Freeview box sound problem

  Pineman100 09:45 18 May 10

We have two upstairs TVs on Freeview boxes that are supplied from a single good quality digital aerial. The coax cable from the aerial comes down into a splitter, and the feeds to the two Freeview boxes come out of this splitter.

One of the Freeview boxes gives no trouble at all. The other suffers from regular dropouts of sound - sometimes for 10 - 20 seconds, sometimes permanent (until I switch to the Programme Guide, at which point the sound returns). This unreliable box also seems to go into update mode much more frequently than the other one, each update taking 5 - 10 minutes. This happens every two or three days.

I have tried replacing the unreliable Freeview box with a spare one that I have, and the problems then continue to occur on the spare box. This suggests to me that the fault lies somewhere in the signal feed, rather than the box itself.

The aerial and coax feeds were set up by a professional installer, who said there was quite enough signal strength to supply two TV sets.

Do you have any suggestions as to what the cause of these problems might be, please?

  lotvic 10:11 18 May 10

Have you tried swapping the 'known Good' freeview box with the 'unreliable' one?

I only have one box and it has the same symptoms as your 'unreliable' one, I have been thinking it might be the cables so am trying to borrow a known good box to test this out.

  gengiscant 10:13 18 May 10

Not a solution but a similar difference between Free view boxes. Both of mine are on the same aerial feed yet one picks up more stations than the other and one is more prone to freezing than the other which is only sorted by unplugging and re-plugging the power supply.

A third box is on an indoor aerial and also is able to pick up more channels than one of the boxes on the main aerial.

As up here in Edinburgh we don't go fully digital till 2012 I suppose I am stuck with these nuisances.

  Pineman100 16:24 18 May 10

No, I confess that didn't occur to me. I suppose I assumed that, because two boxes both exhibited the same faults, the problem must lie somewhere other than in the boxes.

But you're right - I should try your suggestion, which I'll do tonight and report back. Many thanks.

gengiscant - I suppose it's comforting to know that other also have problems!!


  onthelimit 16:34 18 May 10

Have a very close look inside the coax plugs (unscrew them for this) on the cable between splitter and dodgy box. It is just possible that a whisker of the extremely fine coax screening is bridging the gap.

  Pineman100 16:49 18 May 10

Thanks for that. Funnily enough I did exactly that yesterday - I was hoping that the solution would be that simple!

However, both connections were perfect.

  onthelimit 16:59 18 May 10

In that case, I'm stumped, but would try lotvic's suggestion.

  Diemmess 17:39 18 May 10

If you split the aerial connection, you halve the available signal.

The sensitivity of both the Freeview boxes may vary, i.e. one is good and the other not so sensitive.

The same may apply to the respective TVs and even swopping these might be worthwhile until you have found the weak point.

If it turns out to be low signal strength it is possible to fit an aerial amplifier but do buy one that includes a replacement for that splitter.
This type will apply a low voltage on the coax to amplify at the special splitter.

I don't really understand the finer points, but having that done in this house solved a very similar problem for me.

  Pineman100 17:45 18 May 10

When the aerial installer fitted the setup that we have, he checked the signal from aerial and said that it seemed like plenty to split between two Freeview boxes.

I should also have mentioned that, until a few weeks ago, the setup was behaving flawlessly.

However, I will certainly keep the idea of an amplifier in mind, if nothing else comes to light.

  eedcam 18:43 18 May 10

Just for the record there are no digital aerials and it is signal quality more than strength that counts . You could have the same or nearly the same strength to both boxes but what is the quality meter showing

  Pineman100 09:19 19 May 10

Is here a quality meter built into Freeview box software? Where would I find it?

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