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All posts by KMJ, Derby

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


Whittlesea: the Faversham relay is shown by BBC engineering as being off air between 11.08am and12.30pm today 10th March 2016.

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Matt: There are a number of considerations affecting the possible outcome of which frequency plan will eventually be adopted after 2018. Priority is given to allocating frequencies to the PSB muxes at the main transmitters. There is a suggested plan to allocate C22, C25 and C28 to each of the full service Freeview transmitters for the COM muxes to use as a SFN DVB-T2 network. This might prove to be too ambitious technically. There is also the question of what frequency allocation would be made for the displaced PSB muxes at Belmont as surrounding service areas would be using the other frequencies normally allocated for PSBs. Another question mark surrounds the allocation of frequencies for the Freeview lite relays. Arqiva has already suggested that there might not be enough frequencies to go round. Could this mean some relays could close if alternative signals are available or very few actually use them?

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K
Al Jazeera HD
Monday 14 March 2016 8:47PM

Alan: "108" refers to the position in the HD section of the Freeview epg. Manual tuning requires that a frequency/UHF transmitter channel is entered into tuner, that being according to which transmitters are available at your location and whether they radiate the required services. Channel 108 is carried on COM7 which is not transmitted from Reigate. A check of which transmitters are available can be made by putting your postcode into the Digital UK postcode checker with the box ticked for the expanded view.

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Al Jazeera HD
Tuesday 15 March 2016 1:04PM

Jackie: Aljazeera (108) is carried on the COM7 mux along with BBC4HD and BBC newsHD. The Sudbury transmitter does not carry this mix, viewers in Colchester who can receive it are usually tuned to Crystal Palace or (less likely) Tacolneston. Try a manual tune on C33 or C31 to see if there is any hint of a signal present. Manual selection of, say C33, without pressing store, should give an indication of the strength and quality of the signal, if present.

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Chris: there is a possibility that weather conditions are currently affecting reception of some frequencies over the UK. The William Hepburn's tropospheric ducting forecast predicts that conditions should clear in your area by mid afternoon. I noticed incidentally that reception of 3 Counties radio on 104.5FM was possible in South Yorkshire at 9am this morning!

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K
Map of all DAB transmitters
Sunday 20 March 2016 10:38PM

Clive Watson: Chard is currently planned to fill a gap on the BBC national DAB multiplex as part of the plan to match the coverage of BBC Radio 2FM. It has not been proposed to add any other DAB services to that site. Planet Rock was carried on the D1 national commercial multiplex, which incidentally is being built out to match coverage of Classic FM in readiness of a possible future switch off for FM transmitters radiating national services. SDL, the new home of Planet Rock, is a low budget DAB network with restricted coverage from a smaller network of transmitters. Transmission costs are therefore much less for services opting for carriage on SDL rather than D1. I suspect that you receive D1 from Stockland Hill, which is not yet used by SDL. The owners of the new multiplex have not indicated whether they plan to extend coverage into Devon in the future, but if they do it is likely that Stockland Hill would be chosen to become part of the network.



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TERRY: no, COM7 and COM8 are low budget multiplexes introduced on a temporary basis to encourage viewers to equip themselves with DVB-T2 compatible tuners. Although there are suggestions that viewers would like these muxes to remain on air beyond 2018, the proposed spectrum clearance for 5G in about 2020 might force them off air if the frequencies currently used by these muxes are required for displaced relay transmitters. Reception from Caradon Hill requires a group A receiving aerial in areas where signals are poor. Wideband aerials give a generally poor performance over the frequencies used at Caradon, especially so on the low powered COM muxes.

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Jason: more accurate advice could be given if you had given indication of your location, preferably with a postcode or that of a nearby shop in order to ascertain what signals are predicted to be available to you. Whilst 100% signal quality is desirable there are many instances where local reflections or low level signals from a distant transmitter cause a slight reduction in signal quality whilst perfectly acceptable reception is obtained. COM7 reception could be affected by signals from Emley Moor towards Grantham, or Hannington towards Luton, for example. Slight repositioning of the aerial might make a considerable difference to the signal quality (and strength) being obtained. Note that even with 100% quality there could still be interference from light switches due to their close proximity when using indoor or loft mounted aerials. Most tuners will be happy with a signal strength between 70% and 90%, a signal which is too strong can be as bad as one which is too weak, bearing in mind too that the calibration of signal strength indicators is somewhat arbitrary.

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Jacqueline Saunders: there will never be universal coverage of all services on all platforms. Contrast a group of cottages in a remote part of Scotland with a road in central London. How could there ever be the same number of radio and tv stations broadcasting to both locations. Satellite services are the closest you will get to near universal coverage as the same signal is able to cover both areas without additional expense, even then however, the footprint concentrates the strongest signal over the area with the bulk of the population. Mobile phone companies and broadband providers too aim to have a monopoly over remote areas in order to reduce costs, whilst they queue up to compete in populous areas. Some observers would argue that providing Freeview light transmitters to serve small numbers of viewers is a waste of licence payers money, suggesting that it makes more sense for affected viewers to use satellite, the monopoly broadband provider or purchase a larger aerial pointing to a Freeview main station where signals are available. The growth of on demand viewing is already leading to some broadcasters with the smallest audiences deciding to transfer to cheaper multiplexes, such as COM7, or change completely to online delivery.

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K
Al Jazeera HD
Tuesday 29 March 2016 9:57AM

Carmen Schmidt : viewers in Dorking will only be able to receive the service on Freeview channel 108 if they receive tv signals direct from Crystal Palace. The decision to close the SD service was most likely taken by Al Jazera as a cost saving measure, the number of extra viewers served by the SD service who were not equipped to receive either COM7, satellite or cable did not justify the expense of transmitting a duplicated service to 70% of the population. A similar decision was recently made by the satellite broadcaster NHK when the SD service was switched off to save money, restricting reception to those viewers (by now the majority) who have HD satellite receivers

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