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Standard User TLM
(legend) Thu 19-Sep-13 12:31:45
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Freeview v. Freeview HD - different/better aerial required?


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I've got an ancient (not so ancient it's B&W!) CRT TV.

Until recently, I've been able to receive Freeview pretty well (one MUX a bit iffy, but mostly OK) using the existing aerial I had for analogue, and a digital SCART box. NOT a set-top box, which I don't have any room for. Just a discrete little box that plugs into one on the SCART sockets round the back, and all you have on top of the telly is a tiny little IR sensor for the remote control.

Recently, the SCART box appears to have packed up completely - i.e. can't even get a menu, let alone receive anything.

Technology has moved on, and although there are still a small number of similar devices available, for those of us who have not yet upgraded to a TV with an inbuilt Freeview tuner, I notice the current ones all seem to be Freeview HD, and not just plain old Freeview.

I've no need for HD, as the telly won't support it anyway, but will it still work, and in particular, will it still work with the existing (old) aerial, if it's good enough for "ordinary" Freeview?

It's not a huge wasted expense if I get one but it doesn't, as there's one retailing at Maplin for about £20, but I thought I'd ask first.

I don't want to have to go the whole hog of new telly and/or new aerial, so if the short answer is no, I'll probably give up on the telly altogether, and just make do with watching online, which is what I've been doing since the box broke. Not ideal, as I only have a laptop or an iPad - nothing with a big, HD screen. But I can still watch TV after a fashion.

I still watch some things live, but I suppose if I could break that habit, and only ever watch catch-up, it would have the benefit I could legitimately stop paying the licence fee. If they did an ad hoc inspection at the moment, they would certainly find my TV incapable of receiving (although I suppose they might argue I have a working Freeview box somewhere I have hidden, and just plug in as necessary).

If you claim you only ever watch catch-up (almost true already, but not quite), I don't know how, if at all, they can verify that.

T.
Standard User metalhead41
(knowledge is power) Thu 19-Sep-13 12:47:07
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Re: Freeview v. Freeview HD - different/better aerial requir


[re: TLM] [link to this post]
 
Freeview HD is just a few extra channels broadcast in HD. It will still work with your existing aerial, so no issues there.
The TV will still work and you don't have to watch the HD channels on there.

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Standard User TLM
(legend) Thu 19-Sep-13 12:57:28
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Re: Freeview v. Freeview HD - different/better aerial requir


[re: metalhead41] [link to this post]
 
Ta, I'll give it a try, then. Back to Maplin for a new SCART box!

I did hope, at first, the problem was just down to a dodgy coax connection - which I repaired. But looks like the box is definitely dead. frown


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Standard User 4M2
(knowledge is power) Thu 19-Sep-13 13:39:49
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Re: Freeview v. Freeview HD - different/better aerial requir


[re: TLM] [link to this post]
 
If you connect over scart then there will not be a HD signal received by the tele anyway. At one time it was possible to get HD over a RGB component (analogue) connection and thus eliminate DRM but I don't think such stand alone boxes are available any more.
Standard User TLM
(legend) Thu 19-Sep-13 14:13:52
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Re: Freeview v. Freeview HD - different/better aerial requir


[re: 4M2] [link to this post]
 
That is OK. As I've never had to consider HD before, I didn't appreciate is was just optional channels in addition to the normal ones. As long as I can still get the ordinary ones OK, I don't mind that the telly won't be able to do the rest. It's not a very high priority for me anyway.

They do say, once you've gone over, you won't go back, but as I currently don't know what I'm missing, ordinary, standard definition remains fine. Just wanna watch telly. It doesn't have to be the most outstanding picture imaginable. "OK" is good enough. As you can no doubt already tell, I'm not a connoisseur of these things. I don't want to go around bragging: "My resolution's better than your resolution". Just to be able to sit down and watch a film.

T.
Standard User 4M2
(knowledge is power) Thu 19-Sep-13 14:28:00
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Re: Freeview v. Freeview HD - different/better aerial requir


[re: TLM] [link to this post]
 
That's a very good point: I watched the film Papillion with Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffmann on iPlayer in SD the other day and the image quality was perfectly acceptable, however it was a progressive scan on my monitor rather than interlaced on a CRT tele smile

Edited by 4M2 (Thu 19-Sep-13 14:33:54)

Standard User MHC
(sensei) Thu 19-Sep-13 14:56:07
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Re: Freeview v. Freeview HD - different/better aerial requir


[re: TLM] [link to this post]
 
There is a small possibility that your aerial might not be in the appropriate "Group" which could explain the Iffy/Mostly OK.

TV transmissions were blocked in groups: A 21-37; B 35-53; C/D 48-68, E 35-68; WB 21-68 along with T and K which are semi wide band groups. Aerials were matched to the appropriate group depending on where you were located and the coloured plastic end-cap of the aerial indicated the band

However, in some areas the change from analogue to digital moved the channels in use and the original aerial may not have been totally suitable - it will work, just not as effectively.

Are you able to see the aerial and the end cap? If so, what colour is it and which transmitter are you receiving from?


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Standard User 4M2
(knowledge is power) Thu 19-Sep-13 15:14:47
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Re: Freeview v. Freeview HD - different/better aerial requir


[re: MHC] [link to this post]
 
My aunt didn't want to replace her old analogue aerial with a wide band aerial so I just stuck a interior mains powered signal booster before the co-axial input on her digital tele and now she can receive all SD freeview channels without any problems - she is actually about 15 miles from the nearest transmitter smile
Standard User TLM
(legend) Thu 19-Sep-13 18:55:56
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Re: Freeview v. Freeview HD - different/better aerial requir


[re: MHC] [link to this post]
 
No, got no idea - the aerial's not roof-mounted; it's in the loft. I've never been up there when I was fit and well - my days of trying are long since past. So anything that needs doing to it - from simple inspection, to complete replacement, would involve hiring someone.

My primary reception is from Mendip although I can also pick up the Welsh one, whose name I can never remember! Ah, Wyvern, I think! (I kept thinking of Dragon). In other words, I usually (used to!) get duplicate channels when tuning, but the Welsh ones were too weak to be much practical use, so delete all of those, and stick with Mendip.

I think it's a case of the latter - not totally suitable, but will work! I think that's all I require. I expect, at some point, the TV will give up the ghost, and I'll be forced to invest in a new one. At which point it might be worth getting the aerial re-aligned/replaced to get the best out of the new TV. But it doesn't seem worth a lot of faffing about with the aerial, if I'm going to plug it into an ancient set anyway. The existing SCART box was very basic, and didn't have any of the additional features life "red button", or even an EPG - it did have the latter, but would only ever show the programme for the channel I was already watching - so useless for checking what else was on without switching over. Reading reviews of it on Amazon, I gather that's what most people found, and not a particular problem with my aerial. But having grown up without any such thing as an EPG, I didn't miss what was never there. If you just wanted it for the basic activity of watching telly, it was neat, cheap, easy, and good value. I'm sorry it has broken, but it wasn't very expensive, and I must have had it a few years now.

T.
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