Glorious HDTV (with occasional corruption)

Freeview LogoSo HDTV has finally arrived in New Zealand. I have to say I’m very impressed. After some tips from my last post, I ended up with a 32″ V Series Bravia and a terrestrial Freeview box.

I’m positive there were cheaper and better deals than the TV I got, but I’m very happy with it. The menu system in the Bravia is very intuitive, and I especially like the ability to label A/V inputs and “skip” unused inputs. I only actually use two inputs on the TV now, both HDMI: one for Freeview and one for the XBox 360. I’ve set up the TV so that those are the only inputs that show up when you hit the input select button.

And Freeview. Very nice. I’ve been spending quite a bit of time watching the HD test channel (ch 100), which is just amazing. They started off last week with Sony Bravia demos on constant rotation. Flowers, cherry blossoms, Greek islands. All very nice. Now they are running nature docos. The way to describe it is that it looks more like a “moving photo” than some sort of transmitted video image.

But the HD world is not all fluffy bunnies. With the current bout of bad weather, we’ve been getting some nasty corruption on the TVNZ channels. I’m not too worried, because quite frankly I was surprised that we could get Freeview reception at all given how snowy our analog UHF reception is.

My plan is to swing our aerial around to point at the Sky Tower. We’re currently receiving our TVNZ signal off the Waiatarua tower on channel 29, which is showing up on the test page as OK strength, but not fantastic quality. If I manually change the Freeview box to channel 28 (Sky Tower), it shows bursts of good strength, but poor quality, so I’m hoping by aligning the aerial properly we’ll get the quality up. My only question is whether I need to change the aerial from horizontal to vertical to match the change in polarisation from the transmitter? Any RF geeks reading?

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  1. Yes for sure! You’ll get a MUCH better signal with the UHF antenna in the correct polarisation.
    We have very big problems here in Helensville with UHF path variations. So much so that Satellite Freeview os our only option for now.

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