matthewowl 14:13 08 Oct 2006

I am trying to get the TV function to work on my desktop PC (Advent T9207A) which I believe has a built in freeview tuner.
I've bought (yesterday) a 25m aerial extension (it says 3C-2V 75ohm coaxial cable on it) and connected the PC direct via the extension to the coxial cable coming out of the wall (so not through anything).
I used the MS Media-Centre wizard but ended up with a very poor picture on one channel. I rang my PC World helpline number and they told me that is sounded like i had set it up right but there was a problem with the aerial - even though I can watch TV perfectly in my living room). They might be right because having tried to watch TV via the extension cable I struggle to get a signal.

Does anyone have any advice? Have a bought a cheap extension that can't cope with a weak signal or something like that?

Any ideas are gratefully received.

  rodriguez 14:22 08 Oct 2006

It might be that the tuner in the PC card isn't as good quality as the one plugged into the TV in the living room as the one in the living room might be able to cope with a weaker signal. Try plugging the aerial extension into the tuner in your living room and if the picture is still fine you can rule out the cable.

  josie mayhem 14:45 08 Oct 2006

If you have put the connecters on to the cable yourself, I would check that the outter weaved copper shealth isn't touching the inner copper core and that it runs into the connector....

any cable can will lose some signal strengh along a extended run, if you have a good signal on your main telly then you might need a signal booster, pref one with a gains control on it.... Changing the areial well that is opened to debate....

I have yet to know any one having to change there areaial to recieve freeview! Even my dad was able to pick up freeview using a attic areial that was really just balanced on the rafters and had been there a long time before he lived their over 20 years now....

I share a communal areial, I know that it is more than 6 years old, but with the main telly I have no problems with freeview, but on my extension I do need to use a booster due to signal loss over the extension....

  Diemmess 15:05 08 Oct 2006

Am I correct in assuming that the extension cable is 25 Metres long with a suitable TV type co-ax plug on each end?

josie mayhem is right that every extra metre means some loss though normally very small when compared with other factors.

Every junction will lose some signal but incorrectly made joints can be very lossy indeed.

I would unscrew the plug at each end and make sure that the central conductor goes stright up the middle of the hollow pin and particularly the screen copper weave under the cable outer sleeve makes good contact with the outer part of the plug and its crimp, but is really clear of the inner conductor.

If you use a Y splitter at the wall.... dont!
This will halve the signal at a stroke.

Lastly, if you have 25 metres where say 5 would do, then chop the extra off once you have found out how to make a sound joint with the plug.

  Stuartli 15:10 08 Oct 2006

matthewowl says he bought the extension.

Might be worth trying a two output aerial amplifier, one for the normal TV and the other to connect your aerial extension cable.

I have a 60ft aerial extension from an aerial amplfier in the back room to the front - the main TV is in the back room and another aerial amplifier serves the front room TV and my Twinhan Freeview PCI Digital+ Analogue TV card.

For some time I had sound and vision problems with the TV card with the ITV and Channel4 stations, including More4 and E4, but discovered quite by chance that the TV card was being given too much signal.

Turning down the gain brought all the problem stations to order and didn't affect the 80+ other TV and radio stations from Winter Hill.

  Mikè 15:37 08 Oct 2006

"I've bought (yesterday) a 25m aerial extension (it says 3C-2V 75ohm coaxial cable on it)"

3c-2v coax' is a poor spec cable not ideal for long runs, use a low loss cable to ct-100 spec click here

I'm afraid when talking of long cable runs in what may be a poor location, the correct grade of cable can make a big difference.

Consider a dedicated aerial (with a shorter cable run) just for the PC.

  skeletal 16:01 08 Oct 2006

Matthewowl wrote: “They might be right because having tried to watch TV via the extension cable I struggle to get a signal.”

This tells me that there is something wrong with the plugs/connections as others have said, or the cable, being of lowish quality, is attenuating the signal too much.

josie mayhem wrote: “I have yet to know any one having to change their aerial to receive freeview!”. You now know someone: me! I have bought a mega aerial (think Joderal Bank!) and stuck it on a much taller pole and I still have significant problems with some freeview channels. Freeview seems to use much lower signal strengths, I suspect due to possible interference with analogue channels. This lower strength will not help Matthewowl’s situation.

I hope that when they turn analogue off, things will get better. Until then I intend to do some fancy stuff using multiple aerials, but have not got round to it yet.


  matthewowl 17:45 08 Oct 2006

Thanks everyone.

If I was to get a two-way amflifier would the one on this URL be any good -
click here

(and if anyone can tell me how to insert a link to a website into the forum please do!)

  DieSse 18:25 08 Oct 2006

This is the correct type - it has a much wider frequency range, specifically for digital signals. click here

It's not clear whether it needs a seperate power supply.

The proper way to get better signals is a better aerial, follwed by a mast-head, wide-band amplifier where needed.

Otherwise all you get is a boosted poor quality signal, rather than a good quality signal - and as the saying goes, you can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear!

  Stuartli 20:32 08 Oct 2006

The aerial amplifier you list at Maplins is from Philix, an excellent make (also has Labstar and other known brand names) and you require at least a two outputs type.

However, your example is expensive compared to prices at other outlets and it's worth looking around local independent audio/video outlets for lower prices.

The Tesco two output model is by the same firm (rebadged under the Tesco name)and is the one I use. This is what it looks like:

click here

Philex's website:

click here

My back room aerial amplifier is by the same firm but is the version that allows you to also retain mains socket use on the "plug-thru" basis.

This cost me £6.99 at Aldi (rebadged under the Masterplug brand name) and the first type mentioned £8.99 from Tesco - both much less than at your source but the Aldi one is probably no longer available...-(

  skeletal 09:41 09 Oct 2006

I still suggest you improve your co-ax cable first. You could further prove (or otherwise) that it is the cable by temporarily trying your computer system plugged in where you telly is, i.e. not using any extension lead. If this still gives problems it will be down to the poorer RF circuitry in the PC. If it is OK, change the lead.

If you want to use an amplifier (for any reason) then it is very important you do what DieSse has outlined i.e. place the amplifier as close to the aerial as possible, don’t place it at the PC end.

By a fluke, I have just read an article about digital telly and it stated that transmission powers are much reduced ATM, but will be increased after switch-over 2008-2012; it stated it will be then be good enough to work with set-top aerials and even in moving vehicles (I’ll believe that when I see it) so you could always wait a few years!!


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