Signal boosters on freeview

  rowdy 21:22 30 Nov 2003

Signal boosters
I have used a signal booster for some time as the reception for digital is marginal in my area. Recently the digital BBC 1 and 2 along with 24hr news 'disappeared' but all other channels were OK.
If I take out the booster then the missing channels are available but the rest are poor and subject to freezing and breakup.

Question is it possible to 'over boost ' a good signal and prevent reception?


  DieSse 22:32 30 Nov 2003

Question is it possible to 'over boost ' a good signal and prevent reception?

Answer - Yes.

But are you sure the booster is operating at the correct frequencies for digital recption - ie is it specified for dgital.

  Stuartli 08:50 01 Dec 2003

What you require is a good quality "wideband" aerial - if the basic signal strength is not enough then no amount of boosting will cure it properly.

In the past narrow band aerials, plus vertical or horozontal polarisation, were used to prevent TV signals other than from your local transmitter interfering with each other.

The wideband aerial fills in the channel gaps, usually around 30-45, that the narrowband aerials don't pick up.

I first got ONDigital soon after it was launched and, despite being in a very strong reception area, had to have a wideband aerial installed for the missing channels.

The aerial and installation cost then was £52, but will probably be somewhat more now.

  rowdy 14:38 01 Dec 2003

I have used the booster successfully for some months and it recieved all the possible channels with good pictures etc.

My aerial is relatively new and is supposed to be a wideband/highgain system.

The booster has been checked by the manufacturer and deemed to be suitable for digital and working properly. The only idea they could offer was that perhaps my aerial alignment had been changed by high winds or bird collision so that it is now better aligned than previously and recieving a much stronger signal on the BBC Channels.

I have checked on the maintenance program of the local transmitter and although it has been maintained there is no indication that the signal output strength had been increased.

All the set top box ( Pace ) software upgrades have been installed as they occur.

Still puzzled and may seek out alternative booster.



  Stuartli 14:57 01 Dec 2003

Could not have been a very good aerial fitter if it wasn't in alignment in the first place.

If your aerial is new than, hopefully, it is wideband, although you don't seem very certain.

There's nothing magical about receiving digital terrestial signals - just the correct aerial - as your set top box eventually converts them to an analogue signal to the TV. It's just a means of receiving more signals for a given bandwidth.

  SEASHANTY 15:37 01 Dec 2003

Use the menu on the pace box to check the signal strengths. BBC1, BBC2 & NEWS24 use the same multiplex channel. That channel may possibly be off in your area. Here in the Winter Hill area that multiplex is Channel 56 and its the strongest one.

  Stuartli 17:37 01 Dec 2003

I'm in the Winter Hill area and have found several channels which work equally well regarding signal strength - you just have to go through each one from 21-69 to find them out.

It's a while since I did the check and just left it on one of them, so have forgotten which are the best.

But even with a "weak" signal I get excellent reception on all of the Freeview channels and it was the same with ON/ITVDigital.

  rowdy 19:21 01 Dec 2003

I can recieve BBC 1 BBC 2 and News24 without a booster so they are obviously the strongest most of the others need the booster inline to get a stable picture. BUT with the booster inline the three BBC channels come up as no signal.

I just wondered if too strong a signal could cause this.

I realise that the booster may be filtering them out but the manufacturer insists that this is not the case.


  SEASHANTY 19:25 01 Dec 2003

Yep but there is Winter Hill and Winter Hill B. In Oldham the pickup is on Channels 56, 60, 63, 66, 67, 68 and 56 with up to six multiplex stations on each channel. Measurements on my Pace digital STB have shown that the stations sharing Ch.56 have the best signal strength. Mostly BBC stations on 56. I have a list somewhere but can't find the darned thing. In rowdys case its probably overboosting which is preventing reception. Think I would try some aerial repositioning. I know the installer who set up my wideband aerial on the roof used Channel five TV for his alignment. The reason for that (he said) is because its the weakest in this area. As I stated previously, I still have to use two signal boosters for freeview reception, but its still a far, far better pic on digital than it is on analogue.

  rowdy 19:30 01 Dec 2003

re realignment of my aerial, all of the digital signals in my area come from the same transmitter ( Bilsdale ) and if the wind or whatever has indeed adjusted my alignment so that I can get the BBC channels without boosting,suggesting a better alignment then it would seem silly to move it.


  SEASHANTY 19:37 01 Dec 2003

Your case puzzles me a lot. If I remove the boosters
I can also pick up the high signal strength stations
such as BBC and the Sky news but the others drop out drastically with errors and block breakup. The multiplexed channels grouped with Five, QVC and Travel Shop become unwatchable. Pity you cannot try out another Pace STP. I have three omelette shaped
STB's plus a Grundig STB. I can't offhand think of any way you can just attentuate the BBC channels and leave the others as they are. Repositioning the aerial would evidently have an effect on this but if its on your chimney it isn't all that convenient to do this. Must admit that in the high winds recently I thought that mine may have shifted but it hasn't. It has, however, become a favourite perch for three of the local magpies.

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