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Digital channels being removed one by one - any ideas?

(15 Posts)
UnSerpentQuiCourt Sun 10-Jul-11 21:09:48

Our area - Cental Southern Englandish went TV digital last year. It started off fine, but gradually more and more channels have become 'scrambled or unavailable'; Film4, Yesterday, various others ... since last week Channel 4 and Channel 4+1 have gone as well. We have a 'normal' TV and a digibox downstairs and a cheapish digital TV upstairs. The aerial is quite new.

Any ideas? I frequently try rescanning, but it doesn't help.

NetworkGuy Mon 11-Jul-11 04:35:36

What transmitter do you get signals from?

Not sure what has happened for Jux but she gets signals from Stockland Hill (I think, if I remembered it correctly) south of Taunton, and was complaining about loss of Film4 in the last 2-5 weeks. Sounds like you might be getting signals from the same transmitter group, if you are further south than my initial guess of being near the 'Central' TV area...

UnSerpentQuiCourt Mon 11-Jul-11 14:55:31

Looking at the Telecom maps, it looks like we are on the very edge of the Mendip transmitter range, which would explain why we get totally irrelevant local news from Bristol, instead of from anywhere near here. Does it help to know? Can you complain/get advice?

You do seem to be on hand for all my technical queries!

NetworkGuy Mon 11-Jul-11 18:32:54

It helps in respect of whether that transmitter is undergoing maintenance, or whether there are further changes likely to take place.

NetworkGuy Mon 11-Jul-11 19:16:35

If you visit Digital UK and enter your postcode it should give you a shortlist of possible transmitters. I'm on the edge of three regions so it listed 4 but I know the aerial points towards Manchester (and Granada ITV is a big clue that I'm not getting Central or Welsh signals!)

UnSerpentQuiCourt Tue 12-Jul-11 13:13:21

Yep, I was right; it's Mendip. Maybe they are just picking off their channels one by one! Obviously the real answer is to find something better to do than watch tv, although the mornings when Milkshake doesn't work are a bit dodgy.

ShowOfHands Tue 12-Jul-11 13:18:02

We haven't even switched yet (East Anglia) and freeview has gone mad. Channels have started disappearing, no signal, scrambled programmes etc. Plus I have noticed BBC 1 for example appearing in 3 different places on the guide. It's normal 1 slot and then 8 hundred and something. Either it's self replicating, they're up to something or I'm losing the plot.

I nipped into the local electrical shop yesterday as they're doing all the digital advice and switchover help and in the assistant's words 'freeview has gone utterly bloody nuts over the last week'.

There's summat afoot.

NetworkGuy Tue 12-Jul-11 18:15:41

if you get an 800 number, then it means it has picked up the same station from more than one location.

Unfortunately, since the scan goes from channel 21 up to 69, then it is easy to get a "wrong" region unless yours is the lowest channel set.

For example, to the south of me, BBC Midlands is on one of the channels from 21 to 35, BBC Wales is on a channel in the top 40s/low 50s, and BBC from Manchester is in the 55 to 69 range. I simply remove the aerial to make the box get no signals from the Midlands or Wales. I probably had the plug out too long and had to manually tune to channel 56 and others in the upper 50s.

If you know which transmitter your aerial points at, you may be able to work out wht other signals are getting in and messing up the numbers.

UnSerpentQuiCourt Tue 12-Jul-11 22:02:26

That would explain why sometimes I can't get a channel on the normal number, but can on the 800 number.

Do you mean that, while the digibox was sscanning, when it had gone past 35, you whipped put the aerial plug and put it quickly back in? Could that help me get Film4 back? Or Yesterday (which my mother rather liked)?

NetworkGuy Wed 13-Jul-11 01:02:26

I remove the aerial until I estimate the channel is in the mid 50s (from having watched it scan before, and then telling the box to do a fresh 'install'). Once the aerial is in, I see what channels are found.

If you get lots of signals, then it might be better to manually set the channel (assuming your box has both 'auto' and 'manual' options) so you'd need to use the website to check which UHF channels to use.

Are you sure your signals are from the Mendip transmitter (as there are a few dozen relays) and among the ones on the map south of Mendip are: Bruton, Cerne Abbas, Chilfrome, and Crewekerne).

If you are getting signals from several, it will be best to manually tune the box, and keep a note of which UHF channels you used, so you can do it again another time, if needed.

UnSerpentQuiCourt Wed 13-Jul-11 09:17:53

I put in my postcode as you suggested and it came up with Mendip, and, as I said, I get completely irrelevant local news from Bristol and Devon. We are not far from Cerne Abbas.

NetworkGuy Wed 13-Jul-11 12:06:07

OK, I just put in the details for a place to stay in Cerne Abbas, and ticked the box as if I was an aerial installer. It shows that 3 of the 6 signals are rebroadcast at Cerne Abbas, and while there's a slight chance of getting the High Definition signals from Rowridge (which would be Meridian/BBC South, I expect) it would really depend on your exact postcode.

I checked details for a home in Melcombe Bingham (to the east of you, I think) and it would get the first 3 (which would include HD, but also the primary BBC / ITV channels) quite well but would need a second aerial on a bearing of 103 degres (ie a little south of pointing directly East)

The whole range of signals should also be available from the Mendip, but clearly you're wanting news for Poole and Dorset, rather than Bath/Bristol.

NetworkGuy Wed 13-Jul-11 12:14:46

Looking again at the details, your best option might be to go for FreeSat as you should be able to put in a postcode for a home in Southampton and get Meridian TV and BBC South with perfect signals.

Of course, not everyone wants a satellite dish on their home, but it would avoid the signals (and news) from the Mendip transmitter, though those signals would be available as a backup or possibly to watch a different film... (the different BBC and ITV regions can be watched on satellite too, in most cases).

UnSerpentQuiCourt Thu 14-Jul-11 22:32:09

Thank you! Have pm'd. Not quite sure how you put in a postcode with Freesat ...

Would love to live in Melcombe Bingham (which is also called Binghams Melcombe!) - it is totally idyllic (and veeeery expensive).

NetworkGuy Fri 15-Jul-11 01:51:53

The FreeSat box, when first started up, requests a postcode. It uses that to determine what part of UK you are in and whether to show you BBC England, N.Ireland, Scotland or Wales, plus your local ITV. So a Southampton postcode (eg "SO15 5FR") rather than your own (which is shown as 'West' on Digital UK, and would give you the news services you don't want!) should be used.

That postcode is for a residential street in Shirley, Southampton, so you'd get Meridian news and BBC South.

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