Not really an SOS post, but technical anyway! We have been experimenting for a year or so with Freeview through the TV card in our Acer Entertainment PC, and despite a couple of different antennas, the latest being a rather swish ‘phased array’ jobby, and also an antenna amplifier, our reception was at best marginal, OK most of the time in Prime, TV3 and C4, but useless for TVNZ stations. At the weekend, Harvey Norman had a special on Dish TV Aerial Box terrestrial receivers, so we bought one and installed it. Result – perfect reception, even with the antenna amplifier turned down to almost minimum! So our problem was probably in the useless Yuan TV card supplied with the Acer computer, but might be the computer struggling with processing the HD signals.
The freeview box is rather good for the price ($147) having an ethernet connection which allows connection to some Yahoo weather pages, and to some NZ maps, and also includes an email client. It also allows connection of a USB hard drive, which turns it into a reasonably well specced PVR (personal video recorder?), with one touch scheduling of recording from the EPG (electronic program guide), watching as it records etc. It even works with a USB key, but is a bit jerky on playback.
Mini update – still a little bit of drop out on TVNZ stations on windy evenings, but it could be lived with. Will probably raise the antenna a little further and put a mast top amplifier up, just to finish off the installation, and see how that goes.