DVB-T Signal Strength and MCE TV Tuners

31 May

In my recent post, I talked about added multiple tuners to my Windows 7 Media Centre. I’ve since removed both the Cinergy 2400i DT cards and added in 2 x Hauppauge HVR-2200 dual tuner cards. The Cinergy ones worked ok, but I’ve always preferred Hauppauge and I got them at a good price so I then flogged the Cinergy cards. They are actually quad tuner with a dual analogue in there but I won’t be using that, ever. Anyway, all 6 digital tuners are happily working, recording my every need!

I have also just received a Hauppauge Nova-T DVB-T USB Stick in the post and will stick that in over the long weekend to see how it performs against the others.

I have my aerial inside my loft at home and have always wondered if I was getting the most out of it. The loft is quite small and I’ve always been against having it on the outside of the house for a few reasons:

  • I think they look ugly, they really do.
  • I’m of the opinion that weather (rain, snow, hail etc.) and birds could cause the signal the be interfered with if it moves the aerial.
  • I don’t have ladders big enough to get me up there, and even if I did, you wouldn’t catch me that high up – no chance!
Of course, I’ve also been concerned that having it inside the loft might reduced the level of signal that I receive, now if only there was a way of finding out…
Of course there is…
I downloaded the latest WinTV exe bundled with drivers from Hauppauge and that included a DVB-T signal testing application, but unfortunately it didn’t seem to work so well. A bit of googling led me to this

DVB-T Signal Testing Software which works really well.

Firstly, grab a copy of the exe, it’s a tiny download: ScanChannelsBDA_UK

Then head over to UKFREE to find your nearest TV transmitter, mine is Sutton Coldfield and provides the following channels on the following frequencies:

PSB1 BBCA
1 BBC One West Midlands, 2 BBC Two England, 7 BBC Three, 9 BBC Four, 70 CBBC Channel, 71 CBeebies, 80 BBC News, 81 BBC Parliament, 301 301, 302 302, 105 BBC Red Button, 700 BBC Radio 1, 701 BBC 1Xtra, 702 BBC Radio 2, 703 BBC Radio 3, 704 BBC Radio 4, 705 BBC Radio 5 Live, 706 BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, 707 BBC 6 Music, 708 BBC Radio 4 Extra, 709 BBC Asian Network, 710 BBC World Service
C43 (650.0MHz) from 433m Datum

PSB2 D3+4
3 ITV 1 (Central West), 4 Channel 4 Midlands ads, 5 Channel 5 Part Network ads, 6 ITV 2, 13 Channel 4+1 Midlands ads, 14 More 4, 28 E4, 33 ITV 1 +1 (ITV Central West), 102 Rabbit, 103 Gay Rabbit
C46 (674.0MHz) from 433m Datum

COM4 SDN
10 ITV 3, 27 ITV 2 +1, 30 5*, 31 5USA, 38 Quest, 39 The Zone, 44 Channel 5 +1, 72 CITV, 16 QVC, 23 Bid TV, 60 The Jewellery Channel, 91 ADULT Section, 92 Television X, 99 ADULT Playboy, 101 Teletext Hols, 104 1-2-1 Dating, 113 CONNECT 1, 114 CONNECT 2, 115 CONNECT 3, 724 Capital FM, 727 Absolute Radio, 728 Heart
C42 (642.0MHz) from 433m Datum

COM5 ArqA
11 PICK TV, 19 Dave, 20 Really, 29 E4+1, 46 Challenge, 49 Food Network, 62 TV Stars, 82 Sky News, 87 Community Channel, 90 TV News, 36 Create and Craft, 37 Price Drop TV, 43 Gems TV 1, 94 ADULT smileTV3, 96 ADULT PARTY, 97 ADULT Blue, 98 ADULT Blue, 98 Babestation 2, 108 SkyText, 723 talkSPORT
C45 (666.0MHz) from 403m Datum

COM6 ArqB
12 Yesterday, 15 Film 4, 18 4Music, 21 VIVA, 24 ITV 4, 47 4seven, 85 Russia Today English, 89 Al Jazeera English, 22 Ideal World, 32 Big Deal, 35 QVC Beauty, 40 Rocks and Co 1, 93 ADULT smileTV2, 95 Babestation, 99 ADULT Section, 100 ADULT Section, 110 VISION, 111 CCTV, 112 Sports, 116 Racing TV , 306 Channel Zero, 711 The Hits radio, 712 Smash Hits!, 713 Kiss, 714 heat, 715 Magic, 716 Q, 718 Smooth radio, 722 Kerrang!, 725 Premier Radio
C39+ (618.2MHz) from 433m Datum

So, follow the guide here, but change the frequencies based on the UKFREE list for your area.

I tested all the frequencies applicable to be, and all of them came back at 100%, awesome. So my aerial will stay in the loft!