How do I know if my Aerial is digital or analogue?

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Chickadee | 16:35 Thu 05th Mar 2009 | How it Works
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Sorry if this is a completely stupid question but how do I know if my TV aerial is digital or analogue?

I live in a block of flats that share one aerial. I can receive digital TV (freeview) so is the aerial digital?

Reason for asking is that the managing agents have arranged for Sky to come and change our aerial for a super duper system that allows for digital and sky reception, at a cost of course!!

I realise that if our aerial is analogue then it will be a problem when the digital changeover happens but there must be cheaper options around!!



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Hi Chickadee, as far as I am aware there is no difference in the aerial. Sometimes if the aerial is very old it will not pick up signal very well, but if you are getting a digital signal now you should get one after the changeover and it should get better as they will increase the signal power when the analogue one is turned off.
My aerial is 40 years old and I get digital lovely!
buy a freeview box now there from �16 upwards from any supermarket, i would go for one around �25
easy to set up and maybe your aerial MAY need an upgrade to a new one around �45 fitted (here anyway) as digital is a bit harder to pick up dont bother with sky unless you want to pay monthly for sky subscription and believe me they will try hard to sell you the most expensive one stick with the free freeview
sorry just read it again you have a box already if your pics fine no probs stick with it there is no digital aerial there all the same
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Thanks for your replies guys.

Hopefully I can get other residents to fight this or I am completely bu99ered!!!

Alan thanks for your reply, I have no interest in Sky, I thought about it a while ago but my parents have it and all they do is moan about it!! So that changed my mind and saved an expensive mistake.
Since this is being installed for you centrally by the managing agents, you are going to have to establish what equipment they are installing.
Therre is some general info to help you here at this BBC website. .shtml
However: -

1) There is no such thing as a digital aerial. The aerials that pick up terrestrial broadcasts are just wideband aerials - a very old one might not work since they were channel specific.
2) Sky can be received through satellite, cable or broadband.
3) It is also possible to get free-to-air satellite TV (in other words, the same channels as are found on freeview) using a satellite dish. It doesn't need a Sky box. It is my guess that that is what the managing agents are having fitted by Sky in your flats. Those that want the full Sky packages then couple it to a Sky box - those like you that don't want Sky can still get the channels.
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Thank you for your reply Buildersmate. Sky are fitting a Integrated Reception System which means that residents can get sky if they want it and opt out if they don't.

Would that make any difference?

I saw a van driving round the other day for a company that fit TV aerials and sky dishes.

On the side of the van was painted in big letters "Digital Aerials fitted" which is of course a load of rubbish.

The important things is if it is a GOOD aerial (or wideband as has been said) not if it is digital or not.
>dont bother with sky unless you want to pay monthly for >sky subscription


You can get a service from Sky called "Freesat" that costs a one off install charge (and NO monthly subscription) that gets you over 200 channels.

More here
Ok as above all TV reception is Analogue. The main difference between Analogue and digital is what the signal represents. In Analogue it is the actual pictures and sound, in digital it is a data transmission that is decoded into pictures and sound. The actual transmission is as it always was.
VHG - has the Sky freesat box got a harddisk? We've got a hard disk freeview box at the moment so we can record using it, even getting it to record a whole series. We can also watch one side whilst recording another. Is this what you get on the Sky system?
Though I don't claim to be the world's expert on this, I suspect that since else has refuted my answer, I have got pretty close to what these Sky people are fitting. I think it is then what VHG says in his 2nd post about 'free sat from sky' reply. Ask the managing agent - I think you will be able to get the free channels without paying the one-off fee VHG talks about - because the same hardware is being fitted for the whole block.

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