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Posted: Mon May 11, 2009 2:21pm

Post Subject: TV & film

I've adopted a TV and DVD with my second hand boat. The signal is a bit patchy. Is it possible to get Freeview on a boat. If so, how?


Posted: Mon May 11, 2009 3:18pm

Post Subject: TV & film

Dear Emily, The question you ask is full of ifs and buts and I assume you know you need a Freeview enabled TV or a digi-box to receive Freeview TV. To receive any from of TV the aerial has to be in a direct and unobstructed line with the transmitter. TV signals may be considered by the layperson as not being able to bounce of the sky and large built objects like long & medium wave radio can. This means there are a lot of main transmitters and even more "fill in" short range transmitters beaming signals to places between hills or in valleys and such like. At present not all the fill in transmitters provide the Freeview signal and some may never. Until the digital switchover in an area is complete the Freeview signals are at reduced power to prevent interference and this causes Freeview reception problems, especially in situations where the aerial is not very high up. This means that on canals and rivers which by definition tend to be low in the landscape there will be problems in finding which transmitter in an area is providing the strongest signal and also getting the height required to receive it. At this point many have turned to freesat, but like yourself I want to stick with Freeview. I have made sure my TV will receive both Freeview and analogue but an analogue TV plus digi-box would do just as well. I obtained a directional aerial - the ones that look like a fish skeleton rather than a birdcage or flying saucer although some say the birdcages are fine fort Freeview - I would disagree, it all depends upon signal strength where you are. I then hinged a 4 ft, extending to about 12ft "painters pole" on the roof of the boat to get the aerial about 18ft above the water. Before mooring I look at houses to see which way to point the aerial and also if it should have the "fish bones" arranged horizontally (normal) or vertically. I then use a £14 device from Argos or maplin which shows when I have turned the aerial to point at the strongest signal. Until this year I just pointed the aerial and twiddled it to get the best picture. I also use an aerial amplifier BUT this is no guarantee of a good signal. A weak interference filled signal will become a strong interference filled signal so will still be unwatchable. I use it to allow the aerial cable runs to be the full length of the boat and also to feed two sets. In some areas you have to get the TV/box to retune itself each evening as you move around from one transmitter area to another and there are still places where getting the full range of programmes is very difficult on both analogue & Freeview. If you want an article I wrote on this subject a while ago please look in my profile and email me your email address. Tony brooks

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