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Tv reception massively variable - baffled, me

Discussion in 'Audio Visual and Digital Home' started by swee'pea99, 4 Feb 2015.

  1. swee'pea99

    swee'pea99 Active Geek

    A few evenings ago, turned on the telly to find the picture stuttering and breaking up badly. An hour or two later, it was gone. 'No or bad signal' messages on every channel.

    Next day, it was back to normal. Until the evening. When it started breaking up badly, then died altogether.

    Which established a pattern. It's now like this every day. Today I actually took some pictures.

    At 2 this afternoon, on two of our local transmitters, the signals were like this:

    2pm 2.jpg 2pm1.jpg

    Four hours later, having changed absolutely nothing, the same transmitters show as:

    6pm 2.jpg 6pm 1.jpg

    Googling throws up loads of suggestions along the lines of checking cables & connections, which I've done, but it makes no difference - no great surprise there, since if it was something along those lines, you'd expect it to be consistent all the time.

    Or it could be interference from a street light - but the break up starts before the street lights come on.

    Or it could be interference from a microwave oven, LED lighting or something along those lines - but we've changed nothing in the house.

    And every night it's the same: fine at lunchtime; dead by dinnertime. (Though even stranger, it sometimes comes back, partially or fully, at certain times in the evening. Last weekend's MoTD, eg, was flawless.)

    It's driving me nuts (and no-one else in the house is exactly hooraying about it).

    Any ideas gratefully received.
  2. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Any birds sitting on the aerial when it's bad?
  3. swee'pea99

    swee'pea99 Active Geek

    Nope. Nothing like that. No physical cause that correlates with the (pretty regular) schedule.
  4. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

  5. the_mikey

    the_mikey Active Geek

    I'd go with an EMC problem, ie interference from somewhere. Dealing with the problem might be difficult, although I had once triangulated a source of interference to a house using a directional antenna and a portable receiver, asked them very very nicely to turn their electric off to prove the suspicion, giving them the bad news when it was proven. Also reported the findings to Ofcom, problem went away a week later with nothing more heard about it...
  6. SatNavSaysStraightOn

    SatNavSaysStraightOn Well-Known Geek

    Do you have a booster signal box on your system? If not I would suggest you invest in one and get one of the better ones (not the cheapest) they make a considerable difference and we have gone from getting no channels at all because of the dip we live in (pre booster we got 9 radio channels and nothing more) to getting more channels than my parents who live in the heart of a very large town on a hill!

    They deal with strength issues superbly, which is exactly the problem we have had at both of our last 2 properties. One of the problems of living rurally.
  7. 0-markymark-0

    0-markymark-0 Über Geek

    We always have a problem when it snows.

  8. swee'pea99

    swee'pea99 Active Geek

    Thanks very much all.

    Ok, I've checked the BBC transmitter link (thanks for that): 'no reported problems'. I don't think it's atmospheric conditions - this setup has worked flawlessly for five years - can't be any weather now that's not happened over that period. Do we have a booster? Yes - I fitted a masthead amplifier five years ago, without which we couldn't get a usable signal at all (we're stuck at the bottom of one of London's very few valleys!) I'm fast reaching the conclusion, with a very heavy heart, that an EMC problem looks like the only real option. But who? And from where? (Needless to say, I have no directional antenna or portable receiver.) If it is such a thing, would it have to be an immediate neighbour's house (we live in a terrace) or could it be someone seven houses away on the other side of the street?

    Thanks again.
  9. beanz

    beanz Staff Member Staff Member

    One of those situations with a lot of variables where changing one possible cause at a time might help.

    Have you tried a different tv using the same cables and see if that is affected in the same manner? That would rule out the tv.

    Have you asked neighbours whether they are experiencing similar problems? That would pretty much rule out any cause within your own set-up.

    Do you have any time-related potential sources - such as central heating coming on/off - that you could try eliminating one at a time?
  10. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    If the booster is 5 years old it could be that it's not performing as well or on the way out.
  11. Try turning your wifi router on and off and see if that makes any difference. Also, any cordless phones. If one of them turns out to be causing the problem, try moving it as far away from the tv and aerial cable as possible.
  12. nigel-yz1

    nigel-yz1 Well-Known Geek

    We had a similar problem and it turned out to be the cordless phone base station being plugged in next to the TV.
  13. There's an echo in here! :laugh:
    SatNavSaysStraightOn likes this.
  14. SatNavSaysStraightOn

    SatNavSaysStraightOn Well-Known Geek

    Sadly I have tried this with my router and cordless phone to try to deal with crackling on the line which is only there intermittently and when the line is in use. Every line test has come back negative. It didn't help, but it is worth riling it out. However given the set hours that the problem seems to occur that the op stated, I can't see it will assist.

    A new booster cable of higher quality or new TV aerial is probably the best way forward sadly.
  15. nigel-yz1

    nigel-yz1 Well-Known Geek

    I prefer to call it a second vote :thumbsup:
    ColinJ likes this.
  16. swee'pea99

    swee'pea99 Active Geek

    Hello again

    Many apologies for suddenly dropping off the radar like that after all your help. Long story short, only just got back online for the first time in a week. Plusnet. Muppets.

    Anyway, some interesting developments...

    Again cutting a long story short, I was waiting downstairs for a programme to start. The picture was a bit pixely, but borderline tolerable, when suddenly it went to 'no or bad signal'. I went upstairs and asked 'er indores 'did you do anything electrical about one minute ago? Switched anything on or off or anything?' And she pointed to the Humax and said 'I just turned that off for the night.' And I though hmmm...

    The next day, I took the Humax out of the circuit, reconnecting the old Digihome unit in its place. Perfect picture, up & downstairs. Interesting. Took the Humax box downstairs, and swapped it for the other Humax. Still a perfect picture, up & downstairs. Hmmm.

    My current theory is that the villain of the piece is the upstairs flylead - a pound shop special, with one end going thru' a (cheapo) male/female adaptor. For some reason, this seems to give problems with either of the Humax machines (I tried it with both) but not with the Digihome.

    I'm currently waiting on delivery of some co-ax plugs, and when they arrive I plan to make up new flyleads with some of the wf100 cable, and see if that finally sorts the problem out, and enables me to re-install the Humax in place of the Digihome in the bedroom

    Thanks again for all help - and sorry again for my temporary disappearance.
    amusicsite likes this.
  17. Ah @swee'pea99 ... I had an analogue PVR which had a menu setting for enabling/disabling the aerial feed-through when the device was powered down! I don't know why you wouldn't want the signal passing through, but obviously if you had a similar setting, you'd need to make sure that the feed-through was never disabled.

    Er, BINGO? <- Check this!! :thumbsup:
    Last edited: 10 Feb 2015
    the_mikey likes this.
  18. Ah, apparently it was a power-saving measure. A pretty silly one though ...
    the_mikey likes this.