It doesn't matter what the owner's manual says. A 27" TV which is
just a flat screen TV, purchased in 2004, almost certainly did not
have a digital tuner built-in. Beyond that, it doesn't matter. The
converter boxes that are being sold will convert digital ATSC
broadcasts and output signals that any older TV with NTSC tuner can
receive. It's similar to hooking up a VCR, etc.
Antennas and amps that worked for analog will also work for digital. They
simply take in and amplify whatever RF energy comes their way (within their
respective designed frequency range).
The tuner is what ultimately determines whether or not you can make use of
that RF energy. This might include analog TV (NTSC), digital TV (ATSC), FM
radio, HD FM radio, and anything else that happens to be broadcast within
those frequency ranges.
If you're using an inline amp, it's usually best to put is as close to the
antenna as possible. That way, the gain of the amp can make up for any
cable loss, splitters, tuner noise figure, etc. If you put the amp just
before the TV, then you've already suffered some signal degradation from the
cable run and splitters that came before the amp.
Actually, I'm using the inline amp for "lightning protection". Sort
of a sacrificial item, hoping that any surge via the antenna will take
out the amp before it gets into the tv. I know that's a crap shoot,
but amps are a lot cheaper than tv's.
What makes you think the amp will protect your TV set? That's false
security. If lightning strikes your antenna(tower), TV will be toast.
If and when there is risk for strike disconnect antenna coax and unplug
power cord. Electron moves at the speed of light, remember? Ideally
antenna structure has to have a good grounding for safety.
I didn't say a strike, I said a surge.
I've lost 3 tv's at a different location from lightning surges
(nearby but not direct strike) coming into the tuner section via
CATV. It didn't toast the whole tv, just the tuner sections.
I've not lost this tv with the amp even during severe storms with
static electricity dancing within the house.
I admitted nothing was sure, but past experience seems to be on my
First a lightning strike is a surge.
Second, sacrificial protection does not exist - is a myth. A surge
is electricity. That means electricity flows through everything in
that path from cloud to earth. Only after does something or multiple
things fail. You have assumed surges do damage like waves crashing on
a beach. Electricity does not work that way.
Third, protection is defined in another post on 11 January 2008 in
the newsgroup newsguy.general entitled "Lightning Strikes" at:
Everything in that post defines what provides TV protection.
Fourth, you have assumed lightning surge entered on cable. Then what
is the outgoing path to earth? Any properly installed cable first
connects to earth ground before rising up to enter the building.
Connected to earth means a surge will not seek earth ground,
destructively, via the TV. What is the incoming surge path? What
good is a 'sacrificial' amp when cable should already dump the
incoming surge to earth before entering the building?
Fifth, surges typically enter from wires located highest on poles -
AC electric. Incoming on AC electric, into TV, and out to earth
ground via tuner and cable. Protection means the incoming wire should
be earthed before entering the building. That is what one properly
earthed 'whole house' protector does. Earthed to the same electrode
that cable TV wire connects.
I'm not going to get into this argument again - it was fought long &
hard many times before. All I'm saying is that theory is one thing
and experience is another. As to cable input, the shield is grounded
but the center conductor is not. Any induced voltage on the center
conductor goes into the tv's tuner section before it finds a path to
ground. And I've had 3 tv's to prove it despite what theory says.
Also, it does not take a strike to create a surge. Many, many times
I've had static electricity jumping 1" to 2" arcs between appliances
in my kitchen when there was a storm in the area but no strikes. I've
had items vibrate on my glass coffee table many seconds before a
strike a half mile away. And yes, my house is properly grounded.
And yes, I have had a lot of experience installing commercial
lightning protection sysyems. Enough experience to say that lightning
will do what it damn well pleases despite what precautions we take.
So the more we do, even it is not within norm, increases our chances
of minimal damage. And that is what I said I did.
Yes, speaking of experience, when I was an EIC at LARGE data center in
the basement of a building, we suffered a direct hit. No visible damage
to any equipment per se, but alas, our data stored in the mass storage
devices were all garbled(trashed) needing 3 days non-stop restore
operation from a back up we kept off site. I think when hit direct,
there is no real 100% protection.
First, your conclusion contradicts what industry professional say -
including an inline amp as sacrificial protection.
Second, your amp solution (as others noted) does nothing if a surge
is on either conductor.
Third, one with experience learned by doing this stuff decades ago -
me. Your 'theory only' of using an amp as a protector comes from no
practical experience, from denying how electricity works, and from
ignoring science as well published even in industry application notes.
(Electrical knowledge also would not have asked if the inline amp was
If you believed an earthed coax shield was insufficient, then
experience would have obtained well proven products from an industry
benchmark - Polyphaser. Your experience was unaware of highly
regarded products from Polyphaser - an industry benchmark? I thought
you said you knew this stuff?
Fourth, is the building properly grounded? Proper earthing only for
human safety, or earthing enhanced for appliance protection? Does
every wire in every cable make a 'less than 10 foot' connection to the
same (single point) earthing electrode? If not, then earthing is not
Fifth, a major difference exists between installing equipment verses
learning why damage occurs. If earthing was sufficient, then you were
not suffering electronics damage and not suffering 1" sparks inside
the kitchen. 1" or 2" sparks inside a kitchen means one corrects an
earthing defect. Those 1" sparks exist when you ignore an obvious
Your reply implies that you will ignore what professional say.
Fine. This post demonstrates for others why you suffered repeat
damage; what happens when one refuses to learn from and correct a
defect. Posted only for the benefit of others. Three TVs and you
still ignored the problem? 1" sparks in the kitchen and you call that
Routine is to have direct lightning strikes without damage.
Otherwise telco service would be lost periodically for five days while
telco replaces their computer. Telcos suffer typically 100 surges
during every thunderstorm - and no damage. That means no 1" sparks
inside the building. If damage does occur, a human locates and
corrects the earthing defect - as Orange County FL did:
Their facilities also were properly grounded. How did Orange
County eliminate unacceptable damage? "Properly grounded" earthing
system was upgraded to eliminate surge damage. 1" sparks inside a
building due to lightning means a defective earthing system, which
also explains three damaged TVs.
Lightning is not facetious - except where science is ignored.
Reasons for damage are so well understood that damage is considered a
human failure. When lightning does something unexpected, then a human
learns from his mistake. Another human failure is to suffer damage
three times and still not fix the defective earthing.
Direct strikes to a house are very uncommon and lightning rods are
seldom cost-effective. The post has minimal information relevant to
Red's cable TV.
Excellent information on surges and surge protection is in an IEEE guide at:
And one from the NIST at:
The IEEE guide is aimed at those with some technical background. The
NIST guide is aimed at the unwashed masses.
As Red points out, a cable entry ground block only grounds the shield,
leaving the center conductor unprotected. The IEEE guide notes that the
voltage between cable center conductor and sheath is then limited by the
breakdown of F-connectors which is typically 2-4,000V. The guide notes
that connected equipment can be damaged at those voltages
A plug-in suppressor, with the cable going through the suppressor, will
clamp the voltage.
Or a ground block that clamps the voltage could be used. These must be
grounded to the common ground point at entry (as below) to be effective.
Not just to the same electrode. The IEEE guide has an example of too
long a ground wire from a cable entry ground block to the earthing
wire at the power service starting pdf page 40. The distance to the
common bonding point for power, cable, phone is critical, not the
distance to the grounding electrode. The author of the NIST guide, has
written the impedance of the grounding system to true earth is far
less important than the integrity of the bonding of the various parts
of the grounding system. If the entry protector for phone or cable is
distant from the power service a short connection is not possible. In
that case, the IEEE guide says "the only effective way of protecting the
equipment is to use a plug-in suppressors with power plus cable and/or
phone going through the suppressor.
According to NIST guide, US insurance information indicates equipment
most frequently damaged by lightning is
computers with a modem connection
TVs, VCRs and similar equipment (presumably with cable TV
All can be damaged by high voltages between power and signal wires.
The 2 examples of surge protection in the IEEE guide are for TV/related
equipment with cable connection, and a computer with phone connection.
A cable amp should eliminate the hazard from high voltage on the center
conductor, but would not necessarily eliminate problems with power and
cable ground references being at high voltage with respect to each other.
A power service surge suppressor is a real good idea, but will provide
no protection from the 2 problems above.
Actually, High Def has nothing to do with whether the cktry is digital
or not. A set can have ALL digital components in it but still only be
capable of managing analog TV signals. It's the TV signal that becomes
digital for HDTV, so the set requires a tuner which is capable of
receiving and handling digital signals. And it will of course, use
digital components; it'd be a bear to design an analog digital TV signal
Well, it's definitely unlikely, that's for sure. As someone mentioned
though, the converter boxes to convert digital signals to analog signals
will shortly be plentiful and at reasonable prices.
Currently used antenna systems etc., should all work fine for
digital signals as they are all in the same UHF bands as used today with
only a few remaining in the VHF band. So if you currently can receive
UHF you'll be fine for digital TV signals. I mention this only because
I'm starting already to see some ads hyping special antenna systems for
the "new" HDTV switch; those are ripoffs for the most part. I've also
seen converter boxes already hyped for as much as $299; a clear ripoff.
Just for clarification, DTV and HDTV are technically two different
animals too. If you have HDTV then you have a DTV but if you have a DTV
it will receive HDTV signals but might not display in the expected wide
screen formats and not with high definition. However, a DTV can still
at least receive the digital signal formats as a rule.
Usually if an older set is really HDTV capable, it will have two
separate antenna input jacks which connect to two separate tuners, one
analog, the other DTV. If a set does not have a digital signal tuner,
then it can not receive HDTV.
On Jan 11, 10:11 pm, email@example.com wrote:
What he's saying is that TV's for decades have had some digital
components, like the digital comb filter in the OP's 2004 27" set,
which almost certainly does not have an ATSC tuner, which is what the
real issue is. Even the ATSC tuners have some analog components as
The OP is confused in thinking that for the ATSC converter boxs to
work, his TV needs to be "digital". It does not. The converters are
designed to take ATSC and offer various outputs, including RF NTSC
which you can hook up to any old NTSC TV, just like hooking up a VCR.
Bottom line, his TV almost certainly doesn't have a built-in ATSC
tuner and the converter boxes will work with it to receive std def
ATSC that is replacing NTSC OTA, but the TV will not be capable of HD
resolutions unless the specs say it's HDTV ready.
On Sat, 12 Jan 2008 03:28:52 -0800 (PST), firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Almost certainly requiring 2 remote controls (TV & converter), making
watching TV more complicated. This problem could be avoided if TVs
could have their power interrupted (switched outlet on converter)
without forgetting any settings. Few TVs are like that.
Many remotes supplied with converter boxes can be programed to operate the TV as
well. I have directv, and the remote turns the converter and the TV on and off
with one press of a button. It also controls TV volume and all on screen
programming fuctions for picture and audio settings, etc. The same remote also
controls my DVD player and my stereo system.
On Sat, 12 Jan 2008 09:58:58 -0500, email@example.com wrote:
Universal remote controls help some, but it ISN'T as easy as a single
TV with a remote control designed for it.
You might not notice because you're used to it. That won't be true for
some people. I had an older relative who had trouble with anything
other than a SINGLE 6-button (ch up/ch dn/vol up/vol dn/mute/power)
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