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Old 15-Apr-2015, 3:11 PM   #1
PA49erFan
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Join Date: Apr 2015
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Different TVs getting different channels. Amplification needed?

Obviously I am new to OTA tv. I have been using my clearstream 4 (C4) antenna for about a month now. My problem is that on my main TV in the living room I can almost always get all the channels available in my area (with exception of ABC due to the signal being VHF), however, on my 2nd TV in the basement I cannot get FOX or PBS. The other channels (NBC, CBS) come in clear.

My current set up is the antenna specified above. Coax cable running about 50' to a grounding coupler, then into the house for about another 30'-50' (exact distance cannot be determined) to my cable jack. From there it goes to a splitter, 1 going to my TV (living room) and the other is a short run straight down about 3' to the basement into another splitter. From there I have a final run of about 20' to my basement TV. The other outlet on my splitter in the basement is to go to the TV in my boys playroom or about 10'.

The antenna is mounted to the side of my roof near the peak at about 30' above grade and facing west.

I do not have any amplification. I know the run is long and I have 2 splitters which degrades signal. Would getting any type of amplification work and if so what would you recommend? Should I replace the 2 dual splitters with 1 three or four way splitter?

Here is a TV fool report....
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...f1f0f44e0025c0

Thank you very much. Any help would be very much appreciated.

Last edited by PA49erFan; 15-Apr-2015 at 3:13 PM. Reason: Added location of antenna
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Old 15-Apr-2015, 4:21 PM   #2
ADTech
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1. Try adding a VHF Retrofit and see if it helps with your ABC station.

2. Fox is one of your strongest stations and should have plenty of signal power for long cable runs and splits. That you're loosing it with only about 5-7 db of additional attenuation in the downstairs path vs the upstairs path suggests that there's a fault in the cabling, splitter, or the TV itself.

Quickest way to troubleshoot is to run a temporary coax straight from the lead in (at the grounding block would be convenient) straight to the basement set and see if it works. If it does, then start rebuilding the distribution network a piece at a time and see which element cause the loss of reception.
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Old 15-Apr-2015, 4:47 PM   #3
PA49erFan
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Thanks. I will definitely give the kit a try. At only $15 it is worth a try.

FOX was always confusing b/c the tower is literally right next to NBC and they both broadcast in UHF and I never have a problem with NBC. FOX I had to rotate my antenna just right to pick up both FOX while keeping PBS in range which neither of which I can now get on my TV in the basement.

I should have noted that I was able to get PBS at one time before I adjusted the antenna to get FOX upstairs. Once I was able to get FOX and PBS upstairs I could not get PBS or FOX downstairs. I then rerouted the cable that ran downstairs. I originally had it that it was going through a previously installed splitter on the outside and going through a separate cable to the TV downstairs.

I will try to run a single coax cable from the TV in the basement to the grounding coupler outside and see if that helps at all. Even it that does work, I'm still unsure the best way to 'rebuild' the distribution system.
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Old 15-Apr-2015, 5:03 PM   #4
stvcmty
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PA49erFan View Post
Coax cable running about 50' to a grounding coupler, then into the house for about another 30'-50' (exact distance cannot be determined) to my cable jack. From there it goes to a splitter, 1 going to my TV (living room) and the other is a short run straight down about 3' to the basement into another splitter.
Did you run the cable, is some of it in the walls from who-knows-when, did the house ever have satellite?
Good splitters are important. By good I do not mean “monster brand 3GHz gold plated splitters”, I mean “from a reputable brand”. If a house had direcTV and green label splitters were now being used for TV, all sorts of issues would pop up.
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Old 15-Apr-2015, 5:20 PM   #5
PA49erFan
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I did not purchase any of the cable. I reused as much as I had. I had DirecTV for about 8 years (2 at my current location). Some of the cable is DirecTV and some was existing which was not hooked up. Can't verify if it is RG-6. I am not using any of DirecTV splitters though, for that I am sure. I am however using a Radioshack brand gold plated splitters which I have had for awhile, which was still in it's packaging. The grounding coupler has been reused, although I am not sure if that was from DirecTV or the previous cable provider.
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Old 15-Apr-2015, 5:38 PM   #6
stvcmty
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ADTech’s suggestion of starting with a piece of new or known-good cable at the ground block and running it to a TV is a good one.

In an ideal case, things would go:
Antenna => Ground block => 4 way splitter => 3x TV’s, 1x 75 ohm terminator.

In that case, it would be nice to know the cable from the antenna to the ground block, the cable from the ground block to the splitter, and the 3x cables to the TV’s were good.

Cascading two 2-way splitters will only be a bit more lossy than a single 4-way splitter, so as long as you know the cables between them are good the way you are wired now is not bad.

Radio Shack splitters are very hit or miss. If it is a good brand that radio shack has put a label over, then it is a good splitter. If it is a cheap piece of junk with a radio shack label on it, then it is a piece of junk. It may be worth trying bypassing the splitters with good quality F-F couplers to see if reception at the hooked up TV improves. If it does, hunt down new splitters. (I like PCT splitters, they are what Comcast used in my apartment in college and I have had good luck with them.)

Your area is sort of multi path hell. Even with a LOS path, it is possible multi path is bouncing around. If some of your TV’s are newer than others, some of the tuners may handle the signal they are seeing better than others.
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Old 15-Apr-2015, 5:50 PM   #7
PA49erFan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stvcmty View Post
Your area is sort of multi path hell. Even with a LOS path, it is possible multi path is bouncing around. If some of your TV’s are newer than others, some of the tuners may handle the signal they are seeing better than others.
Your first sentence above in the quote made me LOL! The west and a tinge to the north appears to be the best orientation though.

As for my TVs, the TV in the living room is an almost new Samsung Smart TV is less than a year old and purchased brand new. My basement TV is a standard HD Toshiba Regza and is about 4 years old.

But like I said I did get PBS on the downstairs (Toshiba) TV until I adjusted the antenna for better picture and to acquire FOX upstairs. The whole thing is odd. I was just hoping not to buy anything without for sure what it could be. I won't know until I attempt to hook up the TV downstairs straight from the F-F coupler from the outside. I was just thinking I may have needed some sort of amplier to push the signal further.
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