so it's a long job realigning the aerial.

An external aerial is the way forward, but my ladders aren't 30' long.

The nearest transmitter (and it's a bloody long way off) won't be transmitting on full power until 2013, by which time I won't have to worry about TV in the kids' bedrooms. It's currently transmitting at 5-10%, even though (apparently) all the kit is already installed. Doesn't seem to make sense, somehow.


edited to add:

These are digital aerials. The old analogue aerials won't pick up the digital signal properly, if at all.

Comparison of different indoor aerials: http://www.ricability-digitaltv.org.uk/pages/products/indoor_aerials/aerial_search_results.asp
 
#18
rebel_with_a_cause said:
Just a word of warning, the boosters I have used have been very vulnerable to lightning strikes.
Interesting. My aerial is close to my lightning conductor (about 1.5m away), is that a good thing or a bad thing?
 
#19
I had a new aerial a few years ago then got freeview. Great picture. However last few months picture has been crap. Found out it's the transmitter and googled it, found a forum of unhappy ppl with same prob. Pic was freezing and going blocky. Bought a booster and now cured - signal strength is now 10
 
#20
You are best off doing things in the following order:
1. Reterminate the cable, a duff joint can cause a load of loss and loss = crap picture if the signal is weak to start with.
2. Replace the cable with some good quality cable. Again this reduces loss.
3. Fit a booster, if you can get the signal above the pixilation threshold you will be fine. While it boosts all the signal equally the digital nature of the signal means that it is either good or not there at all.
4. Fit a new High gain Antenna. Do it your self as the TV install boys are raking it in at teh moment with lots of DSO scare stories.

Depending on where you live things are going to be interesting until 2012. Any loss of services will be temporary as the old analogue and existing digital get ripped out and replaced with high power digital. Once your area is done, you will have all the freeview muxes available. ITV 3 has been squeezed abit recently, but this is being sorted out.

How do I know, I have spent the last 2 years working on this, and have another 4 to go.
 

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