My Twinhan DTV MagicBox does not work!

  RodneyB 10:09 07 Feb 05

Having read various threads in this forum I decided buying a Twinham DTV Magicbox was the way for me to be able to watch Freeview on my computer (a Mesh AMD 64 3200+) desktop.

I installed in without too much trouble and can see it listed in the device manager as "USBDTT - USB DVB-T adaptor" and it is "working properly". I have a co-ax cable linking it to my TV aerial socket. I have a 12' mast on the roof plus an signal amplifier which used to give good TV reception before I switched to cable TV.

I go through the DTT SETUP process where the box scans for channels. It seems to pause at various transponders and says "analysing". But when it gets to the end there are no channels in the list. If I had a weak signal, I thought I might be able to pick up only some channels. But I can't get any.

What am I doing wrong?

  BRYNIT 10:40 07 Feb 05

Have you checked that the aerial is still working. If it is an old aerial you could have a fault with the aeirial or cable. Even if you do get a signal for terestrial channels you may not be able to recieve the free view channels.

Plug the aerial back into your normal Tv and see if you get a signal.

  Stuartli 10:54 07 Feb 05

You will need a wideband TV aerial to pick up some of the Freeview transmissions but, even so, you should get some of them.

By the way is the Twinhan Magicbox mains/mains adapter powered? It probably won't just operate from a USB port or powered hub as I'm sure that the power demand will be quite high.

My Twinhan PCI Freeview card brought in every Winter Hill TV and digital radio station just using an amplified signal from the back room TV aerial feed; signal strengths were 98 per cent for quality and from around 65 to 80 per cent signal strength depending on station.

However, as I had "pinched" the TV aerial input from the television in the front room, I added a two-way aerial amplifier (£9+ from Tesco) at the weekend and the signal strength now ranges from around 78 to 85 per cent. Picture quality and sound are as before.

  Stuartli 10:55 07 Feb 05

Have you downloaded the latest driver (2.43) from the VisionPlus website? It's around 40MB though...:-(

  Stuartli 10:57 07 Feb 05

>> to pick up some of the Freeview transmissions but, even so, you should get some of them.>>

Not very clear...:-(

I mean that even with a standard TV aerial most of the stations should be picked up - a wideband aerial (sometimes referred to as a digital aerial) adds the missing channels.

  RodneyB 12:10 07 Feb 05


I just checked the aerial socket and you were right! The particular socket I was using gave no signal to the TV. So I tried with another socket in a different room and it worked. I could pick up about 8 channels.


Th MagicBox is not powered so I assume it is designed to work from a USB port. The whole point is that it is portable and you can use it with a laptop (though initially I want to use it with my desktop).

Of the 8 channels only 3 appear to be viewable (the others just showed a blank screen). The signal strength is 38%. So I guess I need to follow your suggestion of a digital aerial and maybe another signal amplifier.

By the way I noticed that the input on the existing signal amplifier was into the UHF socket. There is also a VHF socket. Would this be better?

  Stuartli 16:04 07 Feb 05

VHF TV transmissions ended many moons ago - it will be for FM radio transmissions.

Re scanning. Are you quite sure you have selected the UK and, if you have the earlier driver, your particular area or transmitter before the scan?

It can prove quite confusing initially and earlier versions are completely different in setup to the latest 2.43 driver.

Certainly you should get more than eight channels - I get a total of 76 TV and radio channels (two more TV tranmissions have been added in the past week, TopUpTVSampler and the channel serving teachers' requirements) from Winter Hill, the same as my Pioneer set top box.

Channel 800 has also been switched to 56 but there's nothing on it in any case...:-)

You'll find that 701 and 702 are the BBC's active channels linked to programmes on BBC1 or 2 and that BBC Parliament is only available as a "radio" channel as Teletext is not supported, although listed. However, the EPG works fine.

  Stuartli 16:09 07 Feb 05

That won't even bring in a radio signal, never mind TV...:-(

It's either your TV aerial signal input or, more likely, your scanning configuration that's the problem.

Should also mention that some TV channels can only be scanned in during their hours of transmission, such as abc1. They have to be added when appropriate.

Also some channels that are separate on a set top box relay the same programmes (UK BrightIdeas and FTN, plus BBC3 and 4 and the two Children's Channels for instance) as when one goes off air, the other comes on.

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