Antennae for TV come in all shapes and sizes. The introduction of digital television has meant revisiting some of the basics of antenna design.
We have been carring out some quality control reviews. We have asked our customers to comment on their digital results. We have discovered a number of things which can be summarised as:
Digital signals will present as quality images with much lower levels of signal provided there is no impulse noise and the signal to noise measurements are stable and good.
Our recommendation is for 2 separate antennas which are only mounted after the completion of a thorough signal test. This type of installation will typically drive 2 or 3 outlets in 85% of locations. Any additional points or where local signal levels are low will require a mast head booster (amplifier).
Good signals areas should still use a good quality diplexed antenna. This means the VHF and UHF electrical circuit is standing alone and they are combined at the antenna by using a diplexer. Deeper Image Television stock just such a combination unit which we sell to the DIY client.
Generally speaking there is an antenna for every job. Antennae can be stacked for additional performance. Antennas can face different directions and then be combined for use in those locations where signal comes from a number of directions. Our in house consulting service will assist you.
LCD and PLASMA
If you are updating your television set it will not always be necessary to update your antenna. If you have had excellent reception on your analogue TV then it is most likely your digital results will be excellent. Where problems can appear or persist is where cable and connectors are of a poor quality and induced noise is occurring.
Fly leads, that short lead between the TV set and the wall, are often of a very poor quality and have often been found to be the sole cause of the problem.
The solution is to invest in good quality leads. We recommend that wall outlets are changed to F types.
How many outlets can I have from one antenna?
There is really no limit to the number of outlets off one antennae. The fundamental law is that you must have a good clean signal to start with. Then all you do is amplify the signal sufficiently to provide enough signal for a multiple number of points. Typically you can run 2 or 3 points off an antenna without boosting (amplifying) the signal.
Areas containing high levels of salt such as in the bayside areas experience greater difficulty with their antenna systems because salt tends to build up and create a circuit when there should not be one. In this time of limited water supply it is difficult to keep the salt off them.
Seaside locations will not get the same life span out of their antennae as other places. If you can give it an occasional clean then do so as it will extend the useful life of the antenna.
Summary of the most common faults:
Ghosting: This is when you see another image, though much weaker, to the right hand side of the picture. The image can be close to the prime picture or it can be half way across the screen. Either way this is a signal that is arriving later than the prime signal because it has bounced of something.
Snow: This is those little white specs all over the screen. This is because the TV does not have enough signal arriving at the TV – this is called weak signal.
Interference: This is often confused with Snow but the patterns are random and the white dots tend to be coloured if you have a close look. This problem mainly occurs on channel 2 but can occur on other channels if there is a device within the home sending out a lot of interference thus interrupting all the TV channels and is often associated with a computer.
Bars on the screen: This is generally a power problem. Horizontal bars travelling up the screen. It can be caused by the TV or the power point.
Zig zaggy lines on the screen: This is another television signal interfering with the TV picture. You will often have this type of problem when you have an amplifier installed or when there is a FM radio station close by.
Picture freezing or pixilating: This can be caused by various technical faults. The obvious one is the antenna is not delivering enough signal due to age, poor installation technique or inappropriate choice.
Moreover it can be caused by too many signals arriving at the antenna which occurs when you have raising ground in front of you when looking towards the transmitting tower. This requires a specialist from Deeper Image Television to sort out.
Picture breaking up intermittently: This is likely to be impulse noise getting into the signal. Poor cable shielding, poor connections, faulty equipment. It is also possible it is the antenna due to climate or temperature changes within the antenna.
We have antennae for all locations. We are building a team of licensee installers who will be operating in your area soon. We also have a consulting service available for DIYers.
Digital Television Changeover
There is a government steering committee for the introduction and changeover to digital. Read what the minister has to say. Link to press released. We will update this page as progress reports are released. However it you can get yourself organised before the cut off it would be a good idea to avoid the rush and associated costs.
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