1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Are aerial signal boosters any good ?

Discussion in 'General Video Gaming Chat' started by blackbull, Feb 20, 2002.

  1. blackbull

    blackbull
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Having recently bought a new Panasonic TX28PL10 I have noticed its tuner seems to be weaker than the old Phillips set it replaced and as such some my terrestrial channels are very weak (I won't be investing in cable/Sky etc. for at least a couple of years) infact only BBC2 is at present acceptable. I would like to know if signal amplifiers are effective and if so could any of you recommend particular models. I have seen some for about £13 in Asda but I am reticent to buy these or more expensive ones if they do not work.

    Many thanks.
     
  2. laurel

    laurel
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    blackbull

    These things can do a good job - when used properly.

    I use two units to direct signals around the house to different rooms, including study and PC's. They work very well and definitely improve the signal. Without the unit, the signal in the furthest rooms is unwatchable.

    A few things to bear in mind.

    The basic idea with the units is to amplify all frequencies within a set range. The problem is that this can amplify any interference as well. You need to make sure you have a good signal to start with. If you can, position your aerial to get the best signal before introducing the amplifier.

    A common cause of interference is the downlead from the aerial to your room. The cable (especially long ones) pick up stray signals and these show up on the screen. Introducing the amplifier makes these types of problem worse. The way around this is to re-wire with new good quality shielded cable and/OR to help reduce the problem, locate the amplifier as close to the aerial as possible so you are not amplifying the interference. Both my units are located in the loft with power supplied from the lighting circuit.

    You can also purchase something called a "masthead" amplifier, which basically sits on the aerial and amplifies the signal before the downlead.

    Replace any cheap RF drop leads you have (supplied with TV/Video etc) with good quality sheilded/gold plated types. This helps enormously to clear up the signal.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers

    Laurel

    PS you should have posted this in the "General Hardware" forum as it's not specifically related to gaming. Perhaps one of our friendly moderators will move it for you.
     
  3. blackbull

    blackbull
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Thanks for the advice laurel. Whoops!! I'd meant to post this in general hardware doh!!:blush:

    P.S. how much did you pay for your booster units and where should I be looking to buy them.
     
  4. laurel

    laurel
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    blackbull

    I tried a few units and suprisingly, the "Labgear" units from Argos performed pretty good. They also look ok.

    They do a 1, 2 or 4 socket version, between 10 and 15 nicker.

    I'd go for the 4 socket, as you can then use the extra sockets later if you need them. 2 of the sockets on this version also provide extra "boost" if required (possibly for rooms further away).

    Give it a go - you only have 15 quid to spend - and Argos have a "no questions" return policy if they don't work for you.

    Cheers

    Laurel
     
  5. blackbull

    blackbull
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Many thanks once again laurel, I will be buying a 4 socket version tomorrow.:)
     
  6. laurel

    laurel
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    No problem.

    Let us know how it goes matey.

    Cheers

    Laurel
     
  7. blackbull

    blackbull
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Will do.
     
  8. Gerry

    Gerry
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2001
    Messages:
    251
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    My Gaf
    Ratings:
    +10
    I would agree that signal boosters are worth investing in to boost your signal, they do work. However steer clear of the indoor aerials with built in boosters, in my experience the plug in stand alone boosters are better at boosting the signal. I use a single socket(1in-1out) "Maxview" booster which does a v.good job.
     
  9. blackbull

    blackbull
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    laurel/Gerry

    I purchased a 4 socket Labgear and I am pleased to say it has worked wonderfully. I had to use one of the extra gain sockets (TV4) as the reception was still crap on TV1. The only downside is it has now made it clear that the aerial is slightly out of allignment and this being rented accommodation I won't hold my breath for the Landlord to have it sorted. Still, my fiance and I will be buying property later this year so I'll live with it.


    P.S.With this in mind how much will I need to spend on an aerial engineer to re-allign an aerial if this is necessary at my new home?
     
  10. laurel

    laurel
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Blackbull

    Glad to hear the booster worked out.

    You should be looking at between £30-£50, depending on the situation. i.e. roof mounted/loft and whether you require a new aerial.

    Check whether they use a signal strength meter, as this is the most accurate way to get the best signal (rather than manually).

    I decided to do the job myself and I think have ended up with an excellent result. I can help you out with a few tips when you need them.

    Have you tried changing your drop leads yet? This will definitely improve things a little further, and may just clear up the remaining problem.

    Cheers for now.

    Laurel
     
  11. ReTrO

    ReTrO
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2000
    Messages:
    3,499
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    High Wycombe, Bucks, UK
    Ratings:
    +59
    Good choice with your aerial booster. The best ones 've seen are by Channel+ but these are part of a home video distribution system that costs approx £1k. This allows 4 sources to be sent around the house through the RF system to 8 outlets with proper stereo sound on the modulation side and full IR remote control through it.

    Next down from that is the Labgear bits. They make a couple of different levels of gear, one for the custom install market, and the other is aimed at the general consumer market which is the one you have bought. Couldn't have made a better choice.
     
  12. Gerry

    Gerry
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2001
    Messages:
    251
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    My Gaf
    Ratings:
    +10
    Hi Guys,
    Straying a little off topic, I am considering installing a loft aerial and running the cable down to the room, approx 20feet. Have you any pointers on:

    1. The roof tiles are slate/stone(no lead), will the signal pass through unaffected.

    2. A good loft aerial to buy(make + model).

    3. The type of cable to run from the loft to the wall point.
     
  13. ReTrO

    ReTrO
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2000
    Messages:
    3,499
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    High Wycombe, Bucks, UK
    Ratings:
    +59
    I think you loose something like 30% of the signal when using a loft or indoor aerial. I have tried both and pefer my outdoors one even though it took a lot longer to put up.

    I forget which make is the recommended one, try your local aerial guys for one.

    For cable use decent RG6/CT100 shielded cable. Or if you can afford it the new QED triple shielded stuff (only costs about £12.50/m!). I'd recommend running at least 2 runs to your main wall point, that way you can feed back up to your distribution box so that you can have SKY or similar distributed around the system.
     
  14. blackbull

    blackbull
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    laurel, thanks for the offer of advice I will definately take you up on it when the time comes.

    ReTrO its good to hear I made the right choice (with just a little bit of help from laurel!!!)


    Cheers :D
     

Share This Page

Loading...