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I have a mid-sized directional antenna in my attic. I have an signal amplifier close to my TV. My TV gets great reception through the antenna in HD.

I attached an HD Tivo and the Tivo doesn't seem to do nearly as well getting reception through the antenna. 4-1, 5-1, 9-1, 11-1 all occasionally flicker or I sometimes completely lose signal.

I already have an amplifier, I'm wondering if I should add another amplifier and does it make a difference where I put it? I am guessing that my HDTV has better built in signal amplification than the tuner and this is why the TiVo isn't passing through a good signal?

Thanks,
Dan
 

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dmittelstadt said:
I have a mid-sized directional antenna in my attic. I have an signal amplifier close to my TV. My TV gets great reception through the antenna in HD.

I attached an HD Tivo and the Tivo doesn't seem to do nearly as well getting reception through the antenna. 4-1, 5-1, 9-1, 11-1 all occasionally flicker or I sometimes completely lose signal.

I already have an amplifier, I'm wondering if I should add another amplifier and does it make a difference where I put it? I am guessing that my HDTV has better built in signal amplification than the tuner and this is why the TiVo isn't passing through a good signal?

Thanks,
Dan
An amplifier near the TV/tivo is unlikely to be of any use. The receiving devices already have AGC circuitry in them to boost the signal level, if it is low. An amplifier right in front of the tivo will only help if it has a better SNR than the tivo. You might try the antenna without an amplifier, and without any splitters between it and the antenna. The amplifier may be overloading the receiver.

An pre-amplifier near the antenna can help, since it can overcome the signal loss in the cable run, and resulting decrease in the SNR. A distribution amplifier can also have value, over a passive splitter, if you are splitting your signal at all.

Lots of good theoretical info here in the amplifier section.
 

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I have a Series 3 Tivo HD hooked up to an external antenna (AntennasDirect DB2) and the cable run from the antenna is split with a passive splitter in the cable closet so I can share the antenna between the TivoHD in the livingroom and a bedroom mediacenter PC.
It seems to work pretty well for the livingroom, but not as well in the bedroom. Some HD channels don't come in and analog channels are very fuzzy on the bedroom tv. It wouldn't hurt if both rooms were boosted for better performance during heavy rain.

Which solution is best? Replacing the passive splitter with an amplified splitter (distribution amplifier)


or getting a booster on the antenna (antenna pre-amp kit)?


Problem with the pre-amp kit is that there is no power outlet nearby to where the antenna is mounted (on a pole mounted to an J-mount eve on the house).
I would need to get a 25-50ft extension cord to reach an outlet.

What's the best option on this web page? I can't tell the pros and cons of some of very similar looking pre-amp kits on their site

http://www.antennasdirect.com/antenna_amplifier.html
 

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I have a Weingard 2000 omnidirectional antenna. It is only a white PVC disk (NOT dish) about 21'' in diameter. It has a built in amplifier at the antenna. I am getting amazing reception from 3 cities all over 45 miles away. All crystal clear. The amplifier at the antenna, I was told, is the very best way to keep the signal strong. At the TiVo the signal is already degraded. The S3 has a very good and sensitive tuner.
 

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I have a Weingard 2000 omnidirectional antenna. It is only a white PVC disk (NOT dish) about 21'' in diameter. It has a built in amplifier at the antenna. I am getting amazing reception from 3 cities all over 45 miles away. All crystal clear. The amplifier at the antenna, I was told, is the very best way to keep the signal strong. At the TiVo the signal is already degraded. The S3 has a very good and sensitive tuner.
Actually, the splitter isn't at the Tivo. There is a wiring closet inside the house that feeds all the cable outputs to other rooms. The cable splitter is installed there with one output connected to the living room cable and the other connected to the cable for the bedroom with the other tv. Will that make a difference if using a distribution amplifier or is an antenna pre-amp kit still better?

The existing antenna seemed to work well enough before the splitter was used and I could get a signal even from inside the house.
It was only moved outside so it could be shared with the bedroom and because it looked ugly in the house.
 

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Sounds like you need a pre-amp. I use a 30db Preamp with my Winegard Squareshooters. Then inside I split it to 8 locations, and I have no problems with reception from any of my devces.
 

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How do you power it? Is there an electrical outlet next to your antenna?
It's powered over the coaxial cable. You have a transformer you plug in to an electrical outlet. One connector goes to the cable you have going to the preamp/antenna, and the other connector goes to you splitter for internal distribution. I've had mine running since 2004 without any problems.
I also have the Amp connected to a UPS since without power I would lose the signal.
 

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It's powered over the coaxial cable. You have a transformer you plug in to an electrical outlet. One connector goes to the cable you have going to the preamp/antenna, and the other connector goes to you splitter for internal distribution. I've had mine running since 2004 without any problems.
I also have the Amp connected to a UPS since without power I would lose the signal.
I'm not sure I understand what you mean. So, nothing needs to be installed outside on the roof with the antenna? The splitter is installed in the interior cable wiring cabinet (in a clothes closet) and feeds the living room and the other bedroom with the tv. So the amplifier and transformer are installed at the splitter?
 

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I'm not sure I understand what you mean. So, nothing needs to be installed outside on the roof with the antenna? The splitter is installed in the interior cable wiring cabinet (in a clothes closet) and feeds the living room and the other bedroom with the tv. So the amplifier and transformer are installed at the splitter?
No, the power supply would go in the cabinet before the splitter, and the amplifier would go on the roof. The supply feeds power to the amp via the same coax that brings the signal back down.

The advantage of an amp at the antenna end of the cable is that you are increasing the signal-to-noise ratio as well as the signal level - boosting the signal in the cabinet after it's already picked up noise on the way down from the roof, would boost the noise level as well.
 

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No, the power supply would go in the cabinet before the splitter, and the amplifier would go on the roof. The supply feeds power to the amp via the same coax that brings the signal back down.

The advantage of an amp at the antenna end of the cable is that you are increasing the signal-to-noise ratio as well as the signal level - boosting the signal in the cabinet after it's already picked up noise on the way down from the roof, would boost the noise level as well.
OK.
So, the company that makes my DB2 antenna has 2 pre-amp kits that are priced the same (PA-16 and PA-18). http://www.antennasdirect.com/antenna_amplifier.html

Based on the specs, which should be better or should I get some other amp from another company?
 

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Sounds like you need a pre-amp. I use a 30db Preamp with my Winegard Squareshooters. Then inside I split it to 8 locations, and I have no problems with reception from any of my devces.
I'm still fuzzy on if I need a preamp or a distribution system/booster in this situation:

DirecTV installed an antenna on my roof so I could could OTA locals on their HD-DVR. This antenna ran straight from the roof directly to the "antenna" feed on their DVR (separate from their satellite runs/multiswitch).

I've since canceled DirecTV and replaced their DVR with a S3 TiVo. I simply plugged the antenna feed into my S3 Tivo and all of my local digital channels came in perfectly. TiVo showed that most channel strengths were in the 90s, one or two in the high 80s. :)

I got a 2nd S3 TiVo for a bedroom and split the feed from the antenna using a 2-way splitter. This lowered the Living Room S3's signal strengths by 5 or so. I got pixelation on ABC's "Lost" last night for the first time ever. :eek:

Eventually, I'd like to split the antenna feed 2 more times (for a total of 4 locations), which is going to lower the strength even more.

Since my antenna seems to get good signal when there's just one device attached to it, I'm confused if I need a preamp or a distribution system. :confused: I thought I read somewhere that a preamp on an antenna that got good reception might cause problems.
 

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OK.
So, the company that makes my DB2 antenna has 2 pre-amp kits that are priced the same (PA-16 and PA-18). http://www.antennasdirect.com/antenna_amplifier.html

Based on the specs, which should be better or should I get some other amp from another company?
I just noticed the PA-18 is both UHF and VHF and my antenna is UHF-only, so I suppose the PA-16 is best match of these 2 choices even though there is no price difference. I don't think I will ever need VHF because all the local HD channels are UHF in my area.

Unless there are better choices from other brands of pre-amp kits, I'll order the PA-16.

Is there is there any need to also get the distribution amplifier if I get the pre-amp?

 

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I'm still fuzzy on if I need a preamp or a distribution system/booster in this situation:

DirecTV installed an antenna on my roof so I could could OTA locals on their HD-DVR. This antenna ran straight from the roof directly to the "antenna" feed on their DVR (separate from their satellite runs/multiswitch).

I've since canceled DirecTV and replaced their DVR with a S3 TiVo. I simply plugged the antenna feed into my S3 Tivo and all of my local digital channels came in perfectly. TiVo showed that most channel strengths were in the 90s, one or two in the high 80s. :)

I got a 2nd S3 TiVo for a bedroom and split the feed from the antenna using a 2-way splitter. This lowered the Living Room S3's signal strengths by 5 or so. I got pixelation on ABC's "Lost" last night for the first time ever. :eek:

Eventually, I'd like to split the antenna feed 2 more times (for a total of 4 locations), which is going to lower the strength even more.

Since my antenna seems to get good signal when there's just one device attached to it, I'm confused if I need a preamp or a distribution system. :confused: I thought I read somewhere that a preamp on an antenna that got good reception might cause problems.
If you were fine with just the one TiVo, you should be able to just get an amp and use that where the splitter is. Just make sure it is an adjustable amp. You can get one with two or four outputs and that way you can adjust the amplification and make sure the signal is not too hot.
Or you could get a non adjustable amp and put inline attenuators to lower the output if needed.
 
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