TV and rain

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Hi

Mother-in-Law has an analogue TV (circa 1996) which has recently been adapted to receive digital TV through a Freeview box and a new aerial on the roof. This work was done as part of the digital switchover.

She is finding that whenever it rains, she cannot get a picture - just lines on the screen. Although I am a complete novice with regards to TVs, my gut feeling is that this may be caused by water getting into a connection in the aerial somewhere. The TV works perfectly when the weather is dry.

She is going to contact the digital switchover people again but I'd like to feel that I have an idea about what is going on for when they arrive.

Could any of you knowledgeable types please advise if my suspicions are right?

Many thanks
 
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This can indeed happen, if the outer sheath of the coaxial cable chafes against something then water can enter and degrade the signal.
She should insist that the digital switch over people rectify this problem, no doubt she did not ask to go digital.

Wotan
 
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Cowboy installations are common, even among so-called "professionals". If aerial cable goes down a tiled roof it should be clipped to prevent it from moving and chafing (as Wotan stated). The aerial connections should be fully waterproofed - something most installers can't be bothered to do.

Another possibility is that the aerial is pointing at trees. Wet leaves will greatly reduce the signal. In this case the answer is to remove the branches with leaves or move the aerial so it has a clear line of sight. If neither option is possible, try satellite TV instead (or in addition, for rainy days only).
 
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imamartian

one other point is, you don't necessarily need a new aerial, plus i can, in theory, be intally inside the loft !!
 
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ChrisFrost

Digital TV signals are far less forgiving of poor reception than analogue. The margin of error between 'enough' and 'not enough' signal is quite small compared to analogue. It's known as the Digital Cliff.

If her TV area is currently going through the digital switchover then this could add to the problem. The digital TV signal power is lower during switchover to prevent interference with the analogue transmissions. Signal power improves after switchover is complete.

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I wouldn't rule out water in the cables at this stage, but you haven't said if they reused the existing cable or installed new. However, unless you can confirm otherwise, I'd be inclined to agree with Sam Gangee about the trees. We see the same effect with loft aerials when the roof tiles are wet. If the trees are deciduous then you'll have an answer on this as soon as the leaves fall of course.
 
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Thanks for the info everyone. As you say, she did not ask to go digital - the old analogue TV worked perfectly even with the loft-installed aerial dating from 1973!
The new roof-mounted aerial was installed as part of the switchover, using new components and cables as far as I can see. She lives on top of a hill in one of the highest parts of Nottinghamshire, but there may well be some trees in the aerial's line of sight. We'll get the switchover people back to have a look at both the waterproofing of the cable and the aerial direction. She was tlking about buying a new TV, but I feel there is little point if the signal to it is poor. Satellite or cable might be the answer in the longer term but I'm not sure that she'd cope with that at her age!
All your help is much appreciated - thanks very much!

Richard
 
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we had two problems with our new digital aerial installed by so-called professionals.

1. they installed he aerial and all was perfect but gradually over a two week period the picture started to 'block' more and more. I called them out again and although they didn't admit it, I heard 'the lad' say the aerial wasn't tight and had swivelled. They moved the aerial higher up the pole and tried to tell me I was 'picking something up'.

2. next we had blocking when windy why? well the damn aerial was now so high up the pole that it waived in the wind! so they were dragged out again and fitted a second bracket to the pole.......so far so good
 
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ChrisFrost

This "doing it on the cheap" is becoming a real problem. I've been to fix a few installs now where the lowest cost brackets and components have been used by the previous installer. In the long run it's a false economy.
 

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