Droitwich


Mobile-07850 969 307

Home - 01905 799152


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JEREMY BILLINGHAM

TV Aerials, Radio Aerials, Sky & Freesat
Supplied - Installed - Repaired

Droitwich, Worcester, Bromsgrove, Pershore
Kidderminster & Stourport

05/04/18
Further to the recent telephone conversations, your feedback and the concerns raised are much appreciated. Your professional approach and commitment to your customers is great to see.

We take the same approach in managing the at800 programme which we’ve successfully ran since it began in 2013. On this occasion we can confirm that there was an isolated failure when the mobile mast local to your business and nearby customers in the WR9 8AN postcode area was left activated after testing.

After the Mobile Network Operators’ (MNO) engineers undertook mast configuration work and short-term testing they should then have deactivated the site before notifying their management that it was ready for commercial launch.

The MNO would then usually notify at800 of the readiness and proposed launch date. This allows us to initiate viewer communications and to update our contact centre information systems. On this occasion, due to their contractors’ error, the MNO was not aware that the site had been left active.
Consequently, our call centre agent had no visibility of the mast or its premature activation.

This and Freeview’s own 700MHz Clearance changes being in play at the time compounded the confusion and your frustrating experience.

With your helpful support, we were able to notify the MNO who immediately organised a short-term mast lock-down pending usual routines being restored.
This interim measure would mean that local Freeview viewers would find normal viewing restored. This anticipates that they, or through your services, had made successful retunes or system changes for the 7 March 700MHz Clearance events in the area.

As encouraged by yourself, a number of customers have contacted us and we’ve supported these people by sending filters or arranging engineer visits.
We are keen to provide support for those you reference on your site in the WR9 8AN area that have any 4G related interference.

We remain ready to proactively contact those that you can provide supporting details for. Of course, you should also continue to encourage anyone who anticipates a possible impact from 4G to contact us on 0808 13 13 800. Calls from UK landlines and mobiles are free.

Finally, please be aware that our independent work is governed by the 4G/TV Co-existence Oversight Board which reports to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Ofcom.

There is more information available at https://at800.tv/about/
29/03/18
Thanks to the perseverance an instance of many of my customers, AT800 are now prepared to send out engineers with filters capable of restoring TV, some lucky ones in time for Easter but others sadly not.

Many thanks to all who contacted me who then in turn called AT800......it worked!

Please read my news item below.
28/03/18
A recently installed mobile phone mast located behind the ESSO Garage at Witton, Droitwich has caused dozens of households in the area to lose their TV reception.

The mast which had been installed a couple of Sundays ago for and behalf of Vodafone has caused unnecessary loss of viewing for many when it was activated on the afternoon of Tuesday 27th of March.

The normal procedure would be for the organisation who is responsible for sorting out any 4G interference which can be caused by these masts is to send postcards to households that are predicticted to potentially be impacted within the local area, normally 2 weeks in advance of the mast being activated. The simple, A5 sized card informs householders that there may be a chance of TV interference in the near future and if this is experienced to call at800 who will then send filters as a first response to requests for support. This is expected to solve most issues but, if a viewer needs a visit from an engineer, at800 will provide free visits for households that rely on Freeview for TV.

Unfortunately it looks like normal procedure hasn't been followed this time as I've had over 20 calls today from irate people all within this mobile phone masts catchment area complaining of poor reception or no reception at all and not one of them having received the information card.

What makes this whole situation much worse is that when I have called AT800 on behalf of some of my customers, and given them the answers to their multiple diagnostic questions which includes the affected properties postcode they then confirm that there is NOT a mast in the area and so there could be no 4G interference coming from a mast that does not exist

No matter how much I might protest to management or team leaders it all falls on deaf ears as in their eyes the problem does not exist.

I wish I could say that it was the first time that I've come across this problem but I can't, as I've seen this sort of scenario happen multiple times over the last few years.

Just how complicated can it be for the installers and/or operators of these mobile phone masts to inform AT800 well in advance of any intended installation totally baffles me!.

You would think that sometime during the months and months of pre-planning which is necessary for these mobile phone masts that someone, just someone might be able to communicate that fact to AT800 so they may be aware that sometime in the not to distant future there could be TVI (Television interference) coming from that particular location,

But ok lets except that this is not a perfect world and human errors are made what I find astonishing is that there seems to be no fail safe in place and no backup for this communication breakdown, and let's face it, this is a whopping communication breakdown by a company specialising in, of all things, communication!!

Again, just how complicated must it be as an absolute, last resort, failsafe for the guy who threw the switch at the masts location on Tuesday to be able to send a SMS, TXT or EMAIL either directly or indirectly to AT800 informing them of the site location and time of activation!?

At least this would give AT800 the heads-up for the possible large number of calls that may follow and lessons could then be learnt for the next time it happens, instead of telling those callers "Sorry there is NO 4G interference in your area" and having a despicable telephone manner to boot, talking down to each person that calls in.......SHOCKING!

When you consider that their are strong connections between the mobile phone operators and AT800 it does suggest that there is something going seriously wrong......or is there!? I do have my own personal opinion and ideas about this but for the time being at least I shall keep them to myself.

All as I can suggest is for anyone living in and around the witton area of Droitwich who thinks that their TV reception may be adversely affected due to this new mast to call AT800 (number below) but please be aware that they may not be able to help or offer any advise because the mast which is located at the Esso Garage, 130 Worcester Road, Droitwich does not exist!

The only hope being is that if enough people call in and then each call is logged and correlated the desired effect may be achieved via the back door and a late admission from AT800 that there is indeed an active mast there after all.

Unfortunately it will be all too late for many who would prefer to stop inside and watch the box over Easter as I now believe that AT800 will not be able to attend until after the Easter break.


AT800 - 0808 131 3800
07/03/18
As of Wednesday 7th of March 2018 there is a very good chance that you may have the words "Weak or No Signal" displayed on your TV screen, especially if your TV Aerial is pointed towards the Malvern transmitter.

In the early hours of this morning, significant engineering or frequency re-allocation work to be more precise was completed on many TV transmitters located throughout the Midlands.

The work to move many TV channels in their individual blocks (Multiplex's) to lower frequencies on the ever shrinking TV band had been planned for sometime.

The reason for doing this work was to make way for new mobile phone services which will begin to use these old TV frequencies for things like Mobile 5G, starting in 2020.

If you were to scroll down below this News item you will notice that I have always strongly advised against the re-tune of TVs if reception is lost!

Well of course, on this rare occasion the only way to restore TV reception is to actually re-tune your TV. So my advice, this time is to Auto Re-tune your TV,
IF your TV reception was lost on March 7th 2018

Once you have completed a re-tune most TVs will work normally again and normal TV reception should be resumed! I use the word "should" as today I've found that there has been some anomalies as I've been inundated with calls from people who have gone through the TV tuning process only to find that not all TV channels have returned and in some cases still no TV reception at all.

If after having tried an automatic re-tune of your TV or recording box and you are still unable to receive normal TV pictures then please give me a call.

At the moment it's difficult to give too much useful advice and infomation over the phone as to the possible causes and reasons why some continue to experience poor TV reception even after an auto re-tune has been completed.

This is often complicated by the amount of variables regarding each individual TV setup, especially when you take into consideration factors such as the properties location relative to the TV transmitter, age of the TV Aerial and any boosters or amplifiers that may be present etc.

For the time being, and until the dust settles I am ONLY available throughout the day on my mobile number. I will offer as much advice as possible (bearing in mind what I've written above) over the phone but you may require a home visit to resolve any on going reception issues you may have.


Jeremy - 07850 969 307
15/02/18
The following news item was taken from my "Cowboys & Bodgers" gallery (Installer fault 21)

Location - Droitwich

Complaint - Picture break-up and cable mess just inside the loft hatch.

Fault - Insufficient filtering of 4G transmissions and inappropriate use and location of mast head amplifier.

The sight of these amplifiers and TV aerial equipment inside a loft seems to be increasingly common and guess it's the work of unscrupulous and dishonest Aerial installers.

The Vision masthead amplifier marked "1" in my photo was installed as a replacement for the Fringe electronics amplifier "3" There was nothing wrong with the Fringe amplifier but to install a Masthead amplifier designed for outdoor use was not only dishonest but also technically wrong too.

The 12 volt power unit "2" in my photo is used to feed voltage to the amplifier when it's located normally outside and a long way from a power source. Of course, in this case there was no problem obtaining power as it is in the form of a double, 240 volt socket right next to all of the equipment. 4G interference also continued to be an issue during the evenings for this customer.

Remedy - Return the 4 coax's to the perfectly working Fringe electronics amplifier and add one extra 4G filter. Remove the unrequired masthead amplifier & power unit.
28/11/17
The following news item was taken from my "Cowboys & Bodgers" gallery (Installer fault 20)

Location -
Fernhill Heath

Complaint - Sudden loss of all TV channels.

Fault - Masthead amplifier damaged by water ingress. Getting up into the loft at this property where the amplifier had been installed by the previous Aerial installer I immediately noticed it was water logged. Rain water had entered the coax via a small cut on the outer sheath allowing it to flow down on the inside. This situation is really not uncommon but what is rare is next to the amplifier was another rusted/damaged masthead amplifier, not connected but just left discarded to one side. It was then obvious that the last installer had no morals or interest in finding out why the amplifier was damaged by rain water.

Remedy - Change the coax from the TV Aerial outside back into the loft, this then improved the signal so now there was no need to replace the amplifier at all but just a simple connection to the coax running down the cavity to the TV in the lounge.
31/10/17
As of today (Tuesday 31st October 2017) 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 may persist until this coming Saturday.

While this current spell of cool 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 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!
03/10/17
Unfortunately my landline number is not available during the process of a house move to a new location in Droitwich.

When BT eventually get round to re-connecting me I will still retain my old telephone number which I've managed to keep for the past 27 years, until then I will always be available via my usual mobile phone number.

My website updates may not be as prolific as normal but should anything major happen to TV signals or TV transmitters within our area I will do my best to update my website accordingly.
07850 969 307
14/08/17
I recently received a call from a customer I've known for some years. He asked me if I could take a look at a TV Aerial which was installed on a roof of a property he owns but lets out to a family in Bromsgrove. The complaint from the family was that every time it rained TV pictures were lost.

Taking a look at the Aerial from the ground I could see that it was a new and modern designed TV Aerial made by a company called Triax, a TV Aerial that I personally know to be generally of good quality and well made.

The Aerial could be aged quite accurately at around 10 years as this is when all the properties were built on this particular development of around 30 or so houses.

The original Aerial installation would have been straightforward as it had a clear line of site direct to the transmitter at Bromsgrove which was less than a mile away.

Getting close up and personal with this Aerial it quickly became obvious as to the problem. No matter how well made a TV Aerial is and no matter how big or small it may be or indeed how much it may have cost etc etc if the person who initially installs it, installs it incorrectly it WILL FAIL, in time, GUARANTEED!

This, like many modern TV Aerials has a semi sealed dipole (the dipole being the working/clever part of the Aerial where the TV coax cable connects)

This particular TV Aerial has a small water drainage hole in the base of the dipole just in case of any water ingress in the future, the water could then simply drain away.

For whatever reason the installer of this TV Aerial installed the Aerial upside down, putting the drainage hole at the top, allowing the dipole housing to act as a reservoir and fill with water each time it rained. The end result being a damaged printed circuit board within the dipole housing.

Unfortunately looking around this estate in Bromsgrove with a pair of binoculars it appears that almost every single TV Aerial had been installed in the same way, Upside Down!

Although I often find individual TV Aerials which have failed due to upside down installation this is the first time I've come across a whole estate with the same problem.

I find it really hard to believe that the guy/s installing these TV Aerials was installing them upside down in order to secure repeat business many years earlier than if the Aerial had been installed correctly so I can only think that this Aerial like many others I've seen over recent years was installed with a large helping of ignorance!
30/07/17
Walking around the corner of a path that led up to my customers home last Thursday it quickly became clear as to why they had called me in to help restore their TV pictures.

Although my customer had noticed the Mast Head Amplifier (MHA) box was dangling from the pole he had not realised the consequences of it being this way up and was not sure that the lack of TV pictures on their TV's was a direct result of this MHAs orientation.

If you have a MHA or any similar looking box for that matter that is attached to a TV Aerial pole and you notice that it's come away from the pole (as seen in my pic above) don't delay in calling me or any reputable TV Aerial installer (if you are reading this from outside my coverage area) as it's guaranteed that in a very short space of time the cost for putting it right will probably double!

This is a very common fault which I often only see once the cost of putting it right has gone beyond just getting up on to the roof to turn and secure it the right way up.

Over the years the plastic cable tie that secures the MHA to the pole becomes brittle with the constant UV light that's emitted by the sun, once the cable tie breaks it allows the MHA to drop forward allowing (more often than not) rain water to enter. The plastic housing which once kept all the electronic components dry now acts as a reservoir, often allowing the components to be partially or completely submerged.

On some callouts I have managed to save a few amplifiers as well as many other types of TV Aerial equipment that are also housed in this type of box but once the electronics have been swimming in water for more than a few days it's usually only their replacement that will restore TV pictures.

So in short, if you notice a box like the one in my pic above has fallen / come away from the pole don't delay in doing something about it.