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Aerials, Freeview, DAB & More

How long should I expect an aerial installation to last?

The lifespan of an aerial installation is in direct proportion to the quality of the components used and time taken in the installation.

If you pay less than £100 for an aerial installation it is unlikely that it will last for a significant length of time.

At Cable Guys we are so confident of the quality of our aerial installations that we offer a 5 year warranty as standard and we thoroughly expect the installation to last for over 15 years.

If you break down the cost of our aerial installation over the lifetime of the installation it can cost less than £10 a year for reliable, hassle-free television enjoyment.

 

What's going to happen after the "digital switchover"?

After the "digital switchover" the only way to watch television through an aerial will be with an Integrated Digital Switchover (iDTV, basically a TV with a built-in digital Freeview tuner) or Freeview set-top box.

When the analogue channels are switched off more digital channels will be introduced. It is widely anticipated that High Definition (HD) channels will also be broadcast and trials of Freeview HD are expected in Manchester, Liverpool (Winter Hill transmitter) and London (Crystal Palace transmitter) in December 2010.

 

I live in a block of flats but don't have access to digital TV. What can I do about it?

Many communal dwellings (such as blocks of flats, apartment blocks etc) will have an Integrated Reception System (IRS) installed so that all dwellings have access to both TV and satellite signals from a single aerial and satellite dish.

Unfortunately many of these systems were installed before the advent of digital Freeview and Sky+ and may require upgrading before residents can watch digital Freeview or Sky+.

Cable Guys have a great amount of experience with communal systems and have been contracted by many companies for the maintenance and upgrading of these systems throughout the Midlands.

If you have had problems with Freeview or Sky+ then get in contact with us and we will liaise with your estate management company to discuss how these issues can be resolved.

 

What do I need to be able to watch Freeview?

In our opinion to be able to watch Freeview reliably you will need two things: firstly you will need a good signal from a wideband aerial; and secondly you will need either an Integrated Digital Television (iDTV, basically a TV with built-in Freeview tuner) or a Freeview set-top box.

For the iDTV or set-top box any high-street electronics retailer will have a wide selection of appropriate choices. Almost all flatscreen TVs are now made with a Freeview tuner built-in with some also having a Freesat tuner as well.

To get an aerial installation that will provide many years of hassle-free viewing you should use a reputable and knowledgable aerial installer who only uses high-quality components and is accredited by the CAI and is a Registered Digital Installer

 

When is the "digital switchover" happening in my area?

The "digital switchover" is happening at different times throughout the country. The Central region is switching over in mid-2011 but the last region in the UK won't switch over until mid-2012.

To find out when "digital switchover" is happening in your area check out the official Digital UK website, which contains all relevant official information about the switchover. The website also contains a lot of other useful information about the digital switchover.

 

What is DAB radio?

Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB) radio is a new way of receiving radio station broadcasts.

It allows access to many more channels than FM or AM at a higher quality and with an enhanced experience with additional features.

To listen to DAB radio you need a special DAB radio and depending on the signal quality in your area you may need a dedicated aerial installing.

This aerial should be mounted along with your TV aerial for maximum signal quality and strength.

 

I have bought a digital Freeview box but can't get all the channels. Do I need a new aerial?

If you get pixelation, blocking, missing channels or EPG (electronic programme guide) information, when trying to watch digital Freeview TV then you may need a new aerial.

This would involve removing your existing aerial system where possible and replacing it. We would always recommend replacing the whole system with a new benchmarked aerial, benchmarked co-axial cable, galvanised bracket and alloy mast. This ensures problem-free Freeview TV for many years to come.

A reputable installer will always inspect your existing system first before proceeding with an installation. This is because your aerial system may just have a minor problem that is easily and cheaply rectified.

If you are in an area where you cannot get a good signal through an aerial without an excessively tall mast then Freesat is the best alternative option.

Freesat uses a small oval satellite dish (similar to the Sky minidish) to receive free TV channels, including HD (high definition) channels. There are more channels available than on Freeview and the HD channels mean you get the most out of a flatscreen TV without having to pay for SkyHD.

 

What is the "digital switchover"?

The "digital switchover" is the term used for the transition between analogue and digital TV broadcast.

At the moment both types of TV are being broadcast simultaneously but by 2012 the analogue broadcasts will be switched off and only digital channels will be available.

What this means in real terms is that by 2012 you will only be able to watch TV through your aerial with either an Integrated Digital Television (iDTV, basically a TV with a built-in digital Freeview tuner) or with a Freeview set-top box.

For reliable viewing of digital Freeview channels most properties will require a new aerial and cable, and in some areas almost every property will require a new aerial due to the way that the channels are broadcast.

 

Making Movies!

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Check out our promotional videos below:

 

March 2010
December 2007

Radio Gaga

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Listen to one of our directors, Lee Spicknell, giving advice about the Digital Switchover and Digital TV on BBC Radio Nottingham.

You can listen to each show using the links below:

04/08/09
21/10/09
19/01/10
19/12/10
02/06/11


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