Saturday, March 27, 2010

Tuner card not tuning? A new antenna will probably fix it.

Antenna installer from Beverly Hills franchise of Jim's Antennas came around today and installed a brand new shiny Hills Antenna SMX024WB, which basically looks like this:

Got a lot of good advice from, so I knew what I was looking for. It doesnt have the 3 metre rods at the back like most antennas - their for bands 1 and 2, which carry channels 5 and under (I think) in VHF. Since the digital signal doesnt work on that wavelength, it just causes noise and breaks up the signal. Something we're having a lot of trouble with.

So we got a new antenna, new quad shielded cabling, F-connectors, etc - and the result is startling!

For the technically minded, the signal at the downstairs outlet is 70 dB, which apparently is a very good signal.

Instead of 5 or 6 channels main channels, with NITV and Expo, etc hardly ever available, we've managed to pick up nearly 40 channels! Some I hadnt even heard of! Must be picking up regional Wollongong and Newcastle.

Ok - lots of the channels are the other broadcasts of the normal channels, but still... its a huge change.

But most importantly, the HTPC is picking up the signal for all channels. So thats a fantastic outcome and well worth the $495 for the antenna and installation. No more drop outs for us.

I can completely recommend Bill from Beverly Hills Jim's Antennas as someone who does a thorough job at a fair price and shows up on time.

I got the antenna guy to divide the cable into two downstairs and fed one directly into the TV and the other into the HTPC tuner - that way we can use the TV tuner still for ordinary TV, rather than having to route everything through the HTPC HDMI connection.

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