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How Do You Pick The Best Coaxial Cable For Digital TV?

There are many coax cables out in the market. Worse, they all kind of look alike. However, as there are many different kinds of coax cables developed for many different purposes, it is natural to be confused or at a loss on which coaxial cable you should be using to make sure that your audio and video signals are at their best quality. 

In order to help you tell the most common coaxial cables apart, and hopefully understand what makes up the best coaxial cable for your digital TV, we will be giving you a quick rundown on what a coaxial cable is for, and giving you a guide on what exactly you should be on the lookout for in identifying the best coaxial cable for digital TV.

What Is A Coaxial Cable?

The first step in identifying the best kind of coaxial cable for your digital TV? Knowing what exactly coaxial cables are. So, what exactly is a coaxial cable? 

It is a heavy-duty, shielded type of cable that is widely used for both commercial and residential purposes. It works by carrying data into the centre conductor, while the surrounding outer layer of shielding helps resist signal interferences, reduce EMI, restrict attenuation loss and prevent damage from outside or environmental factors. 

Coax cables are easy to tell apart from other cable types as they have distinctly thick and round due to the presence of its interior insulation layer. However, while they are distinct and easy to identify among other types of cables, coax cables are typically similar-looking with each other.

One significant difference between such coax cables, though, is their size or thickness. Additionally, there are differences in the impedance rating and air spaces within coaxial cables. These factors are crucial in determining what kind of coax cable is most useful for your needs. 

Most Common Kinds Of Coaxial Cables and Their Uses

Three of the most common kinds of coax cables are the RG-6, RG-59 and RG-11 cables. Each cable serves a different purpose. Here’s a preview on what each cable type is used for:

RG-6 Coaxial Cables

An RG6 coaxial cable is best used for connecting a TV set or set top box to a TV aerial, satellite dish or satellite receiver. It is also used for the internet and digital video. RG-6 cables are made with a different kind of shielding and have a 75-ohm impedance, making them more effective for carrying GHz signals. 

RG-11 Coaxial Cables

RG-11s are coaxial cables for HDTVl. It provides more air space for signals to transfer, making it adept at transferring strong HD signals at high speed. Using a  low loss RG-11 cable could mean better overall signal quality.

RG-59 Coaxial Cables

This cable works best for CCTV systems as it is extremely convenient to work with. 

Determining The Factors That Make Up The Best Coaxial Cable For Digital TV

Now that you understand the basics of how a coaxial cable works, it’s time to break down the elements that make up a coaxial cable that is best for digital television. 

Shielding

Following the notion that more shielding is equal to better TV signal quality, it is logical to prioritise shielding in the list of things you should consider in determining the best coaxial cable for digital TV.

The shielding resists all kinds of external interference. Such external interference, or “noise,” in turn, creates poor TV signal quality. 

There are two common kinds of shielding varieties for coax cables. The braid shielding and the foil shielding. Most RG-6 cables, which are most commonly used for digital television, typically have both. 

The foil shielding protects the centre conductor from high-frequency electromagnetic interference or EMF, while the braided part blocks out low-frequency interference. A coaxial cabling with both means having a pretty powerful shielding system around your cable. 

If you’re looking to further protect your TV system from signal interference, you may also consider springing for a quad shielding system, which surrounds your cable with an extra layer of foil shielding and an extra layer of braid shielding. 

Cable Lengths

While a signal loss is pretty much unavoidable, having a much shorter coaxial cable makes way for less of it. To put it simply, the shorter your cabling is, the less chance you have of having degraded incoming antenna signals. 

If keeping your coaxial cabling short is not on option, you may want to consider investing in a TV signal booster. 

Impedance

Impedance is the term used to express the ratio of voltage to current within a cable of infinite length. To put it simply, it is the amount of resistance the waves encounter within the coaxial cable. Using a coax cable with too much or too little impedance can cause issues with your TV’s signal quality.

However, as impedance would require a whole discussion in itself, it is best for you to know that a coaxial cable with 75-ohm impedance is best for TV aerials, internet connection and digital video signals.

Insertion Loss Rate

If you plan on splitting, or tapping, your antenna signal by connecting a splitter onto your coax cable, that will automatically degrade the incoming signal. Additionally, inserting something, like a splitter, into your antenna cable could cause insertion loss. 

If you plan on inserting a splitter onto your coaxial cable, be sure to find one with a low insertion loss.

Connector Quality

Many coax cables come with nickel-plated connectors. They’re cheap and will definitely get the job done. However, if you don’t mind spending a few more bucks to make sure that the impedance of your cable stays true and accurate, you may want to splurge on a brass or gold plated connector. Such connectors have anti-corrosive properties that protect them from oxidation.

Some connectors, meanwhile, have o-ring seals or special kinds of coatings that make them waterproof. Such connectors are best for outdoor use.

Speaking of connectors, it would be best to know the particular kind of connector you would need. There are several kinds of coaxial cable connectors in the market, but the most compatible for any of your domestic wiring needs would be FType connectors. They are used with cable television, satellite television and even cable modems.

Final Thoughts

To end this article, I’m leaving you with a few tips to remember before you go out (or go to your favourite online shopping website) to purchase your coaxial cable:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. I cannot stress enough how important it is to find a coaxial connector with the right ohm impedance, as well as the connector on it. Getting it wrong could result in signal losses and poor TV picture quality.
  2. As mentioned above, cable lengths could affect the incoming tv signal quality. Find out if the length you need is just right or if, you will need to get a signal booster.
  3. If you think working with a coaxial cable on your own is too overwhelming or risky, you may want to consider leaving it to a professional TV service provider



How to Hide TV Wires

Using a TV Stand, a TV Rack, or mounting your TV on the wall can definitely improve the aesthetics of your living room—until the mess caused by TV wires, cords, and cables ruin everything. Your flat screen alone needs a lot of cables to function such as the power cable, the aerial cable, and the HDMI cable. One skill that you need to learn if you want to have a beautiful entertainment system is how to hide tv wires. If you have other electronics such as a gaming console, a DVD player, a Freeview box, or a Wi-Fi router, you will have to deal with a sheer volume of wires that may tangle with each other and hang around everywhere. Hiding these cords and wires can be frustrating, so we are here to give you some tips on how to hide tv wires to create a neat appearance for your TV set.

Install Power Outlet Behind TV

Our first tip is to make sure there is a power outlet behind your TV. Install a power outlet if you don’t have one. Having a power outlet behind your TV will allow you to hide your TV’ cords behind so it is obscured from public view. It will also mean that your wires and cords won’t need to stretch everywhere, especially if you have a wall mounted TV.

Buy a TV Stand with a compartment for TV cords

One of the fastest options that you can do is purchase a TV stand that has a built-in compartment for you to hide your tv wires in. It is an easy way to have a good-looking entertainment system.

Hook Cords to the Wall or to the Back of Your Furniture

Having a power outlet near your TV may not be enough to hide your wires. Dangling cords may still appear if you have other electronic devices. To prevent these wires from dangling, we suggest you anchor them to the wall or to the back of your furniture such as your rack. You can anchor your cords using Command Cord Clips, which are available in different sizes on Amazon.com.

Hide Cords and Cables inside the Wall

If you want your TV set to appear neat and clean from cords and cables, we have a set of tips for you on how to completely hide cables. Our first tip for cable hiding is to hide these cords and cables inside the wall of your living room. This involves cutting and drilling holes on your wall. This process may be messy at first, but it is all worth it especially if you have a wall mounted TV. Having a flat-screen TV on the wall exposes all your cables and may leave them stretching or dangling everywhere. Hiding these cords and cables behind the wall solves this problem.

Hide Cords inside a Stud Wall

Studs are the wooden or metal frames you see inside walls. These frames are fundamental in frame construction as they act as the skeleton of walls, especially interior walls. Stud walls are then created using these studs combined with plasterboards.

If you have a stud wall, you can simply cut a hole on the plasterboard behind your TV where you can put your cables. To make sure you cut a hole on the plaster and not on the stud, you can use a device called a stud finder. A stud finder is a handy device that you can use to scan your wall and detect which part is a stud. After cutting a hole behind your TV, cut another one near the floor, or somewhere near the power outlet, where you will bring the cables back out again. Finally, you can cover these holes to create a neater appearance using face plates. You can purchase a variety of face plates on Amazon.com.

If you are not confident about doing this task, you can always ask for professional help. Aerialforce has engineers that can help you with various services such as Flat Screen TV Mounting Services and hiding cables behind the wall.

Hiding Cords inside a Brick Wall

As opposed to stud walls, hiding cords inside a brick wall can be more difficult and quite dusty. The process is a bit similar when dealing with a stud wall, but you will have to use a hammer and chisel, or an SDS drill to drill through a brick wall. This process can be risky as you might accidentally ruin your wall. If you are not confident about doing this task, we suggest you leave it to the experts.

Using a TV Cord Hiding Kit

Aside from drilling holes inside walls being risky, simply putting cables behind the wall can also be harmful for your wires and your flat panel. If you want to hide TV wires behind the walls in a safe and easy way, we recommend using a TV Cord Hiding Kit. A TV Cord Hiding Kit consists of a corrugated plastic tube with connected outlets, cover, long extension cord, hole saw bit, wire snake, and a paper template. The kit has everything you need to do all the steps to hide TV wires behind the walls. The plastic tube has a power outlet where you can plug your TV, and a power cable so you can plug it to an existing electrical outlet. The other cords then go through the plastic tube.

Purchase a Cord Cover

If you don’t like the idea of drilling holes on your wall to hide cords and hide TV wires, you can conceal them with cord covers. You can hide the dangling cords from your wall mounted TV by camouflaging them on the wall using cord covers or cables hider. A cord cover is a shallow channel for your wires that you can be directly wall mounted. The wires are placed into this channel and concealed when the cover snaps on.

Cord Covers usually come in two types: metal cord cover and plastic cord cover. Metal covers are more durable and paintable, while plastic covers are less expensive. Metal covers are more difficult to install because they need to be screwed to the wall. On the other hand, plastic covers have an adhesive backing that allows it to stick and be easily wall mounted.

You can buy Cable Concealer Kits on Amazon.com. You can choose a color that blends on the color of your wall, or you can point it so it camouflages on your wall.

We all want our living rooms to look neat and clean. If you want to hide TV wires in plain sight, just follow the tips we gave you! Again, if you are not confident about doing it yourself, you can always ask for professional help. Aerialforce’s professional engineers are always here to help you with your TV problems. Meanwhile, if you want to mount your TV on the wall, you can also visit our TV mounting guide or avail our TV mounting services.

Can I Connect The Satellite Dish Directly To The TV?

TV aerials and satellite dishes both receive signals and send them to your screen. From news coverage to your favourite soap, aerials and dishes offer the same experience. Since they have the same task, there is a blurred line between the two. However, you can’t just replace one for the other. Let’s tackle common satellite and TV aerial questions and create a distinct line between what can and cannot work on both devices 

What Is The Difference Between A Satellite And An Aerial? 

The main difference between a satellite dish and an aerial is how they go about their job. Think about how these machines receive signals, a satellite is thousands of meters away from the tallest transmission tower. How can they be the same when the way they go about their job differs? The tech behind the machines supports its own format. 

What Is A Satellite Dish? 

Dishes have four parts: the feedhorn, the dish, the low-noise block downconverter (LNB), and the mount. Now, how do these parts work together? The dish reflects the signals from the satellite to a fixed point which creates a better signal for the feedhorn. From the feedhorn, the waves go to the LNB which converts it to a format that your TV satellite box can read. 

One of the many pitfalls of dishes is that they receive so many signals. The wrong direction or azimuth angle could affect the number of channels you receive. It can also affect the quality of the channels you have. So it is important to have decent reception.

Satellite TV can be for everyone. However, people who live in the countryside, away from the main transmitters benefit the most. 

What Is An Aerial? 

There are two different types of aerials, indoor and outdoor. The parts may vary depending on the type and model, but TV antennas have four components: dipole, directors, reflector, and the mount/mast. The dipole receives the signal sent by nearby TV transmitters. The directors and reflector in outdoor aerials help with reflecting and increasing the sensitivity of the signal. From the dipole, it runs through the coaxial cord that connects to your TV. 

TV aerials are popular in urban areas. As long as there is a TV tower within less than 50 miles, aerials should do the trick. The maximum range for a TV aerial is around 80 miles, but even then it’s a bit of a stretch. 

The ideas behind the two of ways of getting TV are the same, but they get their signals from different sources. Your TV dishes need to decode their signals, but your aerials do not. The types of signals they receive are different, so they cannot do each other’s job. Choose one and work around that. All you need for Freeview is a TV aerial. For Freesat, you need a TV dish and a Freesat box. 

Can I Connect The Satellite Dish Directly To The TV?

This question is a tricky one! Typically, the answer would be no. You cannot connect your satellite dish to your TV. The signals from satellites are in a different format since they come from such a far place. You need a satellite TV receiver to demodulate the signals from your dish. So, it is a coaxial cord to the set-top box and set-top box HDMI cable to your TV.

Now, what if you are not a part of the majority? Can I connect satellite dish directly to TV? If your TV has satellite support built-in for demodulating, then you can link to your TV. However, this has its pitfalls. No set-top box limits what you can do with your satellite dish. You can only get the Freesat channels in your area, no free international content. 

New TV models are more likely to have satellite support, but it is best to ask if your satellite TV ticks off all the boxes. Remember to confirm what the set-up would be if you brought the TV home. You can also try the TV brand’s customer service to make sure. 

Can You Connect A Freeview TV To A Satellite Dish?

Your TV can be for Freeview or Freesat channels as long as you have the right equipment. So yes, your previously Freeview TV can connect to a satellite dish. However, the set-up will not be the same. 

Aerials use terrestrial digital signals, while dishes don’t. If your TV does not have dual tuners or you don’t have a set-top box then, no you cannot connect your TV to a satellite dish. When you shift between the two, you need to get all the other equipment necessary to make it work. 

Can I Watch Freeview Channels With A Satellite Dish?

Sadly, you cannot watch Freeview with a satellite dish. If you love Freeview’s selection, it may be hard to consider using anything else. However, dishes come with their own set of free channels in Freesat. Freeview and Freesat are not the same, but they have similar selections.

Your TV can get over 200 radio and TV channels. BBC One, BBC Two, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, CBS Drama, Horror Channel, Pick, and Dave are some examples of what you can get with Freesat. Doesn’t that list look familiar?

You can also catch up on shows with BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, Pop Fun, Ketchup TV, and CBS Catchup. These websites also have app versions for watching on the go. Other on-demand players like Netflix are not for free, though. 

What Should I Do If I Want To Watch Freeview?

When the Freesat experience is not for you, find a TV aerial, even a TV aerial from ye-olde-analogue days should work just fine. As long as you live near a TV transmitter, you should be able to enjoy Freeview channels.

When there are no TV transmitters near you, try to give Freesat another try. The direction and the azimuth angle is critical. Nowadays, you can even pick up on HD channels with Freesat. Try to give it a proper test run before getting a TV aerial.  

Can You Use A Sky Dish As An Aerial?

If you think about it, a satellite dish is an antenna in its way, a parabolic one. However, that does not mean it can do the same thing. You cannot use a dish as an aerial, though people have ways of repurposing an old Sky dish

Their version of repurposing is to make the satellite dish the mount. You can take out the LNB and attach your clip-on aerial there. Your coaxial cord will run from the TV aerial and not the dish itself. 

Now some people claim that you can modify it. Add parts for radio frequencies, and then you are good to go. However, there is no guarantee that this will work the way it should. 

You will end up purchasing parts anyway to make this modified version, might as well upgrade your dish. Pair your new dish with an old Sky box to watch your shows. Or do the quick fix for dishes with weak reception by switching out the LNB. You can also look for a TV aerial. There are many affordable models on the market. These methods are more effective and affordable than modifying anything.

Can You Connect Satellite To A TV Without The Box?

Like we mentioned earlier, you cannot connect your satellite to a TV without a box. The satellite receiver for TV is what decodes and demodulates the signal so you can view your shows. Only TVs that have satellite support for demodulation can connect to a satellite without a TV receiver box.

All these questions focus on making use of what you have without compromising your entertainment experience. If you have an old dish and a Freesat box, why bother with Freeview? An old aerial can still get you Freeview. When these things don’t work, you can call us at AerialForce to install a new dish or aerial.

Having BT Youview Box Problems? Here’s What You Can Do To Fix It!

There’s nothing worse than encountering BT YouView box problems when you’re already comfortable in bed or on your couch while watching your favourite show or movie. It’s annoying, frustrating, and quite frankly, definitely a mood-killer! 

Fortunately, whether you’re dealing with signal loss, missing channels, distorted or pixelated picture, spotty audio, a faulty remote control or recording problems, BT Youview box troubleshooting is not as difficult as you’d think. 

So, if you’re looking to fix the issue on your Youview box yourself, you’ve come to the right place! Read on to find out just exactly what you can do to get back to your programmes as soon as possible!

The Most Common BT Youview Box Issues And How To Fix Them

Before you go and contact customer BT’s customer support, it is best for you to try and address your BT box issues yourself. Here are some of the most common BT Youview Box issues and how you can fix them:

Poor TV Signals

“Your TV signal is weak or lost.” 

If this message appears on your screen, try to figure out if the issue is isolated in one channel, or it’s affecting everything. If it is isolated to one channel, then it could be weak signal transmission from their end. However, If it’s the latter, then you may be experiencing intermittent aerial connection. 

If this is the case, you may want to check out the positioning of your TV aerial or the quality of your aerial installation. A few adjustments to your aerial may just fix this issue.

You may also want to try checking the signal quality in your BT box’s settings menu. If your set top box is receiving signals that are too strong, it is also likely for it to overload the Youview BT box, hence causing poor TV signals. If you think this is the problem, try reducing the signal level to 85 or 90%. You may also use a TV Signal attenuator to address this issue. 

Missing channels on your BT TV box could also be a result of poor TV reception. If this is the case, perform the same troubleshooting steps above. 

Audio or Video Issues

If you are experiencing pixelated or broken up pictures and delayed or missing audio, restart your TV system. Your set top box and TV probably just need a quick reset to start working properly again. 

However, if restarting your device does not work, then you could be having network issues. 

If you are having network or broadband connection issues, make sure the issue isn’t from the service provider’s end or check if your phone line is working. If neither of these is the root of the issue, restart your BT Hub.

Many network problems are often fixed by simply restarting the connection, so there is a likely chance that you will be able to resolve your broadband issues this way. After restarting, check if the lights on your hub are powered on. 

BT Box Is Not Working At All

If your BT Youview is frozen or stuck on loading, all you have to do is restart your BT Box. If this does not do the trick, then your device may be due for a software update. 

To check for a software update, follow the steps below:

  • Press the YouView button, select settings
  • Go to the Information & Reset sub-menu. 
  • Select Software Information.
  • Click Update Software.

If this does not work, you may have to do a full factory reset. However, when you reset your BT box, you may lose your existing recordings. To prevent this from happening, try resetting your device on maintenance mode

No Blinking Lights

If there are no lights on your BT Youview box or box connectors, it is either not working, or not receiving enough power. 

Check if the power is switched on and if everything is securely connected. If you find that neither is the issue, you may have to replace your connectors and powerline adapters. 

Stuck On Maintenance Mode

When you try to start the box and see that it is stuck on the red light or on maintenance mode, immediately try restarting the box. If this does not work, press the arrow button on the box to enter maintenance mode. Follow the prompt and check if the indicator light is blue. 

If this does not work, you may have to do a hard reset. 

Recording Issues

Recording issues are normally caused by poor broadband connection or poor Freeview signal. To make sure you successfully record a programme or channel, you have to ensure that the channel you want to record can be viewed properly. 

Make sure that your BT Youview Box stays on during the whole duration of your recording. Turning it off will also prevent you from recording anything. 

Lastly, check the list of your scheduled recordings on your My TV menu. Any overlaps will cause problems for your recordings.

Remote Control Is Not Working

Now, this one is quite simple. In most cases, all you need to get your remote control working again is a fresh set of batteries. 

Also, check for the connection between your remote and the TV box. If the light on your remote control is blinking, but the TV box is not responding, you may have to reboot your TV Box. However, if this is not the case, you may want to reset, or worse replace your remote control.

What Happens When None Of The Troubleshooting Methods Work?

If none of the troubleshooting methods above work, you may have to replace altogether your BT YouView box. If you think your box is still salvageable but are not entirely sure on how to fix the issue, ask an aerial TV professional from your neighbourhood or from companies like AerialForce to assess your BT box and TV aerial, and address these issues themselves. 

Final Thoughts

Save yourself the frustration and stress that comes with being to address any issues that cut into your TV viewing and leisure time! Keep these troubleshooting methods handy to make sure you’re ready the next time you experience any of these issues! 

How Do I Find the Nearest TV Transmitter to My Postcode?

TV towers aren’t just tall skyscrapers that you admire from a distance. Besides adding to the city skyline, they have a vital role in making sure your favourite soap reaches your TV. They do the grunt work of making sure every home with a TV aerial gets their Freeview channels. With over 18 million households using Freeview, you can see why it takes a whole network of transmitters to reach every neighbourhood. In summary, they’re the reason you’re able to watch Frasier, Line of Duty, and Normal People.

Unfortunately, you might not experience your shows the way you want to because of technical problems. Like all technology, a little bit of know-how can go a long way. Here are a couple of questions to help you understand your TV aerial and TV transmitter a bit better: 

Why Can’t I Watch My Shows? 

Even with great reception, you can lose channels a little bit over time. It is the reality of the cable cutter experience. If you have problems with your TV channels, first check if they are available in your area. You can do this by visiting the Freeview website and typing in your postcode to see what channels reach your neighbourhood. If the list online and channels on your TV do not match, then there are three possible problems: 

  1. Faulty transmitter
  2. Faulty aerial
  3. Signal disruptions (obstructions, heavy rainfall, etc.)

Faulty Transmitter 

If you are struggling to get reception, check your local transmitter through BBC’s or Freeview’s site. You can see the active towers near you. You need to enter your postcode and house number to get accurate information. The checker will show you a map of your area and the nearest TV transmitter and its current status, whether it’s good, varied, or faulty.

If a TV transmitter near me is not working, it would be red. I can look around for the nearest TV transmitter to me in the green/good to try to connect to their service. Its coverage should reach me for it to be a proper replacement.

If you have a faulty transmitter, try to look for a new one within the area. These TV towers often overlap in urban areas, so you can quickly remedy the reading by adjusting your aerial. If there are no other towers near you, you may have to wait until it is up and running again. 

Faulty Aerial 

The next thing you should consider when the TV towers have no problems is your own aerial. Aerials are fickle things. They need to face the right direction and to be in the proper angle before you can enjoy your channels. 

On top of that, outdoor aerials have to brave the elements. A torrential downpour of rain could affect your aerial’s position, making it harder to receive any signal. Indoor aerials are no better. While they don’t experience the same wear and tear, they are not that strong. Other types of signal interference could affect your aerial.

Try to test out different positions for your indoor or outdoor aerial. Try to see if the quality of your show becomes clearer or not. If you have no luck making it work with the right angle and direction, it might be time to replace it. Check out 

Environment Issues

Before you replace your aerial, try to inspect your surroundings. There might be environmental changes that affect your reception. Are there new trees, buildings, or posts? Just because you do not see these changes in your immediate area, doesn’t mean they aren’t there. 

People who live in valleys and wooded areas are more sensitive to this. A TV transmitter doesn’t cover these areas evenly. Most homes here depend on relay transmitters. If the relay transmitter near you has problems, it could affect your viewing experience as well. 

How Can I Improve My Signal?

Improving your signal starts with addressing the previous problems. Even if you do not lose your channels, those steps can help you get better reception. You can upgrade your aerials with models that can handle interference better. 

You can switch between transmitters. For example, the nearest TV transmitter to my postcode in Surrey is Freeview’s Reigate transmitter, but Crystal Palace is south enough for my aerial to pick up. I could try Crystal Palace even though it’s farther because it has more channels. The distance is not the only thing that affects your reception, so a transmitter that is farther but offers more channels might be more effective. 

Since not every area may have a tower, I could also check maps for TV transmitters near me and not the nearest TV transmitters to me. There is a difference. Instead of looking at your postcode, focus on the miles instead. It will give me more things to try, and from there I can compare the different signals. It can be an excellent benchmark. 

You may opt to get a TV signals booster. However, signal boosters have a history of mixed results since they can sometimes get the wrong signals. Read more about signal boosters here

Where Is My Nearest TV Transmitter?

There are several ways you can look for your nearest TV transmitter. You can check Ofcom’s transmitter location maps on their website for the digital switchover plans. You can get the names of the transmitters and towers and look it up in Google maps. 

You can also check the UK Free TV website for news on transmitter repair work and Freeview transmitters across the country. Take note of the direction it is in and adjust your aerial accordingly.

So how do you know if the TV transmitter you found is the right one? There are two ways you can do it. The first is to compare your aerial with your neighbour and the second is to look up your postcode.

Look At Your Neighbour’s Aerial

People who value their privacy might feel uncomfortable at the idea of posting small details of themselves online. When you enter information online, the cookies may remember them. You can always opt to clear your cookies history to remove personal information online. 

If you do not want to check your postcode, you can do the age-old method of following the crowd. Look at your neighbour’s homes and see what direction their outdoor aerials face and follow suit. All aerials try to look towards the TV transmitter.

You can try to check 5 different homes to see if there are other key directions. Pay close attention to the houses who had theirs professionally done. They have the ideal direction and position. You could also ask around if you are close to your neighbours. 

Now, this method will not help in areas with relay transmitters. Large outdoor aerials may face the main transmitter while the smaller indoor aerials go towards the relay transmitters. In this situation, trial and error is the best way to figure out which one is best. 

Look Up Your Postcode

All transmitter maps require your postcode. To get precise information, you may have to give that along with your house number if your neighbourhood is big. Remember to clear your cookies history if you include your house number as a precaution. Enter these details on the online TV transmitter maps website to see which one is closest to you. 

When you input your postcode, take note of the distance between you and the tower. TV aerials do not have a lot of coverage. While they may seem close on the map, the numbers on your antenna may beg to differ. 

For people who live in rural areas be wary of aerials that advertise 80 miles and more for their range. The upper end of that should also be an outdoor aerial, not an indoor one. Advertisers tend to stretch their specs, so conservative estimates are more likely to be true. 

Which Way Should I Point My TV Aerial?

Always point your TV aerial in the direction of your TV transmitter. You can use a compass, to match the coordinates on the maps. Or use Google maps and rotate to properly orient yourself.

Now, there is an exception to this rule. It is when you have a clear obstruction in that same direction. Massive buildings, posts, trees, and other similar things block the signals for your TV aerial. Try to look for a clear space to install your antenna. 

In urban areas, signal interference is also common. The signals from cars, homes, and businesses can affect your reception. Try to avoid those as well. 

The same rules apply for your indoor aerial. Stay close to windows and avoid significant obstructions. Keep your aerial away from other devices that might produce signals that conflict with your aerial. Try to keep your aerials as high as possible too. 

Where Are TV Transmitters Typically Located?

Ofcom regulates where the TV transmitters are so there will be minimal interference. Besides that, there is little information about the factors that go into their location. Most of them tend to be in populated areas. In the countryside, they stay near the central regions to get the most coverage. Since TV transmitters have minimal coverage in these types of areas, most people opt for satellite dishes instead. 

How Can I Check The TV Signal Strength In My Area?

With no extra gadgets, the best way to test for TV signal strength is to have all the channels listed in the TV guide website. They already took into account the loss for your area. If it says you should get 122 channels, but you only get 80, then the signal strength is weak. You can manually try different setups until you find the majority, if not all, of the channels.  

You can also buy an aerial signal meter. Detach the coaxial cord from your TV set and input it to your meter and attach your meter cord to your TV. Rotate your aerial while you take note of the signal strengths each time. The more LED lights go green, the stronger the signal. You can do this several times until you narrow it down to the best angle. 

Over the counter meters have mixed results, so try to buy the ones your friends and family use. You can also opt to get a professional to do this. They have the gear and equipment to get the best TV signal strength. 

No matter how great the tech, TV aerials still have a bit of guesswork. Online TV guides and transmitter maps are excellent references for you to check your reception, but the ever-changing environment prevents this from being a fool-proof plan. Hopefully, with a lot of patience and luck, you can see the difference and return to your regular programs in no time. 

If doing all of these steps still doesn’t give you a proper reception, then it may be time for you to call the professionals. We, at Aerialforce, can come to your house on the same day of your distress call so you can continue to watch your favourite shows without any problems.





No Cable, No Problem: Best Alternatives to Sky

Sky is a large TV platform that offers many different bundles and services. They boast of their millions of customers and premium services. However, their basic tier for watching TV–Sky TV may not be the best option on the market, not even within Sky’s own products. 

Despite the minimal competition in the UK cable industry, there are many alternatives to Sky. You can break it down to services within Sky, other TV companies, free TV platforms, and streaming online. Whether you want to stay in the cable system or become a cable cutter yourself, you can find new ways to enjoy your favourite shows. 

Is Sky TV Worth It?

Switching to another company begins with the question: is it worth it? There is no simple answer. It depends on whether you enjoy the basic subscription or not. If you love everything it has to offer, it is worth it. However, if you keep getting add-on services, it might not be for you.

What Do You Get With Sky TV?

The basic plan for Sky TV is £25 per month excluding the setup fees. There are many available channels. They have free channels like BBC One and Channel 4 and their in-house channels Sky Documentaries, Sky Atlantic, Sky History, and Sky Nature. 

They also have deals with paid channels like Pick, Fox, Comedy Central, TLC, Syfy, Sky Sports News, Zee TV, MTV, etc. Your Sky subscription has 2,500 series available, which is around 27,000 hours of entertainment

Now, these may seem great, but to enjoy the ultimate TV experience that Sky offers, you need to add to your plan. The Ultimate TV adds on is another £6 per month. If you are an avid sports fan, you may need to purchase the sports channels individually, or through their complete sports pack, that’s an additional £18-£30.

Even with SkyGo as a free service, their ultimate experience is far beyond the first £25. Your Sky subscription can go up to £80. With more upgrades, you are essentially switching to Sky Q. Sky Q starts at the same price but with £20 for installation and £14 for multi-room features.

What Are The Common Issues With Sky?

The common issue with Sky is that while TV viewing experiences develop, they do little to upgrade their primary offerings. Your Sky subscription can reach £99 per month with all the upgrades. For most people, Ultimate TV might be a bit too expensive. If you are ready to switch, check below for other options. 

What Are The Sky TV Alternatives?

Yes! There are many alternatives to Sky TV. However, there is no clear answer about the best one. It depends on what you are willing to do and how much you are ready to spend. The sky alternatives are other TV companies, free TV platforms, and online streaming

All of these three can deliver quality entertainment at an affordable budget. However, if you want to expand your experience, you can always opt to subscribe to a better plan or find exclusive deals. Let’s go through your free options first. 

What Are My Free TV Platform Options? 

Never forget the kings of TV: Freeview and Freesat channels. They continue to be a popular way to view shows and movies. Both require some form of installation, but they are quite affordable and accessible. 

Freeview

Freeview is the leading platform for free TV channels using an indoor or outdoor aerial. Your aerials pick up the signals from TV transmitters nearby. While these have a vast collection of free shows to watch, the availability of the channels depends on the area. You can check out what’s available by going to their TV guide for more details

No matter where you are there should be a good mix of live TV, radio, and entertainment channels for you to enjoy. If you live in the city or the countryside, your aerial can pick up major channels. You can still watch Channel 4, ITV, and BBC One. 

The main cons about Freeview are that you don’t get everything they have and aerials may be a little temperamental. However, the main pros are that there are no monthly fees and very minimal upkeep. If you live near TV transmitters, like the city, it can be an excellent investment. 

Freesat

Freesat channels are similar to Freeview with their free channels. However, instead of aerials, you need a satellite dish. There are little to no indoor dishes available. Not all alternatives to Sky need professional instalment, but that extra help goes a long way. 

Outdoor aerials and satellite dishes can be dangerous to install on your own as they are typically on the side of your house or on the roof. Companies like Aerialforce can do the installments for you.

What makes Freesat so great? A Satellite dish is a popular choice among cable cutters because of how much they can receive. If you have a motorised one, you can enjoy a whole range of shows just by slightly adjusting the angle. You can also continue to use your old sky box even though you are not using their services. 

You can also catch-up with shows from different entertainment channels on their apps like BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, and Demand 5. But what if you do not have broadband connection? With a TV box, you can also record these shows instead of watching online. There is a way to catch up to your favourite entertainment channels. 

Besides UK channels, you can pick up international channels from other countries. For this to happen, you need to check out what satellites are near you. The satellite dish has a lot of range, so it is popular in the countryside where TV transmitters are few and far between. Aerial and cable connection are not always available, but the dishes are. 

Other TV Companies Besides Sky?

There are three household names for TV providers in the UK: Sky, Virgin, and BT. If you are looking for an alternative to Sky TV, then Virgin and BT are the next in line. Let’s take a closer look at these pay-TV options.

Virgin Media

Virgin Media and Sky have a rocky relationship, but that’s competition for you. Virgin Media is a cable company with a select service area since they do not use aerials or dishes. They have five main tiers for your TV subscription: 

  • Big with 114 channels
  • Big + Drama with 147 channels
  • Bigger with 222 channels
  • Bigger + Movies with 245 channels
  • Ultimate Oomph with 261 channels 

These plans and numbers can change in the future. They also have a broadband setup and extra channels for an additional fee. 

Pro Tip: For families with children, popular channels for kids like Disney, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Boomerang, and their junior versions are only available in the Ultimate Oomph plan

Its setup price is quite steep when you compare it to aerial and satellite dish installations — £35 for new customers. For families who want more than one V6 box, there is a £49.95 V6 activation fee, but these vary depending on the package. It is hard to gauge the total monthly payments of Virgin TV since you can customise it to your liking. 

But these premium prices have their benefits as well. Their TV box and cable connection are what makes it so expensive, but it is also how you can get premium channels and catch up TV players on your smart TV with BBC iPlayer, All4, and Sky On Demand. Virgin TV is less like Sky TV and more like Sky Q. They also have better reception all-around. 

In summary, Virgin TV might not be the best choice if you want something cheaper than Sky TV. It is still a top-tier service that can get pretty expensive. It is a good change of pace for people who are tired of poor connections. 

BT TV

BT TV strengths do not lie in expansive TV channels like Sky or Virgin. Two main things make BT TV interesting. The first is that BT TV comes with its broadband and fibre connections. The second is its sports channels. Unlike Sky and Virgin, BT Sports owns the exclusive rights for most of the Champions League matches including Europa League. For these sports series, you can enjoy live TV and experience the game with everybody else. From cricket to WWE, they have a collection made for avid sports enthusiasts, especially football fans. 

Another critical thing to note is that BT TV does not use satellites like Sky or cable-like Virgin. BT TV uses TV, aerials and broadbands. The TV aerial gets regular shows that are a part of Freeview, and the broadband gets the premium channels. 

BT TV has three main TV subscriptions, all of these come with a 24-month contract and a £9.99 delivery fee

  • Entertainment at £5 for the first 6 months then £10 every month afterwards
  • Big Entertainment at £20 per month
  • VIP at £60 per month

They all have Freeview channels available. Big Entertainment has Sky channels like Sky Atlantic and Sky Nature, and Now TV channels as well. VIP has everything from the previous packages, including the sports package and HD channels. Now, these rates and packages may change in the future. 

Wild Card: Now TV

While we are discussing alternatives to Sky TV, it does not have to mean leaving Sky completely. If you dislike the other TV companies, you can opt to stay under Now TV. Now TV is a streaming subscription under Sky. Think Netflix, but with your TV company. 

You can have any kind of fibre or broadband connection and enjoy. If you do not have an existing internet plan, Now TV also has fibre plans that you can easily bundle. 

Now TV has flexible plans, so you can pay for the shows you watch. There are different TV passes. All you have to do is select the ones you like. You can change these every month, here are some TV passes and their rates:

  • Entertainment Pass at £8.99 a month
  • Sky Cinema Pass at £11.99 a month
  • Sky Sports Pass at £5.99 a month
  • Kids Pass at £3.99 a month
  • Hayu Pass at £3.99 a month

All of these passes have a free 7-day trial. You can cancel them at any time. If you struggle with Sky’s rates for the shows you want, Now TV might be a great alternative. Select the ones you really watch like the entertainment pass and the kids pass and save money by avoiding the ones you never watch. You can get premium shows at a more affordable price.

What Is The Best TV Package In The UK?

Now that we have gone through the list of different TV companies in the UK, which one is the best? It is difficult to say. Not only are people’s viewing habits different, but promotions also come and go. The best deal today might not be the same tomorrow. 

The top three most affordable packages without skimping on the content are: Virgin Media Big Bundle at £29.99 per month, NOW Brilliant Broadband and Entertainment at £22.99 per month, and NOW Brilliant Broadband and Sky Cinema at £23.99. If we are looking at other companies as well, BT Entertainment with Fibre 1 at £32.99 per month and TalkTalk Fast Broadband with TV and Entertainment Boost at £33.50 would be the next contenders. 

Can Online Streaming Services Replace Sky?

The TV viewing experience is a nostalgic one. The many pitfalls of TV are now endearing qualities. With TV, you never really know what you are going to catch. The compromise could lead to wonderful discoveries. Flipping through the channels has a distinct feeling that online streaming cannot replicate. There is also the option of live TV that can be rare for movie streaming services.

However, just because it has a strong nostalgic element does not mean it is the best choice for everyone. Streaming online is for people who like to watch their shows deliberately. It is also an excellent option for people who want to catch up on TV in their own time.

Online streaming services are so flexible. They work on most devices from your smartphone to your smart TVs. If you have a great TV setup, you can continue to enjoy your movie nights the same way you would with a cable.

There are many streaming websites and apps on the market. While their prices are within the same range, they can offer different shows. Here are four options you can consider: 

Netflix

Who hasn’t heard of Netflix and their original movies and series? Netflix is an American streaming app where you can download your shows and watch offline. They have a good selection of films and series from around the world, though like most services the availability varies on your location. You always have to consider who owns the rights in your country. 

However, even without the big names, you can have a pleasurable experience with their in-house content. If the kids in your home want to watch Klaus, Hilda, and Carmen Sandiego, Netflix has a list for children of all ages. Netflix continually creates its movies and series for different countries. Unlike their other material, these are available in all locations.  

Netflix plans vary depending on how many screens you want. The monthly payments are £5.99 for one screen, £8.99 for two screens, and £11.99 for four screens. The standard plan comes with an HD option and the premium service, an Ultra HD option. 

Amazon Prime Video

If you love online shopping, you most likely have an Amazon Prime membership. Even the occasional online splurge and rack up points like crazy. One of the benefits of being a Prime member is their streaming service. You can be a Prime member for £7.99 per month and enjoy the benefits of Prime Video. You can also opt to get a Prime Video membership on its own for £5.99 per month. Since the monthly fees are so close sometimes it is easier to be an Amazon Prime member from the get go.

Prime Video has a collection of Amazon originals. You can watch shows like Fleabag, The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, The Man in the High Castle, The Expanse, Good Omens, and The Boys. They also have TV series and movies that vary depending on your location. 

If particular series or movies are not available, you can easily get them since the streaming platform connects to Amazon Prime. Digital copies are not for everyone, you can opt to get physical copies. Buy the box sets of your favourite series on Amazon Prime. Having the CD/ DVD in your hands is a different experience and there are people who crave that.

MUBI

MUBI is not a common choice, but it is an excellent option for film lovers who are tired of seeing the same things. MUBI is a streaming service that focuses on award-winning films and indie selections from around the world. They advertise it as films that would not fill a theatre in a week but have an audience when you expand the range. If you want to watch Buffet Froid, Kansas City Confidential, Meshes of the Afternoon, or The Night I Swam along with other international pieces MUBI is for you. 

They have a free, monthly, and yearly plan. The free plan is just access to MUBI’s forums and reviews. You do not have to watch from MUBI to experience the community. However, if you want to stream the shows, it is $10.99, which is roughly £ 8.65 per month. You can opt for their yearly plan at $95.88, which is around £75.45. 

They also have MUBI Go which is a movie pass for smaller productions. It is only available in the UK at the moment and is relatively new.

YouTube, Google Play, and iTunes

If you want to stay away from the TV subscription altogether, you can purchase the movies and series you like one by one. YouTube has a rent/ pay per view or purchase option for films on its platform. You can opt to pay online or through your mobile bill. Google Play and iTunes also have the same opportunities, and the payment plan is similar to purchasing apps or getting credit. You can pay via card, or buy a point/gift card. 

It may be a little bit pricey since you are purchasing the shows individually. It is not the way to go for most people. If you know what you like, it can be an alternative to SkyTV experience in general. Unlike purchasing CDs and DVDs, it is more flexible, and you can watch on your different devices. 

Netflix and Amazon are common choices for people who make the online switch. However, if you choose to stay with your TV company, you can also get accounts in these services. It will link to your cable bill and it simplifies your monthly payments. 

Should You Make The Switch?

There is an alternative for every type of viewer. Whether you want to stick with Sky under a different plan or become a true cable cutter, entertainment is not limited to the TV screen. You can enjoy the same quality, if not better, with other services. 

Try to assess what you have and how much you are willing to spend. Take note of what your household members watch and look into plans that cater to them. Most of the online streaming services come with a free trial period. Test the waters and see if you like that experience better or if it’s TV all the way. There is no doubt that you will find an alternative the whole family can enjoy. 

How to Get Freeview Channels Back

Freeview TV is very popular in the UK as it gives its users access to the nation’s favourite channels such as BBC One, ITV Channel, and ITV Channel 4, and many more for absolutely no cost. However, since we are now in the age of wireless where everything is signal-dependent, there will be times where we will experience problems on our TV reception. Sometimes, you may wake up and find that some of your freeview channels disappeared overnight. There are a lot of factors that may have caused such problems. 

In this guide, we will show you steps that you can try to recover your missing channels. But before we proceed to the guide, we listed the possible reasons why your freeview channels disappeared overnight. It is essential to know these factors, so you’ll know what step you need to take to recover these channels.

Possible Reasons for Your Missing Channels

You Are Using Freeview Lite/Freeview Light

First of all, if for some reason you switched to the Freeview Light transmitter instead of the actual Freeview, you will certainly lose some of the popular channels such as Viva or Dave. Freeview Lite or Freeview Light is a reduced version of Freeview that transmits only a limited number of channels to your TV. Freeview Light only carries half the amount of channels a standard Freeview can.

Changes on Your Local TV Transmitter

Another possible reason why some people lose access to some Freeview channels is the changes to the TV transmitters across the UK. There will be times when the hundreds of transmitters all over the UK will need to be re-engineered to allow for a big change. In fact, this 2020, the 700 MHz spectrum will be auctioned off to provide a boost for 4G and 5G mobile signals. Consequently, TV transmitters need to be altered to allow for this change and make the transition as smooth as possible.

Changes to Freeview

Freeview allows you to get over 70 channels and 15 HD channels, including your favourite channels such as BBC One, ITV Channel, and ITV Channel 4. You can get the full list of channels available on their website

Freeview TV often makes updates and changes which affects customers’ accessibility to some channels on Freeview. You will get a notification from Freeview if there is a change in your area. You should get an on-screen message about the update or you can check if there’s a change here.

Similar to the big change for TV transmitters this 2020, Freeview will have to adapt and make some changes in their system. Specifically, some airwaves used by Freeview are being relocated to allow for boost for 4G and 5G signals and other new mobile broadband services. For some areas, aerial adjustment may be necessary to adapt with the changes. You may need to contact the Freeview Advice Line for help, or you may contact professional aerial engineers from Aerialforce if you need support.

Changes in Your Area’s Coverage

Coverage, or the number of free view channels, varies depending on your location. Some channels are not available in some areas because the signals and frequencies can’t reach them. If you moved to a new flat, there is a chance that some of the channels that you could access before in your old house are no longer accessible in your new house. 

Poor TV Signal Reception

Some TV channels have strong signals while some don’t. If you have poor TV signal reception, you may easily lose access to some channels with weak signals. People who live in a low-signal area install a high quality TV aerial to improve their signal reception. If you think this is your problem, you can contact Aerialforce to help you get the best TV aerial for your location.

TV Signal Interference in Your Area

Aside from the location, TV signal interference may significantly affect your signal reception. Interference happens when other signals in the air get mixed up with your Freeview signals. When your TV aerial receives the signal affected by interference, you may encounter problems such as TV pixelation, noise, or even loss of some channels. 

Faulty or Broken TV Aerial

Of course, if you have a faulty TV aerial, your TV signal reception is affected. Additionally, due to the possibility of TV transmitters being re-engineered, your TV aerial may need to be updated or realigned to continue getting all the channels you had before.

What Can You Do To Recover Your Missing Channels

Now that you know the possible reasons for your missing channels, we listed below some steps that you can follow to recover them.

Check if the Channel is Available in Your Area

First of all, check if the channel is available in your area. Enter your postcode in an availability checker. If the channel is available, proceed to the other steps. If you can’t see the channel in the list, the channel may no longer be available in your area. This issue could be due to changes in the transmitter or some updates from Freeview. We recommend you to contact Freeview Advice Line to assist you with your problem.

Check for Transmitter Faults

You can check for faults in your area using the transmitter checker tool. Just enter your postcode and it will check for problems in your location. Again, if there seems to be a problem on the transmitter, you may contact Freeview Advice Line to help you with the issue. If there is no problem in your local transmitter, then the problem may be in your TV system. Proceed to the next steps.

Check All Cable Connections

Check the back of your Freeview Box if the aerial cable is securely connected to the Aerial In/Antenna In port. Check also if the same cable is connected to the aerial itself. If your aerial is a powered indoor aerial, check if the aerial is connected to the power supply. Make sure that the aerial is turned on.

Check Your Signal

If you can get signals from your TV aerial but can’t access some channels, try checking the signal as it might not be strong enough. You can check the signal quality by selecting Setting from the Main Menu. From the Signal & Connection, select signal quality. 

If the signal quality is below 50%, you may encounter problems such as picture pixelation. If the channel you’re looking for has a weak signal, your aerial might not be receiving the frequencies of that channel. We recommend you to read our article on how to improve your tv reception

Check for Signal Interference

Sometimes, your poor TV signal reception may be caused by a TV signal interference. There are a lot of signals that may affect your signal reception. This may be caused by an interference via 4G, interference via neighbouring transmitters, or interference via impulse noise. 

TV interruptions may also be caused by external factors such as weather changes and technical issues, which may be out of your control. If you want to know more about this, read our article about Freeview TV Interference.

Check Your TV Aerial

If you have a faulty TV aerial, you may have a problem receiving TV signals. Try checking your TV aerial, or if you are not sure about the problem of your aerial, get a professional aerial engineer. 

Try also considering if you are using the right aerial for your location. If you are living in an area where the signal reception is weak, you might want to consider getting a better TV aerial.

Retune Your TV

Now that you have checked all other factors, it is possible that your TV just needs to be retuned. You can retune your TV by going to the Settings from the Main Menu, then select Signal & Connection. Afterwards, select TV Channels and choose Retune Channels.

Retuning your TV may take a couple of minutes. Once it is done, try checking the missing channel using your remote. If the channel is still not there, try doing a manual retune. Manual retune allows you to input the correct channel numbers or frequencies one by one and store them in the memory of your box.

If you tried all the steps, but the issue still persists, you may be dealing with a bigger problem. It is best to leave such problems to the experts. Aerialforce can help you solve any issue regarding your TV aerials and signal reception. Avail Aerialforce’s same-day services, and our professional aerial engineers will be there to help you asap.



How to Update Sky Box

Sky Box Software Updates

Sky Boxes receive software updates from time to time. Software updates are delivered through satellite to make changes in your Sky Box. These changes are usually improvements to the performance of your Sky Box such as new exciting features and bug fixes for system problems so you should welcome them with open arms. However, updating can be quite a tedious process if you don’t know how. That is why we have created this article to help you on how to update your sky box.

Sky Boxes, whether it is a Sky+ HD box or a Sky Q box, get updates and install them automatically. However, these Sky Boxes become unreliable and glitches when they are switched off or disconnected for a long period of time. For instances like this, you have to manually update them.

How to Update Your Sky Box Manually

Due to the advancement in TV technology and the rise of TV on-demand, manually updating your Sky Box seems to be a thing of the past. However, there are some instances where you still need to update it manually before you can watch with your TV. Here is a guide on how to manually update Sky Box to the latest software. This guide provides step-by-step instructions for both the Sky+HD box and Sky Q box.

Updating Your Sky+HD Box

You can download your Sky Com Software Update for your Sky+HD box by following the instructions below:

  1. Press the standby button using your remote.
  2. Switch off the Sky+HD Box and disconnect it from the power supply. Also, turn off the other devices connected to the box. Wait for at least a minute.
  3. On the top panel of the box, press and hold the backup button. While pressing the backup button, turn the power supply back on.
  4. Keep pressing the backup button until the box resets. You’ll know this when all four LEDs in front of the box light up. You should now see the software update screen on your TV screen.

Note: If all the four LEDs still do not light up even after pressing the backup button for 30 seconds, repeat this step. If the lights still do not appear, it is best to ask for professional help. Aerialforce has Satellite TV Engineers all over the UK who can help you with your Sky Box.

  1. Do not disconnect the Sky+HD Box from the power supply or satellite dish while the software is updating. Doing so may cause permanent damage to your Sky Box. While waiting for the search and download to finish, we advise you to switch the TV to another screen to avoid screen burn.

Note: The software update screen will stay on the screen for about 5 to 10 minutes, until the download finishes. If the download seems to be stuck, try disconnecting the Sky Box from the power supply. Wait for 5 minutes, then repeat all the steps.

  1. You will know the software update has finished when the four LED lights disappear. The box will then switch to standby.
  2. Wait for at least 3 minutes before switching the Sky+HD Box back on. A green LED will light up on the front panel of your box. You can now watch your favourite shows and videos on your TV.

Updating Your Sky Q Box

You can download the Sky Q Software Update for your Sky Q box by following the instructions below:

  1. Go to the Settings of your Sky Q box. Under the System Info, highlight Software version.
  2. Choose Setup
  3. Start the download by clicking Software download.
  4. The search and download take about 10 minutes to finish. Make sure that the box is not turned off or disconnected from the power supply while the software is updating.
  5. You can check the status of the Software update by going to the Settings. Choose System Info then highlight Software version.
  6. When it says “Software update successful” it means your Sky Q Box is now updated to the latest software version. You just need to wrap up your download by pressing the Standby button on your remote.
  7. Your box will then restart. Once it restarts, follow the on-screen instructions. Your Sky Q Box should then be on the latest software version, and you can now watch your favourite shows on your TV.

Note: If you are seeing hard disk error messages on your screen, you need to know how to reboot Sky Q Box. Hard disk errors prevent your TV to set or play videos and recordings. It may also hinder your TV to search for features like videos on demand. Click here to learn how to reset q box.

If these steps do not work, you may be dealing with a bigger problem. We advise you to ask for professional help and leave these problems to the experts. Aerialforce has Satellite TV Engineers who have years of experience in offering same-day satellite TV services.  Just search our site or contact us, and we’ll be there to assist you right away.



How To Mount TV on Wall

Large TVs are becoming more and more affordable as dozens of brands and models pop up in the market. Buying a huge TV is one of the first things that you would do as a homeowner to ensure that you get a good viewing experience.

You can get smart TVs as small as 14 inches or as huge as 65 inches. You can even purchase a bigger TV if your budget allows. Manufacturers now prefer large TVs over the smaller ones because of the decrease in the manufacturing cost. The challenge though is to look for a place to set-up the TV that gives the best angle, without making the room look overcrowded. A practical solution for this problem, especially if you don’t have much space in your place, is to mount your tv on the wall.

Mounting your TV on the wall offers a lot of benefits. Aside from allowing you to save floor space, it also allows you to maximize your TV’s viewing potential. If you also have children or pets, wall mounting keeps your TV out of reach from them. TV wall mounting may seem an easy task, but you need to have the right tools, the right bracket, and the proper knowledge to do this successfully. If you don’t mount your TV correctly, it might lead to an accident that may permanently damage your TV, not to mention it can cause injury to your family.

There are a lot of things to keep in mind in mounting a TV. In this guide, we will show you all the factors you need to consider, all the tools and materials you need, and all the necessary steps on how to mount TV on your wall.

Before Mounting TV on Wall

Check Your Walls

Most walls can support a TV, but the right way of mounting a TV may differ from the type of wall you have. Generally, there are two different types of walls: brick and stud.

  • Brick Walls

Brick walls are strong enough to support any TV. However, you have to make sure that the mounts go into the brick, not the mortar. Mounting your TV into the mortar makes the mounting less stable and less secure. If you want to mount your TV into the brick, use heavy-duty wall anchors as it is designed to support heavy weight on a brick.

  • Stud Walls

Studs are the frames you see in internal walls as an alternative to solid walls. These studs are fundamental in frame construction and can either be wooden or metal. Interior walls are then formed using these studs together with plasterboards.

When mounting your tv on a wooden stud wall, it is better to install it on the studs as these are strong enough to support your TV. To make sure you mount it on a stud, you can use a device called a stud finder. A stud finder reads the density of the material of your wall. By slowly moving the stud finder from side to side, it can detect and tell you which part is a stud.

However, if you are planning to mount your tv on the plasterboard, you need to use special plasterboard fixings. Make sure that the fixing’s capacity can support the weight of your tv. For metal stud walls, your TV will need to be fixed on the plasterboard so take note of this instruction.

Measure Your TV

Measuring your TV is crucial, so you know which bracket or wall mount is the right fit for your TV. Most TVs and brackets follow the standard called Video Electronics Standards Association or VESA. VESA refers to the distance between the vertical holes and horizontal holes on the back of your TV. All brackets and wall mounts that follow this standard should match the holes of your VESA-compliant TV.

Given this measurement standard, you don’t need to measure your whole TV. You just need a tape measure to measure the distance between the holes on the back of your TV horizontally and vertically. The vertical distance and horizontal distance are your VESA dimension.

Choose the Right Mounting Bracket

Knowing the VESA dimension of your TV is not enough to determine the right mounting bracket for your TV. You have to make sure that the bracket can support the size and take the weight of your TV. There are a variety of brackets you can choose from in the market. Generally, these brackets fall into three styles: low-profile, tilting, and full-motion mounts.

  • Low-profile Mounts

Low-profile mounts are usually the cheapest. This kind of mount offers basic mounting, focused solely on holding the TV close to the wall, without any flexibility. You can’t adjust your angle or the height of your TV.

  • Tilting Mounts

Tilting mounts offer more adjustability. This kind of mount allows you to adjust the position of the screen to suit your situation. This function is helpful so you can tweak the angle to match your location.

  • Full-motion Mounts

Full-motion mounts are the most versatile as it allows you to tilt, rotate, extend, and turn the TV. This kind of mount enables you to watch TV at different angles, for your convenience.

Prepare All Necessary Tools and Materials

It is best to prepare all the necessary tools and materials before you proceed with your TV wall mounting. You will need the following equipment:

  • Mounting bracket
  • Tape Measure
  • Stud Finder
  • Spirit Level
  • Screwdriver
  • Pencil
  • Drill
  • Adjustable Wrench
  • Rawl Plugs

Note that you may need other equipment depending on the type of bracket you have.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Mount TV on Wall

  • Decide Where You Want to Fix Your TV

Make sure you are certain where you want to fix your TV, you wouldn’t want to do all the steps again just because your TV is in the wrong position. You can get a big sheet of paper and draw a template of your TV. When you are satisfied with the position of the paper, mark the wall where you want to mount your TV using a pencil. Once you’re done, take a step back and determine whether your viewing experience would be pleasant given the height and angle of your TV.

  • Fix the Mount to the Wall

Wall mounts usually have two parts: the one you fix to the wall and the one you attach to your TV. For the bracket you set to the wall, hold it first to the wall following the mark you made with your template. Keep the bracket straight using a spirit level, then mark the drill holes using a pencil. Once you think the bracket and the marks are in the right position, you can start drilling holes in the wall. Make sure that before you drill, you double-check that you will not hit any electrical cables. After drilling, place the rawl plugs inside the holes.

  • Fit the Bracket to Your TV

For the other part of the bracket, you just have to attach it to the four holes on the back of your TV.  Screw the bolts to the holes using a screwdriver.

  • Plug All the Cables

Plug all the cables you need to the back of your TV. These cables are usually the power, aerial, and HDMI cables. We suggest you plug all necessary cables before mounting the TV on the wall because space may be tight once you fix your TV to the wall.

  • Lift and Mount the TV into Place

Lift the TV into the wall mount. We recommend you get some help in lifting the TV especially if it’s heavy. Once you have placed the TV into place, secure the two parts of the bracket by tightening the screws with a screwdriver.

  • Hide the Cables

Mounting your TV on the wall is good for aesthetics until your cables stretching and dangling everywhere ruin it. There are a few options you can do to avoid this problem.

  • Install Power Outlet Behind TV

This is pretty much straight-forward. Installing a power outlet behind your TV will hide the cord and prevent it from dangling.

  • Purchase a Cord-Hider

There are cord-hiders or cord-covers available in the market that camouflage the cords on your wall.

  • Use Trunking

You can also buy trunking where you can fit all your wires. Trunking is a viable option if you only have a few cables.

  • Thread Them on the Wall 

Threading your cables involves making a hole behind the TV where you will thread all the cables. This method is useful if you have a lot of cables.

  • Install the Cords Inside the Wall

You can also install the cords inside the wall, but this needs professional help unless you want to accidentally ruin your wall.

Remember that the materials and steps in TV wall mounting may vary if you have a special type of bracket. If you are not confident mounting the TV by yourself, you can get a professional to do the job for you. Aerialforce offers same-day wall mounting services to help you fix your TV on the best location to maximize your viewing potential. Aerialforce has local engineers that are well-trained to ensure you get the best viewing experience at your home.

 

How To Get Freeview

Freeview is a subscription-free service that allows its users to access over 70 live TV and radio channels. It is the best television platform in the United Kingdom as it enables its users to receive 95% of the nation’s favourite TV. Unlike other subscription packages, Freeview does not require any monthly obligation. For this reason, most people consider Freeview as the ideal choice for their homes.

How To Get Freeview For Your Home

Freeview is available all around the UK so Freeview channels are easily accessible in your home. To receive these Freeview signals, you need a good TV aerial. Getting a good and compatible TV aerial is essential as it plays a vital role in the strength of your signal reception. TV aerials that have poor signal reception can lead to signal problems such as picture pixelation, missing channels, or stuttering sounds.

Aside from a TV aerial, you need a TV that is compatible with Freeview. Freeview may already be built-in if you just recently bought your TV. However, if your TV is older than 2010, chances are that a separate Freeview set-top box is needed. Once you have everything that you need, you are now ready to set-up your Freeview. Don’t worry because we will discuss below how to get freeview whether your TV has built-in Freeview or not.

How to Get Freeview Using Your Freeview-ready TV

Here’s a guide on how to set-up a TV with built-in Freeview:

  1. Connect your aerial cable to the TV.
  2. Plug in the TV and turn on the TV using the TV remote.
  3. Tune your TV to find the available Freeview channels. You can usually find this option in the Menu or Settings, but different brands may have different settings. It is best to check the manual if you can’t find it.
  4. Wait for around 3 to 5 minutes. Once the tuning is finished, you can save the channels and start watching.

How to Get Freeview Using a Set-Top Box

Here’s a guide on how to set-up Freeview if you are using a set-top box or Freeview recorder.

  1. Connect your aerial cable to the set-top box or Freeview recorder. There is an aerial socket on the box which should be marked RF in, Antenna, Aerial, or Ant in.
  2. Connect your set-top box or recorder to your TV using an HDMI cable. The HDMI cable is usually connected to the port in the box marked HDMI 1. The arrangement of sockets may vary across products.
  3. Turn on the set-top box or recorder using its remote.
  4. Put your TV on standby.
  5. Turn it on using your TV remote. Make sure to go to the MENU and change SOURCE to HDMI. Most TVs will automatically detect your set-top box or recorder. If this does not happen, go to the AV1 channel using your remote control.
  6. Most boxes are ready to automatically start tuning. You can manually do this using the remote for the set-top box or recorder. You can usually find the tuning option in the Menu or Settings, but different brands may have different settings. It is best to check the manual if you can’t find it.
  7. Once your box is tuned, you can save the channels and use your set-top box remote to explore the range of channels.

Connecting to Freeview Through Wi-Fi

Internet connection is not a prerequisite to access Freeview. However, if you have a Freeview Play device and want to access catch-up on-demand content, you will need an Internet connection.

What is Freeview Play?

Freeview Play is essentially Freeview with added extra features and elements to TV viewing. Freeview Play allows you to watch catch-up on-demand programmes from CBS’ UK channel portfolio, which comprises CBS Reality, CBS Reality+1. CBS Drama, and CBS Action. Freeview Play also integrates a roll-back function that allows you to watch, pause, record, and rewind programmes that have aired in the past seven days. Freeview Play also gives you the option of topping up with subscription streaming services such as Netflix, NOW TV, and Prime Video.

Connecting Your Freeview Play Device To The Internet

Smart TVs now include the option to connect using Wi-Fi. To be able to access catch-up on-demand programmes, you should have an Internet connection of at least 2 mbps. You can connect your Freeview Play Device to your broadband using Wi-Fi or an Ethernet Cable. 

All Freeview Play devices have built-in Wi-Fi receivers, so connecting the device to your home broadband would be easy. However, you can also connect your Freeview Play device to your broadband using the Ethernet Cable for more reliable connection and streaming.

If you choose to use an Ethernet Cable, you should go from the Menu to the Network Settings of the device and select Direct or Ethernet connection. You will then be prompted to enter your home network details.

How To Get Freeview Using Your Mobile Device

You can also watch your favourite Freeview shows wherever you are using your mobile device. You can watch live or on-demand by simply downloading the Freeview app from Google Play or App Store. Once you’ve downloaded the app, you can now browse shows from BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, My5, and UKTV Play even when you’re not at your home.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I Get a Freeview Without an Aerial?

Yes and no. Technically you can still use your Freeview play device by connecting it to the Internet. However, you can only watch catch-up TV or TV on demand through this method. You wouldn’t be able to access Freeview’s digital terrestrial service since it is not yet currently available on the Internet. The only way to watch live TV from Freeview is to have an aerial.  

What If I Move House?

As long as there is a transmitting tower nearby, there are Freeview signals. You can take your TV, set-top box or recorder, and your TV aerial when you move to your new home. Just make sure to install your aerial again and set-up your TV system and Freeview as normal. Make sure to tune the channels again since channels may vary from one location to another.

What Channels are Available on Freeview?

Freeview allows you to watch at least 70 to over a hundred TV channels all at no monthly cost or contract. Freeview offers a lot of famous channels such as BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Four, ITV Channel, 4Seven, More4, etc. You can also access news channels such as BBC News in HD, BBC Parliament, Sky News, and RT (Russia Today) in HD. Lastly, there are also channels aimed for children such as CBBC and CBeebies, CITV, Pop, and Ketchup TV.

It is essential to note that channels may vary from one location to another. Your access to some channels may depend on the quality of your aerial. Channel lists also occasionally change, so make sure to update your equipment.

I can’t pick up any Freeview channels, what do I do?

If you are experiencing problems such as picture freezing and pixelation, noise, or total loss of signal, it is most probably a problem with your aerial. Make sure that your aerial is not broken and is properly installed. If you are in a low signal area, you may need to invest in a better outdoor aerial, as they are the best for picking up signals. If you are not confident in installing an aerial, we recommend you to ask for professional help.