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352 posts

Ultimate Geek


Topic # 111459 4-Nov-2012 10:01 Send private message

Hi all,

I've upgraded my HTPC, replacing two Nova-S-Plus cards with a single TBS6984 card.
When I got Windows Media Center to tune in the channels, I noticed the signal strength was at about half way. In the past this has always been full bars.

Also, about every 1 minute or so, I'm seeing a glitch in the stream.

So, before it was a 1-2 splitter with full signal strength.
Now, it is 1-4 splitter with half signal strength.

I'm looking at putting an in-line amplifier in, and have a couple of questions.

1. Do you think an amplifier will help?

2. I see 10db and 20db amplifiers. Is one recommended over the other?

Thanks

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 712829 6-Nov-2012 12:31 Send private message

rvangelder: When I got Windows Media Center to tune in the channels, I noticed the signal strength was at about half way. In the past this has always been full bars.

Different tuners (PC or STB) will produce wildly different percentage readings, so by itself this is not something that I would pay any attention to.

Also, about every 1 minute or so, I'm seeing a glitch in the stream.

This is what I'd be focused on. It may be signal related, but I wouldn't say there is a guarantee.

So, before it was a 1-2 splitter with full signal strength.
Now, it is 1-4 splitter with half signal strength.

If you go back to the 1->2 splitter and use two tuners does the glitch go away?

1. Do you think an amplifier will help?

Possibly, but only if the signal strength is too low. If the signal quality is not good then alignment of the dish or connector and cable quality would be the areas to focus on.

2. I see 10db and 20db amplifiers. Is one recommended over the other?

Pass.
In the past I've used a 15 dB inline Gecen amp on my D2 feed (twin output LNB, 90 cm dish, LNB offset by 4 or 8 degrees) with some success. Again, amps only increase the signal strength... meaning they generally increase the noise as well as the signal. If the problem is noise then an amp is not guaranteed to help.




352 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 712911 6-Nov-2012 14:10 Send private message

Appreciate the reply :)

I've purchased a 10 dB amplifier, which arrived today. I'll install it and see what happens over the next day or so.

My next step will be to go back to the 1->2 splitter and see what happens. Both splitters are the same brand.
I'd be interested also in whether swapping the splitters gives a different signal strength.

Another thing I've discovered, which I'll address asap, is the cables between splitter and tuner (about 30cm in length each) are RG59. I'll get some RG6 made up when I next get to town.
From what I've read this isn't ideal, but over such a short distance it might not be a problem. Though, your comment about external noise gets me thinking this might actually be a bigger problem.

I'll try these things and come back.

Thanks again!

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  Reply # 712928 6-Nov-2012 14:29 Send private message

rvangelder: Appreciate the reply :)

I've purchased a 10 dB amplifier, which arrived today. I'll install it and see what happens over the next day or so.

My next step will be to go back to the 1->2 splitter and see what happens. Both splitters are the same brand.
I'd be interested also in whether swapping the splitters gives a different signal strength.

Another thing I've discovered, which I'll address asap, is the cables between splitter and tuner (about 30cm in length each) are RG59. I'll get some RG6 made up when I next get to town.
From what I've read this isn't ideal, but over such a short distance it might not be a problem. Though, your comment about external noise gets me thinking this might actually be a bigger problem.

I'll try these things and come back.

Thanks again!


Changing cable type may cause reflections in the cable, not ideal.  Why'd you go buy an amp before checking the basics?  Shouldn't be necessary.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 712930 6-Nov-2012 14:30 Send private message

rvangelder: Appreciate the reply :)

I've purchased a 10 dB amplifier, which arrived today. I'll install it and see what happens over the next day or so.

I hope it works out. Smile

My next step will be to go back to the 1->2 splitter and see what happens. Both splitters are the same brand.
I'd be interested also in whether swapping the splitters gives a different signal strength.

Me too. From memory, the TBS tuners seem to be more sensitive but give lower strength/quality readings than other tuners. At least that is the case for my 5980. I haven't tried my 6984 or Nova S Plus recently though so don't quote me on that.

Another thing I've discovered, which I'll address asap, is the cables between splitter and tuner (about 30cm in length each) are RG59. I'll get some RG6 made up when I next get to town.
From what I've read this isn't ideal, but over such a short distance it might not be a problem. Though, your comment about external noise gets me thinking this might actually be a bigger problem.

It isn't ideal, no... but then were you using these cables with the 1->2 way splitter?




352 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 712934 6-Nov-2012 14:38 Send private message

mm1352000:
rvangelder: Another thing I've discovered, which I'll address asap, is the cables between splitter and tuner (about 30cm in length each) are RG59. I'll get some RG6 made up when I next get to town.
From what I've read this isn't ideal, but over such a short distance it might not be a problem. Though, your comment about external noise gets me thinking this might actually be a bigger problem.

It isn't ideal, no... but then were you using these cables with the 1->2 way splitter?


I made up 4 new cables. The old 2 are also RG59, which worked fine for years.
When I'm testing the 1->2 splitter reconnection, I'll also try reconnecting the original 2 cables.

A little painful is that we've had period of hours without glitches, so I'll have to "catch it" at a moment where the glitches are frequent!

ubergeeknz: Changing cable type may cause reflections in the cable, not ideal.  Why'd you go buy an amp before checking the basics?  Shouldn't be necessary.


I guess I didn't really know where to start. I'd spent a fair bit getting this new environment, I figured another $50 for an amp wouldn't hurt - I can sell it later if it doesn't work.

As you can probably tell, I don't know much about cabling. I try, I'm a bit hopeless, but I'm learning.




352 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 714827 9-Nov-2012 17:08 Send private message

The amplifier did nothing.

Interesting test performed today.
I recorded a show. I can skip to the position in the recording and it'll play the glitch whenever I want.
I copied the wtv file (it's windows media center) to another computer. Skip to that position. No glitch.

It must be a codec or graphics card issue, and probably not hardware... So, I'm making progress.

Cheers guys

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