Signal strength on HD box

terrycbull

Standard Member
I have a significantly different signal strength between the 2 channels on my HD box. Channel 1 shows around 70% whereas C2 is around 40%. Quality is about the same on both. If I change the cables over then the signal strength is reversed ie C1 is 40%. Is there any simple way of increasing the lower level one? Thanks
 

Mac User

Well-known Member
Agreed, I have also read it could be down to a PSU issue (Caps) ?
 

terrycbull

Standard Member
Thks for that - the question I am asking I suppose is what is likely to be the cause of the lower signal on one input? I suppose it could be a faulty cable but are there other possible reasons for the variation in signal strength ie alignment of the dish or the LNB, bad connections on the LNB or the HD box or anything else???
I'm a real novice on this sort of equipment and very much appreciate any suggestions?
 

Mac User

Well-known Member
I have had to extend one of my cables as wife likes to move the front room around once a month :confused:.. This has caused a lower signal strength on one of the inputs.. But to be honest the PQ is still fine on this input. Has yours been extended ?
 

terrycbull

Standard Member
I have had to extend one of my cables as wife likes to move the front room around once a month :confused:.. This has caused a lower signal strength on one of the inputs.. But to be honest the PQ is still fine on this input. Has yours been extended ?

No - both the cables are the same length. To be honest I think the variation has been there since i first installed the HD box about a year ago, but recently I have been getting the signal down for no accountable reason and somewhere I have read that if the signal strength is below 50% that can cause a loss of picture??
 

rnem170

Member
I've got a similar weird problem. Recorded the F1 GP today. It's completely unwatchable. Blocky like you wouldn't believe. When I checked in the morning, Input 2 quality was only about 30%. Now, it's at 60% (and better than Input 1). The only difference is that is dark now, and not quite as hot... could that affect it? My box is 12.5 months old - so just out of warranty. The weather has been great all day...
 

Trollslayer

Distinguished Member
I have a significantly different signal strength between the 2 channels on my HD box. Channel 1 shows around 70% whereas C2 is around 40%. Quality is about the same on both. If I change the cables over then the signal strength is reversed ie C1 is 40%. Is there any simple way of increasing the lower level one? Thanks
Make sure proper connectors are fitted at each end. These 'twist fit' connectors are an abomination. Snap 'N Seal or compression connectors are far superior but need tooling.
I manage infrastructure with about 200 satellite feeds so...
 

Trollslayer

Distinguished Member
I've got a similar weird problem. Recorded the F1 GP today. It's completely unwatchable. Blocky like you wouldn't believe. When I checked in the morning, Input 2 quality was only about 30%. Now, it's at 60% (and better than Input 1). The only difference is that is dark now, and not quite as hot... could that affect it? My box is 12.5 months old - so just out of warranty. The weather has been great all day...
If it is bad connectors then they can cause reflections which mean the signal levle might be Ok but the quality isn't.
 

fredsie

Active Member
Your message re PSU came thru as I was replying to the earlier point about cable. What is the PSU? Many thanks
The (internal) Power Supply Unit in the HD box. They are notoriously unreliable, many failing around the end of the warranty period. They cause low voltage variations in various circuits and so the symptoms can vary quite a bit. Do a search here for HD PSU - hundreds of posts.
 

rnem170

Member
If it is bad connectors then they can cause reflections which mean the signal level might be Ok but the quality isn't.
I swapped the I1/I2 around, and the low signal quality moved from I2 to I1 - which I guess was good.
Since the Sky signal meter is just a bar, I moved each connector in turn to my Humax 5400. That reported - using cbeebies as my test channel
- Input 1 as Strength 73%, Quality 66%
- Input 2 as Strength 71%, Quality 65%
So what's weird with these figures is that the lower quality connector in the Sky Box gives a higher figure in the Humax..... with the LNB on my 80cm Humax dish, I get 64%/82% - and that's with it not aligned very well... I'm debating getting up a ladder and see if I can improve anything by tweaking the lnb/dish position a little... I guess it can't hurt....
 

fredsie

Active Member
I'm debating getting up a ladder and see if I can improve anything by tweaking the lnb/dish position a little... I guess it can't hurt....
Well actually it can! Quite hard to get a perfect alignment by trial and error, and you can make things worse. make sure you mark the current position somehow for each direction (vert/horiz).

Is it a quad LNB? Can you try the other LNB connectors first?
 

rnem170

Member
Is it a quad LNB? Can you try the other LNB connectors first?
I think it might be a quad one.. so I'll try that first. They didn't fit a new dish, so it's the original one from when I was an early adopter of Sky Digtal, and they only put one new cable run in.. it's the old one which is causing the problem.
 

fredsie

Active Member
... I was an early adopter of Sky Digtal, and they only put one new cable run in.. it's the old one which is causing the problem.
That's a bit cheapskate, they should have replaced that cable really. And the dish. If you paid for a full HD install by Sky the price covers replacing the whole kit. Given what you say, I expect you'll need to replace the old cable. But it's worth just trying the other LNB connections first, only takes a few minutes.
 

rnem170

Member
That's a bit cheapskate, they should have replaced that cable really. And the dish. If you paid for a full HD install by Sky the price covers replacing the whole kit. Given what you say, I expect you'll need to replace the old cable. But it's worth just trying the other LNB connections first, only takes a few minutes.
Good God! They did even better... I just got down from the ladder... my hummy is now reporting 77% / 88%...:thumbsup: .... not only did the installer not replace the cable, as I mentioned above, they didn't replace the dish.... because the dish has a square arm, and the new LNB mount a wedge shaped fitting, he couldn't actually get it to fit correctly.... so, to overcome this, he ran the new cable down inside the arm, and jammed the LNB mount into the arm to wedge it in place :eek::eek::eek:.. the cable was in one corner, so it was all out of tilt, and, it was a loose as a $5 hooker... I could move it 10% left and right without any effort...I'm actually surprised the LNB hadn't fallen out. For now, I've wedged it in place with one of those floor unit leveling things you get with MFI kitchen units, and now I've got a good signal... but Sky are going to get a phone call about this.. and they're going to put it right....
 

fredsie

Active Member
Unbelievable! (Well almost - some Sky contractors do seem to be cowboys). But at least you've solved your problem. :)

Good luck with your call!
 

rnem170

Member
Well, according to the person I spoke to, the position of the LNB relative to the dish makes no difference to the signal quality, and I can have a dustbin lid rather than a dish and it would work if aligned correctly. Because it is out of warranty it will cost £65 for a callout... for that I could buy a new dish and fit it myself and do a better job... now it's watchdog and an email to murdoch
 

fredsie

Active Member
Yeah, what :censored:,you've been fobbed off. Sometimes you get better luck just by calling again and getting someone else.
 

rnem170

Member
I've called them again... the next person agreed it wasn't right, but said because the box is out warranty, it was not possible for them to enter the call into the repair system.... sounds like another fob-off to me... I'm now waiting for the the guys supervisor to call me back.
 

fredsie

Active Member
When the supervisor calls make it clear that you're not complaining about your out-of-warranty box, you're complaining about having paid for a professional install that was not done. They might at least refund you the install fee.
 

rnem170

Member
Result... engineer coming on Weds to investigate...

I think though, that I actually have two problems... even with a good signal, I'm getting blocky recordings. I 'think' I have the capacitor problem, so I've contacted Watchdog about that too. My view is that if enough people who've had this problem complain, Sky will have to admin the power supply design problem. After all, they conveniently fail just after 12 months.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/consumer/tv_and_radio/watchdog/contact_index.shtml
 

Bachstrad

Novice Member
Result... engineer coming on Weds to investigate...

I think though, that I actually have two problems... even with a good signal, I'm getting blocky recordings. I 'think' I have the capacitor problem, so I've contacted Watchdog about that too. My view is that if enough people who've had this problem complain, Sky will have to admin the power supply design problem. After all, they conveniently fail just after 12 months.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/consumer/tv_and_radio/watchdog/contact_index.shtml
Erm, perhaps I'm missing something, but wouldn't you be better invoking the 'Sale of Goods Act' to Sky themselves. If they won't play ball with you threaten them with trading standards and follow it through! I'll bet you'd get an exchange box for nothing PDQ!

I don't know what you paid for your box, I paid £299 for mine and there's no way I would pay for a new PSU, call out, exchange, or anything else should it go wrong! :nono:

There's no way that something you paid that sort of money for, should fail in such a short period of time. Particularly as there is a monthly subscription involved! The 'Sale of Goods Act' is there for this purpose. Sky (and other companies) just hope that people will abide by their 12 month warranty and then roll over. That's not what statutary rights are all about! :lesson:

ATB

Max
 

dazbear

Standard Member
I have a similar problem.

Picture (via component) from one tuner is fab - SD almost at HD quality. Picture from the other tuner is as bad a VHS at times!

It was very apparant this weekend, watching a recording of Dr Who (SD), which looked amazing. Then a recording of I'd do Anything (SD) which was one str8 after and must have been from the other tuner due to padding which was awful.

As I only had it installed 2 weeks ago, should I be calling SKY?
 

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