AVS Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
TV Fool Report
<Report to follow, requesting a moderator to add it>

Problem:
I am only interested in the closest channels highlighted in green in the tvfool
report. Antenna is pointed towards this cluster of broadcasters.
Reception is very good on all channels the majority of the time. At least once
per week I see 30-90 minutes of poor reception (blocky artifacting in the video, some
loss of video). This can affect 1 or multiple channels and is seen on any device
viewing the DVR recordings.

Environment:
Single family dwelling, single story, facing due north
Attic mounted antenna pointed at approximately 300 degrees
Fairly flat terrain
Sparse population, rural farming area
Cell towers @ 4 miles NNW and 5 miles S

Equipment:
attic mounted: 1byone OUS00-0557 Digital Outdoor HDTV Antenna with Mounting Pole for UHF/VHF/FM Band
previously windows mounted (same problem): AmazonBasics Ultra Thin Indoor TV Antenna - 35 Mile Range
15' RG-6 Cable
SiliconDust HD HomeRun CONNECT (2-Tuner)
SiliconDust DVR running on HTPC
Gigabit wired network

HD Homerun Setup Info
The HD Homerun setup utility shows the following info on the channels:
Channel Signal Signal Symbol
Strength Quality Quality
16 85 98 100
18 93 90 100
30 71 98 100
41 95 98 100
50 80 98 100

Any thoughts on how I can determine the cause of these periods of poor reception and
potentially resolve them?

Regards,
John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,325 Posts
My initial thought is to take your antenna out of the attic and mount it on your roof. If your towers are only 5 miles away it could be something as simple as interference from your attic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,315 Posts
HD Homerun Setup Info
The HD Homerun setup utility shows the following info on the channels:
Channel Signal Signal Symbol
Strength Quality Quality
16 85 98 100
18 93 90 100
30 71 98 100
41 95 98 100
50 80 98 100

Any thoughts on how I can determine the cause of these periods of poor reception and
potentially resolve them?

Regards,
John

I assume these numbers were taken when there was no problem. What do the numbers look like when there's a problem?

They don't look to be that weak and with the high Signal Quality numbers multipath doesn't look to be a problem. It could be something in the house is interfering with the signals. In that case an outdoor antenna would help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,493 Posts
.... It could be something in the house is interfering with the signals. In that case an outdoor antenna would help.
Possibly LED lighting? It's been reported in a couple other threads that LED lighting can cause issues with OTA TV. I'd suggest to the OP that when the problem is active to try and find out whats currently turned on in your house and try turning everything you can, off, using the breaker if you have to. If this fixes the problem turn things back on one-by-one and see what causes the interference to return. I really doubt it would be things like incandescent lights but lots of other things are fair game for interfering with an OTA signal. If you had one or for sure if you had a strong local FM station, you might want to try a FM filter, again something that has caused issues with others in the past.
Lastly if you had the room and didn't mind the ~$70 cost you might want to try a larger more directional antenna. I had a similar issue with a very intermittent breakup of several of my local channels, generally one in particular but sometimes others. I tried everything I mentioned and some things like the FM filter helped a little, but then it would come back at times with a vengeance. Finally in desperation I replaced my attic UHF/VHF medium sized antenna, which I had tried pointing in a few different directions but due to the size of the VHF low elements I was unable to move it more than ~10 degrees one way or the other before it hit rafters. It was pointed basically at my towers in the middle of the 10 degree swing and sometimes when I'd move it, it would seem like it fixed things but then at some point it would return. I replaced my UHF/VHF with a large 8 bay bowtie and initially pointed it directly at the towers. All channels came in in the upper 90s for signal strength except one I watch frequently, PBS, it was 0. I tried moving it ~20 degrees away from the towers and it now comes in ~90%. My other channels dropped to the lower 90s to 70s but so far knock on wood, I've not had an occurrence of dropped signal :)
I guess what I'm trying to get at is if your having issues now, it's probably not going to get better on it's own, you've got to keep trying different things. I did and like I said sometimes things seemed like they got better but eventually I'd experience signal breakups(on multiple devices at various times) but I hope replacing the antenna was my ticket!
The best option is to get your antenna out of the attic, various rafters and such can cause havoc with multipath, probably the biggest issue with our current OTA TV standard but personally I wanted to try everything to keep my antenna in the attic, to keep it free of snow, wind and things that could corrode it over time, good luck to the OP and please keep us informed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,315 Posts
Before the OP does anything else he needs to post those numbers when the stations are having a problem. If the Signal Strength stays the same and the Signal Quality goes way down then it's probably interference. If both go down then it's atmospheric conditions and searching the house would be a waste of time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks all for the ideas thus far.

I don't generally watch live tv, but I'm going to set up a monitor over the next few nights and try to catch the problem in process. If successful, I'm going to:

1) Go around turning things off (starting with any LED lights).
2) Grab the HDHomeRun signal levels during the event.
@Calaveras - switching out the antenna sounds like a possibility if nothing else comes to light. There's nothing else using that space except he occasional critter... ;)

Thanks again,

John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,832 Posts
Similar issue that drove me nuts for a few years- discovered it was led lighting. Turned on lights and I could see the noise factor increase to the point of blocking. Especially on vhf.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,199 Posts
Some noisy LCD lights are just as bad as some noisy LEDs....and Dimmers....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
133 Posts
Hum...If it were lights, would the problem not be an issue when it was dark outside and/or the light were on? But the report is that it is for 30 to 90 minutes at random from what I see and that would not be the case. If the lights were under-cabinet lighting, for instance, it might be whenever dinner were being made, but odds are they make dinner every night and it would be issue on all days not just one day here and there.
Sounds to me more likely to be atmospherics--something like a front passing through. Though at only 25 miles or so between transmitters and antenna I would think that that is not very likely either.
Maybe a really big bird lands on the attic?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Resolved

Thank you all!

LED lights. The first two I ever installed we use occasionally for general lighting at night. They're old, but just in case avoid:

Sylvania 78918 - LED12BR30/DIM/827/HVP BR30 Flood LED Light Bulb

Have a great night,

John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,832 Posts
Thank you all!

LED lights. The first two I ever installed we use occasionally for general lighting at night. They're old, but just in case avoid:

Sylvania 78918 - LED12BR30/DIM/827/HVP BR30 Flood LED Light Bulb

Have a great night,

John
So it did end up being the lights?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,425 Posts
So it did end up being the lights?
Since he posted the word "Resolved" in the prior post, I would say yes ;).

On a different note, maybe we need to sticky on LED lights...seems as they become more popular, RF interference might be more and more of a problem for OTA users.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Yes, to remove any doubt it was the lights. Flip the lights on, watch the signal on the monitor get corrupted. Oddly enough, the signal strength etc. still showed the same (very good). Flip the light off, the monitor went back to normal.

That sticky warning about LED lights sounds like a great idea. Oddly enough it was the expensive brand-name lights that gave me problems. The cheap bulk-packed ones from Lowes are fine.

Once again, thanks to all that contributed. I truly appreciate it.

John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,832 Posts
Yes, to remove any doubt it was the lights. Flip the lights on, watch the signal on the monitor get corrupted. Oddly enough, the signal strength etc. still showed the same (very good). Flip the light off, the monitor went back to normal.

That sticky warning about LED lights sounds like a great idea. Oddly enough it was the expensive brand-name lights that gave me problems. The cheap bulk-packed ones from Lowes are fine.

Once again, thanks to all that contributed. I truly appreciate it.

John
On my sony tv the diagnostic screen give two signal readings noise and strength. When I would turn on the lights the noise would drop way down but strength remained the same. Maybe your tv is just measuring the overall gain of the signal?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,493 Posts
On my sony tv the diagnostic screen give two signal readings noise and strength. When I would turn on the lights the noise would drop way down but strength remained the same. Maybe your tv is just measuring the overall gain of the signal?
Yes not many TVs give the useful S/N ratio, my Sonys do but not a lot of other brands.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top