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Old 23-Sep-2014, 2:14 AM   #1
VCool
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Join Date: Aug 2014
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Pixels in my signal?

My report:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...ec2f9a37048dee

I have an HBU-33 laying in my attic. When I first tested the antenna, I had full or near full signal on all channels through the yellow section.

My antenna is pointed east yet my Tivo tested my signal strength on many of my channels at 52 and some better one's at 72.

Worse is that Fox has frequent pixeling of the signal which makes watching a show problematic. NBC, on the other hand, does not have the issue.

Am I a candidate for an amplifier?
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Old 23-Sep-2014, 2:19 AM   #2
StephanieS
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Greetings Vcool,

An amplifier is not your next step. Moving the antenna around in your attic and testing different positions. That is your next step. With an attic installations, you are subjecting those TV signals you want your antenna to receive to a very harsh reception environment. Some sweet spot searching will be in order.

Often even very good reception situations such as yours will find with attic installations intermittent issues. This is because of the inherent unpredictable nature of attic installations.

The best scenario though is to mount that HBU33 outdoors with an unobstructed view of magnetic 120.

Cheers.
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Old 23-Sep-2014, 2:25 AM   #3
VCool
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Thanks. What signal strength is necessary to stop the pixel problem?

So, what sort of circumstances would necessitate an amplifier?
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Old 23-Sep-2014, 3:21 AM   #4
StephanieS
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In your situation it's not a signal strength issue per se. You'll notice you have signal strengths in the 60s of (nm) db value. That is a very very good amount of signal.

Your reception situation is likely suffering from a multitude of problems. These range from electrical interference generated within your home (computers, etc.) to signal multipath caused by the signal having to penetrate your roof and bouncing around.

An amplifier is a general term. Specifically there are two types of amplifiers commonly used. One is a preamp that is mast mounted. The second is a distribution amp. The preamp is mounted on the antenna mast below the antenna and amplifies the signal. This is commonly done for very long runs of coax or situations where you have 2 spits in your antenna feed of say, 150' total. This doesn't "improve" reception, instead it offsets losses in your coax from your preamp to your TV(s). In reading this forum's archives you'll find people who when they split their coax, one TV (or both) lost a particular channel(s). A preamp helps offset this.

A distribution amplifier is generally used when you have 3 or more splits in your coax to different TVs. Instead of amplifying the signal at the antenna mast, inside your home where your coax comes in from the antenna, you install your distribution amp. This type of amplifier takes your signal and seeks to offset the losses from splitting the signal 4 ways and adding a bit of amplification to each signal split.

Think of your coax signal as a stream of water. Each time the signal is split, the stream loses velocity. Do that a few times and without assistance (ie, amplification) the stream reduces and becomes smaller eventually dead ending if split too many times without any additional water. TV signal in coax is like this. Not as a extreme, but this is why at 100' of coax one TV sees a signal and at 200' the other TV doesn't. The signal on the 200' run has degraded more.

The pixel problem isn't a signal strength issue in your case. It's a signal interruption issue (ie. attic installation). If you had a RCA ANT751 outdoors and were chasing a 12 (nm) db signal and were were getting pixellation I would tell you there are better antenna choices and you need more gain and a stronger antenna.

Even with a Antennacraft HD1850 or a Antennas Direct DB8e which are regarding as excellent antennas, they can't overcome signal interruption issues.

Your solution is to get the antenna out of the situation where the signals it is trying to receive are being interrupted, or at very least, finding a attic locale that reduces the signal interruption issues.

Cheers.

Last edited by StephanieS; 23-Sep-2014 at 3:26 AM.
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