Last week, we were prompted by an on-screen reminder to re-tune our digital TV receiver. This is a PVR, set up to record programmes that we don’t have time to watch. The government is issuing various frequencies to be available for the roll-out of the 5G phone network, so all the channels are switching around during 2019. Naturally, I ignored the message, intending to ‘do it later’. That proved to be a mistake on my part, as usual. By Sunday evening, we were losing various TV stations at an alarming rate, and when Monday arrived, we had no BBC at all.
I finally got around to re-tuning, to be greeted with the alarming message that we had no channels at all. Never mind, we can always disconnect the PVR, and just watch the actual TV. Wrong. The error message declared ‘No signal’. At least there was the streaming box, which doesn’t rely on the outside aerial at all, using an Internet connection. But that provides TV as a ‘catch-up’ service, showing programmes after they have been on. It is also unable to show every programme we might want to watch, due to copyright issues.
But it was better than nothing.
As the TV was happy to show us the Internet-connected service, I concluded that it was actually working. This meant the fault might lie with the PVR box, or the aerial connector. Lacking much technical know-how, I considered calling in a TV repair service. But customer surveys told me that this could cost anything from £50 to £150, so I seriously considered replacing the seven year-old TV, and buying a new PVR box at the same time.
This morning, I concluded that the cheapest option was to renew the cable for the TV aerial, something that would cost less than £20. If that didn’t solve the issue, then I would have to bite the bullet, and ‘get a man in’. So when I got back from Ollie”s walk this afternoon, I made the short drive into Dereham, to call at the branch of Hughes Electrical. We had originally bought the TV and DVD player from another of their branches, soon after moving to Norfolk. We also bought our recently replaced electric cooker from them, so trust the company.
As I walked into the branch, I was greeted by a pleasant young man who would not have looked out of place wearing a school uniform. I explained all my TV issues to him, and asked to buy a replacement aerial lead. He had one for a little over £10, good value. However, he advised me not to waste my money on it, before checking that my existing one was actually faulty. He then went on to explain to me, in terms I could understand, how to plug the aerial into the TV, disconnect the PVR, then re-tune the TV first. He assured me that if this worked, then there was nothing wrong with my aerial cable, and I should then be able to reverse the process, and re-tune my PVR box.
Twenty minutes later, I had followed his simple suggestions, and everything was working as normal. He could have so easily sold me the aerial cable, even suggested a more expensive version. He could have insisted that my PVR wasn’t working, and I might well have bought a new one there and then, at a cost of almost £200. But all he did was offer me advice, and suggest that I save my money.
I have no connection with this company, but I have once again discovered the value of using a local shop, instead of a huge out of town warehouse, where personal service is non-existent. And the actions of that pleasant young man have guaranteed that I will be a loyal customer for as long as that shop is open.