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540 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 185793 5-Dec-2015 21:07
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I’m looking for Windows software to do a DVB-t signal test. I upgraded to a TBS quad tuner, but the only software provided is drivers.

http://www.tbsdtv.com/products/tbs6205_dvb_t2_quad_tuner_pcie_card.html

When my terrestrial antenna was installed, I had an exceptionally good signal, according to the installer.

I seem to be getting good recordings usually, when the winds are calm.

However, I live in windy Wellington. My house is in a “very high wind zone”. Only “extremely high” and “special” are more intense.

http://wellington.govt.nz/webmap/wccmap.html

I’ve been getting some artefacts, lost frames, and other glitches, which seem to be wind related.

I’d like to double check everything’s still OK.

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1032 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1441282 6-Dec-2015 10:41
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Hello

Most Windows tuner drivers provide signal strength and quality readings in the form of percentages. The software you're using for viewing/recording TV is likely to display those readings somewhere. Unfortunately such readings are essentially useless for 3 reasons:

 

     

  1. The precision/resolution is often too low to be really useful. For example, some tuners are able to give readings in 5% steps, but others only have 0%, 50%, 80% and 100%. In general this isn't good enough to focus an aerial or dish properly.
  2. The readings are almost always averages over relatively long time periods. If they are averages, they usually won't show transient (short, bursty) problems well (if at all!). Again, this means the readings aren't the best for focussing aerials or dishes. It also means they're not very good for diagnosing situations like your wind issue.
  3. They're not benchmarked against any standard (or more accurately: the standard is ignored by driver engineers!). For example, 50% for one tuner could be 100% for another tuner... or 80% for another... and so on. This makes it impossible to compare readings between tuners from different vendors. Often even tuners from the same vendor can't be compared.

 


My advice would be: if you really want to know whether your signal strength and quality is okay, get an installer in. I know it can be relatively expensive. However, a good installer should have the equipment necessary to properly and objectively analyse your situation.

Note 1: Hauppauge provides some proprietary software that shows independent/objective/proper signal readings with information that is actually useful for some of their tuners:
http://www.hauppauge.com/site/support/support_digital_signal_monitor.html

At present I can't think of any other vendors who provide anything similar. TBS certainly don't.

Note 2: The situation on Linux and/or Unix may vary.



540 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 173


  Reply # 1441924 7-Dec-2015 11:50
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Thanks for the reply.

I used to have Hauppauge USB tuner, but it was terrible: only one tuner, would periodically freeze, and PC / Hauppauge boot order was always finicky.

The TBS card is much more powerful, but missing the signal strength business.

I think I'll get an installer to further strap down the antenna.

 
 
 
 


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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1441947 7-Dec-2015 12:31
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kingdragonfly:

I think I'll get an installer to further strap down the antenna.


if your signal recovers when the wind dies down, its tend to indicate that it is a connection that is probably loose and likely flapping/moving in the wind, and thus causing your signal issues,

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