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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.



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.

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. 

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

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.

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.

How To Use A TV Aerial Splitter

Let’s clear something up. A lot of people often use the terms “aerial” and “antenna” interchangeably. While we know it can be confusing, these two objects are not the same. The antenna’s job is to transmit radio waves. An aerial’s job, such as the satellite dish sitting on top of roofs, are only receptors of television signals and not transmitters.

Another example of a receptor is the aerial used for car radios. All TV sets used to have aerials on them before cable and satellite televisions were released to the market. While they used to be made of wires that are cut to a specific length, they are not made with aluminium tubing to support them on roofs.

When installing aerials in your home, whether the traditional wires or the satellite dishes, people tend to put one for each TV in the house. If you go around your neighbourhood, you will find a lot of properties sporting multiple—old and new ones—on their roofs. The good news is you can run numerous TVs off of one aerial and not need dozens. The not-so-bad news is you will need to order a TV aerial splitter.

In theory, the signals your aerial receives can be amplified and split for different TVs–and they can be split up for as much as you need. If you notice the flats in your area, they connect a multi-switch system to a single aerial, split up the signal and amplify it for their respective televisions. In some cases, you won’t even need to increase the signal with amplifiers.

How do I split my aerial?

It’s time to clear your roof of its extra aerials and keep the latest model standing. There are two ways to distribute your signal to multiple TV sets:

1. Get a TV Aerial splitter

These can range from the T- or Y-shaped TV Aerial splitter that has two outputs up to the sixteen-way splitter with metal spikes protruding from a plastic centre. One of the spokes serves as the input where the signal enters and then splits to each output port. Depending on the strength of your signal, you can connect, however, many TV sets you want to. The price of a few Aerial splitters is only a few pounds, at most, a small amount for the ability to watch TV in multiple rooms

But there is a caution to the tale: the more times the signal is split, the quality of the image and sound lessens. A lot of splitter manufacturers will print how much signal reception is expected to come out of that port. In this case, using amplifiers or aerial boosters may help. This means if you have, say, five available TV sets connected to your aerial when the signal is already weak, your device needing the strongest signal should be plugged in the port with higher output. If, however, most of your devices need strong signals, then you have more to lose than to gain. Splitters can only do so much. This brings us to the next option.

2. Use an amplified splitter or booster

Should you choose to get amplifiers for your TV, the signal that leaves, it will be more reliable than when it entered. Comparing this to passive splitters, they rely on electrical currents to function. These are usually placed in a loft or basement, where the cables run throughout the home and feed high-quality signal for every TV.

If you don’t have a power supply available in your basement, you can install a masthead or line-powered version. This involves installing a power supply at one of the TV set, allowing it to send about 12V to amplify the cord that feeds its signals.

For households, we recommend keeping to your aerial splitter. For most of the installations we’ve handled, the signals were strong enough to power two to three TV sets in the home without needing an amplifier. If your apartment houses 30 appliances, then that could be another story. Getting an amplifier will also mean an increased noise figure, causing more signal glitches and higher changes of system breakdown.

If you plan on upgrading your system entirely, we recommend getting an LNB with a higher gain so that your satellite dish can receive better signals.

Once you have a splitter for the aerial on your roof, whether amplified or not, you are not only saving money, but you are also lessening the burden on your roof (physically and metaphorically speaking, that is).

Installing and repairing TV aerials is our expertise. We can provide the best advice and assistance so your home can receive a strong Freeview signal. Give us a call here.

A Definitive How-To on Aerial Boosters: Can They Really Boost the TV Signal? Let’s Find Out!

tv signal booster

In the line of all the uni-taskers, “As Seen On TV” products, and hardware hard sells, how about this time we shine a light on debunking another superfluous claim for a miracle product and find out if it really works! So the catch here is, would installing signal amplifiers or a TV aerial booster really improve the signal? Let’s jump on the textbooks and find out. 

A usual claim would be that it’s “faulty” or a “scam,” but what people fail to realize is that these instruments are highly functional when you figure out how to use it properly. The placement and timing are crucial. For example, if you try and summon the power of a TV aerial booster box for a network of communal TV systems or multiple TVs in your household, the throughput might just not cut it. This would always depend on the TV signal booster that you have purchased. If this is the case, might as well find out if it works and how it works. 

How does a TV Signal Booster work?

The principle here is every straightforward no matter what type, brand or model: an aerial TV booster will chew up your signal as input and spit it out stronger or less weak as an output. The problem is, the “boosting process” does not totally come out from nowhere; it does not beat the third law of thermodynamics. A usual occurrence and problem in these things are that when the aerial signal is amplified, other things around it are also amplified. This is usually unnecessary stuff you don’t want such as radio signals from another transmitter, interference, or electrical noise so it wouldn’t be best to install one if you don’t really need it. A problem only usually comes up with aerial signal boosters when you settle for knock-offs or a cheap indoor tv aerial booster. For best results, go for reliable manufacturers of only the best tv signal booster and best tv aerial signal booster such as Triax, Televes, Wolsey, Vision, or Antiference

When Do You Know You Need A TV Signal Booster?

I’m not particularly saying you shouldn’t buy a digital tv signal booster. What I’m pointing out is that you keep in mind the timing and placement of it. Again, it’s not a miracle worker that randomly fixes your TV signal when you plug it in, nor can it suddenly make the signal from the source work better for you. A usual spot where things go wrong is through the cables; either it’s too long, and you’re losing it to the coaxial cable or you split it to too many devices that the signal gets too cut off. In these cases, it would be best to amplify from the source rather than near the device. A stronger push would lead to a clearer output, hence making it work out in the end. 

Making More From Giving Out More: Overcoming Losses in Splitting

It’s pretty logical how throughput kills all the fun in this situation: the more TVs you source from one signal, the worse the signal you get for each unit. Do note, it doesn’t matter if it’s not all on or connected at the same time: as long as you’re using a signal splitter or a cheap TV link, you will have some problems in terms of picture quality and signal strength. In this case, it is highly recommended that you purchase yourself a digital tv aerial booster. Help yourself out a little on this. 

So, How Would You Install A Signal Booster Properly?

A big hassle on how to use a tv signal booster aerial amplifier would be its need for power or current. If you would install it from the source of the signal, wherever is that it usually does not have an available nor accessible power outlet. So your best bet for this is to have an electrician make things happen and work for you. Or you may also opt for the masthead tv amplifier that sources the power from the coaxial cable itself, making the cabling cleaner and the entire conundrum less of a hassle. It would be better because it can amplify a cleaner source of the signal given that it can be installed nearer to the source, making up for a stronger result. 

Common Problems In Using Boosters

Just when you thought it couldn’t go wrong, it goes wrong. Read through for forward-thinking preventive measures.

  • A Lot Of Signal

The math here is simple folks: There is such a thing as amplifying the signal too much. If it’s too amplified, there’s too much aerial signal, the system overloads. Effects on your TV would be pixelation, blocky images, a high noise figure, or complete signal loss. 

Whether you’re using a signal booster for tv, an aerial signal booster, or an indoor digital aerial signal booster, too much of it is going to cause you more problems rather than improve your picture quality. 

Extremely Amplified Signal Strength = Not Good

  • Wrong Signal Strengthened

Your booster can pick up radio signals from other transmitters in the area or even interferences such as tetra, 4G or 5G. In such cases, it would be wise to manually tune the television instead of an auto scan and using a built in 4G filter that blocks unwanted signals. The same goes for those who have a separate TV and 4G device. 

  • Massive Overlooks

You should never forget that the booster needs electricity or current to run. A common mistake would be to overlook the simplest source of the problem: sometimes it’s just really that the power supply is broken or unplugged.

Also, make sure everything is tightly connected to your TV or home cinema system. Any loose connections will no doubt mess with your TV reception.

  • Filtering Problems

Channels are usually separated by differences in signal. The further you go usually leads to a more obscure type of signal that may be considered interference by an installed filter with the booster. 

Final Thoughts and Verdict

It really does work, albeit not perfectly. Any solution to a common problem is always relative and highly dependent on the current environment of the set-up. With a little bit of tinkering and a quick skim on this article, you’ll do just fine. However, if you think you need the help, do not hesitate to call for a professional to help you out.

A Safety Guide On Installing A Wall Mounted TV

tv installation

Nowadays, almost every home has a wall mounted TV in the living room, home office, or bedroom. More than it being a way to save up on some adequate floor space due to the absence of TV stands, and the like, wall-mounted TVs often represent cleanliness and minimalism in the home. However, people often forget to implement some safety measures that will make sure nobody gets hurt, and nothing gets damaged during and after mounting a TV on the wall. 

To help you better understand and minimize the risks of having a wall-mounted TV, here is a list of things you should remember while installing one:

  • Consider the location

Before you even start drilling holes into the walls of your home, figure out if the location you’re considering is ideal. Take into consideration things such as viewing angles, sun exposure, space, and even proximity to the power outlet. Such considerations will help prevent overheating, future occurrences of sore necks, and space-related and power cord-related accidents. Mount your TV at a place where it is cool, safe, and out of bumping distance. Also make sure to place it at a height where the TV screen is at eye level, or at least close to it. 

  • Find out if your wall can handle holding the TV up and make sure you are using the correct anchor

To ensure that your hard-earned money does not go to waste, check if your designated TV wall can carry the weight of your TV. Keep in mind that TV size is directly proportional to your TV’s weight. This means the bigger your TV is, the heavier it will be. So, make sure to check if the material of your wall is sturdy enough to carry your new TV, and that your wall mount is made for the specific size and weight of your TV. Also take note of what type of wall you are mounting on, as there are specific wall anchors needed for each:

  • If you are planning on mounting your TV on concrete or brick, attach the wall bracket or wall mount with a sleeve or wedge anchor. Such anchors are not very difficult to find, as you may simply purchase them at any hardware store. If you’re on the hunt for deals on prices, you may also opt to buy online. Once secure, you may hang your TV onto the bracket.
  • Meanwhile, if you’re mounting on drywall, make sure to anchor your bracket or wall mount onto the studs behind your wall before attaching your TV onto the bracket. If your wall has no studs, anchor the TV bracket using toggle bolts. 

Note: To find the studs, you may use stud finders or knock on your wall until you hear a solid sound. Hollow wall sounds mean there are no studs behind it. Make sure you are not drilling into water pipes, gas pipes, and electrical wiring. 

In this video, LRN2DIY, a YouTube channel specializing in how-to videos, demonstrates how to mount a TV onto drywall.

  • Conceal your cords and cables

Aside from it being unsightly and messy, cords and cables left exposed can be quite dangerous. Because these cords and cables are left dangling and lying around, it is possible for it to come in contact with spilt liquids. Unconcealed cords may also be cause for accidents involving kids and adults alike. To prevent such accidents and occurrences, you may hide your wires or cords behind the walls using a power relocation kit. You may also choose to mount your TV in front of a power outlet or add a power outlet behind your TV to keep it from dangling. A paintable wire channel is also ideal in keeping your cords and cables tucked, tidy, and in order.

A tip: For electrical work such as rewiring and adding power outlets behind your TV, contact a professional. 

  • Make sure all ports are accessible

While you may not find an extra HDMI port necessary at the moment you’re mounting your TV, you may find a need for it in the future. The same goes for all input and output ports on your TV, including, but not limited to the USB, component, composite, VGA, antenna, and S-Video ports. 

Ports that are not fully accessible may cause damage to the jacks, wires, and cables being connected to them. Making sure that they are all accessible from the moment you mount your TV saves you the chore of unmounting and making access for such ports in the future when you find yourself wanting to connect DVD players, bluray players, a gaming console, smart home devices, home security devices, streaming devices, and many more.

  • Is it level?

Try and find out if your television is levelled and mounted properly. This, otherwise, could cause your TV to get dislodged or unmounted in the future. 

  • Can the kids reach it?

Kids reaching for and potentially knocking your TV off the wall mount when it is not properly secured can cause major accidents, or worse, death. It is therefore best to, aside from making sure the TV is mounted securely, mount the TV out of children’s reach.

  • Know what you’re doing

Do not, under any circumstances, attempt to mount your TV to the wall without doing some research on it. Aside from reading and understanding the buyer’s guide that comes with your TV and wall mount, you may also search for demonstration videos on the internet. What’s important is that you figure out just exactly what you’re doing before attempting to do it yourself. This could otherwise only put you and your TV in a lot of danger.

  • If in doubt, call a professional

If you think you can’t do it, don’t hesitate to call a professional. There will be installation costs and labour costs, no doubt, but those will definitely be less expensive than undoing any potential damage you may inflict on yourself, the people around you, your furniture, your appliances, and your home in the event that you are unable to complete the mounting job properly. 

Do I Need An Aerial For A Smart TV

smart tv

You’re moving into your new house. One of the first things that you should buy is furniture and appliances. You have to make the difficult choice between quality or price. However, when it comes to buying items for your home, the thing that you have to consider is its functionality. There would be no use to buying a cheap item when you can’t use it for your everyday life.

Regardless of the price, it still is an unnecessary expense. On the other hand, a sala set worth £1, 400, despite being labelled as frivolous, can be considered a practical purchase if it’s used a lot of times.

 This mindset also applies to your appliances. If you buy a brand new, top-of-the-line smart TV, the functionality should be the main issue. How much did your Smart HD TV cost you? £ 400? £ 550? Maybe you finally got that bonus, and you decided to splurge. And now you have gone home with a smart TV worth £ 2000. Now what?

 What exactly do you do with a £2000-Smart TV? For most of us, having a colossal flatscreen HD TV is the dream. You can spend the rest of your nights, relaxing in front of your screen, watching your favourite shows to your heart’s content. But how exactly can you watch on your Smart TV?

 One interesting statistic is that many believe that buying a TV is enough. Once they have plugged in their Smart TV, they can already watch whatever show they want. Right? Nope. There are various ways that you can employ to make sure that your Smart TV becomes good to use. 

I have listed the five most common methods to use their Smart TV.

Internet Connection

We now live in the age of streaming. Many even posit that the rise of streaming services spells the death of cable. This could hold true for many reasons. Streaming companies such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu are services where you pay a monthly subscription fee in exchange for unlimited access to their content.

Each of these streaming sites has thousands of thousands of movies, TV shows, and documentaries for its subscribers to enjoy. You can spend whole months combing through just one section of their catalogue. Most Smart TVs already have these streaming apps built-in. 

All new models of Smart TVs can easily connect to the Internet through Wi-Fi or an Ethernet cable. If you’re happy with using your Smart TV for streaming, then you don’t have to read through the next part of this article. 

Aerial

The aerial or the antenna is perhaps one of the most traditional ways for a household to obtain reception. “Do I need a TV Aerial for my Smart TV?” Yes, you do. But only if you want to use your Smart TV to watch live TV. If you want to access Freeview in the UK, then you need a TV Aerial for your Smart TV. Freeview is a service that is delivered to your Television system only through a TV Aerial. You cannot watch TV like BBC1 and BBC2 without a TV Aerial to receive signals broadcasted by TV stations.

A TV Aerial Installation can quickly be done in less than a day. You can simply call your local aerial installers and have them hook you up with a working TV Aerial system. Aside from Freeview, your TV Aerial will also provide you access to BT Vision, EETV, TalkTalk TV, and Saorview provided that you paid for these subscription services.

Satellite Dish

The same holds true with Freesat. A satellite dish is required for your Digital TV to watch live TV through the UK Freesat service. Some of the paid services that you get access to are Sky, Soarsat, and international TV programs. If you don’t want to pay for a monthly subscription fee, then there is Freesat. 

A standard satellite dish installation will take less time than a TV Aerial Installation. It is also considered to be generally cheaper, although both of these care in the same price range. The main difference between a satellite dish and a TV Aerial, however, is that a satellite receiver (i.e. Freesat Box) is required to decode the satellite signals into watchable content. On the other hand, TV Aerials need to be installed from a much higher vantage point like the roof, which could be tricky if you live in an apartment.

Game Consoles

Of course, one of the most widely known uses of TVs is for gaming. Regardless of whether you own a Playstation, an Xbox, or a Nintendo Switch, your gaming experience will surely benefit from an HD Smart TV. With better graphics and image resolution, you get to immerse yourself more into the game. Just plug in your favourite game and enjoy!

Laptop

Lastly, you can easily connect your laptop using a VGA or HDMI wire to watch TV. Through this, you can watch a movie through a bigger screen. I can’t imagine a better way to enjoy Family night than lounging on the sofa with your family and watching a movie.

How Does Freesat Work?

Nowadays, entertainment has become such a massive part of people’s lives. We come home from work, school, or even just a day full of errands wanting just to lay down and chill in front of the telly. It’s always such a treat, getting to relax and unwind while watching your favourite TV show, re-watching your favourite movie, or even just browsing through the channels available via your cable subscription. However, as cable subscription prices rise, we consumers are left looking for ways to satisfy our need for TV without having to shell out enormous amounts. Amounts that would have otherwise been dedicated to paying for necessities like food, water, electricity, rent, etc. Fortunately, there are a few alternatives to expensive cable subscriptions. One of these alternatives is Freesat, a digital satellite TV service from the BBC and ITV which offers a ton for channels for free. 

Now, you may be asking, “How does Freesat work?” To answer your questions, we’ve come up with a list of things you should know about Freesat:

Getting Freesat

To receive Freesat service, you will need a satellite dish or satellite receiver. You don’t necessarily have to get a new one if you’ve already got an existing satellite dish installed. This is why many people who switch over to Freesat usually come from Sky Digital, which also delivers its service via a satellite dish. However, if you are switching from a service that does not use satellite dishes, you may have to pay to get one installed. 

Once you have a satellite dish, the next thing you will need is one of the following:

A Freesat-ready TV 

Some manufacturers already produce at least one kind of TV with Freesat built into it. With a Freesat-ready TV, you will be able to access channels and almost any radio station without the need for an additional device.

A Freesat (or Freesat+) Set Top Box

Freesat set top boxes and Freesat HD boxes cost somewhere between £50-£220, depending on which features you will want on your box. These set top boxes should be compatible with whatever flat-screen TV you own. Connect the set top box to your satellite feed and your TV via HDMI, and you’ll be good to go!

Freesat from Sky 

If you are already a Sky Digital subscriber and no longer want to pay for TV, you may consider switching over to this plan. Although you wouldn’t have access to the HD and Premium channels exclusive to Sky Digital, you will have more channels compared to the regular Freesat Digital service. Those with the regular Freesat Digital service may choose to upgrade by purchasing a viewing card from Sky Digital.

Costs

As stated above, Freesat is a free TV service. This means aside from the upfront costs such as the set top box purchase, fees for its installation, and if needed, installation costs for the satellite dish, you will not have to pay any monthly fees. 

Channels

Freesat has more than 200 channels with 20 of those on HD, when you get the Freesat HD Box or the Freesat 4K TV Box, among other models. You may access on-demand content from channels/streaming services such as Netflix, YouTube, BBC News, BBC Sport, My5, and many more. Freesat’s on-demand service, however, will require you to connect to your home broadband, and more preferably fibre broadband. 

Freesat also offers an eight-day program guide, helping you identify which shows you will want to watch live and which shows you will want to record with your Freesat+ box. 

Recording, Rewinding, Forwarding, and Pausing

If you have a Freesat-ready PVR, a Freesat+ Smart Box, you have the freedom to record programmes, as well as watch and re-watch them at any point.

Freeview vs Freesat

Freeview or Freesat? This debate has been going on for a long time. However, these two TV services are more different than alike. Their differences begin with the very fact that Freeview makes use of tv aerials to deliver their service, while Freesat makes use of satellite dishes or satellite receivers. Additionally, because of how their service is delivered, Freesat and Freeview’s coverage also differ significantly. Moreover, Freesat HD and Freeview HD differ in number, with the former almost doubling in the number of channels over the latter. 

This means rather than continuously trying to determine which of two is better, it all comes down to a question of “What does the consumer need?” Or better yet, “What do you need?” Consumers, like you, will have different needs and requirements based on their viewing habits, location, budget, current TV service provider, and many more. It is, therefore, advisable to figure out just exactly what exactly your household will require and enjoy more.