toshiba tv - digital problems

12 Oct 2011
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United Kingdom
hi guys,

trying to sort out my better half's TV. she's recently moved into a shared house and within her room is a tv aerial, now i haven't had much experience regarding digital tv as my own tv has a built in aerial.

the tv (according to her parents) has the ability for digital channels, but I've plugged the aerial into the tv and searched but no channels are found, I've replaced the connector incase it was a dodgy one but with no change.

wondering if anyone could shed some light on how for me to get digital working for her, do i need a signal booster? or a new aerial/dish? or simply tell her just to buy a tv with built in digital aerial.

Toshiba 22KV500B
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followed all the instructions but still no luck. according to we should have a very strong signal.

maybe aerial/dish needs updating. unless anyone else has any other ideas?
Signal predictors are very general. You can be in a area that is said to have strong signal on average. But the room might be on the opposite side of the house to the transmitter, the walls could be heavily insulated with foil-backed kingspan, the house could be in a dip or in the shadow of a hill or other buildings...etc etc. These will all weaken the signal level at a specific location. So even though the signal might be strong across say a 500 square mile patch there's no guarantee that it's equally strong at a specific location.

Then there's the fact that she moved house. That might also mean she should be tuning to a different set of channel frequencies because the area is served by a different transmitter than her last location. If so, then the TV on a simple retune is looking for those same frequencies again. They might not be there.

Next, aerial orientation. Yes, it actually matters. Go have a look outside at the houses with aerials on the roof.
1) are they all pointing in the same direction? If not, then the area could be in the overlap between two transmitters.
2) look at the long bar. Are the little fins lying horizontally (directed at a main transmitter) or vertically which means the local transmitter is a repeater (less channels, lower power).

Here's what you can do...Make sure your aerial is aligned the same direction and orientation as those on the rooks of the surrounding houses. Then go in to the TV menus and find the "All Reset / Factory Reset" option. This will clear the tuning menu so that the TV forgets the old channel frequencies and starts from fresh. This is a good thing.

If you're still getting nothing then remember that digital is pretty much all or nothing. Try tweaking the aerial direction. If still nothing go ask a house member / neighbour if you can try your GF's aerial on their TV.. You won't be retuning their TV; just seeing if your aerial can pick up signals on a TV that's already known to be tuned correctly. If you have a smart phone then use the compass feature to check the direction of the aerial.

If you try all this and it's still no joy then a booster is unlikely to help. If there's not enough signal to at least get a picture then there's not enough quality in the first place. A booster won't solve that. Consider getting an outdoor aerial put up.

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thanks very much.

aerial is facing in same direction as all others, but now looking at it, it has 4 coax cables coming down from it, including one that works the sky in the front room. would that make a difference?

think i'm going to just get her to wait until her housemates are home to try using theirs to see what happens.
Yes, it could.

Firstly my apologies. I wrote the previous reply thinking your GF had an indoor set-top aerial. So ignore the advice about room position and insulation unless you plan on using an indoor aerial at some point in the future. Okay, back to your issue.

I'm just going to spend a minute trying to clarify some details. If there's something I misunderstood, or you can add more relevant detail then please feel free to jump in.

1) This is a shared house?
2) There's an aerial on the roof that has 4 down leads, some of which go to other rooms in the house, and people are using this successfully with Freeview on their TV's?
3) There's a Sky box somewhere in the mix. And you believe that it is somehow linked to the aerial system?

Depending on the answers to the above there are several possible reasons why the TV isn't getting a picture. But lets start with a real basic one first. You said you checked and rewired the aerial plug. Is that right? Did you make sure that none of the wire braiding is touching the central copper core? If it does, this will short out the signal so that the TV tuner gets nothing.

Next, go do a visual check. Is there a wire from the roof aerial that actually goes unbroken to your GF's room? Does it look like it might enter the room where you expect given the position of the aerial socket/wire?

The box on the aerial mast that has 4 leads, that's most likely a powered splitter*. The power for it would come from a 12v transformer somewhere in the house behind one of the TVs. The transformer will have sockets for RF in and RF out and also a mains lead of course. If this is missing then it's likely that no one in the house will get Freeview; so that's a simple check.

Now, you mentioned that the aerial system has, you think, something to do with Sky as well. This might be possible, but only if the right type of wiring method for the splitter is used. The outside aerial feed would need to go direct from the aerial to where the Sky box is, and then a return wire would go from the Sky box RF2 out back up to the mast and in to the splitter. This would then allow the rest of the TVs in the house to watch the same channel that is being viewed on Sky in the lounge. If set up correctly it would also feed Freeview to each room. So, looking from outside the house at the room where the Sky box is. Do you see two aerial wires going in to that room?

Come back and let us know the answers to the above.

* Could equally be a passive splitter but it's unusual to split passively so close to the aerial.
1/. yes a shared house between 6
2/. external aerial with 4 downleads, 1 goes direct into sky box in front room, 1 directly down and into my gfs room and two others I can only assume go into other bedrooms and as they're not here cannot be certain.
3/. downlead direct from aerial to sky box, no rf2 cable back wiring to dish

am certain the new connector I put on is ok as I triple checked to make sure the braiding isn't shorting it out.

yes the cable goes directly from aerial to gfs room unbroken and comes through wall as can pull and push slack through which moves it inside.

no transformer behind my gfs tv and not one in the front room, again cannot check in other peoples room as they are locked, will get gf to check or ask landlord.

sorry I cant give any more information.
If the Sky box is in a communal area and there's a TV attached to it then you could check the Freeview reception on that TV. Just have a look round the back. There should be an aerial cable linking the Sky box (RF 1 out) to the TV (RF in). Switch on that TV and select the DTV (Freeview) input. If there's good reception there then bring your GF's TV in to the room. Move the aerial cable over to hers and run the "First Time Installation" option from the tuning menu.

If you get no channels, then as long as you're doing everything right as regards connecting-, then tuning digital- and and watching digital then at that point I'd say there's a problem with TV's tuner. However, if it does work then you can store the channels and take the TV back to your GFs room knowing that it's ready to go. If there's still no Freeview in your GFs room then there's a cable fault somewhere.

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