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JEREMY BILLINGHAM

Television Reception Specialist

Freeview - Freesat - SKY - DAB & FM​​ Radio


Droitwich, Worcester, Bromsgrove, Pershore
Kidderminster & Stourport

29/11/16
As of today (Tuesday 29th November 2016) and for the foreseeable future there is a strong likelihood that TV reception problems may be experienced by some people who have their TV Aerial pointed towards the Ridge Hill transmitter near Ledbury. This transmitter serves large parts of Worcestershire and is occasionally susceptible to interference from other TV transmitters when certain weather conditions prevail.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/2635167

Looking at the current weather / atmospheric pressure readings today (Click on BBC link above) would suggest that this interference is caused by the current High Atmospheric Pressure which is centred over Europe. Also, current weather forecasts and predictions indicate that this High Pressure could last until this coming Sunday, at least.

While this current spell of cold but settled weather persists there is one very important thing to remember, if, at at any time, now or in the future you ever experience pixelation / breakup or a sudden loss of TV channels.....



DO NOT RE-TUNE YOUR TV



Many people now know how to access the "Auto re-tune" in their TVs setup menu, unfortunately I'm often finding that customers use this new found knowledge as a "cure all" for any problems that may arise with their TV, whether that be reception related or otherwise.

Re-tuning a TV during periods of poor reception or loss of picture will usually only delete the TVs memory of frequencies / channels which were originally saved from the transmitter that your TV Aerial is pointing at, creating a bigger problem, often meaning you will be without TV pictures for much, much longer than people who didn't re-tune their TV.

With the exception of an on screen message suggesting a re-tune is necessary (For an example see my news item below, dated 22 August) or advise from someone like myself or TV retail shop etc, a willy-nilly re-tune of a TV in the hope that it will restore the channels should be avoided and is almost always counter productive.

The on-screen message "Weak or no signal" which sometimes appears on a TV screen while experiencing poor reception is NOT an invitation to re-tune the TV!
06/11/16
The following is taken from my Cowboys and Bodgers Gallery, although this is an extreme example it is a reminder that when it comes to setting up a TV Aerial system once TV coax cables are in place it's best left to professional, local TV Aerial Installers. I visited this customer during the first week of November 2016, the house re-wire including 6 new TV coax's was completed during the summer by a large, local firm of electricians.

Location - Catshill Bromsgrove

Complaint - Having had the house totally rewired and moving back in after extensive renovation work my customer found that none of the 6 TV points provided TV pictures despite the fact that the electricians remit was to connect all new coax cables to the existing TV Aerial.

Fault - As can be seen in my image above, this was how the electricians connected the newly run TV coax's. They even tried to hide their abomination by placing it under the lofts chipboard flooring.

(To see what was revealed once I cut away the blue electrical insulation tape click on my image above)

What makes this even worse......if that's possible! the coax coming into the loft from the outside TV Aerial was some fifteen feet away, coiled up under the lofts fibreglass insulation, so there was no signal getting into this awful system. In short, there was not the slightest chance that any of the TV's would ever display a TV picture.

Remedy - By a stroke of luck this property is barely a mile from the Bromsgrove TV transmitter located at Worms Ash, as the existing high gain TV Aerial had a clear view of that transmitter a six way passive splitter was installed without the need for any amplification, once the TV Aerials coax cable was connected to the splitters input the reception problem was solved.
31/10/16
There may be TV reception problems for people who have their TV Aerial pointed towards the Ridge Hill transmitter near Ledbury. This transmitter serves large parts of Worcestershire.

I've had some calls this morning from people complaining about poor TV reception and/or no reception at all, yesterday (Sunday 30th October) and also today.

Looking at the weather readings and forecast today would strongly suggests that this interference is caused by the current High Atmospheric Pressure which is centred over Europe. Also, current predictions indicate the presence of this High Pressure could last until Friday this week, great if you want to go for a walk in the weak Autumn sunshine but maybe not so good if you want to watch TV!

While this current spell of good weather persists one very important thing to remember, if, at at any time, now or in the future you ever experience pixelation / breakup or a sudden loss of TV channels.....

DO NOT RE-TUNE YOUR TV

Many people now know how to access the"Auto re-tune" in their TVs setup menu, unfortunately I'm often finding that customers use this new found knowledge as a "cure all" for any problems that may arise with their TV, whether that be reception related or otherwise.

Re-tuning a TV during periods of poor reception or loss of picture will usually only delete the TVs memory of frequencies / channels which were originally saved from the transmitter that your TV Aerial is pointing at, creating a bigger problem, often meaning you will be without TV pictures for much, much longer than people who didn't re-tune their TV.

With the exception of an on screen message suggesting a re-tune is necessary (For an example see my news item below, dated 22 August) or advise from someone like myself or TV retail shop etc, a willy-nilly re-tune of a TV in the hope that it will restore the channels should be avoided and is almost always counter productive.

The on-screen message "Weak or no signal" which sometimes appears on a TV screen while experiencing poor reception is NOT an invitation to re-tune the TV!
23/10/16
As with many questions similar to this one there's never one simple answer that fits all and despite the fact that the Analogue TV service was switched off back in 2011 it's still a question I get asked so I've tried to answer it here with as much detail as possible.

Successfully receiving all Digital / Freeview channels with an old Analogue TV Aerial very much depends on which TV transmitter your TV Aerial is pointed towards. If you can identify which transmitter your TV Aerial is pointing at, the following information should answer the question.

TV transmitters only transmit signals in one polarity, either Horizontally or Vertically so for example if you live in Droitwich and your TV Aerial points roughly South then your Aerial is going to be receiving it's signals from either the Malvern or Ridge Hill transmitter. To identify which one of those two transmitters your TV Aerial is receiving it's signals from you need to observe which way up the elements are on the Aerial, Horizontal or Vertical.

Malvern is a Vertically polarised transmitter and Ridge Hill is Horizontal.

Another example - In my image above the TV Aerial's elements are Horizontal, the Aerial points North / North East from a chimney stack in Droitwich and although Bromsgrove is almost the same direction with it being a vertically polarised transmitter you could be as good as sure that this Aerial must be receiving it's signals from the horizontally polarised Sutton Coldfield transmitter.

As a pure coincidence the Malvern & Ridge Hill transmitters are South and Bromsgrove & Sutton Coldfield are roughly the same direction North /NE when viewed from Droitwich so observing the Aerials polarity is essential if you want to identify the transmitter.

If you live in Worcestershire there is a 99.9% chance that your TV Aerial will be receiving it's signals from one of the transmitters I've listed below.

The V or H that follows the name of the transmitter indicates it's polarity.

Bromsgrove V

The Bromsgrove transmitter transmits most of the main BBC and ITV channels as well as all of the main HD channels within the receiving range of old analogue TV Aerials. If you're located within a couple of miles of this transmitter then there is a greater chance of picking up many more if not all available Digital channels but this is very dependant on your location relative to the transmitter, etc etc. So in short, this transmitter does require a Wideband Digital Aerial to receive all of the available channels.

Kidderminster V

The Kidderminster transmitter, unlike the other transmitters I've
listed here is often referred to as a "Freeview light transmitter" in other words, it, unlike many other transmitters doesn't transmit all of the available Digital channels but all of the channels that are currently available can still be received by the older analogue type. This will change during the Spring of 2018 to make way for new mobile phone services, so to continue to receive TV signals and all available TV channels from this transmitter an Aerial upgrade will be necessary before the end of April 2018.

Lark Stoke V (Near Stratford-upon-Avon

The Lark Stoke transmitter transmits most of the main BBC and ITV channels as well as all of the main HD channels within the receiving range of old analogue TV Aerials. If you're located within a couple of miles of this transmitter then there is a greater chance of picking up many more if not all available Digital channels but this is very dependant on your location relative to the transmitter, etc etc. So in short, this transmitter does require a Wideband Digital Aerial to receive all of the available channels.

Malvern V

The Malvern transmitter currently transmits all of the available Digital / Freeview channels within the receiving range of older type (Narrow band) analogue TV Aerials.This will change during the Spring of 2018 to make way for new mobile phone services, so to continue to receive TV signals and all available TV channels from this transmitter an Aerial upgrade will be necessary before the end of April 2018.

Ridge Hill H (Near Ledbury)

The Ridge Hill transmitter transmits all of the available digital / Freeview channels within the receiving range of old analogue TV Aerials so an Aerial upgrade is not necessary for this transmitter.

Sutton Coldfield H

The Sutton Coldfield transmitter transmits most of it's Digital / Freeview channels within the receiving range of the older type analouge (narrow-band) TV Aerials, so long as your TV Aerial is in a reasonable condition it will work just fine. There are currently around 15 or so channels that are available from this transmitter that may require an Aerial upgrade but this will depend on many local factors and from my personal experience many old Aerials do receive these channels without too much difficulty.

Wrekin H (Near Shrewsbury)

The Wrekin transmitter transmits most of the main BBC and ITV channels as well as all of the main HD channels within the receiving range of old analogue TV Aerials. If you're located within a couple of miles of this transmitter then there is a greater chance of picking up many more if not all available Digital channels but this is very dependant on your location relative to the transmitter, etc etc. So in short, this transmitter does require a Wideband Digital Aerial to receive all of the available channels.
28/09/16
There may be TV reception problems for people who have their TV Aerial pointing towards the Ridge Hill transmitter near Ledbury. This transmitter serves large parts of Worcestershire.

I've had several calls this morning from people complaining about poor TV reception last night (Tuesday 27th September) I also witnessed the breakup myself on my own TV.

There is a chance that this problem is going to be short lived as I suspect that it just could be related to the current High Atmospheric Pressure which is centred over Europe.

Although the barometer reading last night would suggest otherwise as normally UHF TV transmissions from Ledbury are only affected when the pressure is greater than 135 hPa, the pressure reading again this morning is steady at around 1023 hPa.
What ever the cause may be there is one very important thing to remember, if at at any time, now or in the future you ever experience pixelation / breakup or a sudden loss of TV channels.....


DO NOT RE-TUNE YOUR TV


Many people now know how to access the"Auto re-tune" in their TVs setup menu, unfortunately I'm often finding that customers use this new found knowledge as a "cure all" for any problems that may arise with their TV, whether that be reception related or otherwise.

Re-tuning a TV during periods of poor reception or loss of picture will usually only delete the TVs memory of frequencies / channels which were originally saved from the transmitter that your TV Aerial is pointing at, creating a bigger problem, often meaning you will be without TV pictures for much, much longer than people who didn't re-tune their TV.

With the exception of an on screen message suggesting a re-tune is necessary (For an example see my news item below, dated 22 August) or advise from someone like myself or TV retail shop etc, a willy-nilly re-tune of a TV in the hope that it will restore the channels should be avoided and is almost always counter productive.

The on-screen message "Weak or no signal" which sometimes appears on a TV screen while experiencing poor reception is NOT an invitation to re-tune the TV!

TV tuning and poor reception apart, there is at least one good thing about High Pressure in that if you are out and about you sometimes get to see great sunsets like the one in my image above, I took this photo while working on a roof last night in Shernal Green near Droitwich.
10/09/16
The following News item is taken from my
"Cowboys & Bodgers Gallery"

I've placed it here in my News section as it's perhaps the worst TV Aerial installation I've ever seen.


Location
- Westlands, Droitwich. 8th September 2016

Complaint - Water flowing into the TV Aerial socket in the lounge, also intermittent break up of TV picture.

Fault - My elderly customers informed me that they had called a Worcestershire based TV Aerial company out a little less than 3 years ago as they were going to switch from SKY to Free-view and would need a new TV Aerial.

Unfortunately this cowboy of an installer couldn't be bothered to remove the redundant old Aerials which were no longer in use, one of which was in excess of 45 years old, instead he just slotted a new HG 5 Aerial in between the two old existing ones. For reasons of interference the recommended distance between Aerials should be 3 feet but in this example they were just a few inches apart, at best.

The bottom Aerial (seen in my image above) was loose and able to swing in the wind, along with the rusty, undersized pole and bracket which only had 2 bolts instead of 4 which was barely holding this leaning, heavy weight monstrosity to the wall, it was in real danger of crashing to the ground with all the possible consequences that could entail.

What makes this Aerial installation much worse is the fact that because of the unusual layout of the properties attached to and surrounding my customers home on the Westlands estate meant that the 3 Aerials were directly above a neighbours front door.

Other mistakes were also made during this shoddy, and possibly dangerous installation but are too long & complex for me to go into detail here suffice to say that this cowboy didn't even change the 40 plus year old brittle TV coax which allowed rain water to enter & flow down into the lounge TV socket.

Apparently the rip off merchant had the nerve to charge £150 and was gone in 30 minutes.

Remedy - Removing the 2 ancient Aerials I was able to re-use the 3 year old HG 5 Aerial but I upgraded the pole for a larger diameter and fixed a new galvanised bracket securely to the wall, running a new length of coax from the Aerial via the customers 4 way masthead amplifier to the existing power unit / TV in the lounge which immediately cured the water ingress and poor TV reception problems and much more importantly, also made the installation safe.

I actively encourage my customers to follow me through my fault finding process or even the installation of a new Aerial or Dish.

I'm always very happy to explain what I'm doing and why, although, it's not so easy if I'm in a difficult to access loft or at the top of a ladder / on a roof, especially in winter, even so I'm comfortable and not at all perturbed in any way by anyone who is willing to watch and ask questions.

(Please read some of my testimonials HERE for conformation of this)

From personal experience I would always recommend anyone who invites unknown trades persons into their home to carry out any sort of short term remedial work, to check and see if they would mind you observing them at work, this request should not cause any alarm to the genuine and professional but may upset the unscrupulous, should they object I would then be suspicious!
31/08/16
If you you are able to watch SKY on secondary TVs there is a reasonable chance that you may see this type of interference from time to time.

It only affects TVs which are connected to a SKY box via TV coax, often there is also an amplifier involved although this usually goes unnoticed as it's normally tucked away in the loft.

This type of interference which are sometimes referred to as "buzz bars" are frequently accompanied with a crackling / spluttering sound with the bars running horizontally across the screen and it can last from just a split second to as much as two or three seconds at a time.

Many people report that the interference is worse in the evening and although there is a chance that this could be true it's more than likely that more TV viewing is done in the evening so it's more noticeable problem during peak viewing times.

With the roll out and upgrade of many mobile phone transmitters to 4G this interference is becoming more and more common, and it's 4G which is to blame!

Prior to 2014 there were millions of SKY boxes manufactured and sold with their modulators set to RF Ch 68 and if you've had secondary TV/s connected to your SKY box there is a reasonable chance that the factory default frequency setting of Ch 68 has not been changed, even if it has been altered there is still a good chance that its been moved to either Ch 67 or 69, unfortunately any RF output channel which is used from around Ch 55 and up is susceptible to this type of 4G interference so I guess that there are many, many thousands of people throughout the country which are affected.

One good thing is that this type of interference is normally easily cured.

If you're competent enough to alter the SKY boxes RF frequency then I would still suggest you give me a quick call and let me know which terrestrial TV transmitter your TV Aerial is pointing at and I will advise you as to the best RF Ch number to use.

If you chance it and go it alone there is a possibility that you will wipe out a group of Digital TV channels if you guess and choose a random RF number.

If what I've written above all sounds to complicated then just give me a call as I'm more than happy to talk anyone through the simple process of altering the SKY boxes RF setting, over the phone....free of charge!

Please note - The new SKY Q system is not affected by 4G interference, also most SKY boxes manufactured and sold after 2014 have had part of their modulators removed making it more difficult (but not impossible) to watch SKY on secondary TVs, consequently there's less chance of 4G interference.
22/08/16
There is a small possibility that you may have lost some HD channels but the retuning of your TV will almost certainly restore them.

Any difficulties regarding the retuning of your TV then please call me on my mobile as I'm always willing to to talk you through the procedure over the phone.

Mobile - 07850 969 307
12/08/16
I received a call from the store manager of Cash Converters in Pump street, Worcester this morning and I have an idea that he may have read my news item below regarding the Sony Shop as he informed me that he had lost pictures on all TVs and thought it could be 4G mobile phone mast interference.

Although the new city centre 4G masts went live over 3 weeks ago I guessed there was a good possibility that this could indeed be 4G despite the late call especially when the store manager informed me that he had just come back from a couple of weeks holiday and no other staff member had taken responsibility to get the problem resolved.

To have TVs which are fore sale displaying a good picture is pretty important for any shop but I think it was the prospect of missing more of the Olympic games that prompted the call to me this morning.

I arrived just after lunch, made the usual checks to confirm 4G and then proceeded to the roof and on to the Aerial mast, within 30 mins or so all the TVs started springing back into life.....another satisfied customer!

While on the roof of Cash Converters I was able to have a look around to see if I could find the offending mobile phone masts and although I can't be certain I think they are on top of the building which used to belong to Jessops, Marmion House in the High street.

I've marked them with red arrows in my images below.

​​
13/07/16
At around 3 pm this afternoon I received a call from the Sony Centre in the Shambles, Worcester. The call came from the shop manager Clive Brown.

Clive asked me if I could take a look at their TV Aerial system as they were currently with out any terrestrial TV pictures on any of the shops TVs.

At the time of the call I was working on a roof in Droitwich and with still another customer to get to before I was to finish I was a little worried that I might not be able to make it to the shop before their closing time of 5.30 pm so I asked Clive what time vehicles were allowed into the Shambles as being able to park outside could make the difference between a fix to the problem or not on the day.

I arrived at the Sony Centre at 4.45 pm but with just 45 mins to go before the shop was to close I was again a little worried that I may not get the problem resolved in time.

Loosing TV pictures earlier in the day Clive Brown and his staff had wasted no time in exposing all of the TV / Satellite distribution amplifiers which were hidden behind the shops display panelling in an attempt to find the source of the problem.
Unfortunately all seemed to be working fine, with the LED lights lit on all of the different pieces of equipment with no obvious sign of malfunction.

With my spectrum analyser in hand I got to work checking that the amplifiers were working and although they were I did notice that the output reading at the final stage amplifier sockets produced an unusually high signal in an area of the spectrum which is now being used for mobile phone communication.

I'm not normally one to blow my own trumpet (too often!) but on this occasion I think it's worth a blow as not only did I diagnose the fault within 5 mins of my arrival I was able to supply and install the appropriate 4G mobile phone filter at the base of the huge TV Aerial mast on the roof of the Sony Centre which in turn immediately restored TV pictures to the dozens of Sony TVs throughout the shop, and all within 30 mins of my arrival!

Leaving the Shambles and a very satisfied Sony shop manager at 5,20 pm I was still able to get to my last customer of the day.

Although I can't promise to rectify everyone's TV reception fault quite as quick as I did here I will always prioritise a cry for help from anyone who suffers a total loss of TV reception, which almost always means that I'm able to arrive on the same day.
22/06/16
I received an interesting phone call this afternoon and have been assured that the fault regarding transmission and reception of the BBC channels via the Bromsgrove transmitter has been resolved.

It's just over three weeks since the BBC reception problems first started but I can also independently confirm since carrying out some reception tests of my own this evening all is now well with multiplex 26 and the BBC reception fault from Bromsgrove has indeed been fixed.

It was while working for a customer in Vines Lane, Droitwich who had lost all of her TV channels last Friday afternoon that I suddenly realised that the problem was not directly a fault of the Bromsgrove transmitter but it in fact was the fault of another transmitter near Telford called "The Wrekin"

There are three transmitters in the West Midlands that use the same frequency (multiplex 26) to transmit the BBC and although the Lark Stoke transmitter near Stratford, which is one of them, along with our local transmitter at Bromsgrove transmit their signals vertically I was certain that it was the horizontally polarised transmitter "The Wrekin" that was the cause of the problem, stopping many from watching the BBC.

Apparently these three transmitters have to be synchronised and locked together to stop them interfering with each other and for some reason and probably sometime during the work that was carried out on the 1st of June The Wrekin lost that lock which then created problems for thousands of TV Aerials that were pointing at Bromsgrove.

Slightly off the subject but worth a mention here as there's a connection with my news item above and a question that I've been asked a dozen or more times over the years, mostly from people living in and around Worcester with regards to TV reception from the Malvern transmitter.

"To improve reception why don't they put the transmitter on top of the Malverns instead of just half way up"?

The simple answer is - For all of the thousand plus TV transmitters that serve the UK to work in harmony together, their power output as well as their positioning & height are all super critical so placing even a relatively low powered TV transmitter (like the one at Malvern) a few hundred feet higher on the top of the hills could cause mass interference, with the potential to disrupt TV reception for millions in the Southern and Eastern parts of the UK.
14/06/16
​As of today Tuesday the 14th of June 2016, almost two weeks since work was carried out to upgrade the Bromsgrove transmitter there appears to be no end in sight or hope that standard definition BBC will return to the TVs affected by the current reception problem.

I again called the BBC TV / Radio investigation service this morning to check on any progress they may have made in identifying the fault but as in the previous calls I've made (See below) the person I spoke to informed me that there was no fault with BBC transmissions from Bromsgrove.

As I'm still receiving many telephone calls, text messages as well as messages here on my website regarding this problem I am acutely aware that this problem still persists and is affecting many hundreds or even thousands of TVs throughout Worcestershire.

Interestingly, I am now increasingly aware of a pattern that is emerging, when I call out to homes that have lost their BBC channels almost all of them have something wrong with their Aerial system, when I've been able to identify these, often small faults and correct them the BBC then returns to the TV.
To see two examples click HERE and scroll down to "Installer Fault 16" and or "DIY Fault 4"

Of course this still doesn't answer the question as to why this should happen now when everything was fine up until a couple of weeks ago and also why none of the other channels are affected but I guess that if any BBC engineer was to pay a visit to any of the homes I've been into over the last two weeks they could possibly point to the small faults that I've found, correct them and say "Look Mr Smith there is nothing wrong with the BBC transmission from Bromsgrove" and at that point with BBC One working perfectly on the TV in front of you, you'd have to agree.

Despite what I have written above I would strongly urge anyone reading this who is still having trouble receiving the BBC to log your complaint with the BBC TV & Radio investigation service, their number is - 0370 901 6789

In the meantime if the thought of missing another episode of Eastenders or much much worse a match from Euro 2016 etc then please give me a call, if I do then call out to you and I'm still unable to get you your BBC channels back I make NO charge what so ever.

Remember that if you have a HD TV then you should be watching all football matches and even Eastenders on the HD channels which are unaffected by the current problem. BBC One = 101, BBC Two = 102 etc.

Note - Midlands Today is not yet available on BBC One HD.

Mobile number - 07850 969 307 normal working hours

Home number - 01905 799 152 6pm to 8pm only
06/06/16
Today, Monday the 6th of June and still there is no resolution to the on-going reception problems of the BBC channels via the Bromsgrove transmitter.

Although I have gained a lot more information regarding this problem I'm still at a loss as to it's exact cause.

The problem seems to have developed on Wednesday the 1st of June when households were requested via an on-screen message to re-tune their TVs on or after this date.

Going by the amount of calls I've received it would suggest that after the re-tuning was completed many people reported that they had either lost their BBC channels altogether or are now experiencing pixilation / picture break-up.

As I continued to receive more and more calls and with the weekend fast approaching I made a call to the BBC Radio & TV investigation Service to inform them of a possible transmission fault on multiplex 26 at the Bromsgrove transmitter.

Despite having received up to a couple of dozen calls from people complaining of the same problem I was absolutely dismayed with regards to their attitude. They informed me that there was NO fault with the Bromsgrove transmitter.
I also informed them that a local TV shop in Droitwich "Brown & Fincher" had received even more calls than myself but this just fell on deaf ears and made no difference, they just repeated the same blurb...."There is no fault with the Bromsgrove transmitter"

As I felt that I was banging my head against a brick wall I made an initial call to Worcester News reporter "Sam Greenway" who seemed very interested in running a story should the problem not get resolved over the weekend.

I thought it only fair that I try the BBC Radio & TV investigation service one more time, so calling them this morning (Monday) I asked to speak to a manager and despite the fact that after a very long wait I did eventually get through to a duty manager the response was the same..... "There is no reported fault with the Bromsgrove transmitter" I suggested to them that, I, on behalf of a few dozen customers was reporting a fault, but as before I felt like I was wasting my time.

Speaking to Sam Greenway again from the Berrows newspaper group this afternoon proved much more successful as an article regarding this problem has now appeared online on the Worcester News website as well as going to print in many of Berrows newspapers. See that story HERE

The image above shows the display on my meter but a similar sort of signal condition display is often seen on many makes of TV, especially in the case of Panasonic as they also display signal strength and signal quality reception bars.

Interestingly the display above is taken from my customers Aerial/incoming signal which initially looks excellent until you notice the ERR 999 display at the bottom of the screen, also a glance at the unhappy face indicates a major signal corruption problem. The signal strength indication on most if not all TVs will only normally indicate, at best just two parameters and with this particular fault any signal indication on a TV screen will also suggest that the signal for the BBC channels from Bromsgrove is good, possibly making some people unwittingly think that they are in need of a new TV or TV Aerial.

I will keep working on trying to find out the cause and resolution to this fault until resolved but in the meantime remember that if you have a TV made in the last 3 years or so there is a chance that it's a HD receiving TV and the two most watched BBC channels are broadcast from an unaffected multiplex 30 on the Bromsgrove transmitter. For BBC1 punch in 101 into your remote and BBC2 - 102, if your TV just bounces back to the channel your watching then it's more than likely your TV is not HD.

Should the fault not get resolved in time for a particular programme you want to watch and you don't have a HD receiving set then please give me a call as there are sometimes things I can suggest over the phone that you can try that may restore BBC to your TV, failing that there is always a solution to the problem by making a rooftop adjustment to your TV Aerial either by re-positioning or re-aligning onto another, more reliable transmitter, but please don't try this yourself and end up making the same mistake as Rod Hull.

Mobile - 07850 969 307

Home - 01905 799152
01/06/16
I am aware of a transmission fault which is affecting the reception of most of the BBC channels being broadcast from the Bromsgrove transmitter.

If your TV Aerial is pointing towards this transmitter then poor reception or no reception of the BBC channels can be expected until the fault is rectified.

I have no further information regarding this current fault other than I would expect the problem to be resolved as a matter of urgency as there are thousands of households affected.

My advise for this particular fault goes against what I normally advise but if this problem persists then an automatic retune of your TV or Set Top Box may just return the BBC channels to your TV guide.

As mentioned above, I would normally advise AGAINST the retuning of TVs when you experience reception problems as this can often make the situation worse but on this occasion it may be the only way to get the BBC back. If the fault continues beyond this coming weekend then the tuning of your TV will NOT cure the problem and so for this reason I would recommend trying the auto re-tune only once or twice per day.

If you require any further information regarding this fault and or the tuning of TVs or any other reception fault for that matter then please don't hesitate to contact me via my mobile during the working day or at home up until 8pm each evening.

Mobile - 07850 969 307

Home - 01905 799152
02/03/16
Over the past few days I've received half a dozen calls or so from people living on Westlands as well as the other side of the Westlands ring road in Coppice way and Crofters way areas of Droitwich all complaining of the same thing. I believe this particular bout of TV interference is being emitted from the mobile phone mast postioned on the Berry Hill side of the Kidderminster road just as you head out of Droitwich towards Hampton Lovett, as seen in my photo above, click to enlarge.

Although this mobile phone mast has been located for a while now it appears that it's conversion to 4G took place some time last Sunday (28th of February 2016)

Every time one of these masts gets upgraded to 4G it's only certain households that are affected. Although possible I've still not seen anyone who's had reception issues regarding 4G when they have a simple TV aerial system, in other words a TV Aerial connected directly to a TV.

Add a booster some where in line between the Aerial and TV and the possibility of interference increases greatly, especially if that booster is the one that normally sits at the bottom of the TV Aerial mast, often known as a MHA or Mast Head Amplifier.

Also you would normally need to be within one kilometre radius or so from the mast to receive any interference, your TV Aerial would also need to point North towards the Sutton Coldfield or Bromsgrove transmitters. It is unlikely any TV Aerials which point South towards the Malvern or Ledbury/Ridgehill transmitters will be affected from this particular mobile phone mast.

I've been using the word "interference" but this may give the wrong impression as the first thing anyone will see is a blank TV screen and no TV picture at all, sometimes accompanied with an on screen message which would suggest that there is no TV Aerial signal.

It's interesting in that every time I diagnose a 4G interference problem and despite of the message that's displayed on a TV screen the TV signal is in fact still very much there it's just that the 4G signal is stronger which in turn overloads the amplifier with too much signal knocking out the TV signal.

Sometimes I've been able to simply reduce the gain on the amplifier via the adjustable gain control (if available) or even remove the amplifier altogether, this is perhaps the best solution just so long as there is sufficient TV signal to allow you to do this. There are other methods such as using a filter and or changing the amplifier to a new modern one marked "LTE" which has built in filtering, with every diagnosis I will always try to find the cheapest and easiest solution to the problem first. If after reading this you believe you may have 4G interference then by far the easiest and cheapest solution would be to call At 800 on the number below where the problem should be fixed free of charge.



At 800 - 0808 1313 800


For further advice or if for any reason the people on the number above are unable to help then please don't hesitate to contact me on my usual mobile number,
which is - 07850 969 307 during the day or my home number - 01905 799152 between 7pm and 8pm in the evening.​
20/01/16
So far this winter I have been called out to more TV Aerials that have come down or been dislodged by the successive storms we've recently experienced than I have in the last five or so preceding winters, all combined.

Although it may seem strange to read the following but the vast majority of Aerials that I've attended to this winter have in fact not been downed because of the ferocity of the wind (although this has been a contributing factor) but mostly due to poor workmanship and or the choice of materials during the TV Aerials initial installation.

As with every winter there are always going to be the odd Aerial that doesn't quite make it through, this year has been no exception as I've seen 2 or 3 Aerials that have made it well past their 40th birthday only then to have Abigail, Frank or one of their siblings deliver the final blow. Most of the other TV Aerials that have succumb to this winters storms and have come down were relatively new installations, almost all having been installed over the past 2 to 15 years.

Out of the couple of dozen other downed TV Aerials I've attended to, many if not all of them have similar installation faults in common which have then contributed to their receiving capabilities and lives being cut short.

Aluminium poles snapping at the bracket has perhaps been thee most common problem I've seen this winter. I've never been a fan of aluminium poles and to date I've never used one, always preferring a good quality steel pole which will normally last in excess of 40 years.

The second most common problem I've seen with these downed Aerials is the combination of an under sized (diameter wise) aluminium pole coupled with a super high gain, heavy weight Digital Aerial.

The third problem I've encountered this winter has been the quite common but poor practice of over loading an existing good TV Aerial installation by placing another TV Aerial part way down the pole, this is often done when a customer requests an additional TV point in another room. There are 2 or 3 different options for supplying additional TV's with signal but this (expensive) one is not one of them and for reasons stated above, is best avoided.

So in conclusion - As I've often said here on my website, over the phone and face to face, it really doesn't matter how good the equipment may be or how much it may cost it's the individual installer that holds the key as to the longevity of any TV Aerial installation.

Click on the collage above to enlarge and view just a few of the TV Aerial installations I've attended to this winter.