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JEREMY BILLINGHAM

Television Reception Specialist

TV Aerials, Radio Aerials, Sky & Freesat

Droitwich, Worcester, Bromsgrove, Rubery

06/06/19
I recently received a call from a frustrated, Bromyard based new home owner who had attempted to install his recently purchased TV Aerial in his loft.

After repeatedly trying to get a TV signal from his loft he eventually admitted defeat and gave up!

On receiving his cry for help I was asked if I could try and use the TV Aerial that he had recently bought from a well know, large trade supplier. On hearing the name of the organisation, the one that ends with the word "Fix" I advised him that often and despite what may be written on the packaging, most if not all of the TV Aerials sold at this trade/retail outlet are not really suitable for mounting outdoors, but I was willing to take a look and advise accordingly.

On arrival at the property I could immediately see why it had been nigh on impossible for my customer to obtain a sufficient signal from inside his loft.

First off all, I'm increasingly seeing more and more roofs being internally supported in the way that this roof was. Instead of the loft being supported by standard wooden A frames the central part of this loft has multiple wooden vertical supports direct to the roofs apex making it almost impossible to move around in the loft especially with a TV Aerial in hand.

Secondly this TV Aerial or any other TV Aerial for that matter was never going to work from inside this loft anyway. The location of this property was not only in a dip but only one transmitter was available, as I was to find out later, even that transmitter was extremely weak.

As can be seen from my photo above, I never had the opportunity to try out my customers bought TV Aerial as frustration got the better of him and it ended up in a heap on the back lawn.

Needless to say, especially in poor TV reception areas mounting TV Aerials inside a loft is never a good idea.
14/04/19
Recently installing a TV Aerial on a newly built house in Droitwich I was asked to also install a Sky mini Dish for Freesat.

Only problem was that the house was finished in a beautiful cream render and without going to great expense by having the dish mounted on a ugly bracket and long pole on the back wall enabling the Dish to see over the roof I suggested to my customer to have it spray painted to match the coloured render.

From my initial telephone enquiry to the Dish being handed back to my customer, spayed to a perfect render matched colour was only a couple of days.

So if you just have a alternate colour preference or more importantly an architectural reason to have a satellite dish any other colour other than black, you now know it can be done.
09/04/19
I was recently called out by a customer to change a SKY dish that had become so rusty it left ugly rust marks on the patio below every time it rained.

Also my customers wife was put off sitting on the patio with the sight of an ugly rusting, perforated, metal plate above her head.

The dish was fitted around 8 years ago but what makes this very unusual is that also on the same day, at the same time a second, identical dish was also fitted by the same SKY engineer on the wall of a converted garage barely 15 meters away (See my photo above)

Not only was the face of the rusty dish in a very poor condition but also all of the bracketry behind the dish was also affected in the same way.

Whereas the dish on the garage had absolutely NO sign of rust anywhere on its face or bracketry behind.
31/03/19
I'm now aware that there are some people who are unable to receive HD. Not only from the Bromsgrove TV transmitter but also the Wrekin near Telford as well as the Lark Stoke transmitter near Stratford on Avon.

I'm convinced it's related to the problem I've described in my 28th March news blog, below.

I have a good idea that it is only households that have their (rooftop as opposed loft mounted) TV Aerials in a position which is also open to one or more of the other transmitters I've mentioned above.

Although I'm not 100% sure but those who have loft installed Aerials or those who are much nearer to one or other of the TV transmitters I've mentioned above should not have any problems with HD reception.

As this is now becoming a bigger problem, with an increasing amount of frequencies / channels affected I'm expecting the fault to be rectified reasonably quickly.

As soon as I have more information I will post it here in my News section..
28/03/19
I've been made aware of a fault affecting signals/channels coming from the Bromsgrove transmitter.

If you are missing the following channels then you may also be suffering from the same fault.

Something worth noting, unlike in the analogue days of TV transmission when just one frequency carried only one TV channel, with the advent of Digital TV that same one frequency can now contain as many as 40 or more TV channels, so if you notice that you are missing one or some of the channels below you will in fact be missing them all.

Bare in mind the contrary is also correct, if you have just one of the channels I've listed below you will also have them all, that said, just very occasionally you may need to re-tune your TV to be fully up to date.

16 - QVC
20 - Drama
21 - 5USA
27 - ITV2 +1
30 - 5STAR
34 - ITV3 +1
37 - Quest
44 - Channel 5 +1
54 - Paramount Network
55 - 5SELECT
58 - ITVBe +1
59 - ITV4 +1
63 - Blaze
66 - CBS Reality
70 - Horror Channel
76 - Quest +1
77 - TCC
80 - Blaze +1
85 - Hochanda
87 - Keep It Country
203-CITV
211- Ketchup

The Following Radio / Adult channels are also affected -
​​​​​​
252 - Kiss Chat & Date
253 - Proud Dating
261 - Racing UK
263 - SonLife
264 - VisionTV
265 - Planet Knowledge
269 - Arise News
270 - Loveworld
271 - Juwelo UK
670 - ADULT Section
671 - Television X
675 - ADULT PARTY
678 - ADULT Xpanded TV
679 - ADULT Studio 66
724 - Capital FM London
727 - Absolute Radio
728 - Heart

As yet I'm not absolutely sure as to the exact cause of this fault but I have an idea that it could possibly be due to a synchronisation issue with another transmitter.

Not everyone on the Bromsgrove transmitter is affected as I'm finding that it's the roof top TV Aerials which have an open aspect looking East towards the Lark Stoke transmitter near Stratford on Avon which is where I mostly observe this particular fault.

Both the Bromsgrove and the Lark Stoke transmitters use the same 6 frequencies or multiplexes. All of the channels I've listed above are broadcast on the same multiplex (multiplex 33) I have an idea that it may be a timing / synchronisation issue which is the cause of the missing channels.

On the other hand we are currently under the influence of a large anticyclone (High atmospheric pressure) and although it certainly won't help with a possible sync issue (if that is the fault) there is just a small chance that it could just be the sole cause of the channel loss, although at this stage I think it unlikely to be a weather related fault.

Clicking on my image above displays this quite unique fault as it clearly shows that there is more than sufficient signal strength and quality but also an unusual error reading of 999.

Should the problem persist for any length of time or you find, for what ever reason that you're unable to endure the loss of you're favourite TV channel any longer I have found a relative inexpensive solution to the problem.

Please give me a call for further advice. JEREMY - 07850 969 307

In the meantime I will make attempts to find the cause of this fault and any results I'll post here in my news section.
19/03/19
I was called out today to a customer in Hartlebury who had suddenly lost their Freesat TV reception.

This particular dish was a little difficult to access as it was mounted on a long 12 foot pole, to the side of the garden patio, this was to allow for the clearance of some very tall trees which were in relative close proximity to the dish.

Doing the normal and easier checks first which include checking the Humax satellite receiver was powered up and not in need of a simple re-boot as well as following the coax cable run from the receiver to the outside, along the garden wall and up the length of the pole to the dish.

On finding both the receiver and the coax cable not to be at fault it only then left either the dish being off line or a possible faulty LNB (Low Noise Block) Click on photos above to enlarge.

Should we have been in late April or May there would have been the possibility of a growth spurt from the trees which lay in the direction that this dish was pointing, partially blocking the view to this geostationary satellite. As we have only just come out of winter and despite the record high temperatures we've recently experienced there was little chance that this was even a possibility.

Also, when vegetation growth does impact on the reception of a satellite signal to a dish its a relative slow process, often with pixitlation and break-up warning signs in the days and weeks preceding a total loss of signal, also with wind movement of any foliage the signal/reception will come and go in unison with the force of the wind.

Standing on the top platform of a set of 6 foot high steps and at full stretch the next easiest thing to check is the white feed-horn LNB cap.
.
Applying light pressure with my thumb on the white plastic feed horn cap will confirm or otherwise it's ability to stop rain water entering the LNB (as seen in my image 2 above)

Once this plastic become brittle it almost always splits at the top first (click on & see photos 2 & 3 above) allowing rain water to enter but then having no where to escape.

Putting light pressure on this particular cap allowed it to brake with ease, showering me with a quantity of collected rain water. Although I carry spare caps on the van once rain water enters the horn the LNBs days are numbered.

Over the past few months I've been called out to half a dozen or so of these LNBs with this particular fault, with vast quantities of these dish's having been installed in excess of 10 years ago this particular problem is going to be round for a long time to come.
15/02/19
I've been made aware of the possible activation of a mobile phone mast in Crowle near Worcester.

I believe this mast may have been switched on sometime yesterday morning (Thursday 14th of February)

Due to Crowle's rural location and it's distant position relative to TV transmitters many households use UHF TV mast head amplifiers to receive TV.

It's these amplifiers that are picking up the 4G signal from the masts resulting in either poor TV reception or often NO reception at all if the mast is in close proximity.

My advice, as always is to call at800 if you believe that your TV reception problem is a direct result of the activation of a mast.

at800 - 0808 131 3800

Just in case at800 are unaware of a particular mast activation (see my news item below dated 28th March 2018) or they are unable to help within a reasonable period of time then please don't hesitate to contact me direct.

I'm often able to attend on the same day......Sunday included!

Jeremy - 07850 969 307
10/02/19
Due to the recent high winds we've had over the past few days I was called out to this TV Aerial at Offerton farm near Droitwich on Saturday 9th of February 2019.

The following news item is taken from my Cowboys & Bodgers gallery.

Location - Offerton near Droitwich

Complaint - Sudden loss of all TV channels.

Fault - This particular fault is not over common as I only attend to a few each year but I do see many more potential problems while on my travels around the county.

PVC tape or occasionally plastic cable ties combined with a installer ignorance / incompetence is the primary reason for the loss of channels.

Firstly plastic cable ties should never be used to hold a TV coax to a pole.
Sunlight / UV light will make them brittle long before anything else needs to be replaced, allowing the coax to eventually swing in the wind, as can be seen in my photo above.

In this case it was PVC tape (industry standard) that was used.
Normally the tape will last as long as the Aerial, in this case perhaps as much as
40 to 50 years but because this particular installer was tight or possibly ignorant he only passed the tape around the pole once.

Sunlight will soon degrade this single layer of tape which in turn will allow the coax to come loose and flap in the wind, eventually snapping the soft copper inner core inside the dipole cap, as can be seen in my photo above.

Remedy - If the tape had have been passed around the pole by a minimum of 2 or 3 times then this TV Aerial could have gone on for another 5 to 10 years or so.

As this particular TV Aerial was an old grouped type and not efficient at receiving some of the lesser watched TV channels it was decided to upgrade to a wide band Digital type while I was there.