I just had to aquire one of these indoor tv arials for my HD freeview (built into my TV) but needed one with a signal booster which comes with the pack. Getting one of these will save me running a COAX cable from the tv arial on my roof, all the way over the top (as my chimney is at the front) down the back of the roof and then drilling a hole in the wall into the back bedroom. What a chore, and needless to say that given I’m not good with going up ladders I would have to pay an expert to install the cable, which would cost about £80 and invariably the idiot would make a mess of the brickwork / rendering on the house because they tend to be careless and clumsy with a drill, as is what I encountered with my virgin media installation for the second room TV.
I have had antenna type indoor receivers in the past for TV’s, but they have produced an atrocious picture quality with fuzzy reception which comes and goes so I wasn’t holding much hope with this one. However, with the addition of the signal amplifier I had high hopes from the outset.
The primary issue was how do I get power to the signal booster for the arial? It is a 5v input and provided in the kit there is a USB cable, so with this in mind I decided to get things tested I would try using a 16.500 MAH battery power pack to provide the juice. So I connected everything up as follows :-
a) Arial lead into the booster.
b) Arial antenna on the window ledge.
c) Booster USB wire into the USB output on the battery.
d) Booster Coax into the RF socket on the TV.
Fairly straightforward. I tuned the TV with the auto tuner but it only managed to collect 10 channels – I would have thought 20 at the very least in my UK region with freeview. It was then that I noticed that power to the booster had been lost. The Li-ion battery which I had carefully attached to the amplifier had switched itself off without my knowing during the tuning process.
What to do? I needed a power source. I looked around the back of the TV and sure enough there was a USB socket in alongside all the other ports such as HDMI, RF IN. I detached the battery (it was really only there for a test anyway – I knew it wouldn’t represent a long term solution to setting the arial up for regular TV viewing) and plugged the USB cable into the TV. There is a bright red LED light on the signal boosting device and this came on immediately. Knowing that I had power I therefore knew that the tuning process would be more reliable so I went into the TV menu and re-tuned. This time the tuner came back with a list of 40 or so channels, some of which were in HD such as ITV.
I flicked through a few and noted that BBC reception appeared to be best, and a few of the non-HD ITV channels which were in the channel list would not show – oddly the HD ones did though.
As far as I am concerned this is job done in terms of what the arial was supposed to do, but I really think that Freeview is somewhat limited and given this is primarily for the kids, I will be looking at Now TV or something I think. Maybe this indoor arial will come in use for that as it does get the signals. Its my problem really but the actual antenna needs to be near the window, I tried it deeper in the room as it were, but simply couldn’t get reception. For a permanent fitting I will need to purchase an extension lead for the coax, but this shouldn’t cost much and will still be far cheaper than going for some kind of arial fitting service.
All in – 90%