My TV or recorder is losing picture / sound or breaking up.
This is usually down to lack of signal or interference from an outside source (weather, traffic if close to a road, other electrical appliances).
With the whole country being Digital and with stronger transmitters it is possible you can be picking up from several transmitters,
which can cause confusion to some devices auto tune, Manual tune can sometimes help.
For more help with TV frequencies and manual tuning click here.
My 'Smart' device cannot play content or plays but stops intermittently.
Many items can stream media from the Internet or from a home server, It is entirely dependant on your Internet connection and your network speed.
If you find your media not playing or stopping every now and again then you may have a low internet speed or if you are using WI-FI
then you may have your device too far from your router.
A wired connection to your router is always best as there will be no loss in network speed or quality over long distances,
But sometimes this is not always achievable, In this case a good alternative is to use 'homeplugs' (available for £39.99 in our shop).
These will allow your network data to travel through your house wiring and is almost like having a direct wired connection in terms of speed and quality.
If you want to use WI-FI then you must have a good strong signal from your router to the appliance you are using,
A way to test the wireless range is to use another WI-FI appliance next to where you want to use the main appliance,
A laptop, Tablet or smart phone using WI-FI can be a good test, By going to a video streaming site like Youtube or using the BBC iPlayer.
If you can play a video from one of these sites successfully then its a good sign and your main appliance should be OK streaming stuff.
All of the above is for your own home network but the weak link in the chain may be your actual internet speed to the outside world,
Most appliances want a minimum of 2Mb/s service to stream successfully,
If you live out of built up areas then you may suffer low speeds (even though your provider may say 'up to 12Mb/s' you may only be able to get 1Mb/s).
A good way to test your actual internet speed is to go to sites like speedtest.net or broadbandspeedchecker.co.uk, Run their tools to see what you get.
If you have good internet speed and good WI-FI range but your appliance still wont play media then there may be an issue with your
home network or router which would need further investigation.
I made a CD / DVD but it wont play on my CD or DVD player.
Many people make CDs or DVDs to play their content elsewhere, Most machines can read 'burnt' discs these days
but from time to time they may not play in a certain machine, This can be for several reasons.
If you are making a music CD on your PC then most software will do everything for you in terms of 'formatting the disc',
Changing the music to the correct format and then 'finalising' the disc, If your disc doesn't play in an ordinary CD player after this
then the software on the PC may not of 'finalised' the disc.
When making the CD, in the software options see if there is an option to 'finalise' or 'close session' after burning.
If it still wont play then the machine probably can't play 'burnt' discs, Maybe because the CD player is fairly old.
The same applies to DVDs made on a PC, but this is less common as people tend to make DVDs on their recorder under their TV.
DVDs recorded with your TV are a little easier as virtually everything is done for you, but the same rules apply.
Most recorders will prompt to finalise before you eject the disc, but some older machines you need to go into the disc options to finallise manually.
Some people like to make 'picture' discs to show a slideshow of a holiday or special event, usually these are made on a PC.
Once again, most software can do everything for you but make sure its finalised.
Some people take their photos to shops where you can make your own picture CD with their systems,
These don't always work on home DVD players as they sometimes run a piece of software which the machine cant run.
Most modern DVD players can play pictures from a disc but in most cases it needs to be a CD not a DVD that you put the pictures on.
My Vacuum cleaner is not picking up so well.
If it is an upright cleaner it will usually have a brush roller on the under side at the front,
Most of the time if the belt has stretched or snapped then the roller becomes useless and will no longer 'beat' the carpet.
To check the brush roller, turn on the vacuum whilst laying it down exposing the roller,
look at the brush roller and if it is not going round then the belt has most likely snapped.
If the brush roller DOES go round then (carefully) push your flat palm up against it and see if you can stop it with reasonable pressure,
If it stops then the belt will be badly worn or stretched, Replacing it should do the trick.
If the brush roll / belt appears OK or there is no brush roller at all then there may be a blockage, Check all nozzles and tools to see if there is a blockage.
Bagless cleaners need more care with the filters, They can become clogged in a relatively short period dependant on your cleaning routine.
Open your vacuum and look at the filters, Removing any obvious fluff and dust.
Many filters are washable and reusable, Always check manufacturers instructions but washable filters should be
rinsed with warm water and a light scrub to remove the dirt, Then left to dry thoroughly before placing back in the vacuum.
If after belts / blockages or filters there is no improvement then further inspection is needed,
We can carry out basic repairs in our shop but are un-able to replace main components like motors or circuit boards.
By all means give us a call or pop in to the shop with the vacuum and we will see what can be done.
The rechargeable batteries in my DAB radio / Camera / Cordless phone are not lasting.
Most NI-MH rechargeable batteries will have a useable life on average 2 to 3 years dependant on usage and charging habits,
If you notice your appliance not lasting as long as it used to with batteries of this age then its usually best to replace them.
Batteries like to be 'conditioned' before they reach optimal performance.
If your batteries are brand new then it can take a few 'charge / discharge' cycles before they hold a decent charge,
Be patient with new batteries and give them a few charges before expecting long life.
If the batteries are relatively new and have had a few charge / discharge cycles but are still not performing so well then placing the batteries in a
separate dedicated charger to discharge and then charge up can bring them back to life.
This day in age we are used to 'toping up' the battery after little use from the appliance (puting the phone back on the cradle after 1 phone call,
charging the camera battery after half a day at the zoo) This is not always best practice for charging as some batteries don't like such short charges,
Running the batteries completely flat then fully charging is usually best for their useable life.
Rechargeable batteries will lose their charge over time even when the appliance is not in use, Charge your camera up the day before you want to use it,
NOT the week before as it will lose a reasonable charge and you wouldn't want to lose 10 pictures worth of battery when you most need it.
My DAB radio is losing sound or sounds like its 'under water'.
This again is usually down to lack or signal or interference.
Most radios have an 'info' button and a signal meter, Press 'info' until you see the signal meter and try moving the radio to a more satisfactory position.
I have another problem not listed here.
Give us a call or pop in to the shop.
We can also diagnose satellite issues, As there is usually no need to retune satellite equipment it is easier to diagnose any fault
If you are having trouble with your TV 'Breaking up' or losing picture then there are a number of things to try,
You may have a weak signal or you may have too strong a signal which can overload some tuners and cause problems.
1st thing to do is find a signal level meter on the TV, Usually this is in the tuning menu, Sometimes labeled as 'signal level' or 'signal condition'.
Once you have found this it will give you an idea of what the signal is like coming into your TV,
Most sets have a 'signal strength' and 'signal quality'.
Strength, as it suggests, is how much signal you have.
It is possible to have a slightly weaker signal and suffer no problems as long as the quality is good.
Likewise, it is possible to have a lower quality signal with good strength and suffer no problems.
In some instances it is possible to have too much signal, If the strength and quality are very good but you are still getting break up
then you may need a small device called an 'attenuator' to add inline to your aerial feed before it goes into your equipment,
Available in our shop for around £5.
It is also possible that you are getting interference from the 4G mobile phone signals, In this case you can fit a filter to help prevent this.
This should only affect people that are tuned to the Reigate transmitter, and only affect BBC channels, But results can vary.
From time to time it is possible that you are in a location that is receiving from multiple transmitters at the same time,
This can cause problems with the auto tune procedure of many products where it tunes the first frequency rather than the strongest frequency.
On your equipment you need to go to the tuning menu and find 'manual tune' or similar.
It should allow you to enter a frequency (for example, C23)
You should then 'OK' or confirm this and the equipment should find all the programs on this particular frequency,
repeat for other frequencies from your chosen transmitter.
A typical scenario may be as follows: You live in North Holmwood and your BBC channels are suffering from break up.
You go into the tuning menu and you see that you have C23 as your frequency, The auto tune chose this frequency to save
rather than C60 as it found C23 first and assumed C60 is not needed as you already have the programs.
You would manually tune to C60, This will overwrite C23 and you may well see an improvement,
If you do then you can assume the other frequencies from your chosen transmitter will see an improvement as well.
Repeat the procedure for all other frequencies that apply to your transmitter.
Lots of other useful information about transmitters and frequencies available at this site.
If you have tried re-tuning manually as well as the auto tuning and still have problems, Give us a call and we can arrange our engineers to visit and diagnose your system.
Are you having TV reception issues, Specifically on BBC channels? Do you receive your signal from the Reigate transmitter?
Back in 2012 when the Digital TV switch over was final, The old Analogue frequencies were sold to the Mobile Phone providers so they could improve the Mobile Internet speeds. As these frequencies start just above the Digital frequencies it is possible for them to interfere with each other.
If you are suffering no signal / lots of break up on BBC channels then you may need a 4G filter to be installed to your Aerial system, A small block or cylindrical item which you place inline with your Aerial system (preferably before any boosters / splitters). We carry a few types in the shop for around £10 - £20. There are many Aerial boosters that can have a filter built in, From around £15 up to around £40 for multiple outputs.
As the Mobile providers and TV companies knew this problem would arise, There was an organisation set up to help anyone with these problems that can offer Free help as long as the problem is 4G related, Their site is HERE.
Remember, Only BBC from Reigate on Freeview is affected, other channels are not. Likewise, Virgin Media / SKY / Freesat are not affected.
If you are having reception issues but not 4G related, Keep reading or pop in to the shop for a chat / give us a call.