Originally Posted by Wehrung
I note one problem. On our Channel 7, whose transmitter is only about 7 miles away, signal strength keeps going from Good to Bad, and when it's low audio drops out and in extreme cases the picture freezes with pixilation.
Momentary, but an annoyance.
There are three things that I see as possible causes:
- weak signal
- poor location
First, though, run your exact location through TVFool. The better your coordinates, the better your results.
Second, understand that the CECB meter is not a "signal strength" meter, but more like an error rate meter, since the latter is more important to digital reception.
Ch 7 could be running at low power. TVFool will tell you a rated power, and that can be misleading because
- power limit is set by the FCC based on propagation, and higher frequency propagate worse, so you can't compare Ch 7 and Ch 47; the latter needs more radiated power to reach the same coverage area
- digital power is more of an RMS value than the peak power quoted for analog, so at equivalent coverage area, digital will always
be much lower
... and the station may not be at full power.
TVFool combines local topo data with propagation models to estimate the lowest signal you'll see. If you live in a hole (as I do), 7 miles can result in the need for an "outdoor" antenna - I get misery from simple indoor antennas that's not unlike what you report. You can do this two ways
- look at the TVFool report for a signal value (Rx dBm)
- look for TVFool's coverage map for the station. It's a Google Earth terrain map with color coded signal strength iso-lines. If you know where you live, it's easy to see if you're on a hill or in a hole.
DTV is very sensitive to signals with time delay due to reflections (and the added propagation distance that results). In analog, they're seen as ghosts. The only option, besides fine tuning antenna position, is to get a directional antenna that has reduced gain away from the aiming direction.
Thus, both weak signal and multipath may benefit from an antenna upgrade, and the analysis TVFool provides will tell you what is the best way to go.
In the event TVFool doesn't speak your language, post the plot here and we'll help with interpretation.