Digital TV Aerial

TV aerial

If you’re planning to receive digital TV using Freeview or any Freeview-based service such as BT Vision or Top Up TV then you need to make sure your TV aerial is good enough, as this is how these services are received. The chances are your existing aerial will be fine but you may like to check using some of the tests and guidelines below.

If you opt for Sky Digital, freesat or Virgin Media you won’t actually need an aerial as the signal will be received by satellite dish or cable for these providers.

Do I Need a New TV Aerial?

There is no such thing as a ‘digital’ TV aerial – Freeview TV is received through a normal aerial the same as analogue. Generally speaking if your aerial performs well with analogue TV signals it will be fine for digital too, but you can try the Teletext test below. A small minority of households may need a wideband aerial to receive every channel from a main transmitter – a wideband aerial covers the entire UHF band whereas a normal aerial is designed to cover a certain set of frequencies. You can find more about this on the Digital UK website.

Aerial Upgrade Test

You can check your reception with the Teletext test. Visit Teletext page 284 where there is an aerial test; the test is a guide to the likelihood of digital reception using your existing aerial and can be found on BBC One, BBC Two, ITV1, Channel 4 and S4C (a Welsh-language version is available on S4C page 484). The test is unsuitable if you have a shared aerial and in areas where the postcode checker indicates that an aerial change is required.

If you get good test results you are unlikely to need to replace your aerial. Bad test results mean you are highly likely to need to replace your aerial but Digital UK recommend you wait until after switchover to see if your home will actually be affected to avoid having unnecessary work done.

Digital Aerial Installers

Although there are some very good national companies, most aerial installers tend to be local and cover their own areas. We can’t feature everyone here of course but here is a selection of local installers from around the country, often with their own specialism. When choosing an aerial installer always look for a Registered Digital Installer (RDI), who has been trained and security checked.

Essex Aerials

Essex Aerials

Aerial and plasma fitting plus Sky Italia Premiership football package which can provide English Premiership Football to businesses at a very low cost – Tel 020 8257 2017

Aerials and Satellites

Customers include John Lewis and Peter Jones, installers of individual and shared-use aerials in London and the South East – Tel 0800 526208

Digitec Aerials

Chosen partner of Age Concern in Nottingham, covering the East Midlands including certain NG, LE and DE postcodes – Tel 08000 567856

Aerial Services York

Est 1999, covering York and Selby, giving free quotes on aerial installation, CCTV and installation of plasma and LCD TV sets themselves – Tel 01904 678823

Advanced Satellite Solutions

Based in Newport and covering businesses and homes in South Wales, Advanced Satellite Solutions are the approved partner for Ryder Cup venue Celtic ManorTel 01633 252731

Campbell and Kennedy

Campbell and Kennedy have over 50 years experience in the TV industry with 70 staff and a fleet of 20 vehicles. Based in Glasgow they mainly cover Central Scotland but also work around the UK – Tel 0141 435 7775

Innovations Aerials

Long established family company providing installation and repairs for aerials and all digital TV equipment, based in Ampthill and covering Beds, Herts, Bucks and London – Tel 01525 841017

1st Digital Systems

Aerial and satellite installers covering London, Kent and Surrey. Hidden dish specialists, will beat any genuine quote by 10% – Tel 0800 389 1005

The digital switchover is split into the 14 TV regions of the UK; from North to South they are STV North (Scottish Highlands (except Fort William and Lochaber which are STV), Inverness, Aberdeen, Dundee and parts of north Fife), STV Central (central Scotland), Ulster (Northern Ireland), Border (south of Scotland, much of Cumbria and the Isle of Man), Tyne Tees (north east England), Granada (Manchester, Preston, Liverpool and Cheshire), Yorkshire (Harrogate, Leeds, Sheffield, with Hull in Humberside, Lincolnshire and parts of Norfolk), Wales (from Anglesey and Wrexham down to Swansea and Cardiff), Central (Birmingham and Nottingham down to Oxfordshire in the south), Anglia (most of Norfolk, Suffolk, parts of Essex, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire and Hertfordshire), London, West Country (Devon, Cornwall and parts of Somerset and Dorset), West (Cheltenham in Gloucestershire down through Bristol to Taunton) and Meridian (Kent, Sussex, Hampshire, Berkshire, Surrey, Wiltshire and the Isle of Wight).

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