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Passive Antenna Use Only Warning with DVD/STB

Discussion in 'General TV Discussions Forum' started by SKiNFreak, Jun 5, 2005.

  1. SKiNFreak


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    I have just set up my new Mustek DVD/Freeview Decoder box to my Mikomi LCD screen. On the whole we are very impressed but we are having difficulty with our digital channels.

    Now bere in mind, that we cannot get watchable TV off analogue so the fact that we get superb BBC1/2 and ITV on digital is great. Signals are around 30-40% and quality indicators are 60%. But we get severe breakup on a whole bunch of other channels (especially in bad weather) but they are still detected (SKY News etc).

    Now the fact that analog is so poor indicates that I need to sort the aerial out anyway and this should lead to better reception (I'll use the analog as an indicator of strength), but the DVD/STB came with a warning "for passive antenna use only". Would this be a problem for useing a booster?

    I am planning to redo the aerial (or get a new one), but at the same time put another point in the bedroom. As such, I would like to boost the signal and spread it to a total of 4 points in the house. I am pretty sure that this sort of signal woudl degrade quite heavily, so am i in danger of frying the stb if I use a booster at the aerial end?

    Also, we live in a house that is only 4 years old and all the existing sockets feature two FM / TV coax plugs. Would it be safe to assume that we could get a good FM signal off this, or might that not be catered for? And also, does DAB come off the UHF signal? We have 2 DAB stereos so would like to capatilise off this too.

    Long winded I know, but tohughts are welcome. And any good links for freeview setup combinations/hardware ideas also welcomed. :thumbsup:
  2. moopig

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    May 29, 2005
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    Bristol, UK
    I'm guessing, but I expect your DTV box says "for passive antenna use only" because the receiver can get overloaded by a strong signal from a booster. It used to be the case (and I imagine it still is and will be until the analogue switch-off) that digital was broadcast at a lower power than analogue. Some receivers had a problem that if the digital signal was strong enough the analogue one was too powerful, and if analogue reception was fine digital needed a booster. I haven't used DTV for a few years now (I have cable) but I found I needed *two* boosters to get sufficient signal for digital! But then I had the problem that every time a taxi drove down my street my picture would freeze. A partial cure for that was to fit a couple of in-line filters between the boosters and the DTV box. If you live in an area where the analogue and digital signals are transmitted at opposite ends of the TV frequency band, and there aren't many, you could get an aerial which is optimised for the DTV frequencies and thus provides less gain for the analogue ones. I wouldn't worry about the "passive antenna use only" warning: try a booster and see if it works

    You are unlikely to fry your set top box if you use a booster, but you may find it doesn't work so well because of distortion in the radio circuits if the signal is too strong. The damage levels are much higher than you are likely to get in normal use, even with a booster. To reduce the chance of massive overload (from CB, taxi, police, etc just outside your house) I would fit a filter after the booster. Modern radio components are quite fragile so your STB will have input protection. Having said that, there's a lot of poor design and penny-pinching out there...

    TV, FM and DAB all use separate frequency bands. FM 87-108MHz, DAB 174-240MHz (I think), TV 470-854MHz. You may find that your FM aerial doesn't work very well for DAB.


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