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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello there chaps and chapesses
I have been trying to work out the answer to this and failed miserably. So here goes.

We're in Barcelona, an entresuelo flat, and we currently have a hideously ancient telly courtesy of our landlady. Well, it was an 80s Sony which didn't work and didn't even have a remote, and now it's a 90s Sony which works a little better....

She says that when the switchover happens - I think here it's April next year - she'll get a better telly for us. Hmmm. Believe it when it happens, put it that way. But in the mean time we are hugely envious of our friends here who do have TDT now. We also want to watch more telly to improve our Spanish but right now it's just hard work.

I'm wondering whether if we buy a basic TDT box in el Corte Ingles or whereever and plug it into ancient telly, it will work. I don't know if the building has been 'done' yet but the signal via coaxial cable is OK. Not great but OK, some channels clear, others snowier. So is there any point in spending this money? I remember getting a Freeview box at home and despite a not marvellous signal, we did get a good picture on the digi channels once I used a signal booster.

Would buying a booster help too? Or will we just have to be patient?

Thanks in advance,
xx
 

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Does your TV have a scart socket? If not, you have to get a TDT with RF modulator, which tends to give poorer pictures when connected through aerial socket.
Aerial booster probably won't help, if the signal itself is poor. Digital is either watchable/unwatchable. If you can borrow someone's digital-ready set, that would give you a good idea, or watch digital programme in their appartment.
 

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If your TV has a SCART socket then any TDT receiver / set top box should be able to work.

Most appartment blocks i know of in my area have been "converted to digital"...especially as TDT has been going for a few years now....although a few block are literally waiting until the last minute...Phase 2 of analogue switchoff is on 31st December 2009...and will affect most of Spain!

Check on your roof. If you have two aerials on your "community mast", one with the "wings" top and bottom, then that is a digital aerial.

A booster would not really help that much, as the signal will be travelling around the blocks cable system, and it is the signal in the blocks system that will need to be boosted / amplified, not in your appartment.
 

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It all depends on the type of signal being inputted into the TV, basically the TV will display an analog signal if that is what it receives, i.e. there is no point in feeding in a digital signal to an old TV as it would be just gibberish to it, but a normal box with a normal cable should show up just fine on your tv, the limitation you might find is that you don't have enough channels on the tv to tune in
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies, Joppa, sat and Oisin. It certainly seems like it might be worth a go as I reckon I can get one for 20 Eur...and the telly does have two scart sockets. Although, Oisin, how would I know if the telly is capable of receiving a digi signal before buying? I understand that if the aerial hasn't been switched I won't - but alas the roof is private so I can't get up there and it's so built up here that I can't get far enough to see!

One other thought, techie helpers. If I have two scart leads, does that mean there could be a point in bringing over my wonderful and much missed Wii next time I go home to UK?
 

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Thanks for the replies, Joppa, sat and Oisin. It certainly seems like it might be worth a go as I reckon I can get one for 20 Eur...and the telly does have two scart sockets. Although, Oisin, how would I know if the telly is capable of receiving a digi signal before buying? I understand that if the aerial hasn't been switched I won't - but alas the roof is private so I can't get up there and it's so built up here that I can't get far enough to see!

One other thought, techie helpers. If I have two scart leads, does that mean there could be a point in bringing over my wonderful and much missed Wii next time I go home to UK?
Yep you'll be fine on both points, as long as the telly is not really old it should receive and show the signal just fine, your Wii too, remember that these things were built back when things were built properly, not like now when everything seems to have a life span of around 12 months
 

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Thanks for the replies, Joppa, sat and Oisin. It certainly seems like it might be worth a go as I reckon I can get one for 20 Eur...and the telly does have two scart sockets. Although, Oisin, how would I know if the telly is capable of receiving a digi signal before buying? I understand that if the aerial hasn't been switched I won't - but alas the roof is private so I can't get up there and it's so built up here that I can't get far enough to see!

One other thought, techie helpers. If I have two scart leads, does that mean there could be a point in bringing over my wonderful and much missed Wii next time I go home to UK?
1.) It doesnt matter how many channels your TV has or if it handles digital or not, as long as you can see what comes through the scart port you're fine. The only thing your TV does is display the picture supplied by the box. All the channel switching and decoding will be handled by your box, just like satelite / sky boxes.

2.) You can bring your Wii, no problem :)
 

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Thanks for the replies, Joppa, sat and Oisin. It certainly seems like it might be worth a go as I reckon I can get one for 20 Eur...and the telly does have two scart sockets. Although, Oisin, how would I know if the telly is capable of receiving a digi signal before buying? I understand that if the aerial hasn't been switched I won't - but alas the roof is private so I can't get up there and it's so built up here that I can't get far enough to see!

One other thought, techie helpers. If I have two scart leads, does that mean there could be a point in bringing over my wonderful and much missed Wii next time I go home to UK?
For 20€, it may be worth getting one to try out - you can always find a use for it later!
As for your Wii, it makes an analogue connection, i.e. scart, RCA phono sockets etc. You can certainly use your Wii on your TV, though you may only have one connected equipment on at any time to reduce possible interference. So switch your TDT box to standby to use your Wii, and vice versa! Even with just one scart socket, you can plug/unplug or use a scart connector, the one with a manual switch or automatic (electronic) switching.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks again for the advice, lovely people. We bought ourselves a box today, and it works! Now we have 40 channels to choose from... Hoorah! So thanks again, the advice was much appreciated.

The only slight downer is that the subtitles seem a bit hit and miss, and we were hoping to use those in Spanish to help our language, and in English now and then for the endless crime show re runs.

Would that be to do with the signal? sometimes they appear and sometimes they don't (on the same programme, so it's not just that there ARE no subtitles) and occasionally they look a bit 'scrambled'....
 

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The only slight downer is that the subtitles seem a bit hit and miss, and we were hoping to use those in Spanish to help our language, and in English now and then for the endless crime show re runs.

Would that be to do with the signal? sometimes they appear and sometimes they don't (on the same programme, so it's not just that there ARE no subtitles) and occasionally they look a bit 'scrambled'....
Possibly. On digital TV, subtitles aren't part of the video stream but are carried on a separate data stream. On some multiplexes (bundles of programmes), subtitles signal may not be optimised, so if you have even a slight reception problem, subtitles may be the first to suffer (break up) before the picture or the sound.
I don't know if there is anything you can do it improve - just make sure your aerial is wide-band, able to receive the whole digital (and analogue) spectrum. and aligned to the strongest transmitter. Also check things like connections, loose cables etc.
 
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