If you don’t subscribe to Sky, have a satellite system such as Freesat or don’t use cable and you want to use Freeview then you’ll still need an aerial.
These are generally easy to fit and tend to last for years so it’s a simple way to get a good TV signal into the home and there are no monthly charges after for it.
If you’re unsure what channels you would receive at your address, Freeview do a handy checker : http://freeview.co.uk/availability
The aerial can be fitted either in the loft of the house or on the roof, depending upon signal strength but sometimes, it can be fitted around the building if those areas are a problem. Portable, shop bought aerials generally aren’t brilliant as they can get interference from appliances in the home and they don’t receive such a powerful signal as when it was placed on the roof.
It’s also better to get decent benchmarked equipment, and good quality cable which will last a long time and maintain good signal integrity. If it’s too thin, then it will be damaged by the weather, movement and water will get in and impede the signal.
If you can, use a company which is registered with the Confederation of Aerial Industries (CAI). They concentrate on raising standards within the industry and members must adhere to a code of practice and have continual assessment as well as being fully insured. The CAI also guarantees all work done by a member for a year. You can also use get me digital.com to give information for members registered with them.
Every now and again it’s worthwhile to do a retune to make sure that you are receiving all the channels that you should be, try this guide out if you’re unsure how to do it:
Yes, you also have the option of Freesat. This is a simple and effective way of getting 200+ channels to your TV and there is no monthly subscription. Your installer will check the property for the best signal area and install a satellite dish to the building with a point to the house. Either they or you can then pop in a Freesat box and tune it in and bobs your uncle, free TV!
Some TV’s already have Freesat built into them so you won’t need a box for these, but if you do there are many different boxes that are on the market. From a cheaper box at around £40 which will supply all of the channels or if you’d like a box which has features such as the ability to record, rewind etc, then Humax is a good brand to get. These tend to go from £79 for the basic HD model to around £299 for the recorder with built in wifi.
Once this is set up, it’s relatively maintenance free and should last for years with perhaps the odd dish realignment if there has been a particularly bad storm. You could subscribe to a maintenance agreement with your installer if you like which would cover the cost of any realignments or you can just get it done if it ever needs it.
Again, it’s worthwhile going to a reputable installer to get this fitted to ensure that it’s done correctly, and to ensure that you are happy with the dish position. A good installer will take the time to find a strong signal area but also be considerate to the building and neighbours too and so should try to install it where it is cosmetically pleasing where possible. The cable should also be hidden as much as possible and it should be of a benchmarked quality to allow a good signal and to reduce any chance of revisits due to weather damage.
Freesat also offer a handy trouble shooting guide if you ever have problems, have a look here if you need a hand: http://www.freesat.co.uk/help
The Aerial Man Scotland is a recommended installer of TV aerials. Give us a call on 0131 450 7158 if you need any help.