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Old 30-Jan-2011, 6:45 AM   #1
scott784
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How do I find out what signal strength I have with an OTA antenna?

I've recently gone with an outdoor antenna. I hear others talk about the signal strength they receive for various television stations. When I asked a Winegard representative how I determine how much my television is receiving on each network, he replied that my scan would display that information. That was not the case.

When I use my romote to scan for all available channels, it merely locks in the stations that I pick up with no additional information displayed on my screen. This information can be very important to know, particularly if I have fringe stations that I want to keep while considering anything that would alter that signal strength such as a splitter or anything else.

Once I know how much signal I've got on each station, my second question would be to understand how much is the minimum required to maintain an HD signal for any given television station.

Thanks for any replies.
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Old 30-Jan-2011, 7:41 AM   #2
John Candle
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Tv Antennas and Reception

A digital signal meter will give the information several ways , dBm , SNR , signal quality and more , those meters are high dollar. An older analog meter can be used to measure general digital signal level , but with digital there is more to it then signal level. Yes it can be calculated with out meters , requires more information and thought. I will present some basic information. And the others can provide more info. The FCC reference point for digital Tv reception is 0 NM(dB) , the reference 'cut to channel antenna' is a simple 2 element dipole 30 feet high above the ground and LOS Line of Sight transmission and reception known as perfect reception conditions. . Here is more information http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=109

Last edited by John Candle; 30-Jan-2011 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 30-Jan-2011, 12:16 PM   #3
No static at all
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As far as I know, only Toshiba televisions show the signal strength each time there is a channel change. Other brands require going into the menu to access the signal strength indicator. What brand of TV do you have?
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Old 30-Jan-2011, 6:24 PM   #4
scott784
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I've got a Samsung 46 inch LED television (purchased a year ago).
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Old 31-Jan-2011, 1:18 AM   #5
No static at all
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It's easy to find the signal strength indicator on that Samsung. (Well kinda easy) Press these buttons in this sequence:

Menu>then press the down navigation key twice>Enter>Scroll to "Signal Strength" with navigation down key>Enter

Hope this helps
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Old 31-Jan-2011, 3:28 AM   #6
scott784
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Thanks for the reply. On my remote, I can scroll to self diagnosis. Then select on signal strength. When I do that, it just shows a generic bar graph which indicates the selected channel is receiving what appears to be the maximum signal strength (10 bars I think). I know with HD reception, it's basically all or nothing. So all of my channels (which I receive are great).

I know there's sort of a 'cliff effect' with digital/HD signals unlike the old analog days. However, I have no way of knowing the exact decibal strength of each channel. At the moment, it's not really important. However, this issue obviously becomes relevant if a person makes any modifications to the coax, such as adding splitters, or running any other intermediary devices between the coax at the antenna outside and the final point where the coax meets the television.

I've got some stations 30 miles away and other ones 70 miles away. At this time, they all look the same as far as great picture clarity.
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Old 31-Jan-2011, 4:12 AM   #7
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The SiliconDust HDHomeRun TECH http://www.silicondust.com/products/hdhomerun/tech/ is the lowest price point I have found so far that offers RF signal strength in dBmV. (Less than half the price of a Sadelco DM500000)
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