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My parents live within a couple miles of several broadcast antennas. For most channels, this makes it very easy to get reception. But, there is one channel that seems to overpower their receiver. The HD Tivo shows no signal for the station in question. I hooked up an HTPC, with a MyHD card in their crawlspace, and stuck a $10 rabbit ear antenna off it. With that setup, I get the station at a good signal strength.


I bought a variable attenuator at Radio Shack and tried it on their rooftop antenna connection. With the attenuator it could lock the signal, but I would still get dropouts.


I ended up getting a coax switcher, and putting a cheap set of rabbit ears behind the TV. So, when they have problems with the rooftop antenna they can switch to the rabbit ears. This works okay for manual viewing, but is not so great for Tivo recordings.


Before the HD Tivo, they had a Samsung TS160, which didn't have a problem with that station. The antenna is a Terk TV55 (no Terk bashing.. I tried several antennas and this worked the best in their location) without the amplifier.



Anyone have other reccomendations for dealing with an overpowering station? I suspect that as the others increase their broadcast power, this problem may hit more channels for them.
 

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Turn the amp back on for the Terk and THEN try the R/S variable attenuator.
 

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It's my opinion that turning on the amp for the Terk antenna is going to cause all sorts of cross-mod products because of that one local station. Leave the amp off.


My advice is to add a Jointenna unit in place of the coax switch. Put a bowtie or rabbit-ears on the Jointenna's single-channel bandpass input and tune it to the local station, so that the station comes in without multipath. Connect the Terk to the other input, which serves as a notch-filter to eliminate the local station. You could try turning the amp on or off on the Terk, but my guess is that turning it on will cause cross-modulation that might eliminate reception of more distant stations.


By all means, before you embark on changing any hardware, check what's happening with the analog stations. Analog stations, while we have them, are a fantastic "debugging" tool. If you turn on the amp and start seeing "herringbone," color oversaturation or other nasty artifacts, turn the amp down, or off. Evidence of multipath/ghosting is visually noticeable with analog, too.


Last, you might actually be able to insert an amp between the Jointenna and the TV, where the local station's signal level has already been knocked down to size. You'll have less chance of overloading the entire amp on that segment of coax.
 

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Although Phil has good suggestions, you already have all you need to perform the test as I suggested. It hurts nothing to try.


If it works... you're done with no extra expense/effort.


If not... give Phil's suggestion a shot.
 
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