4G is coming, bringing ultra fast mobile internet, but at what cost to your TV viewing?

Once the auctions are finalised for the new 800 Mhz spectrum which has been cleared by the analogue switch off, 4G mobile ultra fast data services will be rolled out from a transmitter near you.


Now whilst this will be very popular with those who use their mobiles and handheld devices for streaming TV and videos (and can afford to pay for it), it may well have dire consequences for TV reception in homes and blocks of flats adjacent to transmitter masts, or where the 4G transmitter is in line between their aerial and the TV transmitter mast.


The government and a service company comprising the main bidders for licences have allocated £180m to a fund, the purpose of which is to abate any problems as they arise.  They estimate that approximately 2.5m homes may suffer from interference and the plan is to send them each a set back filter.


Having recently been to a seminar with Europe wide aerial equipment manufacturer Televes and carrying out simulations, it is clear that in cases where the 4G signals are very strong, TV reception will be impossible without fairly major rethinks on type of aerial fitted and any amplification involved, set back filters alone will probably not be sufficient.


The problem we in the aerial industry have, is that despite carrying out simulations, we cannot accurately predict how severe the interference will be and also how we can future proof systems against potential interference in the mean time.


1towatch along with our state of the art spectrum analysis equipment will be carrying a stock of passive filters, filtered masthead amplifiers and aerials designed to limit the affects of 4G, when they appear on the market, but as of this time, we may not be able to guarantee perfect reception until these masts are finally commissioned and onsite tests can be carried out.


At present we have little or no information on the launch dates for these services, but will update this blog when more information is forthcoming, we will of course be informing all current customers of the potential for interference.





1towatch can now supply and install chimney cowls

1towatch will now be offering an additional service when working on your roof aerial of supplying and installing a chimney cowl.


Above is a square model, fitted today.

As we don’t carry a large stock of these, we may need a few days notice prior to installation.


We can of course fit chimney cowls even if you do not require any aerial work, please phone Rolf on 07971327931 and a quote can be arranged.  www.1towatch.com


Aerial Installations by 1towatch Aerial and Satellite, Reading

Below are some aerial installations carried out by 1towatch

Satellite dish installations

Sky satellite and multisat reception by 1towatch

Freeview channel listing changes 19th September

On 19th of September, some Freeview channel numbers will change and a retune may be required.

Most noticeable changes are Dave and Yesterday to change places (19 and 12), plus Gold and Really (20 and 17). There are further possible changes in store, but yet to be confirmed.

Post digital switchover Berkshire

February and April digital switchovers came and went for Hannington and Crystal Palace in Berkshire, has it meant trouble free reception for all?


Well, yes and no.


Whilst overall signal strengths have improved, meaning that customers in bad reception areas have much more solid reception, customers in good reception areas like Tilehurst where reception is possible from multiple transmitters, are now receiving unwanted secondary signals, often causing TVs and PVRs to select channels from the wrong region when retuning. This can manifest itself as picture break up at the worst, or simply receiving the incorrect local news region at best.


To solve this problem, 1towatch can either reduce the received signal strength at the mast, before any distribution amplifier, or alternatively fit a band pass filter before the amplifier or at the TV set. 1towatch now have access to specially designed band pass filters which aside from blocking unwanted regional signals, can also block unwanted signals from non-TV sources, particularly the forthcoming 4G mobile network which may cause digital TV interference to some channels once operational.







Astra 1 Analogue signals to disappear at the end of the month

If you are at present watching Eurosport on Astra 19.2 on an old analogue receiver, then it’s time to think about upgrading your receiver to a digital model.


Eurosport Germany is available free to air on the same satellite and whilst it doesn’t carry the English language soundtrack is still worth watching, also RTL analogue will be switched off, so unless you upgrade, no more F1.

If you are using an old dish, the LNB may need swapping out for a Universal model, but this is a relatively inexpensive job, try the receiver first and see if it works.

At present Eurosport Poland carries an English soundtrack on Hotbird 13 East and with a second digital receiver and a multi LNB setup on the dish, it is possible to combine the two feeds to get the best of both worlds.

If you need help on going digital, call 07971 327931 1towatch


Hannington digital switchover passes without major issues

The final analogue switch off for Hannington (Meridian and BBC South) passed by in February without major issue, some customers had problems re-tuning their TVs and Freeview boxes, most were easily sorted.

Some Freeview boxes and TVs however, were unable to read the new signals, a couple of early Samsung LCD TVs had problems and needed to be re-tuned in manual tuning mode, and some early Freeview boxes failed to recognise the signals altogether.

Fortunately Freeview boxes are relatively inexpensive, so replacement was not too painful for the customer.

Next dates to look forward to in Berkshire, are April the 4th and 18th, when Crystal Palace transmitter analogue signals are switched off, this will have a major impact in Reading and Tilehurst, with thousands of residents receiving their TV from there.

So if you think you may have problems, call Rolf at 1towatch on 07971 327931 (direct line) or 0118 945 2492 to leave an answerphone message.



F1 series 2012, don’t want to subscribe to sky, but want to watch the races?

As Formula One fans will know, not all races will be shown free to air on the BBC, as Sky have the rights to half of them and non-subscribers will be left out in the cold.

McLaren Driver Jenson Button
McLaren Driver Jenson Button


Well all is not lost, as several European satellite channels will be showing the races Free To Air. RTL Germany is my personal favourite, it’s easy to receive with a Sky minidish (or similar size) and an inexpensive Free to Air digital satellite receiver, plus the picture quality is what we are used to in the UK.

Although the commentary will be in German, you can listen to the commentary on Radio 5 Live, either on DAB or by internet feed.

So if you are interested in setting up your F1 viewing for the forthcoming season, give 1towatch a call on 07971 327931 and we can have you up and running so you won’t miss any races.

Many customers concerned about digital switchover

With information about the switchover arriving through pensioners’ letter boxes, many are worried how the switchover will affect them.

For the Berkshire area, people will be receiving their signals from Hannington or Crystal Palace, or local transmitters linked to either of these two.

Whichever transmitter they receive their TV from, nothing will happen until next February (Hannington Meridian) or April (Crystal Palace London) and if they are at present watching digital TV via their TV or a Freeview box, they should only need to do a couple of quick retunes when the switchover happens, nothing more.

If you are a pensioner and watching analogue only channels via your television, you will need to obtain a Freeview box between now and switchover, for each analogue TV, these can be bought very cheaply from many supermarkets or you can contact the BBC help scheme who will provide one for you at a fixed price, although the supermarket route is probably cheaper. Those who at present use a video cassette recorder for scheduling analogue programme recordings, will need to update to a Freeview digital PVR (Personal Video Recorder), available from around £120 instead of a standard Freeview box.

If after trying a Freeview box you are not getting full digital reception, or the pictures are breaking up, you will either need to call a reliable local aerial installer who will check your aerial for suitability and recommend the most cost effective solution, or contact Fix My Aerial.com the BBC help scheme 0800 40 85 913 who will normally allocate a national company to send someone.