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Cost of Aerial Installation in Glasgow

Aerial installation

Every home entertainment system starts by identifying how you are going to use it in the future. Planning on movie night with family and friends? Catching-up on the latest game with your best mates? Binge-watching reruns of your favourite shows? What you choose to do with your digital TV will determine your setup. 

If you are looking for affordable entertainment, nothing is more budget-friendly than TV aerials. You can enjoy Freeview and access hundreds of thousands of hours of FREE TV shows and movies. All you need is a Freeview aerial installed.

TV aerials tend to be customised according to your home’s needs, much less your city or town. So installations in London will be very different from the ones in Glasgow. Having an idea about how much your TV aerial installation costs can help you narrow down your potential technicians and work with the ones that give you the best value for your money.

How Much Does It Cost To Have A Freeview Aerial Installed In Glasgow?

The cost of an aerial installation in Glasgow is around £60-£200 for indoor aerials and £85-£220 for outdoor aerials. And the rate for a technician, during working hours, is around £50-£150. The rate accounts for their time, skills, tools, and commute. Two of the main factors that affect it are time and complexity. 

If your job takes up more than 2-4 hours, you may need to pay the higher end of the range since their hourly rate adds up. If you want more than one TV access point, that affects the price as well. It calls for more parts and custom work. Not all homes are made the same, so your installers will have to figure out a plan on the spot. 

The rest of the bill accounts for materials like the TV aerial, coaxial cable, amplifier, splitter, mount, etc. These vary according to how many access points you need. When you only need one access point, you only have to consider the TV aerial price. For a more comprehensive list, you can consult the table below:

Type of Aerial

Cost 

Indoor Aerial 

£10-£40

Outdoor Aerial

£35-£50

*The prices here are taken from Currys PC World, and they are subject to change. For an exact quote, always contact a sales representative or customer service. 

How Much Does It Cost To Install A Roof Aerial In Glasgow?

Glasgow is considered a hilly city, so outdoor aerials are a popular choice. You can pick between two different types, a wall-mounted or a roof-mounted aerial. A wall-mounted unit is installed on the side of your exterior wall. It is the easier and safer option between the two because all you need is a ladder and even ground. Your technician doesn’t have to worry about falling over, and can focus on the TV aerial installation.

A roof-mounted aerial, on the other hand, can be dangerous. Even the most experienced technicians can have problems if the environment is not right, with pitched roofs being especially difficult. Should they lose their balance or have a weak grip, it can lead to a horrible accident. However, it is one of the best ways to get a digital TV signal. 

While a wall-mounted aerial can get rid of the interference from signals inside the house and layers of brick and concrete, there is a high chance of interference and obstruction from other sources. Trees, posts, buildings, houses, passing cars, radios all affect your TV signal. Given its position, a rooftop aerial doesn’t experience this type of interference as much. Besides taller buildings and passing birds, not much will obstruct your TV signal.

Considering all those factors, the final price of a rooftop aerial in Glasgow should be around £200. If you need more access points or have other complications, it can go upwards to £250-£300. 

What Affects The Price of An Aerial Installation In Glasgow?

There are 3 things that affect the price of aerial installations in Glasgow:

  • Location and Terrain

Glasgow is a major city in the north and is the 3rd most populous area in the UK. There is bound to be plenty of obstruction from other buildings and homes. The terrain is not the easiest to work with either. The uneven landscape creates more obstructions for the nearby TV transmitters. Since the location and terrain presents a challenge, technicians have to put more care into the antenna’s position and angle.

  • TV Aerials

Not all TV aerials are created or priced equally. Indoor vs outdoor, short-range vs long-range, brand a vs brand b, model x vs model y–each category can increase or decrease the unit’s total price. Most homes in Glasgow may have to settle for a long-range, outdoor aerial, and that can be pricey. 

If you have never bought an antenna before, learn how to navigate the different options available with our blog: A Comprehensive Guide for TV Antennas

  • Aerial Installer

The next thing to consider is your aerial installer. In such a crowded place like Glasgow, you are sure to find all kinds of companies and freelancers. You can find an aerial installer at any price point, but you can’t always account for their quality. 

There are two ways you can get an expensive installer–based on their experience or their company. The first is pretty self-explanatory–the more experience they have, the better they are, the higher their hourly rate. People want hassle-free jobs, with quick solutions and service. You may have to pay the premium, but if it means a job well done, why not right? 

The second is based on the company. Their size, VAT-registration, and type of company may affect the prices of each job. If they are small and not VAT-registered, their rates may be cheaper, but they do not have the same-level of self-preservation nation-wide companies have. Since these large companies have more to lose, you are likely to get more consistent service with experienced technicians at a higher price point.

Considering these 3 factors, the cost of installing an aerial in Glasgow might match the prices in London, despite everything else being cheaper. The uneven terrain, outdoor aerials, and emphasis on experienced aerial installers all contribute to this. Glasgow calls for top of the line aerials and technicians to ensure that locals can get decent TV reception. At the end of the day, you have to see this as an investment. When done right, you can enjoy free TV for days on end!

How To Decide On An Aerial Installation Service

When you compare different companies in Glasgow, pay attention to their services, track record, quote, and reviews. Use these criteria to compare different companies in the city until you settle on the best one. 

If you are unsure about who to work with, consider Aerialforce. Aerialforce is a nation-wide service that offers aerial installations and repair services along with TV wall-mounting. If you just moved to Glasgow and are looking for the complete package, Aerialforce can have your TV aerial installation along with your TV wall-mounting on the same day. You can book our services online or call us on 0330 173 8058!

Must-Have Local Services After Moving House

moving house

Congratulations!

So you’ve finally moved. You can now throw away your extensive and long moving house checklist. You have successfully pulled it off. Hopefully, there weren’t any problems.

Unfortunately for you, you can’t celebrate and invite your family and friends over just yet. It’s now time to pull up your post-moving house checklist. You read that right. Groan if you want, but you know that it must be done. 

One of the major items that should be on your post-moving house checklist is compiling a list of the local servicemen in the area. Here we have listed down the essential must-have local services once you have moved houses. Why local? Because they know the lay of the land more than you and can propose small tweaks in your plans that will help it better fit the neighbourhood. Additionally, their proximity to your property would mean reduced waiting time and costs.

Entertainment System: Aerial Engineer

Having a fully-functioning entertainment system is the first step towards settling in your new home. Being in a new area can be quite a stressful time. Having a comfortable space where you can relax and unwind after a long day is essential. Your entertainment system does not have to be a full-grown home theatre. It just needs to receive TV reception so you can watch your favourite shows. And no, you don’t need cable!

If it’s your first time in the UK, you must know that the country has Freeview. Freeview is the biggest TV platform in the UK, used in 18 million homes. It provides 95% of the nation’s most popular shows for FREE! If you want to have free TV programming, look for a local Aerial engineer. Call them immediately so you can set up your TV.

Home Security

According to the Office for National Statistics, the total police recorded crime increased by 3% for the year in England and Wales. If this statistic disturbs you, then you might want to invest in home security. When you’re in a new location, it’s understandable that you feel uncomfortable sleeping at night. What can help you is knowing that you and your family is safe and secure.

We’ve listed down two of the best ways to improve your home security.

Locksmith

If you’re moving into a place that other people have lived in before, it might be best for you to change the locks. By doing this, you can ensure that only you will have a copy of your keys. And while you’re changing your locks, splurge a little bit and choose industrial strength locks to keep out intruders. Have your local locksmith change your locks immediately after you’ve moved.

CCTV

CCTVs act as a visual deterrent to burglars by sending the message that your property has surveillance. While it doesn’t turn crime away 100%, it works most of the time. And in the unfortunate event that your house does get broken into, you can use the footage to find out the perpetrators. Video footage may also be used in court as evidence. Read here which type of CCTV is best to install for your property. Once you have decided, call your local CCTV installer for more information.

Internet

What is a house without Wi-Fi? Unless you want to live in the Dark Ages, one essential house commodity you must have installed is your internet. Check around the neighbourhood on what the best Internet service provider is for your area. In fact, you can have your Internet connected before you move in, so you don’t have to deal with servicemen inside your house while you are unpacking all of your stuff.

Waste Disposal

If you just had your new place refurbished and renovated, then one thing you need to think of next is how you’re going to dispose all of your waste. Construction materials, demolished walls, old furniture. What do you with all of these? You can’t just leave them on the curb outside the streets. It would be best to have the number of your local skip hire to clear the rubbish for you. By doing this, you can come in to your new house all clean.

Plumber

Safety is key to living harmoniously inside your new place. If you’re moving in a previously lived-in home, it would be best to contact your local plumber to give your plumbing system a once-over. They can assess the state of your plumbing system and identify any problems that you might face. Additionally, they can determine whether there are parts of your plumbing system that must be repaired or replaced before they break down. You don’t exactly want to wake up in the middle of the night with a plumbing emergency like a broken boiler or a burst pipe, do you?

Emergency Phone Numbers

The number one rule of safety is to know all of the emergency phone numbers in the area. If you can’t find the details online, ask the number from your realtor or landlord. It’s imperative that you know the local number of the nearest police station and fire department. Also, you must know the contact details of your utilities providers such as the water department, gas company, and power company.

It’s another task that’s being added to your already gargantuan list of tasks, but it’s worth in the long run. Maintaining your new house will be easy once you’ve gotten familiar with your local servicemen.

TV Aerial Installation Cost: London

Aerial installation

While TV aerials are considered as a cost-effective solution for home entertainment, there is a bit of investment involved with its installation. Your location, aerial model, and desired set up can all contribute to the final bill. Here we will discuss the price for installing a TV aerial and the factors that affect it. Since the cost varies, most of the numbers mentioned here are ballpark figures.

How Much Does It Cost To Get An Aerial Fitted In London?

Generally, a new TV aerial installation costs (London) about £150-£200. The price is inclusive of the labour and materials needed for your set up. For a detailed breakdown, refer to the table below: 

Item

Indoor Aerial Installation

Outdoor Aerial Installation

Aerial

£10-£50

£15-£80

Additional Supplies (coaxial cable, splitter, mount, adhesive tape, etc.)

£10-£15

£30-£50

Labour

£100-£150

£150-£200

Total 

£120-£215

£195-£330

* Prices reflected here for the TV aerial and the additional supplies are rounded up from the common models available at retailers like Amazon, Currys, and Argos. The prices may change over time. 

If you are wondering what type of TV aerial you should get, you can check out our blog: A Comprehensive Guide for TV Antennas

The average cost to have an indoor aerial installed is £120-£215, while an outdoor is £195-£330. There may be a large gap between the amounts listed here, but that only proves how difficult it is to narrow down. 

The aerial installation for a small one-bedroom flat will differ from one for a house with multiple TVs on different levels. And places near TV transmitters can settle for cheaper aerials because they don’t need a high gain model to get a better signal. See? It is a matter of figuring out what you need. At the end of the day, these ranges are here to give you an idea of how much it costs. 

If you are set on getting a TV aerial installed, start sending your enquiries to companies like Aerialforce for a free quote. You can fill out our online form with the details of your job to accurately assess your needs. 

What Affects The Cost of My TV Aerial Installation? 

Many things will affect the total cost of your installation, namely your service provider and your home. Nothing affects the final bill more than these 2.

Your Service Provider 

London is a naturally competitive place, and that extends to trade work as well. You can have your pick from freelancing engineers to established companies. While there is an industry-standard, their setup can greatly affect the overall cost of your aerial installation. Consider these factors:

Are you working with a newbie or an expert technician?

An apprentice must always be compensated for their work, but their prices tend to be more forgiving. The quote might be cheaper but at the cost of their inexperience. When you book an experienced aerial installer, you can rest assured that they will be able to avoid rookie mistakes.

Are you working with a small company or a large one?

Working with a small company means every transaction is greatly valued. However, it means their aerial installers are in short supply. To cover all overhead costs with a small team is not easy. They may factor that into their TV aerial install. However, a large company has an excellent pool of technicians. Since they have the human resources and set up to respond to immediate requests, some of their quotes might be more competitive. 

Are they a VAT-registered company? 

A freelancing TV aerial installer doesn’t make enough to be a VAT registered company. It means their prices don’t have the additional 20% and can price their services lower. However, as soon as they get more clients, that will quickly change, so you can’t expect to pay for VAT-free services for long.

What do they prioritise when installing an aerial?

Every TV aerial company has an angle, and while it is great to find a cheap, convenient aerial installation that gives you the best picture and audio quality, that is often not the case. To beat the industry-standard means making sacrifices. They might not always be on call or have the best installation. 

If they are a convenient service that you can book and hire on short notice, there are usually added fees. You can usually tell what kind of company they are based on what they choose to advertise and how they respond to your enquiries. 

Your Home 

The next thing you have to consider is your home. Even if their services are cheap, it can’t be helped when you have a more complicated setup. Consider these factors: 

Where do you live?

Some areas just get poor signal given the location and terrain. Your aerial technician may need to work around the clock for this job to make sure your TV aerial can get the right channels. Your TV aerials installation may need an aerial pole, signal amplifier, and other devices. In these types of situations, you can say goodbye to the average cost, since you need to factor in the price of the additional devices.

Where is the nearest TV transmitter, and how far are you?

Indoor and outdoor aerials have different ranges and the larger the range, the more expensive the aerial. If you happen to live near a TV tower, then you can make do with a very affordable indoor aerial. Most of Central London can use this since Crystal Palace is one of the city’s major TV towers. However, if you live in the outer part, you might look into an outdoor aerial installation with a high gain aerial to make sure you get your Freeview channels.

You can learn how to find the nearest TV transmitter to your postcode here. 

How Much Does It Cost To Install A Roof Aerial?

Outdoor aerial installations are split between a roof aerial and a wall-mounted aerial. For the wall-mounted installation, it is relatively easy to attach the brackets with the right tools. However, the stakes are higher for a roof aerial. Roof aerial installations can be anywhere upwards £200, depending on how many TV points you have and the type of building you are mounting it on. It is a pricey investment, but it also provides the biggest pay-off in terms of TV signal. 

How many TV points do you want in your house?

Since there are plenty of affordable TV models on the market, it isn’t strange for a home to have more than one. If you want to connect them all to your aerial, you will need more materials and time, so it can be more expensive. 

Are there any obstructions/ interference they have to work around in your neighbourhood?

The other thing aerial installers look at is the complexity of the setup. While dealing with the mess of cables is one thing, signal interference is another. Wi-fi, radios, posts, trees, passing cars, buildings–these call count as an obstruction that can affect your TV reception you receive. Your technician will need to play around with different setups to make sure you get the best signal.

How Long Does It Take To Install A TV Aerial?

Installing a TV aerial can take from 2-4 hours on average. However, take that range with a grain of salt. If you need an indoor aerial and live near a TV transmitter, it might only take an hour. But if you need a roof aerial and connect it to multiple points in the home, then it might be closer to 6 hours. When you book a professional aerial technician, it is best to block off half a day to ensure the job is done right the first time around. 

Is It Easy To Install A TV Aerial?

TV aerials are DIY-friendly, but there is a lot of patience involved. It is easy to assemble the device and connect the wires since most manuals are very comprehensive. The challenging part is getting the TV signal. The position and angle is everything and done improperly, you will be receiving weak TV reception.

If you have an outdoor aerial, it becomes even more difficult. Your attention is now split between getting the best signal and making sure you don’t fall off the roof. You also have to be mindful of how this affects your neighbours. It is very dangerous to attempt on your own if you aren’t trained.

In summary? It depends. When you have an outdoor setup, it might be better for everyone involved if you hire a professional aerial engineer. They have the tools and experience necessary to make sure it is a hassle-free job.

If you are looking for an aerial installer in London, Aerialforce has your back! We have an excellent team who can answer your call on the same day. Besides new aerial installations, we also provide TV repairs and satellite installations. You can book our services online or call us at 0330 173 8482!

How To Connect A Soundbar To Your TV Using An Optical Cable

tv soundbar

If you’re the type who appreciates sound on your TV just as much as the picture, then you would appreciate the soundbar. By simply hooking it up to your TV, you will be able to help improve your overall TV viewing experience

Do you own a soundbar and don’t know how you can use it on your TV? Or are you just looking for ways to upgrade your TV’s audio? Regardless, you came to the right place! You can now stop searching “how to connect soundbar to tv with optical cable” on Google. We’ve got you covered.

In this guide, we will be showing you how to connect your soundbar to your TV with an optical cable, and helping you deal with all kinds of connectivity issues that you may encounter while doing so. 

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Pros and Cons About Using A Soundbar

If you’re still unsure on whether using a soundbar is the right decision for you, I’ve come up with a pros and cons list for your perusal. 

Pros of a Soundbar

  • It is affordable
  • Setting it up is extremely straightforward
  • The audio quality is infinitely better than that of a TV speaker 
  • You don’t need extra devices to make it work
  • The soundbar is compact 

Cons of a Soundbar

  • Not ideal for a large room in terms of sound coverage
  • Limited upgrade options
  • More expensive models do not necessarily mean better quality
  • Placement or location may affect the reach of the sound
  • Size may limit options for placement or installation, TV wire organisation, etc.

Understanding The Optical Cable 

The soundbar can easily be connected to your TV using a wide array of methods, including wireless or Bluetooth, HDMI, ARC, AUX cord and of course, the optical cable.

All of these methods have only one goal, and that is to transfer electrical signals from one device to another via analogue or digital channels. And while the optical cable port is often neglected on our media devices, it is one of the most reliable and effective methods of transmitting sound or audio signals between devices. 

These digital optical audio cables, which were first manufactured in the early 1980s by Toshiba, makes use of laser light to transmit audio signals from Point A to Point B. However, despite the age of optical cables as a technology, these cables remain second only to the HDMI cable in terms of delivering high-quality sound. 

The only difference between the two? The HDMI cable can deliver Digital Theatre System HD (DTS HD) audio and Dolby audio, which is found on Blu-ray, while the optical cable cannot.

So, if you find that you cannot use your TV’s HDMI port, or simply have an old television that does not have the HDMI ARC (audio return channel) port, the optical cable is a worthy alternative you would want to use. 

How To Connect The Soundbar To Your TV

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to connect your soundbar to your TV with the optical cable:

  1. Check if your optical cable is ready for use. Look for a fitted plastic cap on both ends. If you find one, remove it. Your cable should be ready then. These two identical ends will connect to both your TV and soundbar.
  2. Look for the Digital Audio Output optical port behind your TV. Once you find it, connect one end of the optical cable into the port. 
  3. Next, locate the Digital Audio Input optical port on your soundbar. Once you find it, plug the other end of the optical cable into the port.
  4. Make sure the soundbar optical cable has been inserted correctly, as this will help transmit the optical signal between the TV and soundbar. 

Once you have physically connected the two devices, make sure that they are both set to transmit and receive signals from one another. 

  1. Set your soundbar to Digital In (D-IN) mode. To determine if it is already in Digital In mode, check for it on the LED light or a digital display indicator. 
  2. At this point, the TV should automatically feed the audio signals to your soundbar. However, if this is not the case, you may want to check the inbuilt audio from the speaker. This should be switched off.
  3. If your TV still does not feed the audio signals to your soundbar, you may have to manually mute your TV speaker in your TV’s audio menu for it to work. Here’s a quick guide on turning off your speakers from Bhupinder Tube, a tech vlogger from the UK 

Final Thoughts

Installing and integrating a soundbar into your TV system is quite simple and easy. All you have to do is follow a few simple steps, and soon you’ll be enjoying your favourite programme with improved sound quality! You don’t even need the technical know-how to set it all up!

Meanwhile, if you are planning an entertainment centre overhaul, and are considering spending some time and money on this project, you may want to contact us and book an expert from Aerialforce to help you plan and set everything up! 

What Is A Masthead Amplifier and How Do I Install It?

tv amplifier

Nobody likes getting poor TV reception. That much is true. Fortunately, dealing with weak signals isn’t as difficult as it seems. Several different devices have been developed to help address this issue. One example is the masthead amplifier, which is determined to be one of the most effective ways to boost your TV signal. 

What Is A Masthead Amplifier and How Does It Work?

A masthead amplifier is a device used to boost a TV signal at the TV aerial, where it is at its strongest. It absorbs the signal received by aerial and sends it through the coaxial cable and to the TV, already amplified. 

Masthead amplifiers are connected to a power supply through an uninterrupted coaxial cable. Most domestic tv masthead amps require a 12V DC, or a 5V DC power supply to work, while non-domestic settings, like a block of flats and other communal systems, may best work with an 18V or 24V DC power supply. 

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Most Common Classifications of Masthead Amps

To determine the best masthead amplifier to use for your TV system, you must have an idea of how they are usually classified. Here are the most common ways TV masthead amps are generally classified:

  1. Frequency Band

In the past, masthead amps operated on UHF for channels 21-69. However, the release of 4G, which migrated the operation of channels 60 to 69 on the 800Mhz band, has limited the reach of a masthead amplifier to channel 60. Additionally, 5G signals have also emerged, which means the migration of channels 50-60 on the 700Mhz band. 

Due to this, masthead bands that pass only through certain frequency bands exist. If you’re worried about getting a masthead amplifier that has access to certain frequency bands only, you don’t have to worry as wideband masthead amplifiers exist!

  1. Amplifier Output Count

When you have multiple TV units, it is much advisable to install multi-output versions of the masthead amplifier. As an alternative, you may also opt to use a single-output masthead amplifier and install a splitter to connect to your other TVs. 

Some multi-output masthead amplifiers will require you to keep the power supply unit (PSU) connected to one particular output, but this is ot always the case. Some masthead amps will allow the PSU to be connected to any output. 

  1. Signal Gain

There are different makes and models of masthead amplifiers in the market. That means a particular masthead amplifier may output signal at a greater or smaller level than others. A TV masthead amplifier with fixed gain runs at about 10db. Meanwhile, masthead amps that have variable gain would often run between 15dB to 27dB. 

Masthead amps with variable gain are best used in areas with weak signal strength or when there is a high-output passive splitter connected to it. The adjustability in gain is also helpful in balancing the system when needed.

Do take note, though, that most masthead amplifiers will have a maximum input and output. Going over this limit can cause an overload that may result in a faulty amplifier, pixelation and loss of TV reception. 

  1. Power Consumption

As mentioned above, masthead amplifiers need to be connected to a PSU  for it to work. The most common masthead amps run at 5V, 12V, 18V and 24V DC power supply depending on their make and purpose. 

Installing Masthead Amplifiers

Now that you’re aware of the different types or classifications of masthead amplifiers, it is time to start installing one. Here are some tips on where to install your amplifier and PSU, as well as a step-by-step guide on how to install your masthead amp!

Where Do I Install The PSU?

While instilling your masthead amplifier’s PSU, it is important to put it at a location where it is safe from getting switched off or unplugged often. It is, thus, advisable to install the PSU in the loft or attic, or within a cupboard. Alternatively, you may also place it behind the TV, but you must come up with a solution to ensure the power supply does not get cut off. 

Make sure to install the PSU into its own socket, rather than into an extension socket or adapter. By doing so, you are effectively minimising the risks of it getting accidentally switched off or unplugged.

Where Do I Install The Masthead Amplifier? 

For optimum performance, the masthead amplifier should be installed as close to the aerial as possible, with it being connected by at least a metre of coaxial cable. As its name implies, it is most ideal to be tied, strapped onto the TV aerial mast or pole. 

Masthead Amplifier Installation Guide

  1. Use a coaxial cable to connect your TV aerial to the input terminal on your masthead amplifier.
  2. Prepare an uninterrupted coaxial cable and install it between the amplifier and the PSU. Connect it to the output of the masthead amplifier. 
  3. Connect the other end of the second coaxial cable into your PSU and plug it into the power main. 
  4. Connect a coaxial cable from the output of your PSU  to the input of your TV or distribution system. 
  5. Enjoy!

For a visual guide, here is a video from TVTradeDave who specialises in video guides for TV, Saorview and CCTV.

Problems You May Encounter After Installing Masthead Amplifiers

  1. Faulty Electrical Wiring

Just like any electrical device, the power supply of a masthead amplifier can become faulty. In fact, the PSU is usually where issues occur. In such instances, you may simply replace the faulty device.

  1. Disconnection From PSU

If there is no signal where the masthead amplifiers are in place, check if the power unit is plugged in and switched on. This is also a common mistake most TV owners make. Simply plug the power supply back in and turn it on to start enjoying your TV again!

  1. Not Enough Power Reaching The Masthead Amp

Wall-plates and splitters may prevent the power from reaching the masthead amp. This usually happens when the wall plates and splitters do not allow DC to pass through. To fix this issue, use equipment that allows both to do so. 

  1. Signal Overload

You do not always need an amplifier for your TV. If you are receiving moderate to strong signals and add a masthead amplifier, the signal will be too strong. This, in turn, may overload your TV and ruin your viewing experience rather than improve it. 

  1. Weather

Always remember to weatherproof your masthead amplifier. Whether you seal it shut with tape or put a protective covering around it is up to you. What’s important is that you protect it from water, wind and other debris that it may encounter. 

If you are unsure about installing a masthead amplifier to your TV aerial, you may also consider contacting an Aerialforce engineer or any professional aerial engineer to help you out!

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.

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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.

A Comprehensive Guide On Loft Aerials

As digital TV continues to develop, many people have become much more particular on what type of aerial they want to use together with their television. Beyond the burden of having to choose between Freeview TV, Freesat TV, Sky TV and many more, people are also now talking about what kind of TV aerial best suits their home TV set up. 

On their list of options are some of the usual suspects such as outdoor TV aerials, rooftop TV aerials and indoor TV aerials. Some even do without TV aerials all together and spring for a satellite dish instead. However, in recent years, another type of aerial has slowly been making some buzz, and that is the loft aerial

As its name suggests, this involves mounting or installing an aerial in the loft, attic or roof space of a home. This type of aerial has emerged as society became more and more conscious of the aesthetic of the facade of their home, and how outdoor and rooftop aerials would ruin it. 

However, as it is true that outdoor aerials look too clunky or out of place outside an aesthetically optimised home, most homeowners who opt to take this approach do not take into consideration the height and position an aerial should be placed in order to produce the best TV picture quality as possible. 

That is why if you are considering loft TV aerial installations, it is vital that you get everything right. Any small mistake or miscalculation could result in poor reception or low signal strength. This, in turn, will result in a poor TV viewing experience. 

To help ensure that you are able to enjoy your TV programmes fully while making use of loft aerials, we’ve come up with a guide that tells you what you should know when it comes to loft TV aerial installations.

Additionally, to help you decide if a loft TV aerial is truly what you want, we’ve also included a list of the pros and cons of using one.

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Things To Consider Before Installing A Loft TV Aerial

As mentioned above, a small miscalculation could totally ruin your TV viewing experience. That is why, if you are planning on installing a TV aerial in a loft space, you may want to consider the following:

What Is Your Loft Made Of?

Yes, your wall and roofing materials play a part in the success of your loft tv aerial installation. Foil lining, in particular, will only make your attempts at installing an aerial in your loft futile. This is because the foil lining would only reflect the signal away, which means it will never reach the aerial in the first place. 

The same thought applies if you have metal sheeting or solar panels on your roof and walls. 

How Far Away Is The Nearest TV Transmitter? (And In Which Direction Is It Located?)

Loft antennas are usually best suitable for households that are, at most, 15 miles away from the nearest transmitter. However, because aerials are made for different transmitter distances, make sure you are using one that is appropriate for the distance between your house and the transmitter.

Also, make sure to find out in which direction the transmitter is located. As it is with any kind of TV aerial, it is crucial that you put it in a location where it will more likely receive tv signals. You wouldn’t want your antenna facing East when the TV transmitter is located West. That would just make it more difficult for your aerial to receive signal.

Is The Line Of Sight Path Clear?

It is vital to find a position for your aerial where the line of sight path to the TV transmitter is as less obstructed as possible. Such obstructions can come in the form of nearby hills, buildings and even tall trees!

Otherwise, TV reception problems may occur, especially when the weather conditions cause the trees to move around more. TV fluctuations due to an obstructed line of sight can happen even if you live near the transmitter!

Are There Sources Of Interference In The Vicinity?

Interference can come in the form of material objects like metallic objects including pipes and water tanks in and around your loft, which can eventually detune the aerial. 

Impulse noise interference is also pretty common with loft aerials. This means you would be experiencing low signal level, momentary picture freezing, or what is commonly known as your TV picture breaking up. To avoid this, it is advisable to use a log periodic TV aerial, which was designed and developed to reject interference from the side and back of the antenna.

Where Will You Be Placing The TV?

The distance between your aerial and your TV is also crucial to determine.

While this wouldn’t necessarily affect the signal strength on your TV, it is essential for you to be able to identify how much and what kind of coaxial cable you need to connect your aerial to your HD TV or set-top box.

What Kind Of Antenna Do You Need?

Using the right kind of antenna or TV aerial is also crucial to the success of your loft TV aerial installation. As mentioned above, you will want an antenna that is able to block out as much interference as possible, while also picking up even weaker TV signals. 

To ensure good TV picture quality, consider using high gain aerials, or the aforementioned log periodic TV aerial. 

A pro-tip: While an indoor aerial would probably work when installed in your loft, you may be better off using an outdoor aerial for optimum results. 

Advantages Of Using A Loft Aerial

Aside from its aesthetic advantages, which have been mentioned above, here are some reasons as to why you would want to consider a loft TV aerial:

  1. While almost all aerials are waterproof, a loft TV aerial is totally weather-proof. It is safe from strong winds, torrential rain, lightning and UV degradation from the sun which can all cause it to deteriorate much faster.

  2. Because it will be protected from the elements, you wouldn’t have to purchase one that is made of extremely sturdy materials. Less sturdy materials = Lower costs.

  3. A loft antenna is almost always as efficient as an outdoor antenna. Loft aerials, however, are much cheaper to install as compared to the alternative. 

Disadvantages Of Using A Loft Aerial

  1. While it will be close to the signal levels delivered by an outdoor aerial, it just won’t be the same. No matter how optimum the positioning of your tv aerial is, it will still be confined within walls and a roof, thus dampening the tv signals even just a bit.

  2. As discussed quite repetitively in this article, due to the restrictions provided by the wall and roofing materials, even the smallest difference in the alignment, height and positioning of your loft aerial can affect signal strength and tv reception.

  3. The level of attenuation is high, and it could go even higher when the roof tiles are wet or covered by snow. High attenuation can result in poor TV reception.

  4. There are limitless possibilities of interference from objects, wiring, and fluorescent lights in the vicinity of the aerial.

Additional Tips

If you are set on using a loft tv aerial for your HD TV, here are some tips you may want to consider in order to improve your viewing experience:

  • While installing your aerial, have a portable digital compatible TV to accurately locate the location with the best signal quality on all channels.

  • Use a signal attenuator to assist in aligning your loft aerial. An attenuator will make the TV picture noisy, so find the alignment which will produce the least picture noise. Remove the attenuator when the alignment is complete.

  • Use a loft aerial bracket to secure your aerial. 

  • Adjust your loft aerials from the weakest TV channel, or the TV station on the highest UHF channel number.

  • Once you have mounted the aerial, the end furthest from the coaxial cable should be titled up by a degree horizontally for optimum results.

Just like any other kind of TV aerial, a loft aerial has its advantages and disadvantages. It all depends on where you are located and how much interference and obstructions are around you. 

If you are unsure on whether a loft tv aerial is for you or if you are in need of loft aerial installations, do not hesitate to call a professional to help you out. 

What Is A Coaxial Cable and What Does It Do?

A coaxial cable or a coax is a type of cable that is used as transmission lines for radio frequency, video, and data signals. Traditionally, they have been used as feed lines to connect transmitters and receivers with antennas, internet connections, digital audio and cable television signals. 

This is why such cables are used in almost every home for television and internet connections, as well as in industrial settings for Local Area Networks. It is one of the most preferred types of cable because of its shielding and resistance to signal interferences from motors and other electronic equipment. 

It has multiple layers namely an inner conductor, an insulating layer, a conductive shielding and an insulating outer jacket. Most coaxial cables even have outer jackets that are UV, chemical, halogen and flame resistant, making it the best option, even for industrial settings. Its shielded design even allows for quick data transmission without succumbing to the interference or damage from outside or environmental factors.

They work by carrying data into the centre conductor while the surrounding layers of shielding (which is collectively known as the shield, restrict any attenuation loss and help reduce EMI. The first layer, meanwhile, provides distance and insulation between the core conductor and the outer layers. 

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What Does A Coaxial Cable Look Like?

Coax cables have a distinct thick, round shape due to its interior insulation layer. Because of its size, its look also differs significantly from other cable types. 

Coaxial cables come in many sizes, but the most common sizes are the RG-59, RG-11, and RG-6 cables. For non-industrial use, the most common coax cable used is the RG6 cable, while industrial installers, on the other hand, may use thicker cables like the RG11.

As for the colour, a coaxial cable normally comes in black, white or brown. 

Coaxial Cable Types and What Exactly They Are Used For

As mentioned above, coax cables are classified by their sizes. Here is a quick overview of what each coax cable type is used for. 

  • RG-6 Coaxial Cables – RG6 cables are ideal for television, the internet, and digital video. Because RG-6 cables are made with a different kind of shielding and have an impedance of 75 Ohm, they can carry GHz signals more effectively, making them best for tv aerials or domestic television, internet connections, and digital video signals.
  • RG-11 Coaxial Cables – Such cables are best used for HDTV. Because it offers a higher gauge which provides more space for signals to transfer, it is adept at transferring strong HD signals at high speed. It is also often used as a long-length backbone cable. End-users of RG-11 coax cables benefit from higher signal quality not just for TV, cable, and internet transmission.
  • RG-59 Coaxial Cables – This kind of cable is best for CCTV systems. While RG6 cables can run longer distances without loss to video signal, RG-59 cables are much convenient to work with. 
  • RF Coaxial Cables – An RF or Radio Frequency coaxial cable is used to carry radio frequency signals. These cables are the standard input cable on TV sets. It usually has a coax plug or pin, which you can simply plug to the RF input on the device. 

Coaxial Cable Connectors, Coaxial Splitters and Coaxial Ports

Cable Connectors

Coaxial cable connectors are used to connect your coax cable to another device while maintaining its shielding. These connectors could be classified into male or female. Male connectors have metal pins which protrude from the centre, while female connectors have a recessed hole where the pin is plugged into. 

These connectors are used for RF equipment, test instruments, radio, television and video signal, mobile phone connections, broadcast communications systems and many more. 

Coaxial Splitters

Because coaxial cable lines are produced to provide a signal to power a singular device, you will encounter a problem if you try using it to power more than one device. Coaxial splitters are used when there is more than one device that requires a signal. True to its name, it is designed to split the signal from one coaxial cable towards several lines to connect to multiple devices. 

Coaxial Ports

A coax port is a single female RCA connector on a device. It will most likely be labelled as “coaxial,” “digital out” or “digital in.” This port is usually colour-coded orange or black, where a male coax is to be plugged in. 

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Coaxial Cables

Coaxial cables are pretty advantageous. Such cables are inexpensive compared to fibre optic cables, durable, easy to install, and easy to expand with a cable extension kit. Additionally, coax cables have good resistance to EMI and RFI, lower error rates, as well as a transfer capacity of approximately 10mbps. 

Moreover, coaxial cables are beneficial for both analogue and digital transmission, as compared to twisted pair cables and fibre optic cables, which are only capable of supporting analogue and digital, respectively.

However, coaxial cables still have a few drawbacks. Some of which come to mind are its susceptibility to total system or network failure, bulkiness, stiffness, and vulnerability to security breaches. 

Final Thoughts

Now that you’ve got a much clearer understanding on what a coaxial cable is for, you’re probably ready to start on that DIY project that has got you looking up coaxial cables in the first place. However, if you are planning on installing a TV aerial, setting up a CCTV system in your home, or simply looking to extend your tv broadband, it would probably much safer for you to put the coaxial cable down and let the professionals work on it. This will not only ensure your safety but also save you all the frustration of trying to get everything done yourself!

Determining The Best TV Aerial For Your Home

A coaxial cable or a coax is a type of cable that is used as transmission lines for radio frequency, video, and data signals. Traditionally, they have been used as feed lines to connect transmitters and receivers with antennas, internet connections, digital audio and cable television signals. 

This is why such cables are used in almost every home for television and internet connections, as well as in industrial settings for Local Area Networks. It is one of the most preferred types of cable because of its shielding and resistance to signal interferences from motors and other electronic equipment. 

It has multiple layers namely an inner conductor, an insulating layer, a conductive shielding and an insulating outer jacket. Most coaxial cables even have outer jackets that are UV, chemical, halogen and flame resistant, making it the best option, even for industrial settings. Its shielded design even allows for quick data transmission without succumbing to the interference or damage from outside or environmental factors.

They work by carrying data into the centre conductor while the surrounding layers of shielding (which is collectively known as the shield, restrict any attenuation loss and help reduce EMI. The first layer, meanwhile, provides distance and insulation between the core conductor and the outer layers. 

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We rely on television for more than just entertainment. It is also a source of knowledge and information. That is why it is of utmost importance that we get the best TV signal possible. And that’s probably why you’re here: to find out what kind of TV aerial you need exactly in order to get the most out of your TV viewing experience. 

Nowadays, an HD TV or a smart TV already has a built-in Freeview TV tuner, which means it is much easier for TVs to access a wide range of channels, including HD channels when you have a Freeview HDTV subscription. However, because many still struggle to get good reception in their home, people find the need for additional TV aerials.

If you’re wondering what the best TV aerial is for you to get crystal clear picture quality, then you should know that it is not as simple as choosing what would be deemed “the best” by the market. Your location, the physical limitations of your home, and distance from the nearest TV transmitter towers or broadcast towers also play a part in determining what kind of aerial you will need specifically. 

That means you cannot only choose what kind of aerial you would prefer to use. It would, instead, depend on requirements that are unique to every hob. 

However, to put things simply, there are only three kinds of aerials for you to choose from:  Indoor TV aerials, outdoor TV aerials, and loft TV aerials. When would you need each kind of aerial, exactly? 

We’ve come up with a guide to help you figure it out! 

Indoor Aerials

Do you live within a 15-mile radius of a TV transmitter? If so, then you should be using an indoor tv antenna. Indoor digital aerials ensure the best possible reception for your TV, even with weak signals or bad signals. 

Indoor aerials are also best for areas which do not allow for aerial access, those that do not have enough space for rooftop aerials, and those that already have outdoor aerials lined up for another TV set.

Such aerials come in various shapes and sizes, but the one thing you will need to do to help improve the picture quality on your TV is by angling it or polarising it to match the Freeview TV signal that’s already being transmitted to your home. That is why you will have to make sure to take a look at the rooftop aerials in your neighbourhood to find out if you will need to horizontally or vertically polarise your indoor aerial for digital TV. 

Thinking of getting an indoor TV antenna to give your TV reception a boost? If so, here are the kinds of indoor antennas that you may choose from:

  • Monopole or Rod Aerials

This kind of aerial is omnidirectional, which means you can position it vertically or horizontally. 

  • Log Periodic Aerials

These are best for picking up weaker signals but will need to be positioned towards the transmitter. 

  • Loop Aerials

Such aerials are positioned on top of your TV. While these kinds of antennae are omnidirectional, chances are they will still struggle with weaker signals. 

  • Flat Panel or Patch Aerials 

By merely attaching these to a window or a wall, you may be able to absorb strong signals. However, the reception will still depend on how you position the aerial. 

Moreover, an amplified indoor aerial, or to put it simply, an aerial with a signal booster marginally increases the likelihood of picking up medium or low signal strengths, as compared to nonamplified aerials. 

Also take note that sometimes, signal boosters can cause picture interference. This usually happens when the aerial is placed too close to the TV or the set-top box. 

Outdoor Aerials 

If you are located within the 15-mile to 30-mile radius of a TV transmitter, then it would be best for you to use outdoor aerials or rooftop aerials. Such aerials are designed to withstand extreme weather conditions, so you wouldn’t have to worry about it breaking down because of a storm or strong winds. 

Additionally, outdoor TV antennas are best for receiving TV signals because being positioned at a height gives such aerials a better line of sight to the nearest transmitters or broadcast towers and with fewer obstructions like trees, buildings, walls, roofing materials, and many more. 

This, however, will require you or a professional to install and position your outdoor digital TV aerial on the roof. Many aerials for Freeview are outdoor antennas that are made with high-quality materials that are easy to mount. 

If you think you are better off using outdoor aerials, here are some types you may want to consider using:

  • Yagi TV Aerials

This type of aerial is most common in the UK and Ireland. It is a directional antenna which puts out a high gain, making it ideal for receiving lower strength signals. It has a relatively good range and filters signal noise.

  • Log Periodic Aerials

Such aerials are popular for digital TV. They reject impulse noises which could cause your TV signal to pixelate and break up. Because this aerial delivers a very flat frequency response, it is perfect for balancing TV signals.

  • High Gain Aerials

This type of aerial is designed to increase the signal strength received from a tv transmitter, thus helping it deliver more signal. This is best used in places with weak signals or in good signal areas where the signal is to be distributed between multiple TV sets.

Loft Aerials

Loft Aerials are starting to gain popularity as owners of new, modern houses opt to position their aerials in an area where it will not ruin their home’s aesthetic. An aerial like this will give you the best of both worlds as it will not ruin your home’s aesthetic and also make sure that you get crystal clear picture quality almost all the time. 

It is, however, essential to note that due to the building materials in your loft or attic, it is possible to lose some signal strength. The range could be lowered by 10-15 miles, so consider getting one of those amplified aerials or one with a broader range, and make sure to place your aerial at an optimal location. 

If you are looking for loft aerials, consider using an outdoor tv aerial for optimum results. 

Need help in finding or installing the best TV aerial for your home? Contact a professional aerial engineer today!



What To Do When There’s No Sky Signal

Imagine this. You made sure to have all your chores finished just in time for your favourite TV programme. You make it to the living room with a bowl of chips, sit down on the couch, and turn on the television. To your horror, your Sky box shows the words: “Sky No signal.” In only a few moments, your show will have started, and your Sky box won’t be available to record the video. What do you do? While you may try contacting Sky for an engineer, we know from experience that they might not be able to visit you until a few days later. You need your signal fixed immediately.

There’s good news waiting for you: you don’t have to tear your hair out because there’s no sky signal. And the even better news is that you can troubleshoot your Sky box without having to wait for a technician.

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Diagnose the Problem

There are a lot of reasons as to why your Sky box has no signal on tv. If the weather is bad in your area or if you hear the wind howling outside, this will definitely reduce the quality of your sound and image. We recommend waiting out the storm until testing your system’s satellite signal again. If weather conditions are favourable, try changing the channel and see if your Sky box still doesn’t have a satellite signal. Should the other channels work fine, you can wait a few minutes before going back to the previous channel; but if things still aren’t looking great, then your network coverage might have a problem.

Check your service status. You can also send them a message if you have their contact details. If there happens to be a network outage in your area, we recommend waiting that out, as well. If there are no such reports of Sky being unable to provide satellite signal, reboot your Sky box and check if any of the cables are loose. These are the basic techniques that generally save a lot of time and solve the majority of signal problems with Sky.

Resetting your Sky Box

Click the ‘Standby’ button on your remote. If your model has PVR or recording capability, you will need to wait for the hard drive to stop spinning for a short while. Once it ends, you may switch off your Sky box, your TV, and other devices that are connected to it. You will also need to switch off your mains and disconnect your Sky box.

Take note: When inspecting it, make sure not to take the small plug out of the power socket at the back of the device. When the power is on, take care not to touch the plug as this can cause damage to the internal circuits, and an internal fuse may fry up.

Look for the HDMI and SCART cables attached at the Skybox’s rear. All of these should be firmly attached to both the television and the Skybox. After tightening connections, wait for five minutes before switching everything back on. This allows the capacitors inside the satellite receiver to completely discharge and cool down. There will be times that your satellite receiver freezes and an excellent way to break this is to do a complete reboot. After turning it back on, you might notice that the Sky logo will flash across the screen. This is the start of the initialisation process. Make sure to wait for a few minutes before trying to change the channel to prevent the Sky box from being overloaded with commands.

Correcting your TV Source

If the words ‘No Signal’ are coming from your television screen and not your Sky box, check the cables once again. This could mean that your Sky box is working correctly, but your cables are not configured properly. If this is the case, double-check if your Sky box is on, with the green light showing. Then go to your handset and press ‘TV’ and then ‘Help’. If the handset is not configured to your TV, you will have to your television’s handset instead. Look for the words source, input, or AV. Depending on the manufacturer, this should lead you to the input settings for your Sky box. Keep rotating through the input options until you find Sky TV. This will hopefully restore your television’s audio and video.

Making sure your subscription is active

If your subscription-based TV services are not working, but terrestrial-free-to-air services are, you will need to check your subscription. Go to your Sky box and check the viewing card inserted in it and the viewing card paired with it.

Your viewing experience relies on a lot of devices. While it may seem daunting at first, doing these basic troubleshooting techniques will save you some money. However, when the time comes that you will need professional help, be sure to contact us and we’ll be there to assist.