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49 posts

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Reply # 174820 31-Oct-2008 10:49
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From the SURPRISED files

I was very surprised to find that the Chinese channel TV8 is on in Wellington as well as Auckland

Over the last few days back in Auckland I have met up with guys living very close to Pine Hill repeater, however the Waiataru transmission signal strength (S) is so much stronger indicator wise and yet its about 40km away!

One of these users even suggested that the scale may even go into reverse once it goes over a certain level.  Then their are those that find the levels go up with an antenuator (pad) in the aerial. Remember there is always a delay in these readings of about a second.   

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  Reply # 174835 31-Oct-2008 11:36
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Garglo: From the SURPRISED files

I was very surprised to find that the Chinese channel TV8 is on in Wellington as well as Auckland

Over the last few days back in Auckland I have met up with guys living very close to Pine Hill repeater, however the Waiataru transmission signal strength (S) is so much stronger indicator wise and yet its about 40km away!

One of these users even suggested that the scale may even go into reverse once it goes over a certain level.  Then their are those that find the levels go up with an antenuator (pad) in the aerial. Remember there is always a delay in these readings of about a second.   

This is very true, and is the reason for some tuning problems.  The unit automatically tunes the strongest signal even if it's not the best quality.  Manual tuning to the Pinehill transmitter is the solution.

Are you saying you believe the Pinehill signal is much stronger and actually overflowing the variable so it appears to be less?  That might be true.  I don't think it makes any difference, other than auto tuning.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 174896 31-Oct-2008 15:43
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Many thanks to Garglo and Bazzer, you made me decide to investigate my poor signal showing some more.

To recap:

I had really good Prime/Triangle analog reception

Bought a extra Terrestrial STB and it got really bad pixelation - showed 100% Quality and 5-10% Signal - box also locked up a lot.
TV aerial guy came and tested my wiring and signal strength and said it was all really good.
He gave me a 6DB attenuator to play with - Didnt make any difference to signal or picture pixelation.
Took the above STB back for a replacement
Replacement box more stable - still pixelating a bit - but better
Replaced the Wall to box fly lead - not sure that made any difference.
Bypassed the splitter box in the ceiling - No change - Still showing <10% Signal and 100% Quality
Picture not bad most of the time - still a little pixelation

Saw your posts about the scale going into reverse so decide to get a more powerful variable attenuator from Jaycar (20db) - $12 or thereabouts.

Well now I am showing 50-60% signal strength! - still 100% quality.

The odd thing is that I get the best improvement in Signal strength with the attenuator wound round to 'min' - maybe they mean minimum signal (ie maximum attenuation). Added the 6db attenuator the aerial guy left behind and now the signal strength shows even stronger! So maybe thats 26dB attenuation.....

Will be interested to see if the pixelation has reduced - picture looked good the few minutes I watched.

So maybe you are right - too stronger signal makes the signal strength go into reverse - fascinating!





Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself - A. H. Weiler

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  Reply # 174904 31-Oct-2008 16:02
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Might be something in this.
I'm roughly 20km's from my only local transmitter and have line of sight.  Have a medium sized uhf aerial and decent coax, and get a fairly weak signal apparently, say 20%.
Same box from roughly 80km's away, with a very long uhf aerial with decent coax, no chance of seeing the transmitter, gets over 50% strength.

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  Reply # 174905 31-Oct-2008 16:03
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Chinese tv also available in Chirstchurch. 

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  Reply # 174938 31-Oct-2008 17:22
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Jaxson: Might be something in this.
I'm roughly 20km's from my only local transmitter and have line of sight.  Have a medium sized uhf aerial and decent coax, and get a fairly weak signal apparently, say 20%.
Same box from roughly 80km's away, with a very long uhf aerial with decent coax, no chance of seeing the transmitter, gets over 50% strength.


I think you are on to something.

I am also direct line of sight to Te Aroha and after replacing all my cabling etc now get maybe 20% (was 50%-60%).

Something wierd going on, and by the way for the umptenth time, I am not getting cross talk from the infill. I in fact get ZERO signal from the infill. I am installing a second aerial specifically to get the infill so I can check its strength (its about 6km away also direct line of sight.

Heres my view (Crappy day here!):



(Note the Aerial is on the roof (2 story house), I am looking out the ground floor window). You'd think I should have 100% Quality and Signal (all cable is RG6, only 1 splitter).

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  Reply # 174977 31-Oct-2008 20:42
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  Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4

Re signal strength indicator

 

This evening did a bit of experimentation

 

Did a temporary hookup to a UHF antenna sitting on the deck. Used brand new RG6 cable direct to ET

 

I am in Mairangi Bay so pointed antenna to Pine Hill.

Did factory reset on ET to get rid of all previous channels then did manual tune on just the Pine Hill channels (28,32 and 40)

 

Signal strength as reported by ET was 50% on all three channels.

 

I then inserted a RF  TV amplifier in the aerial lead. This has 25dB gain over a bandwidth of 40 to 600MHz.

The signal level as reported by ET went down to 20 on all three channels

 

I then removed amp and ET reported signal levels of 50% again.

 

I then swung the antenna off beam and the ET reported signal level increased to 65/70%

At this point the ET quality level took a dive to 20/30% with picture badly pixelating or freezing

 

Also as reported on previous post when I insert a 6dB attenuator in aerial lead ET shows a increase in signal level

 

Weather permitting, I will do some more testing over the weekend with the antenna on my roof. According to my calcs I should be able to pick up from Te Aroha  (at least the lower frequency channel)

So it will be interesting to see what signal level ET reports

 

Oh my old ET died last weekend. Was just receiving TV1 with no response from any buttons on the remote or the front panel of ET. Did numerous power reboots and reloaded software but no go.

 

Gary from Browns Bay, who I bought the receiver from, gladly replaced ET. Great chappie to deal with and extremely helpful.

 

Have not had a chance to check out my previous pixelisation problems as wife has control of TV – but did notice it pixelate a couple of times on TV1 while playing around earlier.

The pixelisation use to be real bad on TV3.

Will be trying out various antenna and mounting positions on the house over the weekend.

 

Will report back my observations.

 

Regards

 

Ian


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  Reply # 175009 1-Nov-2008 01:27
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So how about this Hauppauge HD-PVR for the ET. The ET can output HD from components cant it? Or is the H.264 AVCHD video encoder wrong for NZ?

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  Reply # 175010 1-Nov-2008 01:30
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Sorry, probably should give link,

 

http://www.hauppauge.co.uk/site/products/data_hdpvr.html


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  Reply # 175236 2-Nov-2008 12:30
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Hi Ian and Badmac,
Just in case you are interested, after having had the attenuator plugged in and wound up full I can report that the picture on Freeview has defintely improved. There are occasional odd pixelations, but I gather that is the nature of digital TV from time to time. So I would say if you are getting good Prime tv etc and really bad Freeview HD its worth bunging some relatively cheap attenuators in before the STB and see if that makes a difference to the signal level.
As an aside, while the STB is showing a nice strong signal level and Freeview is now looking good, the general TV reception on analogue is now really really awfull, fortunately its just a matter of winding the attenuator back if I want to watch prime and its sorted. Glad I didnt put the unit in the roof between the aerial and the splitter box!
I'm sure I dont really understand the physics involved in all this, but it has been a learning experience none the less.
This forum has been really helpful.

Cheers
Robert




Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself - A. H. Weiler

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Geek


  Reply # 175252 2-Nov-2008 14:06
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ET Signal Strength and Quality

Have done some more experimentation regarding reported signal strength and quality

Had two set ups

1. Antenna on deck

2. SKY UHF antenna on roof

With my set ups it shows that as signal levels increase the level on the ET signal graph reduces. Quality levels increase (as expected)

I managed to pick up Te Aroha Freeview (signal level 70 and quality 20) but needed my 25db amp to get picture to lock (signal level 60 and quality 40). This was from the roof antenna pointed at Te Aroha (125km away)

With the roof aerial pointed at Waiatarua or Pine Hill received signal levels of 20 with quality of 100 on the respective 3 channels.
The 25db amp made no difference in signal level - it stayed at 20

The main difference I have now noted with the replacement ET that there is now very little pixeliaation (just the odd bit here and there but perfectly acceptable). On previous ET I was getting pixelisation on TV3 about 3 times a minute. Power resets did not fix this.
TV1 use to pixelate about once every 5 minutes.

My observation is that some receivers are more supceptible to pixelisation than others. In Roberts case he has noticed an improvement with reduced signal level. Maybe an interfering signal is being reduced sufficiently that this signal is no longer a factor.

I am using optical output and even with the new ET have experienced audio drop out. On some occasions have had to bring it back by pressing the channel button again. Assume that future firmware upgrade is addressing this problem.

Regards

Ian






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Geek


  Reply # 175260 2-Nov-2008 15:04
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Its good to get these reports about the levels and feedback on solutions. 
What we are dealing with here is the first year this HD technology has been used and we are one of the first in the world to use this H264 compression method.  I think we are doing really well considering.

If in comparison with Satellite receivers, they have been around for a long time now.  You would expect them to be perfect.  They still are not.  However the move to make these receivers using the free linux operating system, has also expanded the ability to update receivers dramaticly as with the ET box. 

All these analysis are good from the Kiwi approach to get to the bottom of the problems

Consider getting a SKY HD box.
 

From Ted Gibbons Editor PC World Oct 2008

Not working

FOR ME, this has turned into the month of discontent. And no, I'm not talking about the

current financial meltdown — I'd have to have some money for that to matter. No, my gripes

are tech-related.  Whereas last month I was wholly enamoured of MySky HDi, this month I am not happy.

The thing locks up more that an Austin Allegro with bald tires on an icy road.

Woe betide you if you have set it to record something and dare to surf past that channel in search of

something else to watch. The thing instantly spits the dummy, you lose your picture and

all the controls cease to work. You then have to hold down the two buttons to reset it (told

to me by a Sky customer service rep) and, of course, whatever you were trying to record

is cancelled. Various other permutations of this hair-pulling scenario have also disrupted

the harmony in my home and it seems to be getting worse.

Anecdotally, I've heard that the previous MySky box was also a crash-happy machine.

A Horror story from the UK

1/4 of a million Freeview boxes in the UK are close to obsolete.
Over 250,000 Freeview boxes and IDTV's are affected by the split "NIT" upgrade.

Problems have also been reported by owners of Digital intergrated TV's.  Panasonic and Sony appear to have ignored requests for updates as some of their sets are too old.


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  Reply # 175284 2-Nov-2008 17:05
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robjg63: Hi Ian and Badmac,
Just in case you are interested, after having had the attenuator plugged in and wound up full I can report that the picture on Freeview has defintely improved. There are occasional odd pixelations, but I gather that is the nature of digital TV from time to time. So I would say if you are getting good Prime tv etc and really bad Freeview HD its worth bunging some relatively cheap attenuators in before the STB and see if that makes a difference to the signal level.
As an aside, while the STB is showing a nice strong signal level and Freeview is now looking good, the general TV reception on analogue is now really really awfull, fortunately its just a matter of winding the attenuator back if I want to watch prime and its sorted. Glad I didnt put the unit in the roof between the aerial and the splitter box!
I'm sure I dont really understand the physics involved in all this, but it has been a learning experience none the less.
This forum has been really helpful.

Cheers
Robert


Robert

Good to hear you have engineered a solution. As you say the physics that goes with this is a little obscure but I am sure that there are many factors here.

Re your attenuator that you need to adjust for Freeview/Prime - if you have enough signal level you could put a splitter at the aerial side of the attenuator. Feed one output of the splitter to the attenuator and onto ET. The other output of the splitter you could feed direct to your TV tuner for Prime.
Then you would not need to adjust the attenuator as you switch between Freeview and Prime.

Just a thought


Ian

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  Reply # 175391 3-Nov-2008 09:19
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What would be really interesting would be a comparison of how one of the other boxes handles the same situation.

For example if a Zinwell or Homecast(or whatever) behaves in the same way (increasing the attenuation improving the Signal strength) then it is something in the nature of Freeview Hi-Def signal reception. If they dont have any issues with a strong signal then its a 'feature' of the Extra Terrestrial box and probably worth noting somewhere in the ET documentation. If some of us have had this issue then there will certianly be others. If its simply a matter of putting a variable attenuator between the box and the aerial cable (say $12) then its worth a first try rather than getting your cabling/aerial replaced at a cost of $???

Of course if it turns out there is just a fault in the display of signal strength when its very strong then we will all look a bit silly - but for my part, I believe that the picture is more stable now that the signal strength is showing a better level.

I'm happy with the box now - just hanging out for the recording facility!!

 

Robert





Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself - A. H. Weiler

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  Reply # 176273 6-Nov-2008 11:19
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News today that freeview has some PVR's in the nearby lineup and that a new scheduling EPG has been developed.  Hopefully there's scope to eventually incorporate this into the ET box?

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