TV signal Amplifiers . What do u look for when buying one ?

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Motorola has one thats 12 db. for $10 . Another brand is 20 db for $18. Theres a bunch of specs on the back of both..but i have no idea what they mean. When buying one, what do u want in one when price is really secondary ? Looking for a clearer picture from distant tv signals. Thanks .
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IbeDavid wrote:

Since you say "distant signals" I assume you are using a TV antenna, not a cable.
I don't think you'll successfully remove much of the "snow" from distant signals with an amplifier.
What they are good for is boosting up a cable signal which you are going to then split into several long runs throughout a building.
Just my .02, but you might consider buying one in the right place, trying it for a night, and returning it the next day for a refund if it doesn't help any.
Jeff
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On Thu, 15 Nov 2007 19:58:02 -0400, Jeff Wisnia

It probably won't, since to be affective an amplifier needs to be installed at a point where the signal is clean.

Yes, where the amp comes BEFORE the signal loss. I do use one in my cable distribution system. It's fed from a good cable TV signal and is to compensate for the loss caused by having several loads. It would not help if I had a noisy signal coming in.

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IbeDavid wrote:

Hi, How do you receive the signal, with external antenna array on a tower or little rabbit ears indoor? Signal amp. boost signal as well as noise level. Theory wise betwee 12db and 20db is very different since db is exponential expression. 3 db is 2 times. If I were you I'd improve antenna, if you must use amp, it better be mounted on the mast, not at the TV end. Power to the amp can be fed thru coax.
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Also I hope what you're trying to receive is digital, because NTSC is scheduled to be turned off in Feb 2009. Not sure how much good an amp will do with ATSC, as it's digital and you either have a perfect picture or big break ups, not the usual snow, ghost, etc issues.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Hi, Digital by nature has more redundancy(via software, hardware). Signal format is signal is different (modulation method), it's still RF carrier.
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Yes, it's still RF. But my main point was that if he's trying to improve an analog signal, it may not be worth the trouble as it's going to be gone in a year. I'd be figuring out how to transition to ATSC first, as that may solve his problem. The reception conditions he has for digital may be different.
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Amplifiers and antennas are not smart enough to distinguish between analog and digital signals.
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On Nov 16, 9:06 am, snipped-for-privacy@mucks.net wrote:

You miss the point. In a year the analog will be gone and with ATSC his reception right now may be fine WITHOUT needing an AMP. Anyone screwing around with improving NTSC reception should take that into account.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

nope, if your analog sucks, so will your digital If you get a viewable analog signal clear to slightly snowy, it will be good enough for a digital signal. If you get an unwatchable analog signal, your digital will blink out or not lock up
I use a remote style, amp is out at antenna with a plug in box closer to the tv, works great
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So, when did you see what his TV looks like that you know it isn't just slightly snowy? How do you know which band ATSC is on in his area? Is it UHF or VHF? For all you know, he has an old crappy VHF antenna and ATSC is UHF in his area, which means what he's experiencing now has little relation to what he will have when he transitions to ATSC.

And BTW, an amp won't fix a signal to noise ratio problem.
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On Fri, 16 Nov 2007 06:49:51 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

You miss the point. With a distant weak broadcast that shows much snow but is still viewable in NTSC his ability to receive that same weak broadcast in ATSC will be less. ATSC will work with a lower signal to noise ratio than NTSC but it has a minimum requirement before it suddenly stops working. NTSC is different. It slowly fades into snow.
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On Nov 16, 11:12 am, snipped-for-privacy@mucks.net wrote:

You're making assumptions. The OP never stated how much snow he had, exactly how weak the signal is, or even if it's VHF, UHF or both that he has a problem with. If he's watching just VHF, his reception could be different going to ATSC because in most areas it's in the UHF band, while existing major broadcasting is in VHF. And if he's got UHF with a bit of snow, ATSC could work just fine. ATSC has error correction, so it can produce a complete picture, even with some signal noise, where as with NTSC it appears as snow.
ATSC will work with a lower

NTSC is different. It slowly fades

Exactly my point. If he has a picture with some snow, ATSC could solve his problem and with the demise of NTSC, he has to do something about it in another year anyway. Also, an amplifier is not going to solve a signal to noise ratio problem. It just amplifies the total signal, noise included.
What's the problem with addressing the conversion to ATSC before screwing around with a system that is going away in a year?
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On Fri, 16 Nov 2007 09:30:15 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

He said: "Looking for a clearer picture from distant tv signals. Thanks ."
I assume he must be seeing enough snow to bother posting.
snip

Maybe he doesn't want to wait. Maybe he wants to gather some info about what to expect.
So you are telling him his snowy "distant tv signal" will magically clear up. I'm telling him that his former snowy picture will start to cut up unless he changes something.
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On Nov 16, 4:11 pm, snipped-for-privacy@mucks.net wrote:

Wait for what? ATSC is up and running now. All I'm suggesting is before spending time and money trying to fix NTSC reception, he should at least be aware that it's going bye bye in a year.

I never told him his reception will magically clear up. However, depending on the location, it is possible he could receive ATSC OK and since he's going to have to do that in a year anyway, moving to digital now is an option. I've seen people online report that their reception improved and they have good reception with ATSC, where before they had snow, ghosting, etc..
And IMO, it's unlikely buying an amplifier is going to do any good. He's in a mobile home with probably a 10 ft cable from the antenna to the TV, not in a big house with 5 TV's. If the signal from the antenna was any good with decent SNR he should be able to receive it on a single set.
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snipped-for-privacy@mucks.net wrote:

It all depends on your tolerance for snow. You can get a watchable but snowy picture from a distant NTSC station that wouldn't even register on an ATSC set.
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REPLY: Everyeone, Thanks. ITs a crankup outdoor roof mounted Wineguard Antennae on my RV for VHF tv stations. Inside, there is a red button which i press that feeds 12 vdc power into the coax cable ...so....i assume THIS is the amp which came with the unit (??). How can i pull in weak signals, better, with what i have ? Thanks, Dave.
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In order of benefit. Get a taller antenna. Get a bigger antenna.
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On Fri, 16 Nov 2007 06:10:35 -0800 (PST), IbeDavid

Don't expect the amp to help much. Are you sure the antenna is aimed the best it can be?
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On Thu, 15 Nov 2007 16:48:28 -0800 (PST), IbeDavid

Amplifiers for antennas only work when they are mounted at the antenna. Quality amps will be weather proofed and have an optional FM trap that can be switched in if you have a local FM station that could interfere with channel 6.
Amplifiers other than what is used on an antenna would only makes sense if you were going to split the signal multiple times.
12 db or 20db makes no difference. If 12db isn't enough then something is very very wrong in your set up.
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