I want my UK TV
December 23, 2009 3:20 PM   Subscribe

The Freeview box I've just given my mother cannot detect any digital channels. I'm in Bury St Edmunds. Can anyone save our Christmas viewing?

It is possible, of course, that the Freeview box (TVonics MDR-240) is duff, but let's assume for the moment that it's working: diodes light up and screen menus appear, but the scan returns no results. Are there any other reasons why it might be unable to find anything? It is connected to a functioning TV aerial, but one that can't get Channel 5. Is Bury St Edmunds a digital no-go-zone? Google is unforthcoming.
posted by Hogshead to Technology (3 answers total)
Have you got the right sort of aerial? We had the Yagi in the loft replaced with a high gain one: I'd borrowed a friend's digital box and it couldn't get a signal with the Yagi.

Over near Newmarket, I'm finding some of the ITV channels are so weak as to be unwatchable, but the others are coming through fine.
posted by pw201 at 3:47 PM on December 23, 2009

Best answer: It sounds like the aerial might pointed towards the Tacolneston transmitter, when the supposed best option for Freeview in Bury St Edmunds (further away, but stronger signal) is Sudbury or Sandy Heath. Use the postcode checker to get an exact reference for your mother's house, and click on the "trade view" to get the appropriate bearings, or try the recommendations at UKFreeTV. That may mean a new aerial, so be careful up there.
posted by holgate at 3:55 PM on December 23, 2009

They've forced everyone in the US to switch to Digital television too and I must say 'progress' sucks.

I live in NYC and have quickly discovered that everything here causes interference with digital signals. Metal walls, tall buildings, trains, even where we happen to be sitting in the room (Seriously, something as minor as turning my head can result in 'no signal' popping up on a formerly crystal clear channel).

The following advice worked for me in the US but hopefully it can help you too.

1. I don't have a roof antenna so I can't speak for that, but if you've got a set-top antenna it will need to be an amplified one. The kind that have their own power supply. Unamplified ones all failed for me.

2. Buy about a 30 foot long coaxial cable and connect the antenna to the Box with it. The reason for the length is that the entire cable will pick up the television signal. Figuring that little secret out saved us. Without that, nothing we would do would get us anything but that broken mosaic mess that most digital channels turn into.

3. Put the antenna in a window with as clear a view as you can get.

Now you're going to have to scan several times, moving the antenna around the window sill and moving the wire around until the Box finds all the channels. Hopefully the Box you have lets you rescan without erasing the previous scans. Some don't.

That worked for me. Good luck.
posted by Nyarlathotep at 9:34 PM on December 23, 2009

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