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28 October 2014

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You are in: Dorset > Features > Around Dorset > Fine tuning the BBC's reception

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Fine tuning the BBC's reception

Do you have crackly reception? The BBC bus toured Dorset to listen to your reception problems in time for the digital switch over. If you didn't get the chance to go along, have your say here on BBC Dorset.

The BBC Bus toured South and West Dorset at the end of August to help you get the best TV or radio reception possible. It visited areas where viewers have reported the worst reception, with technicians on hand to offer advice. If you missed it, don't worry! Have your say here on BBC Dorset.

Reception report

The BBC Bus tour followed a similar tour back in April, which itself followed publication of the results of a survey which looked into the TV coverage people receive around Weymouth and Dorchester.

The survey looked at the quality of terrestrial television and radio coverage in the area. It concludes that poor reception is often caused by problems with people's aerials.

Common problems were poor aerial installation, low quality aerials, loft or indoor aerials and aerials not pointing at the best transmitter.

The BBC carried out the survey in partnership with the South and West Dorset Broadcasting Action Group (SWEDBAG) to try to find solutions to poor reception in time for the digital switch over.

Presenting the report, BBC Head of Distribution Technology Graham Plumb said: "The majority of issues can be solved quickly and easily, especially in time for the digital switch over."

last updated: 04/09/07

Have Your Say

Do you suffer from bad reception? What do you think about the report's findings?

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

last night i had no analogue reception on any post code is bh178ar.any reason for this? ANS: You might find the postcode checker on this BBC website useful: Best wishes, BBC Dorset!

Will, Bridport
Currently in Bridport DT6 - new roof aerial, but absolutely no DAB signal whatsoever. Freeview signal from BBC channels only.Interestingly, the digi switchover site lists "good reception" from May 6th, but "no reception" today May 10th!

Jane Jefferies
We live in swanage and have OK BBC but not ITV or channel 4. We got a new TV because we only had analogue and I thought we may need a better aerial, but am glad I read these comments so that I don't pay out and it makes no difference

Bob Whittall
Having had excellent digital reception for years I now have no reception on BBC1 and BBC1. Having retuned my digibox I have 87 channels where reception is fine but stll no BBC1 or BBC2. What is going on?????

Jean Holloway
After a week away, we have come home to NO SIGNAL on our TV. We are watching on Analogue - what is the problem?? I had new cables and a new aerial fitted in October in anticipation of the changeover - what more can I do.

Hope it goes well

Richard Buscall
My main concern is radio - here in most of DT6 we have no DAB signal at all and pitiful FM. I have a 5 element FM roof aerial, but, even then, can only use cheap tuner in mono mode - there is not enough signal to drive a good quality tuner. As for portable radios inside the house - forget it, if the sun comes out, unless you want to listen to a choice of dozens of Spanish, French and Portuguese stations (a tip here though - the latter are vertically polarised, whereas our are horizontal - aerials work better aligned horizontally). Had you told me before I move to Dorset that radio would not be available (except for radios 1 and 2 - ugh!), I would have believed you. Do not Dorset residents pay the same license fee and taxes as anyone else. The situation is disgraceful, clearly. TV is no better, but I don't care so much about that, mostly drivel these days.

Peter Revell
Although I might agree with much of the general findings of the report my reception has been getting progressively worse for several months. This is not consistent as sometimes the reception is fine and at others completely unwatchable. There does not appear to be any recurring condition that causes this, weather etc. and as sometimes the picture is good I assume the aerial is satisfactory, although it is a loft one.

John May
Many of the poor tv reception problems in West Dorset are not due to poor tv aerial installations / alignment, but due to co-channel interference. The interference comes from French tv stations operating on the same channels as the low power relay stations in West Dorset. The problem is most pronounced during times of good weather, when high pressure is nearby (tropospheric propagation). I'm suprised that the BBC hasn't realised this.The solution? Increase the relay tv transmitter output power by at least 6dB - because with digital, the problems will become worse! Or, get FreeSat, with the benefit of high definition tv without subscription.

John Hodrien, Corfe Mullen
Firstly, I notice on the, via BBC site, reception is shown as variable Now, Good During, and variable at the End of switchover!!!Secondly, at times during the last two days - yesterday evening and again this morning, reception of most BBC programmes (but not of other channels) has suddenly become poor (My Humax PVR has shown signal as OK but quality as 0-10%, whereas other channels (including e.g. BBC Parliament as 100% and all the rubbishy shopping/quiz channels) with almost total loss of picture and sound, although there is no indication on line that any work is being done on transmitters. And why only BBC??This problem occurred sometime ago, when I received a phone call from someone from BBC engineering (?) whose only suggestion finally was that as I could afford to buy a PVR I should get satellite!!!

george cox
we live just on the outskirts of bridport, we can get good reception on our local sub station is fine for the 4 main channels, but to get digital we are tunned into a main aerial mast further away this is not so good.are they going to make the smaller receivers digital, our post code is dt6 5qymr&mrs Cox

Rex Wright
My postcode is DT2 0LQ. We finally gave up on trying to receive Channel 5, digital and freeview. Analogue gives us the Bristol area news only. We had to go to Sky last year for good reception. We can now choose between any of the local area networks. So we now have to pay an extra £180 per year to receive what we should have had with our annual licence fee. As for radio, we have tried time after time to get a set which will give us good reception without success and we are told DAB is not available at all in our area. It is not good enough, and as for your report I cannot download it at all.I am sure there are many rural areas in Dorset which are in the same situation, please can you tell us when this will be resolved?

Colin Howlett
I live at Harmans Cross in the Isle of Purbeck I have used areial boosters & high gain areial but the reception is still very poor.

Stuart Morris
My area (Weston, Portland) has no acceptible analogue or digital reception via an aerial. We also cannot get digital radio. When will full coverage extend to the whole of Portland? There is strong preference for coverage from South NOT South West which is almost exclusively Cornwall/Devon centred. There is NO Dorset-wide service at all.

We live near Dorchester and have always (nearly 30 years) suffered from poor reception and interference. We have a new (about 2 years old) aerial and amplifier and frequently cannot receive any digital (Freeview) programme and sometimes the terrestrial ones are so bad the programmes are unwatchable. I do NOT pay my licence for such terrible reception; when are we going to get value for money and something we know we can rely on to watch - all the way through?PS I was unable to attend the Dorchester (only half day?)exhibition owing to prior commitments.

Harriet Bailey
I live near Blandford Forum and my family also experiences poor reception, particularly in wet or windy weather. This report will hopefully persuade my family to do something about our aerial as they did not believe me! We have an aerial in our loft that is pointing to Winterbrone Stickland which I think is the cause of the problem. However, aerials are very expensive and we would prefer not to have to do this. So I would agree with others who say that the problem is not only in the south and west, though I do realise that theirs is probably worse than ours.

jim roper
What is the point of having the Wyke tranmitter broadcasting BBC West, if all the Weymouth news is broadcast from BBC South? I'd rather her about what's going on in Poole and Bournemouth than what's going on in Plymouth. Our train service goes east to London. If we want to go west, we have to go via Bristol. I'll be waiting for the Rowridge transmitter to go digital in 2012 before lashing out on digital equipment.

Terry Packer
Why are viewers in East Dorset being neglected?

Victor Lowe
I live in Poole, and the reception (analogue) on BBC 1 and C4 is awful. Recently (March and early April) BBC 1 has been un-watchable, with crackling sound, B&W picture, sometimes no picture at all. Why has it suddenly become so bad?

roy burt
Recption in BH14 has been poor for years. Will Freeview be transmitted by any local booster stations, such as at Parkstone ?

Geoffrey Wincott
Poole is notorious for poor reception. Channel 5 and Freeview can barely be obtained by the digibox. (Poole officially has no reception/transmitter for Digital viewing). It does not matter what aerial or in what direction it points! We gave up when the Freeview picture "froze" so often it ruined anything we tried to watch. We have now gone to satellite!When will these problems be resolved?

G Shield
Living in the Purbeck area of South Dorset, I and a number of others that I've spoken to, would prefer to receive Westcountry local programs rather than the current BBC South programs. News from the South West (West Dorset, Devon and Cornwall) is more relevant to us than that from Berkshire, Oxfordshire or Sussex, but unfortunately can not receive Westcountry news etc.

D Lockey
I live in Poole and have a bad reception on all channels, so much so that you cannot watch tv. Any advise? Does the bus plan to visit Bournemouth and Poole.

Nina Philp
I live in an area that has always suffered from poor reception, Holt, in Wimborne, because we have protected trees that cause the signal to be fragmented. I have no digital radio signal for my favourite radio station either, unless I take the radio upstairs. I am dreadin the change over as I wil never be able to watch any television unless I pay a small fortune to have the ariel installed a good way down the garden, and that will also be dependant on the neighbours hedges being cut before they interfere with the signal.

Nigel Phillips
I live in Toller, 2 miles south of the Rampisham relay. I have a double 18 element and aerial amplifier and a band pass filter. However the reception is regularly swamped by short wave interference from the co-sited World Service station. This affects the whole village.I have also tried a double 25 element aerial and amplifier towards Stockland Hill to receive DTT, and whilst reception of the ITV and Crown Castle multiplexes is satisfactory, the BBC multiplex suffers from cyclical interference and is unusable.

Robert Owen ~
Peveril Heights, Swanage, [BH19 2AZ] has line of sight with IOW 18 miles away, but even with our aerial on a 5m pole we lose our Freeview signal constantly, especially when there is low cloud/rain/sea fog etc. Why in the same condition do we get a perfect picture from satelite, 25,000 miles away ?

george newton
the television reception is quite good at the lower end of portland, the main trouble spot is at top of portland. The bus that you are sending to portland would be better attended up on the top of the island.placing the bus in victoria car park is well out of the way and I do not think many people will attend it there, perhaps siting the bus at easton would be better. thank you.

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hill
We live about 2 miles from Corfe Castle. We do get bad reception. The receiver on the mast at Corfe Castle only does a small arc. Could this not we altered to proved 360 degree reception to the houses in the area. Our postcode is BH20 5HZ

Eric Giles
The coverage and reception in Dorset is not only in the south and west.In Corfe Mullen I find that I cannot get South Today but only West of England News

T Marpole
It would be helpful if your bus came to the north end of the Piddle Valley where reception can be very difficult. I have an up to date aerial installation but still lose digital often and experience frequent fading of analogue

Derek Tugwell
I live 2 miles from Lyme Regis postcode DT7 3XH. I have poor reception despite a 9 element aerial and mast 20dB amplifier. Nearest transmitter is Stockland but due possibly to hilly arear and trees aerial is aligned to Weymouth. Never tried Stockland but assume previous house owner did at some time. Recently purchased freeview set top box but this failed to pick up any signal from Weymouth.Assume only way for forward is to buy £150 satellite system from Sky ?Will attend bus on Thursday.Thank you for your interestDerek

Mike Cam
We live in Swanage, in the Purbecks, Dorset and we suffer the same types of problems. We have a top of the range aerial, profesionally fitted and the problems persist on both analogue and digital. What plans are there to help with this area?

Tony Bartlett ,
After 4 visits by professional Aerial installers,cannot receive digital ITV/BBC signals together.its either one or the other. until the power of digital signal is increased after 2012, we cannot get reception that should be available.Any ideas to improve reception will be most helpful. postcode is BH18 9HU thanks

Lynn Evans
As we live in Corfe Castle we are not allowed to have aerials on our roof (Thatched). Are you intending to have an Information Tour nearer to us here in Purbeck?

Steve Robinson
I have sympathy for the people around Weymouth and Dorchester - but I experience similar problams in Bournemouth. Any plans to improve reception here?

Bob Smith
i found your report very comprehensive, I am sending this e-mail on behalf of my mother who lives at piddletrenthide DT2 7QL, she has terrible reception on TV and very poor reception on a new analogue radio, I have tried loaning her my digital radio with slightly better results, I have to ask the question why is she paying for a licence when the goods she recieves are so poor, what is the expected date that the digital coverage will be comenced.Many thanks.

Mrs. Angelika Seik-Ford
Our reception is quite good, but we cannot receive channel 5 or Freeview here in Corfe Castle.Any suggestions?

Christopher Bratchell
Some of us in the Weymouth area live in very exposed locations and so prefer loft space aerials. The report is very helpful and this information has not been easy to find hitherto unless one knew exactly what to look for. Please scrap Digit Al.

M Dee
Does not cover Winterborne Stickland where analogue reception is abysmal and I have had to resort to a sky digibox and dish.This of course only serves one room although we have tvs in two other rooms. When will we be able to receive Freeview?

Derek Boorn
Sirs,I live in postcode BH19 2DQ. I have a top of the range aerial, mounted high up, pointed to the transmitter on the Isle of Wight, with a booster fitted. Reception at times is unwatchable, when high pressure, heavy rain and strong winds creating rough seas. Solar magnetic activity as the Sun approaches the horizan can also have a marked detrimental effect. I have tried 'Freeview' and that is no better. This is a very common problem in this particular area. Several TV aerial specialists have tried over the years and all have given up. The service is appalling, please come and make the money we pay for the licence worthwhile. Yours faithfully, Derek Boorn, Copse End, Peveril Road, Swanage, Dorset. BH19 2DQ (Mobile No:079 678 14 242)

Margaret KIrk
I live in Milborne St Andrew (Between Blandford forum and Dorchester).The radio reception is a disgrace and our radio is only a couple of years old.The T.V.signal was well below par. Last year we purchased the Sky Freeview package as we could wait no longer for a decent T.V. signal.

June Anstey
We had bad reception during last summer and have been having problems again with reception the last several weeks.We have a dish areial as we are told reception has never been good in Corfe Castle. We have read the report which mainly appears to be the Weymouth area and wonder if you have any reports of bad reception in Corfe Castle.

Dave Wood
Interestingly I found out about the survey and the bus on BBC South in Horsham. Because I can't get BBC South in Weymouth, my home town. I get West Country which is all about Plymouth. I hear more local news about Weymouth in Sussex, than I do in Dorset. It's all very well talking about most of the problems are caused by aerial issues, and the advice is to use an external aerial, but quite simply the deeds for many houses on estates and council regulations forbid it. I am fortunate that my analogue Weymouth signal is first class, but there seems to be no choice for digital signal, which is disgusting considering the licence fee we all pay towards it. You pay but can't get!

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