Reception advice

Wheels496

Standard Member
I live about 7 miles north of Perth, in Scotland. For years I’ve received fairly poor analogue TV pictures from the Perth transmitter. Last summer I paid around 170 pounds for an aerial installer, to put up a second antenna pointing to Dundee, so that I could receive freeview, before replacing my old Sony crt with a Panasonic LCD (tx26d60).

Until recently TV on my PC was watchable, now some channels don’t work at all, or rarely, for example BBC news 24.

However, despite this digital TV quite often breaks up. Hopefully there’s a picture of my roof top aerial attached to this message open (digital aerial is pointing towards you and analogue aerial away to the left). The aerial is plugged into a mast head amp (Televes 8203), which has 2 output sockets, with one going into the TV and another going into a TV card on my PC.

I’m also aware that the TV automatically picks up the Aberdeen transmitter, instead of Dundee, unless I only connect the aerial half way through the tuning process.

While investigating this further today, I discovered the following,
1) if only one output cable, which is connected to the PC, is used, then according to my Hauppauge software, the reception strength is about 100%, instead of around 40% when both outputs are used on the amp.
2) If only the TV is connected to the amp, the signal strength improves on the TV around 10% (signal quality/strength on BBC1 7/5 or 8/6).

Now against previous aerial installer advice, I’m now only using one mast head amp output, connected it to a 2 way booster, from Argos and have 2 outputs coming from that to the TV and PC. Time will tell whether the TV still suffers breakups, but I’m assuming yes, since signal strength/quality is now back to what it’s always been.

I’m still waiting, several months waiting, for my installer to come up with a plan of action.

Meanwhile my questions:-

1) any comments on the above
2) Why does the single fluctuate whether 1 or 2 outputs are used on the amp (does it not boost the signal)
3) More importantly than question 2-why when using only one amp output or the booster does that appear to improve the signal quality on the TV slightly but DOUBLE the quality on the PC? How good is the integrated Panasonic digital tuner?
4) Ideally I would like to upgrade my DVD/video combo to one with a digital tuner(s) or a digital pvr, possibly upgrade my PC TV card to a twin tuner and eventually upgrade a portable TV in a bedroom. For these, would I need a better mast head amp or multiple aerials (hope not).

Thanks
 

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LCR_Dave

Active Member
with all that hassle can you just not get sky tv with the basic subscription i would if i were you sod all that messing about, im an electrician and have this problem alot, i take it youve used a booster ect. im afraid you never will be able to get a good pic no matter how good the ariel is...
 
R

RB2004

Guest
100% signal = bad thing.. as this also means strong analogue signal, which can swamp your freeview reciever leading to bad reception

installer probably recommended using both outputs because it splits the signal, and therefore weakens it so that your digital reciever can tolerate it without being swamped so much by analogue.

to give further information a post code is required.

chances are it will be worse with the booster, as you have amplified a signal which is likely to be already too strong, as you are only 7 miles away from the transmitter, again a post code is required to give amore accurate response.
 

Wheels496

Standard Member
Okay I'll could regret admitting this. Free view is primarily for better pictures, em, em-when sky hd is tied up taping stuff and also for possibly beginning to use my PC as a backup recorder.
 
R

RB2004

Guest
also if possible remove the old analogue aerial, as it is likely to be interfering with the digital signal, especially if it is too close,

which is why when also using an FM aerial on the same mast, a recomended distance of 75-100cm minimum is recommended.

the digital transmitter will usually also supply analogue signals anyway
 

per-Sony-fied

Novice Member
Until recently TV on my PC was watchable, now some channels don’t work at all, or rarely, for example BBC news 24.

However, despite this digital TV quite often breaks up. The aerial is plugged into a mast head amp (Televes 8203), which has 2 output sockets, with one going into the TV and another going into a TV card on my PC.

While investigating this further today, I discovered the following,
1) if only one output cable, which is connected to the PC, is used, then according to my Hauppauge software, the reception strength is about 100%, instead of around 40% when both outputs are used on the amp.
2) If only the TV is connected to the amp, the signal strength improves on the TV around 10% (signal quality/strength on BBC1 7/5 or 8/6).

Now against previous aerial installer advice, I’m now only using one mast head amp output, connected it to a 2 way booster, from Argos and have 2 outputs coming from that to the TV and PC. Time will tell whether the TV still suffers breakups, but I’m assuming yes, since signal strength/quality is now back to what it’s always been.


Thanks
While not an expert on the aerials fitted it would seem that they are standard gain aerials more suited to analogue or at least minimum requirement aerials where you could do better.

The televes amp would seem to have a problem if signal degrades with both outputs or is just not built that well. The signal/noise ratio is not that good for a Masthead amp (2.5dB) and could be bettered with a Vision V20-1420 (1.4dB) which also has greater gain with variable output so just the right amount of gain can be set.

Putting a booster on the output of this amp is just gonna compound problems as the noise levels of cheap boosters are higher... typically 5dB and producing far to much gain once fed from the boosted output of the Televes.... so you'll just be stuffing extra noise (including the amplified noise from the Televes) into the TV/PC and overloading the tuner i/p's.

Best start at the front (aerial) to get better reception.
 
R

RB2004

Guest
im not disputing what you say is wrong, as i could be wrong, but the signal does appear to be too strong, a 100% signal strength usually indicates that the analogue signal is swamping the freeview reciever, but without a full post code i cannot check the estimated signal strengths.

Cheap boosters i agree with though, a complete no no, and more trouble than they are worth usually
and as previous person said, it is always better to amplify nearer to the aerial, as you wont be amplifying any interference picked up inside your house, the recomended distance, although not always obeyed to, is to have the masthead amp about 1m away from the aerial.
 
R

RB2004

Guest
The televes amp would seem to have a problem if signal degrades with both outputs or is just not built that well. The signal/noise ratio is not that good for a Masthead amp (2.5dB) and could be bettered with a Vision V20-1420 (1.4dB) which also has greater gain with variable output so just the right amount of gain can be set.
.
2.5dB is average for most masthead amps regarding signal / noise ratio, so i dont agree that changing the masthead amp would solve the problem, and is the problem in the first place. PROception also has a variable gain masthead amp, and Televes masthead amps are variable gain. Televes as far as i know are a reputable make.

a few signal / noise ratios from different masthead amps,

Fringe Masthead Wideband Standard = 2.5dB
PROception 1 Way Masthead Amplifier = Noise figure (maximum) 2.6dB
Noise figure (typical) 2.2dB
Televes 1 Way Masthead Amplifier (5350) = 2.5 dB

so the Vision V20-1420 is above average, i dont doubt this would be the better choice, just dont believe it would solve the problem.
 

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