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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
RESOLVED: (?) Tried a different TV in the problem location, and every channel performed flawlessly. It appears the old TV was the problem.

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I have a simple set up but I'm having some problems with OTA reception:

Indoor Antenna --> 2-way splitter --> (1) Upstairs TV at 6ft away, and (2) Downstairs TV at 50ft away

I'm guessing my problem is with the cable run, because the upstairs TV receives all the channels I want, and all at greater than 60% signal strength (and most 80%+).

The downstairs TV is a different story. It displays most channels just fine, but it seems to randomly lose signal. Some days it gets all channels, but most days there are one or two channels that don't work (blocky, stuttering, signal strength bouncing around between 0% - 20%). The problematic channels are different and I can't figure out any pattern. Sometimes it's channel 2, sometimes 11, sometimes 13, sometimes 20, sometimes 26, sometimes 57 --- it's the whole spectrum and I never know which ones are going to work and which ones won't.

Things I've tried:
  • Different antennas upstairs (Leaf-style, flat style, rabbit ears style)
  • A self-powered amp placed before the splitter (the mohu leaf amp)
  • Trying a different splitter
  • Trying all the antennas downstairs direct into the TV (the reception there is worse)

The cable run to the downstairs TV is a coax line that AT&T had previously installed for Uverse. It runs partially indoors and partially outside, and has a couple of connection points where it moves through the exterior walls. I'm guessing this cable run is responsible for the issues, but I can't figure out what to try next.

Any ideas for how to resolve the reception issues on the downstairs TV?

TV Fool link: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id=8230bf6e01680c

TL;DR: Downstairs TV has spotty OTA reception, on a 50ft cable run from antenna, and an amplifier placed pre-splitter doesn't help. The problem channels are inconsistent, it changes from time to time.
 

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Have you tried the amp AFTER the splitter (to the set downstairs, obviously ;))?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Have you tried the amp AFTER the splitter (to the set downstairs, obviously ;))?
Not yet because I don't have a little adapter to connect two cables together (like a female-to-female connector, not sure what you would call that).

I would need one of those to hook the amp into any other position.
 

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Go get a brand new single length of coax from the store and make a temporary run from the splitter to the downstairs TV. If that works, you then know you have a defect in your original cable run.

Skip the amp, your TVFool plot says it isn't needed and will likely cause new problems due to strong signal overload.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Go get a brand new single length of coax from the store and make a temporary run from the splitter to the downstairs TV. If that works, you then know you have a defect in your original cable run.

Skip the amp, your TVFool plot says it isn't needed and will likely cause new problems due to strong signal overload.
Yeah I figured an amp wasn't necessary given the strength at the upstairs TV, but I wasn't sure what else to try. I'll pick up a new cable and see if that makes a difference.
 

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The amp will help with a bad cable. A new cable will help with a bad cable.
IOW, your original assumption is probably correct.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So I haven't been able to test a new cable for the last two days because all the channels have been working! It has been overcast the last two days, for what that's worth.

At some point I expect the channels to start wigging out again and then I can test the new cable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok now it gets weird.

Tested a new cable today.

When I switch between the old cable (white) and the new cable (black) there are still stuttering issues, but it affects different channels when I use a different cable.

For example, on the white cable, channel 2 is 0-20% signal strength, but on the black cable it is 75% strength. But channel 49 is the opposite --- it gets 65% on the white cable, and only 0-20% on the black cable.

So now I'm thinking WTF??
 

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Are the two TVs different? If you can carry one TV to the other location and try it from there, it may show that the tuner in the TV has different sensitivity.

On my TV tuner, I can pick up one particular channel (55.x) but not another (30.x), but from my HomeRunHD tuner (located in same room) it can pick up 30.x but not 55.x.
 

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I'd suggest bypassing the splitter and going directly to that downstairs TV set. You *might* have one of those instances where one TV set is causing interference to another one hooked up via a splitter.

Of course, the TV set downstairs might just happen to have a poorly performing tuner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Are the two TVs different? If you can carry one TV to the other location and try it from there, it may show that the tuner in the TV has different sensitivity.

On my TV tuner, I can pick up one particular channel (55.x) but not another (30.x), but from my HomeRunHD tuner (located in same room) it can pick up 30.x but not 55.x.
The downstairs TV is a budget model Insignia --- might have something to do with it.

I'll see if I can bypass the splitter and go direct to the downstairs TV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So I finally got around to trying a totally different TV in the downstairs position, and it seems to be fine. I guess my Insignia's TV tuner is screwed up?
 
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