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General Chat Thread, Freeview HD - your questions answered in General; Originally Posted by AngryTechnician Is Freeview not getting some of the extra bandwidth from when they axe the analogue signal? ...
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    DrCheese's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngryTechnician View Post
    Is Freeview not getting some of the extra bandwidth from when they axe the analogue signal?
    No, Ofcom are going to put it out to auction. There is nothing stopping TV companies from bidding for it, but they will be facing competition from the mobile phone networks and others.

    It is somewhat fail, even a small amount of reserved spectrum would allow them to open up another multiplex bringing in another 4/5 HD channels without killing off any of the existing Freeview ones. Long term they could give it back when the other freeview multiplex change over.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    I'm sure satellite, cable and IPTV will be the future. Makes you wonder though why go to the effort creating/promoting Freeview HD, paying 50 for a box then receive a whopping 4 HD channels. I'd feel kind of ripped off if I was joe public knowing little about the technology, buying into the 'HD game' to be limited to a few HD channels.
    Yeah but 50 one off charge is actually not bad. The other methods all have MAJOR problems eg,

    Satellite* - Monopoly Provider (Sky), Need a Dish (some people can't or are unwilling to have one), expensive monthly charge

    Cable - Monopoly Provider (Virgin), need fibre optic cables, low coverage even in major cities, expensive monthly charge

    IPTV - ISP's charge more and more for limited bandwidth caps on 'unlimited' services, who wants to be told on Wednesday they have exceeded their weekly bandwidth limit and there is no more TV.

    *Actually thinking about it there is Freesat now so go Satellite!

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    Quote Originally Posted by somabc View Post
    Yeah but 50 one off charge is actually not bad. The other methods all have MAJOR problems eg,

    Satellite* - Monopoly Provider (Sky), Need a Dish (some people can't or are unwilling to have one), expensive monthly charge

    Cable - Monopoly Provider (Virgin), need fibre optic cables, low coverage even in major cities, expensive monthly charge

    IPTV - ISP's charge more and more for limited bandwidth caps on 'unlimited' services, who wants to be told on Wednesday they have exceeded their weekly bandwidth limit and there is no more TV.

    *Actually thinking about it there is Freesat now so go Satellite!
    probelm with freesat is that it dosent have some on my most frequently watched chanels that are on freeview (dave and virgin 1)

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    There is a solution to the Freeview bandwidth problem, but it would require a large percentage of the population to get new aerials.

    At the moment the frequencies used at a particular transmitter fall into a particular group, so that if you're using say Crystal Palace, you get a Group A aerial which is optimised for that frequency group. To avoid interference, neighbouring transmitters are in different groups.

    If they were to make the national multiplexes (eg the ones with no regional content) Single Frequency Networks, that would free up a lot of bandwidth as only one frequency would be needed for each mux rather than a seperate frequency on each transmitter.

    It may also solve the "Half a freeview" problem which means that viewers who, due to a postcode lottery, are not served by a main transmitter but by a relay, will only get about 15 channels, not the promised 40 after switchover.

    But using SFNs means that almost everybody will need a new wideband aerial to be able to pick up the whole UHF band. So it's almost a non starter.

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    There is a solution to the Freeview bandwidth problem, but it would require a large percentage of the population to get new aerials.
    Well if that's the case then everyone should be encouraged to get a satellite dish instead. I don't understand why the BBC/ITV are pushing Freeview HD and informing the public to get a new aerial if it has such limitations. It's really poor advice.

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    I don't think the BBC and ITV are telling people to get new aerials across the board, it's simply that some people will need them because the reallocation of frequencies means the existing aerial is now out of group for the transmission, or that a different transmitter will provide a better service. My post about everybody requiring a new aerial is about a better way of doing thing rather than the current dog's dinner and that is one of the reasons why it hasn't happenned.

    Satellite has its own issues though, many people are unable, for one reason or another, to have a dish.

    There is also the political issue that the UK doesn't own or control any of the satellites, and it's still considered important to have control over infrastructure that could be used to form a wartime broadcasting service, if such a situation were to arise. If that one satellite gets damaged the entire country is without signals, wheras in theory it's quite difficult to take out all terrestrial broadcasting to the entire country. (ITV having a power cut and discovering they put too many eggs in one basket not withstanding!)

    Plus satellite is useless if it's raining too hard in the wrong place.
    Last edited by SteveBentley; 24th November 2009 at 11:06 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveBentley View Post
    Amazing... The Register have published an article about Freeview which is generally accurate rather than a confused misinterpretation of a press release.

    Strangely the last couple of times they published misinformation they didn't feel the comments I left on the article picking up on the error were worthy of being approved by the moderator, but quietly updated the article enough that it was ambiguous.
    That's a shame as it is the readers comments that make me read El Reg. Often hilarious, straight to the point and usually rip the articles to shreds.

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    You can still have problems when a professional installs a much bigger dish - when Channel 5 first launched they were feeding all of the transmitters via satellite. Until it rained... a fibre link to Croydon was soon installed (but sod the rest of the country!)

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    The DSO process frees up existing space to allow up to 4 HD channels to be broadcast using approx 9Mbits per channel. This is what BBC HD on satellite is currently broadcasting at (was 16Mbits up until a couple of months or so ago.)

    The DSO process in itself is creating addition problems, especially for those in fringe areas like me in the Granada Region.

    Primary transmitter is Winter Hill which started Stage 1 of the DSO on 2nd November 2009. This in itself created havoc for less tech savvy users as they found their BBC channels replaced with BBC Wales. This is due to Wales also being in the process of their DSO. As well as changing channel frequencies the original signal strength is increased (by up to 10x in cases). With the welsh transmitter, Moel y Parc, being close and using lower UHF channels an auto-scan finds and stores those channels first and stores duplicates in the 800+ channel numbers.

    Freeview devices / TVs vary on how they handle duplicate channels, some ask for your postcode and can automatically store the correct channels, and some have a manual add channel function and many others don’t. To make matters worse the method and the type of signal after DSO changes (on some multiplexes) and many very old Freeview devices / TVs cannot support them, so have to be binned!)

    Even using correcting aligned aerials (and of the correct group) does not also correct the problem. Most issues are to do with the significant signal boost after DSO. The signal is simply too strong, and especially for those who had invested in an upgraded aerial and / or signal booster. This in turn allows the Freeview device / TV to receive signals from other transmitters. In addition, many Freeview boxes / televisions cannot handle the increased signal strength and many viewers are currently suffering from picture lose / breakup.

    There are numerous ways around this.

    To stop duplicate or incorrect channels being stored, visit DigitalUK to get details of your primary transmitter for your area. Enter you postcode, house number and select the aerial installation trade button, this will then give you the name of the most likely transmitter along with the exact UHF channel numbers that it transmits their multiplexes on.

    Now delete all the existing channels, then manually add the channels by entering and scanning the UHF channel numbers as found above.

    If your Freeview device / TV does not have a delete channel function, either select factory reset or select auto scan remembering to remove the aerial connection first so the auto scan finds no channels and deletes existing ones. Then manually add the channels as mentioned above.

    A lot of Freeview device / TV may not have a manual add channel function. To tune these in correctly, delete the existing channels by initially removing the aerial from the Freeview device / TV and select factory reset / rescan. Then select rescan again, and only plug in the aerial when the auto scan is nearing the lowest UHF channel number for your given transmitter.

    A final way is to purchase a variable attenuator and install it in between the aerial and the Freeview device / TV. This will lower the strength of ‘all’ signals from all transmitters but hopefully the signal from your preferred transmitter will be the strongest so that it can be detected and stored correctly.

    Finally, disable the ‘New channels detected’ option as this will most likely keep appearing as it keeps detecting channels from fringe area transmitters.


    Sorry, didn't mean to hijack and go off-topic but I felt it was appropriate as the DSO process is to allow FreeviewHD broadcast.
    Last edited by MYK-IT; 24th November 2009 at 01:25 PM.

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