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Get The Best Reception, Illawarra


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#101 charlesc

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Posted 09 July 2009 - 09:55 PM

I recently bought a cheap LCD tv with a built in STB and this works OK? Why?

So is it correct that both your STBs no longer receive successfully, but that the new LCD TV does?

Receivers do perform differently, and devices do age. Maybe your deteriorating reception has been mainly because of the STBs.

There are a few threads in this forum on HD STBs, with some recommendations.

#102 carnivore

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 12:29 AM

AlanH,
I haven't bought a new STB yet.
I was waiting for your suggestion as to which one would be best?

Charlesc,
That's correct, both SD STB's that are at least each 4 years old do not receive any signal yet my elcheapo Hisense LCD does, and does it well
I'll do a search for HD STB's and see how that goes.

Thanks for your comments,
Rob

#103 alanh

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 12:58 AM

Carnivore,
Get one which can receive MPEG-4 from the following brands;
Beyonwiz, Lenoxx, Strong and Topfield.

AlanH

#104 carnivore

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 01:43 AM

I've read that the Healing HHT893 is a good STB for fringe areas.

Is that on the list of HD STB's that you'd recommend AlanH?
Why MPEG-4?

Any preference from your recommendations, and if so why?
I need one that gets a better than average signal.

Rob

Edited by carnivore, 10 July 2009 - 01:44 AM.


#105 alanh

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 02:24 AM

Carnivore,
I have specified MPEG-4 because it is in the Freeview Approved specification. So in the future they will start using this compression system and you will be able to receive these signals without having to replace this STB.

Are you receiving your signals from Knights Hill or Escapment Rd Brokers Nose?

I would not make the highest sensitivity STB a criteria. I would rather make the signal stronger going down the cable into the STB. The reason is that any electical interference will have less effect this way.

With respect to the Healing STB, you would have to look for MPEG-4 in its specification.

AlanH

#106 charlesc

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 09:25 AM

No carnivore, the Healing doesn't support MPEG-4.
But it does peform well on a less-than-ideal reception signal, in my experience. You seem to have found the relevant threads.

You can get it for around $150, which isn't bad value. So, who knows how long it will last? In a few years, with MPEG-4 maybe starting to happen, it might be time to look again.
Your existing STBs may have only lasted a few years. Is that bad? I don't know, were they very expensive?
I don't think STBs are bought these days to last a lifetime. :)

The reality is that it's unlikely that there will be much if any MPEG-4 transmission around for quite some time. The STB will give good service in the meantime.


I would look to a good performing STB as a thing of high importance. In some situations it could mean your existing antenna installation might suffice for a while longer. And when signal reception varies, it might keep performing when others don't.
Having said that, the best solution in terms of reliable performance is always to have your antenna installation correctly set up, and optimised for digital.


I'm going to be in Mangerton this weekend, Personal Message (PM) me if you want to try a Healing. I'll bring one down.

By the way, you'll need more than 5 posts to PM, see my sig below.

#107 carnivore

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 11:19 AM

AlanH,
I'm not sure what Freeview is but I guess a search of the forum will fill me in.
Are MPEG-4 STB's dearer?

I take my signal from Brokers Nose with Mt Kembla being a fringe area for both there and Knights Hill. We have a repeater/transmitter at Mt Nebo (which would be line of sight if not for the trees) but it's not digital.

To make the most of the signal I have, a sensitive STB would go some of the way to solving my current problems.



Charlesc,

$150 for a HD STB seems like pretty good value, my first one was SD and cost me more. I remember the inlaws buying a DGTEC HD STB 5+ years ago for around $500.
As a matter of interest I tried it (the DGTEC) here and it was the same, no signal. That's when I decided to upgrade the aerial and coax.

I'm in no way complaining about the old STB's life, I just want a reliable tv service and was curious if the STB's were a cause of the slowly deteriorating signal.
I will buy a new STB in the next week or so (after some research) and see how that goes.
If it is no better a good amp is the last option (apart from having a guru come and set it up for me).

Trying a Healing is a good option and as luck would have it this is my 5th post, so I'm free to PM.

Thanks again for the advice Alan and Charles.
Rob

#108 carnivore

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 12:35 AM

Fixed the problem...
Got a Strong SRT5404E and all's well.
Reception on all channels is good.

Thanks for the advice Alan and Charles.

#109 charlesc

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 02:42 PM

Fixed the problem...
Got a Strong SRT5404E and all's well.


Did you mean the 5405E? MPEG-2 HD.
I can't see the one you mentioned on the Strong website.

#110 carnivore

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 09:04 PM

Sorry, for the typo.
Yes it's the SRT 5405E. Cheap, but should see me through till I get a LED TV with an inbuilt STB...(dreaming)

Again thanks for the assistance
Rob

#111 Gemdarwen

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 10:55 PM

Tonight I have lost my WINTV signal on only one of the 3 TV tuners in the house. All other signals on that same TV are operating fine.

I have a Samsung LA26R7 which has lost channel 8 and 80, and cannot tune 88 (new GO!). Whilst another Samsung (UA46B7100) and an Aldi tuner (operating on a media centre PC) still manage to display all three WINTV channels (8, 80, 88) along with all other stations (One HD / SBS / ABC / Capital).

I live in Woonona (Wollongong northern suburbs) and believe I'm receiving signals from the Brokers Nose site (Corrimal).

Any suggestions??

#112 alanh

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 02:17 AM

Gemdawen
Are you using a splitter so that each receiver gets its own signal?

Is this problem new?

AlanH

#113 charlesc

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 10:28 AM

Tonight I have lost my WINTV signal on only one of the 3 TV tuners in the house. All other signals on that same TV are operating fine.
I have a Samsung LA26R7 which has lost channel 8 and 80, and cannot tune 88 (new GO!). Whilst another Samsung (UA46B7100) and an Aldi tuner (operating on a media centre PC) still manage to display all three WINTV channels (8, 80, 88) along with all other stations (One HD / SBS / ABC / Capital).
I live in Woonona (Wollongong northern suburbs) and believe I'm receiving signals from the Brokers Nose site (Corrimal).


Gemdawen,
The main Illawarra transmitter listings are at the bottom of this post. You should be able to identify where you are receiving from by the frequency of the transmission. Hopefully you can read this from one of the info pages on your receiver display somewhere (TV, PVR, PC tuner).

If you are receiving from Brokers Nose, WIN is on CH40, 613.5 MHz. This happens to be the lowest of the channels in frequency (which may or may not be relevant, as such).

As noted in your other post, receivers do vary in their ability to work with reception signals. And the antenna cabling distribution system can deliver different signals to the various outlets (hopefully not very different if all is working correctly).

Your reception may be marginal, and for most of the time everything is OK. Then something changes a bit, and one or more of your receivers can't cope with the signal it has to work with. There are a couple of good guide documents in my signature below that better explain what is required for reliable digital reception. Perhaps have a look at them.

What does your antenna system consist of? A single external antenna to Brokers Nose? Multiple TV outlets in the house? How old are the antenna and cabling?

Knights Hill
WIN UHF 36 Hor 585.5 MHz New WIN Tower, KNIGHTS HILL
STHN CROSS UHF 37 Hor 592.5 MHz New WIN Tower, KNIGHTS HILL
PRIME UHF 38 Hor 599.5 MHz New WIN Tower, KNIGHTS HILL
ABC UHF 51 Hor 690.5 MHz Broadcast Australia Digital Television Tower KNIGHTS HILL
SBS UHF 54 711.625 MHz New WIN Tower, KNIGHTS HILL


Brokers Nose
WIN UHF 40 Hor 613.5 MHz Broadcast Site, Escarpment Road, BROKERS NOSE
STHN CROSS UHF 43 Hor 634.5 MHz Broadcast Site, Escarpment Road, BROKERS NOSE
PRIME UHF 46 Hor 655.5 MHz Broadcast Site, Escarpment Road, BROKERS NOSE
ABC UHF 52 Hor 697.5 MHz Broadcast Site, Escarpment Road, BROKERS NOSE
SBS UHF 54 711.625 MHz Broadcast Site, Escarpment Road, BROKERS NOSE


#114 Gemdarwen

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 06:14 PM

What does your antenna system consist of? A single external antenna to Brokers Nose? Multiple TV outlets in the house? How old are the antenna and cabling?



The antenna is a single external unit mouned to point towards Brokers Nose. There is on elead from the antenna with a splitter inline to connect three outlets. The closet outlet is the one having problems. The antenna is and cabling is 5 years old - installed in a new house.

I have today noticed other nearby houses have slightly different aerials. Mine consists of wht is probably a combination VHF / UHF whilst many other newer housese have only the UHF type (long narrow with angle wings on the tail - best way to describe) and some even have what appears to be a square mesh style.

I'm wondering if it is worth getting the local installer who installed the original antenna back out and check the setup.

#115 Gemdarwen

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 07:56 PM

Tonight I have just re-attempted another scan. This time it has picked up the missing 3 WINTV channels (40 @ 613500 mhz). However when I switch to those channels, nothing is displayed / heard.

What is going on ???? What am I missing here?

#116 charlesc

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 08:56 PM

The antenna is a single external unit mouned to point towards Brokers Nose.

I have today noticed other nearby houses have slightly different aerials. Mine consists of wht is probably a combination VHF / UHF whilst many other newer housese have only the UHF type (long narrow with angle wings on the tail - best way to describe) and some even have what appears to be a square mesh style.

I'm wondering if it is worth getting the local installer who installed the original antenna back out and check the setup.

If all signals are coming from Brokers Nose to you, they are all UHF (on high frequencies). You wouldn't need the VHF part of a combination antenna. This is designed for the VHF channels, typically in a metro area (like Sydney). Channels like 6, 8, 11, 12 (dig 7, 9, 10, ABC).

The small wing tailed antennas are UHF only, directional Yagi style. The mesh ones are what's called Phased Array UHF ones. They pick up a more diffuse signal (less direct line-of-sight).

You may have faulty cabling or a splitter port. Short of moving TVs around onto different outlets to see if the problem moves with that, maybe getting an installer out is your best option.
One other thing you could try if you don't want to move the TVs is to get a long length of good quality RG-6 coax cable and take the TV signal from different outputs and try it on the different TVs, until you see what consitently gives problems.

EDIT: Some receivers will scan and take channel info, but not actually display the program. That is why some receivers will scan and pick up say 26 programs, while others may only get say 15.
What is better? To get more programs, or only the ones that will really work?
And what if you are scanning on a poor reception evening? Maybe on other nights the results would give OK reception. So the results vary, and you do get 'phantom' channels appearing that aren't really there.

Edited by charlesc, 02 August 2009 - 09:00 PM.


#117 Gemdarwen

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 12:40 PM

And what if you are scanning on a poor reception evening? Maybe on other nights the results would give OK reception.


Thanks charlesc.

After my last post last night (7:56pm) I found the the signal strength meter in the Samsung menus. I noticed that for all the WINTV signals that the 'Bit Error Rate" was jumping all over the place from 1 - 6, and the signal strength was down as low as 24.

This morning when I turned the TV on, all 3 WINTV channels displayed straight away. I checked the same meters again and found that the "Bit Error" was still 1-2, but signal strength had increased to 45.

The TV's are mounted on the walls, so I don't want to be moving them around. I think I'll just put in a call to the local TV aerial crew to come and have a look.

Thanks for putting forward some suggestions.

#118 charlesc

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 01:15 PM

The TV's are mounted on the walls, so I don't want to be moving them around. I think I'll just put in a call to the local TV aerial crew to come and have a look.
Thanks for putting forward some suggestions.

Make sure they have the right equipment to measure and set up for digital reception.

As a minimum they should be able to measure Bit Error Rate (BER) for each channel, the Digital Channel Power (DCP, signal strength), and give you these figures written down.

#119 Gemdarwen

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 04:47 PM

Well I got the antenna service call and $78 later the problem appears resolved - for now.

They replaced the lead from the TV to the wall socket, as the reading from the socket was OK. After replacing the cable, the signal (video and audio) returned. The signal strength has droppd to around 70 (same as Prime). SC10 is around 85, whilst ABC and SBS are at 95.

Reading some other threads, it appears NINE / WINTV have done something in their changeover to the new digital service (Go! on 88) - as usual, they expect every consumer out there to put up with the substandard service in the end.

As a standard family member, I would expect any digital TV purchased within the the last 1-2 years to be up to the job of receiving and decoding digital services. Especially when the TV is a major brand (Samsung) and not a backyard Chinese import version.

How are TV stations expected to convince the average family that digital services are much better when a simple change like adding a new channel (yes - it should be simple for the averahe home user) causes so much confusion and dis-satisfaction.

At least what this has shown me over the past few days is that ABC has some great shows that I previously didn't watch because I was watching WINTV.

I'd also like to add a note about the lack of service provided by the WINTV support team. When the problem arose last week, I checked the WINTV website for any information (eg frequenies for Brokers Nose) but could not find anything. I sent them an email from their website which was specifically setup for "reception problems". I recevied the automated response saying it had been assigned to a technician and I could expect a call / email. I've received nothing - not even a follow up email. Just goes to show how important they regard they're audience - maybe switching of WINTV and NINE is the only way they might start taking note.

Yes, some will say - well you cable was obviously a problem - to them I say No. If it was such a problem, why then has it worked for the 2 years I've been using it for digital TV and then, and only then, did it "break" when Go! started transmission.

#120 timace

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Posted 22 August 2009 - 10:10 PM

Yes, some will say - well you cable was obviously a problem - to them I say No. If it was such a problem, why then has it worked for the 2 years I've been using it for digital TV and then, and only then, did it "break" when Go! started transmission.


Goodness, it was a coincidence. I'm in Woonona, using a USB tuner connected to a DSE powered UHF antenna and WIN, as with everything else is very strong.

I'm picking up every UHF signal possible here - Artarmon/Gore Hill, Brokers Nose and Knights Hill - all at near full strength.

From my understanding, the new GO! Channel shouldn't have made a difference, 88 was active (with a test loop probably) quite a few weeks before the channel programming went live.

edit: Wouldn't you have thought of replacing that cable before wasting $78?

Edited by timace, 22 August 2009 - 10:25 PM.


#121 RF Burns

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 08:58 AM

If all signals are coming from Brokers Nose to you, they are all UHF (on high frequencies). You wouldn't need the VHF part of a combination antenna. This is designed for the VHF channels, typically in a metro area (like Sydney). Channels like 6, 8, 11, 12 (dig 7, 9, 10, ABC).


The reason he probably has a combo antenna, is that WIN Analogue is still on VHF channel 3 from Brokers Nose. The antenna was probably originally installed, to still be able to receive Analogue channels, much the same as here in Newcastle with the same situation, unfortunately not everyone has digital TV, & not everyone has digital TV on every outlet, I'd say a fair majority of viewers, still use an Analogue TV somewhere in the house, even if they have 1 or 2 digital TV's. As an installer I have to ask every time, & unless they confirm no analogue use, or tell me it's OK for them to have poor channel 3 reception, I still have to cater for & install for Analogue VHF use, & although not the best situation, combo's are still used regularly.

#122 alanh

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 12:35 PM

GlennP,
A band 5 antenna in both Newcastle and Wollongong will receive all analog channels except NBN or WIN from Brokers Nose. However Brokers Nose is supposed to also have a UHF analog WIN transmitter.

There is a similar situation in Sydney and that is that a digital only antenna can receive all analog channels except ABC1.

So in theory only one receiver needs to have digital capability in that dwelling.

AlanH

#123 RF Burns

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 01:18 PM

GlennP,
A band 5 antenna in both Newcastle and Wollongong will receive all analog channels except NBN or WIN from Brokers Nose. However Brokers Nose is supposed to also have a UHF analog WIN transmitter.

There is a similar situation in Sydney and that is that a digital only antenna can receive all analog channels except ABC1.

So in theory only one receiver needs to have digital capability in that dwelling.

AlanH


Alan,
That may be so, & while I can't answer for Wollongong, 1 thing you don't understand is, NBN is the top rating channel in Newcastle (even though channel nine doesn't do well in the rest of the country), NBN is the only channel with local News & all 7 days of News rates week in week out in the top 5 programs with Sunday night News rating top program pretty much every week, most people won't do without NBN, analogue TV's are most likely to be used in the bedroom or kitchen if there is another digital TV in the house, also doing without NBN VHF channel 3 (if the house isn't all digital), won't usually wash in Newcastle, as someone is likely to want to watch a program on NBN (on the second or third TV), while someone else is watching another program (perhaps Foxtel or a DVD) on the main (most likely Digital) TV.

I know you find this hard to understand/come to terms with, but every household isn't 100% digital yet (& they don't have to be, until December 2013), so antenna installations in a lot of places still have to be able to receive VHF channels below channel 6 VHF Band 3. Just to help you understand a little better, I & others have been informed by NBN Engineers, they have no intention of switching off the Newcastle VHF channel 3 TX till after the 2012 Olympic Games, (literally 3 months before forced official analogue switch off dates), as they know/realise/understand (whichever term you want to use), that a significant number of viewers will still be watching the games on Analogue TV's tuned to VHF channel 3.

Edited by GlennP, 23 August 2009 - 01:37 PM.


#124 vv4yn0

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 11:43 AM

Hello,
I am located in Albion Park Rail and want to try to receive some channels I believe are broadcast from sydney.
I know it is possible as a friend who lives a few Km's away manages to do it.
Their antenna is pointed northward and seems to be a combined UHF/VHF.
>snip


Just as an update to those who, like me, wanted sydney channels in wollongong - I have finally got a result.

If you didn't read the full installment, here is a recap.

Forum member Charles came down and we done a site survey - during the middle of the day we could manage to get the signal from the transmitter but the cooler afternoon made the signal fade and we could not get a decent signal - this was both with UHF and VHF.
I have a fairly tall antenna mast but at the time we were unable to get the antennas tested much higher than shoulder height above the guttering level.
I had a wireless computer antenna mounted at the very top which I could not disturb at the time.

cut to this week>

I bought an antenna from Ebay (mainly because it was cheap - I didn't think it would have enough gain to do the job but was willing to try)
the antenna is here http://cgi.ebay.com....e=STRK:MEWNX:IT
I managed to mount it at the very top of the mast and feed it thru my 30dB amplifier.
The result is a solid signal even during the cooler nights - I think the extra height and better segregation from the existing antenna made all the difference.
I have since installed a splitter in reverse to combine the existing UHF antenna with the new one so I can get local transmissions too.
The local signal is very strong (close to the transmitter) and the sydney one is much weaker but even with very different coax lengths between each antenna and the combining point it all works fine.

Just thought some may appreciate the update.
Thanks again to all the people who contributed with advice and especially to Charles who done the site survey.
Wayne

#125 charlesc

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 12:10 PM

Just thought some may appreciate the update.
Thanks again to all the people who contributed with advice and especially to Charles who done the site survey.
Wayne

Hi Wayne, I'm glad to see you've had success. Well done. We ran out of time before, that's for sure.

What I'm a bit surprised about is the fact that the link you've provided shows a Fracarro UHF (high frequency) antenna, the sort that would be used to get the local transmissions, or
(technically) SBS from Sydney. That antenna is not designed for the Sydney VHF channels, which are on lower frequencies.
That is the one you've installed?

Using a splitter in reverse does combine signals, but as it combines all frequencies from each antenna (without combining just VHF with say UHF), this can lead to unwanted signal combining/cancellation errors.

EDIT: I recall now that at one point you were wanting the C31 community TV channel (analogue) from Sydney. Is this what you mean when you say you have it now? Because that Fracarro would be able to give you some reception at that frequency.

Edited by charlesc, 24 August 2009 - 01:31 PM.