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All posts by Mike Dimmick

Below are all of Mike Dimmick's postings, with the most recent are at the bottom of the page.

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The Wrekin (Telford and Wrekin, England) transmitter
Wednesday 23 March 2011 4:34PM
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thodkin: Your problem is that Cefn Mawr uses channel 53 for the BBC A mux and C57 for the D3+4 mux, while the *same* channels are used for The Wrekin Mux C and D.

With your aerial pointing to The Wrekin, it won't be getting a substantial signal anyway, and will be picking up substantial 'noise' from Cefn Mawr even though it does point in a different direction and use a different polarization.

If you want to use Cefn Mawr you will need to point your aerial to that transmitter, and use the correct vertical polarization. You will only get the Public Service multiplexes as Cefn Mawr is a 'Freeview Light' transmitter. The noise picked up from The Wrekin should be much lower relative to the signal from Cefn Mawr.

If you stick with The Wrekin, you should get a usable signal on ArqA and ArqB multiplexes when they change channel at the end of September. Remember to retune in a fortnight, and again two weeks after that, to get the PSB multiplexes.

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Mendip (Somerset, England) Full Freeview transmitter
Wednesday 23 March 2011 4:38PM
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Mr M Brooks: If you had Freeview before switchover and didn't have problems, the signal is could now be too strong. If you have any amplifiers, remove them. If you don't have any amplifiers, consider adding an attenuator.

In January, the ArqB multiplex changed mode to increase capacity - but at the cost of needing a larger signal-to-noise ratio. This has made the coverage area smaller. However, the Digital UK predictor shows you should be well within coverage.

The ArqB multiplex will change channel and increase in power at the end of September. That may resolve the problem.

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jimli: The Kidderminster transmitter starts broadcasting digital signals on the 7th of September this year. It currently only broadcasts analogue signals. It will be a 'Freeview Light' transmitter, transmitting only the three Public Service multiplexes.

At your location, Digital UK's postcode checker shows that you should be able to get a full 6-multiplex service from Sutton Coldfield starting from the 7th of September. Alternatively you should have a very good chance of getting full service from Ridge Hill starting in four weeks (20 April), though the probability is slightly lower than from Sutton Coldfield. Kidderminster relays signals from Sutton Coldfield.

There are no good options at the moment.

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Digital UK's tradeview now shows that BBC A will start up on C61 on DSO1, but move to C49 on DSO2. This is not in any Ofcom documentation. They have recently removed the list of stations from the multiplex licences and the replacement 'Table of Digital Terrestrial Broadcasting Stations for Multiplex Licences' is useless (at the moment it only lists Mux D, and all the notes are off the edge of the PDF page).

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Chris: Multiplex 2 will move to a new frequency on the 13th of April, which may improve matters. It will increase in power, and move to another frequency, on 31 August.

Wideband aerials tend to have poor performance at the lowest frequencies - Mux 2 is at lower power than Mux 1 (most BBC channels), requires more signal than it to work properly, and is at a much lower frequency. However, lower frequency signals travel better.

The dates cannot be put forward any more. Every transmitter depends on the ones before it switching over. The retunes on 30 March and 13 April are to allow The Wrekin to use those frequencies, and they are taking channels that the Nottingham transmitter currently uses (and will stop using on those dates).

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Tuesday March 23rd
Wednesday 23 March 2011 7:05PM
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Peter Barker: We really need a full postcode to offer detailed advice.

Freesat is unaffected by the switchover. Your main TV will continue to work fine.

Amplifiers may no longer be necessary after switchover. If you have problems, try removing the amplifier. If it is an amplified splitter you would need to get a passive splitter instead.

If the problem on analogue is ghosting, but not snowy, it will probably be alright after switchover. If it is snowy, you may need to have the aerial put outside.

You will need to get set-top boxes for the two small TVs.

Alternatively, you could get extra Freesat boxes and run new cables from the dish to those boxes, and have Freesat on all the TVs.

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Stuart O.: Central as a company no longer really exists. Carlton took it over in 1994 and merged with Granada to form ITV plc in 2004. The franchise licence is now registered to ITV Broadcast Limited (a subsidiary of ITV plc).

Teletext Ltd stopped providing the full service in 2009. The licence was revoked in January 2010 (and Teletext fined for continuing to broadcast it). However, I believe ITV were responsible for some pages, and these are the ones still broadcast.

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Freeview reception - all about aerials | Installing
Thursday 24 March 2011 3:24PM
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John Davenport: Digital UK's predictor suggests that Sutton Coldfield will be better for the PSB multiplexes, but The Wrekin will be better overall.

The Wrekin begins switchover in two weeks and completes two weeks later, but the commercial multiplexes will remain poor until the end of September. (You will need to retune on 28 September as the commercial muxes change channels on that date.)

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Stuart O.: I hadn't actually tried Teletext on ITV1 recently. From just trying it, as far as I can see, only pages 283, 284, and 888 are being broadcast. My recollection was that ITV franchises were responsible for some pages.

The rules are in Ofcom's document "Rules of Operation for the use of ITU-R (CCIR) Teletext System B" at http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/broadcast/guidance/tech-guidance/itu_r_teletext.pdf. It's defined in terms of 'magazines' numbered 1 to 8 - the first digit of the page number is the magazine number. For 'Channel 3' (ITV), the Public Teletext Licensee (which was Teletext Ltd) is responsible for magazines 1 to 5, the broadcaster can use magazine 6 and subtitles are on magazine 8.

The current issue of that document added the following text:

"In the absence of a Public Teletext service, the Channel 3 licensees, Channel 4 and S4C may use magazine 1 to provide a main introductory page on page 100 in order
to ensure reliable operation of domestic receivers. The Channel 3 licensees, Channel
4 and S4C may also use magazine 2 to provide information relating to Digital Switchover as agreed with Ofcom."

So in other words, it's ITV plc's responsibility.

ITV may update it, but Ofcom will not be trying to licence a new Public Service Teletext provider. See Ofcom | Report to the Secretary of State on the public teletext service for their report on the state of the Public Teletext Service. (RG47SH)

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The Wrekin (Telford and Wrekin, England) transmitter
Thursday 24 March 2011 7:12PM
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Bill Pine: The channels for ArqA and ArqB change in September. That solves the problem for good - for viewers of The Wrekin and viewers of Cefn Mawr.

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