Monday, 19 November 2012

Baxenden TV reception update - Impact on TV Aerials - S106

Impact on TV Aerials - S106. I have received the correspondence from EnergieKontor. So far the company appear to be doing everything they can to comply with the S106. I have blogged previously about the developing problem and what EnergieKontor are obliged legally to do to residents affected.

If you want to be kept abreast of the latest development and the roll out of 4G which will also affect reception, please stay in touch either by email or checking this blog.

EnergieKontors Hyndburn Wind Farm Website can be found here.

Previous Blogs
Graham Jones MP: Baxenden TV signals - an update
I am contimuing to receive a significant numbers of letters regarding the pixelisation of tv pictures in Baxenden possibly related to the wind ...

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Correspondence for Energiekontor

From: Richard Lill
Sent: 19 November 2012 15:14
To: Daniel Hartley - Hyndburn Council
Subject: Impact on TV Aerials - S106


Thank you for your email earlier regarding the TV reception problems. We have received a number of complaints from residents in the Baxenden area and are taking action to resolve the issues residents are experiencing. These actions include:
1. Instructing a consultant to undertake TV reception surveys around the affected area to identify the cause of the interference and understand why it is happening.

2. Instructing local TV aerial engineers to visit residents houses and undertake works to rectify the reception problems. These works include realigning aerials so reception is provided via the Haslingden Relay and/or installing Freesat boxes where aerial realignment is not suitable.
The results of our consultant’s findings over the cause of the interference (undertaken over the weekend) are included below. Unfortunately the reception problem is being caused by a very unusual set of circumstances that were not predicted by the baseline studies. As you are aware, those effects that were identified were resolved prior to the wind turbines being erected (i.e upgrade works undertaken by Arqiva to the Haslingden relay). These upgrade works appear to be performing fine and we have not seen any interference problems associated with this relay.

We understand the frustrations of the residents of Baxenden and apologise for the inconvenience caused. We have instructed more local aerial engineers today to ensure residents are visited quickly and the problems resolved. We will also be sending letters to the affected area identified by our survey to explain the problem and request that they contact Energiekontor in the first instance if they are experiencing problems. Details of the problem are also being added to the Hyndburn Wind Farm website to inform residents.

Nathan has been keeping a spread sheet of the complaints and will forward updated versions of this to Lauren on a regular basis to ensure we comply with the terms of the S106 agreement.

If you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards

Richard Lill MIET
Financing and Construction Manager
Energiekontor UK Ltd
Address: 4330 Park Approach, Thorpe Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS15 8GB. Tel: 0113 204 4850 / Fax: 0113 204 4851
Technical review of the problem

EnergieKontor's consultants have undertaken initial interference investigations and have the following to report on the situation.
"The interference is only noticed by Winter Hill viewers in a small geographically defined area. This area is delineated on an attached picture to be emailed later, but falls mainly over the Southwood Drive location and some adjacent roads.

The reason why this interference was not predicted is because in this area, the wanted signal from Winter Hill is just on the threshold of being deemed acceptable and reflections from the turbine blades have caused a complex interaction of constructive and deconstruction interference that 'rolls' through the digital multiplex creating peaks and nulls. The area is not deemed to be well served by Winter Hill, hence the high number of satellite users and mix of Haslingden relay viewers. Viewers there should be watching Haslingden, and the relay was built for that reason.

Reception conditions will change street by street, metre by metre - moving north on Southdown Drive by several meters will render one transmitter un eceivable and another perfectly receivable. Moving up (in height) from Southwood Drive to Waverly Drive and Sherbourne Road, although residents are receiving Winter Hill directly through the wind farm, the effects of these slow rolling peaks and nulls are not detrimental, because they are not there and reception conditions are excellent.

There is another active wind turbine (a smaller single blade type), located to the northeast of the wind farm that will be contributing in some part to the reported interference because it is also causing a similar unwanted signal interaction in the problem area. This installation can just be seen on the attached photo taken from Scott Avenue.

Normal wind farm interference can be seen as a fast jump in the overall level of the multiplex and although this has been noticed in other areas around the wind farm, as predicted, the DTT signal can overcome such fluctuations because the response of the full 8MHz multiplex is fairly flat and the system can deal with this sort of fluctuation, thus resulting in no interference.

In the problem area, the nulls and peaks are in excess of 20dB, causing the set top boxes to lose lock on the signal. Ironically, as more wind turbines are commissioned, a greater number of individual component parts of the interference will be created and this actually may help reduce the excessive peaks and nulls over each multiplex, in effect possibly normalising (flattening) the channel response and thus reducing the interference.

Although we do not know this as 100% certainly, we are however fairly confident that the interference will not spread. With respect to solutions, a number are available, but will need to be discussed each on merit, cost and time to implement.
a) discuss the televisual needs of the resident and retune affected WH viewers to Haslingden explaining that a number of channels will be lost (5USA, Dave, film 4), but as long as the viewer has a HD set top box or HD TV set, the BBC HD multiplex from Haslingden will still provide them with HD broadcasts (attached is an up to date Freeview Channel Plan - radio is included too, but not shown).

b) as antenna upgrades or signal boosters on Winter Hill will not alleviate the interference, a digital satellite solution could be offered if the resident wants more channels. At the same time, their existing antennas could be repositioned onto Haslingden to provide secondary TVs in the house with a working source of broadcasts, including those HD services.

c) there is another option that may possibly return to an uninterrupted Winter Hill transmission and that is to wait to see if the interference reduces as the remaining turbines come online.
It should be noted here that there is nothing that could have been done in the design stage to reduce this sort of interference. Micrositing or reducing heights or reducing the number of turbines would not have made any difference. The interference would have always occurred in this location irrespective of the design of the wind farm.

There is no prediction software that could have foretold this occurrence of slow fading due to the complexity of the signal interactions.

Unfortunately, this sort of interference has never occurred before with a UK wind farm (that we know of) and is only occurring because a unique set of variables are combining together in the wrong place. "
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