View Full Version : freeview silences

25th Jan 2014, 21:23
is there something inherently faulty in the sound systems of the UK Freeview service?

Over the last few years we have had 6 different Freeview boxes, from various makers, all of which have suffered from a strange dropping out of the audio for a few seconds a few times an hour. It is not just ours either, I have noticed the same sound drop outs when visiting friends and relatives around the country.



25th Jan 2014, 22:20
Yes, there is an inherent failing in digital terrestrial TV in the UK, it is extremely sensitive to impulse interference. In fact it's so sensitive to this that it made it completely unusable for us.

I used to be able to get a reasonable, if slightly noisy, analogue TV signal, although that needed a masthead amp and a moderately good antenna. When we switched to Freeview I spent well over 300 on a new super high gain antenna, very low noise masthead amp, a 15ft pole and chimney mount, plus the very best low loss cable I could buy.

I got a good Freeview signal, except that every time a car or motorcycle drove by, or the boiler or fridge freezer turned on, the sound would drop out for a few seconds. As the road outside our house is quite busy from around 17:30 to 18:30 on weekdays, we found that it was impossible to watch TV at that time. Trying to listen to the news was an exercise in frustration, because of all the drop outs.

After spending all that money on the antenna, head amp, cable etc I decided to cut our losses and get a Freesat system. I bought a dish and quad LNB for around 30, bought a Humax Freesat HDR, spent a couple of hours bolting the dish on the wall, running the cables in and lining things up, and have enjoyed much better quality TV ever since, with no drop outs or interference at all.

The picture quality seems far, far better on Freesat too, especially the HD channels.

Freeview was, from my perspective, a seriously retrograde step from analogue, and at the time I was annoyed about the digital switchover bullshit being promulgated by the government (who only did it so they can sell the old analogue frequencies).

I'm not alone in having suffered the same sort of issues, either, both my neighbours have been through a similar process, one even getting irate enough about it to have several heated exchanges with our local (Tory) MP, who kept feeding him complete bullshit.

I'm sure that those who don't live in rural areas, and who are blessed with a high Freeview signal strength, find it OK, but talk to people like us who live out in the sticks and you'll soon learn that Freeview is pretty rubbish in a lot of areas. For those who suffer from the common Freeview break up problem I strongly recommend looking t fitting Freesat, as it's relatively cheap and easy to install and should prove to be problem free and better quality.