Broadband Vs Analogue

  slow learner 14:30 02 May 2005

Having gone over to Telewest (TV,Phone,Broadband offer)some time ago I have appreciated what appears on the face of it value for money and great connection to boot.

However, thinking about accessing digital tv from more than one room I appear to have discovered this is costly and will require boxes in other rooms. When using analogue any of our six tvs can be accessed, at once if need be, but what happens when the great switchover occurs? I have also noticed a delay in picture and sound if you compare the two - analogue being quicker!! - and more problems with the picture in digital with the image freezing more often than I ever had problems with the analogue picture.

Similarly with the PC I have discovered that using a router I can plug my works lap top into my broadband connection at home to connect to work. It appears there are other ports in the router so I am assuming that with long enough cable I could put the children's PC (W98, dial up modem)into it and they too will have the joys of broadband, but how do I overcome the cable/modem issue?

Of course wireless may be part of the answer, but that too may cost unless done over time, and perhaps when all is digital there may be ways to access all from anywhere and who nows even without a tv licence!

If anyone out there has a simple cheap solution to connecting multiple tvs to one cable connection (as you can with several tvs to one arial) and overcome the versitility, if not quality issues, let me know - in the meantime I remain a sceptic.

  Joe R 14:48 02 May 2005

slow learner,

I think that you will discover, as many others do, that there is still a lot of problems with digital TV signals.

I have been with Telewest for many years now, and still have the occasional problem with my TV signal reception.

It is only £10 per month extra to have another box in a seperate room, or you could try using a splitter, and another length of cable. I have very serious doubts as to this working though, and also the legality of it.

  Pooke100 15:00 02 May 2005

It would be certainly LEGAL to run a splitter or one of those wireless sender/reciever things Argos sell, but you'll be limited to watch the same thing on both tv's.

Do not attempt to split the cable going into the digi'box!!!! Use the one coming out i.e. the scart cable or normal coax that feeds your tv/vcr.

  slow learner 15:52 02 May 2005

Splitters means more wire for little benefit, and I also believe I am right that the £10 is for each additional box and per month so for 5 tvs thats £50 a month or £600 per annum every yaer! If thats the case I think I would prefer to keep to digital (broadband) for my PC and remain on analogue for my tv (most digi channels are repeats or of dubious quality anyway, but where not I can buy in other ways - pay per view, DVD hire, record or buy). So my only question is why am I and others being told digi tv is better when it clearly involves less quality, more cost, and (worst of all) its to be forced upon me and you like it or not? Not necessarily an election issue I know, but come on!!

  Pooke100 16:23 02 May 2005

Because it's the way Britain is??

I don't know, Government says it's better so we all have to switch? There is the option of freeview boxes one payment of £40 for the box and that's it.

  bfoc 18:09 02 May 2005

Is a value judgement.

If one wants more channels then digital is better.

If one wants interactivity then digital is better.

If one accepts that digital quality is higher then digital is better.

I have NTL digital TV and a splitter and amplifier which sends the signal to two other rooms. A recent change of NTL box (to allow me the 2Mb service) seems to have really lowered the quality from the splitter - I'll have to check why. Also the new box doesn't have the direct audio out of the old one which I used to connect to my sound system.

I also have a Freeview Box (£29.99) attached to my PC and that works very well indeed. Am thinking that may ditch the NTL box and just go with Freeview - much, much cheaper if you don't want all the channels.

  Stuartli 09:35 03 May 2005

Digital picture quality on an analogue TV is no different to terrestial transmissions - a Freeview set top box converts the digital signal back to analogue before you view the pictures. Nicam sound is digital in any case.

Freeview is digital based to enable more TV and radio channels to be carried on a given bandwidth.

  Bandy 11:00 03 May 2005

Freeview is excellent, when you can get it, but it is not available in all areas.

Another point is the cost of an arial, a relation was recently quoted £300 for her installation, and mine is estimated at £150

In both cases we are likely to stay with analogue for a while, if only to save up for an arial

  Arnie 14:13 03 May 2005


£300!! I don't know where you live but a good wideband aerial should cost around £50. Allow 50p a metre for double screened cable. Include fitting to the average height house. £100 to £125 or so should be more than enough to cover the job.

It certainly does in the Stevenage area.


I find that although digital transmissions have their problems. On a correctly aligned aerial, quality cable with no sharp bends and a good reception area and of course a quality FTV box, the signal to noise ratio has always bettered analogue reception. (In my case).
I do think though, until we have cheap video recorders with built in digital tuners, it will put off a lot of people changing over until forced to do so.

As an addendum, I think some of the extra programmes on offer are just plain rubbish, with quantity not quality the order of the day. Of course, that is only my opinion.

  bfoc 16:14 03 May 2005

Happy to accept that there is no technical difference between digital and analogue, but for me, as for Arnie, digital does provide a noticeably better picture.

In my experience digital provides good quality until signal strength drops to a point where it starts 'blocking' and/or jumping and is then unwatchable.

  Stuartli 19:05 03 May 2005

You clearly haven't been watching ITV1, ITV2 and ITV3 Freeview transmissions in my area recently...:-)

They are currently not very good at all.

Re aerials. My wideband aerial, originally erected to ensure reception of the middle range of ONDigital channels that couldn't be picked up with a basic TV aerial, cost just over £50 all in (was a few years back but prices haven't gone up round here all that much).

It also feeds my computer system's Twinhan DTV ter Freeview PCI card and a second TV using a £10 twin output aerial booster from Tesco; the 60ft under floor coaxial cable feed for this booster, in turn, comes from a 30-year-old(!) aerial booster that also serves the main TV.

Our local Tesco is currently selling off these aerial boosters (mine's now just under a fiver and the single output version is £2.97!)

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