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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A little bit off topic....


I'm trying to improve the image quality on my HTPC TV. I wanted to try out a TV signal amplifier.

I found a couple on the Internet. Some are rather cheap. However some seem to introduce more noise than others.

Can anyone recommend one?
 

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I use a fair number of splits, so I bought the 4-way powered amp from radio shack. I think it's +7db on each one. Works fairly well.


-MP
 

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If you need to split, make sure you get a powered splitter. I had repeated problems with a separate but high-end splitter, and separate but high-end amp. I too have the Radio Shack 4-way, and it solved all my issues.


also try and get rid of as much excess cable run as possible. If you need to split, put it right where the cable company drops the line into your house or apt.
 

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See if your cable company has powered splitters. TimeWarner SoCal. supplied a 4 way splitter (free?) as part of their service contract. They didn't even charge for the service call, even though the problem was my RatShack powered splitter...
 

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best thing to do is try to find out what your levels are.. is it only at the htpc drop you have a problem?? what about other locations?? theres allot of things that can cause loss in cable one is a non termed spliter.. you want to make sure all unused ports on all spliters have terminators.. this will help improve signal.. in most cases an amplifier will just amplify the garbage coming in.. so make sure you have good cable inhouse before trying an amp..
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think I have a problem at all outlets. All open outlets are terminated.

What is the cheapest way to measure the signal strength?
 

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Go to your local Walmart or HomeDepot and get a $20-40 coaxial amplifier. My HomeDepot has a ($35) 25 db amplifier and it helped my TV reception tremendously. Sometimes if you overamplify then there will be croshatching interference and therefore you need an attenuator to control how much amplification. There is a more expensive unit at HD that has a builtin gain dial ($60) that may be handy. Ratshack has an attenuator for $5 which can help reduce those over amplified stations while the weaker stations will benefit from the full amplification.


Your cable company will test your signal strength for free and may throw in a free amplifier (mine wanted $60 for their 10db amplifier so I bought my own). You can also buy those signal strength tester from Walmart designed for people to aim their satellite dish. This may help you and return when done.
 

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well id call the cable company and find out what thier spec is. have them test at the drop and then at the htpc drop.. this will tell you your inhouse loss.. they may have to replace the drop. but make sure you find out what thier spec is before the service call so you know what thier standard is. since allot of the times they use contactors now days they will tell you its in spec but it really isnt. if not then they are responsible for getting the thing inspec but not at the drop inside. they may have to boost the signal at the headend for that run. if the signal is in spec at the drop then you will most likely have to replace the cable. but at other times an amp will help a marginal signal inside..check to make sure you have good shielded cable... if you have digital use rg6u quad shield and youll get better signal and less loss..
 

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As noted above, if you have cable modem or digital cable system you need a bidirectional amp and may need one with a wider "range". For example, my old Leviton amp provides 10DB across 50-450 MHz. However I have Comcast and need the amp to cover up to 1000 Mhz. Motorola, and I assume several others, make amps with these specs (I got mine at Best Buy). I take the feed after it comes into the house run it through the amp then feed my splitters (...there are a number of drops, with more on the way if my wife doesn't catch me...).
 
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