Caught between two PBS stations...

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by richardtallent, Nov 13, 2015.

  1. richardtallent

    richardtallent New Member

    Aug 17, 2002
    Beaumont, TX
    I live in Beaumont, Texas (zip 77702). I'm 70 miles from the PBS station serving Lake Charles and 90 from the one in Houston. All other networks are not an issue, their transmitters are all around 10 miles away, within 8 degrees of the Lake Charles PBS station.

    At night, I get clear reception from both PBS stations (signal strength reported on my TiVo Bolt of around 45-50), but during the day, both drop below 35 and won't lock.

    Antenna situation:
    • One old-school 24x30 grid, one new cheap antenna (
    • Both attic-mounted, ~25 feet off the ground, 4 or 5 feet apart.
    • Terrain is flat, but with heavy tree coverage.
    • Antennas are pointed almost in opposite directions -- 72 degrees and 247 degrees
    • Currently running through independent 50ft RG6 lines to a media closet, where they are combined and sent into the TiVo.

    I don't currently have them amplified. One of the antennas has an amp / motor unit but I'm not using it at the moment.

    I'm wondering if a pre-amp like this one will help bump me over the edge to get good reception of one of the two of these stations during the day?

    Given the way the Bolt reports its signal strength (starting low and going up), it makes me wonder if it has built-in pre-amp with automatic gain. If that's the case, what is the gain and noise level of that pre-amp?

    Also, I've heard some discussion of TiVos showing a diagnostic screen with the S/N ratio, but all I get is signal strength. Is the Bolt missing this information?
  2. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    Rochester NY
    Go To: Settings & Messages - Help - Account & System info - Diagnostics. You should be able to find S/N their. I would mount the antenna on your roof before going with an amp.
  3. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    Jan 31, 2002
    At 70 miles away I would use a pre-amp to get reception. Although you say it's flat. I use a pre-amp where I live to be able to receive channels from 25 miles away. But it isn't flat in my area.

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