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Old 16-Jan-2014, 5:06 AM   #2
GroundUrMast's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Greater Seattle Area
Posts: 4,773
I currently own four HDHR type tuners, and I am quite happy with them. They are pretty good tuners, beaten by one of my TVs and better than one of the others.

Are fluctuations in signal quality generally the result of interference of some sort or what sorts of factors influence signal quality?
Short answer, 'Yes'. The interference could be from distant TV stations using the same channel, a local FM station that produces low levels of off-channel signal, electronic equipment in or near your home.... the list goes on. Another type of interference can result from the signal from the TV transmitter being reflected off of something and the reflected signal then arriving a bit later than the direct path version of the signal (like an echo). This is referred to as multi-path interference. Because reflected path signals can be caused by objects that move or vibrate, the reflected signal can change rapidly at your location, this can 'confuse' a tuner.

The solution may be to change the location or height or aim of your antenna. You may need to consider a larger antenna that is more directional.

Is it also true then that artifacts are only caused by poor signal quality and not lack of signal strength?
To a point, yes. If raw signal strength is too low, the electronic noise inside a tuner will be the dominant signal and no reception can occur. However, I'll gladly take a weak, but otherwise high quality signal free from interference over a strong signal damaged by multi-path or interference.

Use your HDHR 'Signal Quality' indication as the primary indication when adjusting the aim and/or location of your antenna. The 'Signal Strength' is a bit like a pressure gauge in a plumbing system, modest pressure is enough... you don't need maximum pressure to 'fill a glass'. The 'Signal Quality' is like a water quality test... the most important measurement if you intend to drink the water.

The HDHR 'Symbol Quality' is an indication of whether the tuner was able to decode error free data after attempting FEC (forward error correction). Anything less than 100% is going to show up as loss of signal or pixelization of the video and/or breakup of the audio.

Based on your report, consider installing an Antennas Direct DB4e outside, facing south. Skip adding any amplifier. I believe you will be delighted with very reliable reception.
If the well is dry and you don't see rain on the horizon, you'll need to dig the hole deeper. (If the antenna can't get the job done, an amp won't fix it.)

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