A question frequently submitted to our Troubleshooter section is 'can I get by with an indoor aerial for Freeview reception?'
With all the variables involved (proximity to local transmitter, risk of interference from surrounding technologies and structural materials) we recommend using an externalised feed if possible to maximise your reception chances.
Yet manufacturers continue to produce set-top aerials aimed at those for whom externalised reception may be out of question. This latest One For All SV 9390 portable antenna isn't short of impressive-sounding tech pressed into the service of locating SD and HD terrestrial TV and DAB radio transmissions too.
A little bigger than the average picture frame, it's not small but its flat plate design means it can be positioned pretty much anywhere including a wall (two 'feet' are included for table-top mounting).
Contained inside are six patches, which apparently allow for 360-degree 'omnidirectional' reception. This arrangement is claimed to bring in 40 per cent more bandwidth than previous models by having a greater carrier-to-noise ratio and (it says here) reducing incidences of echo and reflection.
Add to this active noise reduction filtering which is further diminished by having amplification handled externally via a small digital amplifier unit (thus reducing component noise within the antenna).
This off ers four levels of gain (the maximum is 43dB) triggered by touch pads accompanied by four blue LEDs, and sits between the antenna and your TV daisy-chained by UHF leads (2.7m of co-ax is supplied) powered by a 6V adapter.
One For All says the 9390 is at its best within 18 miles of the nearest transmitter. Initial results in the fourth-floor test room at our Marylebone offices (well away from nearby windows) using a Humax HD-Fox T2 receiver were positive; it drew in 54 per cent signal strength at the lowest setting and peaked at 70 at the highest – bringing in all Freeview channels including HD.
However, in a south-facing room of an Edwardian house in north-east London we failed to get signals from Crystal Palace with our Panasonic IDTV and the Humax box, even with the antenna on the windowsill (we suspect that interference from building materials was the cause).
As with all such devices it's a case of trial and error, but clearly success is not impossible with the SV 9390 if a rooftop aerial really isn't an option.
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