Amplifiers and signal overload
Hi, I would like a recommendation for TV antenna and amp/preamp setup. My address is ____________ rd Convoy Ohio 45832
I'll be hooking 5 sets up to this setup.I will be using this for digital reception using dtv conversion boxes on 4 of the 5 sets.
The antenna will be mounted outside on antenna mast with a rotor.
Thanks mike _____
As you probably know you will have to amplify the signal to distribute it throughout your home, this is where it gets a little tricky. There are preamplifier's that have enough amplification to do this but the problem with this is the greater the amplification of an amplifier is the more susceptible it becomes to signal input overdrive. Every amplifier has a maximum signal input capacity that is measured by the total amount of combined signal strength of all incoming TV signals. At your location when the antenna is pointed West/Northwest at Fort Wayne there is a large number of reasonably strong signals. Placing a high gain preamplifier at the antenna is risky. A high gain mast mounted preamplifier may experience signal input overload because of the numerous reasonably strong signals.
You have a couple of choices for amplification that will work.
You can install the HDA 200 distribution > amplifier but for this to be efficient its location should be within 30 to no more the 50 feet in cable length from the antenna. It should be installed on the antenna side of the signal splitter. This unit can be remotely powered with the use of the coax cable. It can even be installed outside with the use of waterproofing filler on the connections. To maintain signal quality be sure to use a good quality coax cable from the TV antenna to the amplifier such as solid copper RG 6 coax cable.
Your second choice would be to install the high signal input LNA 200 mast mounted preamplifier >. This unit can handle about 5 times the signal input of the average preamplifier but it doesn't have enough amplification to supply all of your TV location. To supply the entire system a second amplifier will be required installed just ahead of the signal splitter. The best choice for this application would be the HDA 100 distribution amplifier >. This method will likely provide the best all around reception at your location.
Either way you choose to amplify the system should work well and avoid any chance of signal overload.
Best Regards, Denny
Do I really need the preamplifier
Denny-As per your recommendation I purchased the EZ-HD antenna and the AP 8700 TV antenna preamplifier. Everything is working great I'm getting more HD channels then I knew were available. My question pertains to the preamplifier. I'm am connected to one TV and am not using a signal splitter with about a 70 foot cable run from the antenna to the TV. Without the preamplifier the EZ-HD antenna gives me about a 74% to 90% signal on all channels. When I install the preamplifier the signal jumps to about 85% to 100% but I don't see any improvement in the picture quality. My question is this. Do I really need the preamplifier if it doesn't improve my pictures?
Gary ______ Minneapolis, MN.
Most of the time probably not. Unlike analog reception digital picture quality doesn't change with fluctuating signal strength. You either get the signal or you don't with a narrow area where the signal will go in and out referred to as pixellation. There is a certain level of signal strength where the digital signal will drop out. It varies from tuner meter to tuner meter depending on how the meter is calibrated. On my HDTV the signal drops out at about 22% on my set top tuner on another TV it drops out at about 54%. However, both TV's loose the signal at about the same time even though one meter is reading 22% while the other reads 54%.
What your preamplifier will do is provide you with a cushion. As reception conditions worsen during a heavy down pour etc... the preamplifier will help maintain your signal level above the drop out point.
Even though there is no benefit in picture quality the preamplifier does play an important role in digital reception even if it is only needed occasionally. It can be very frustrating to be watching a program and have the signal drop out right in the middle of the show.
Take care and thank you for doing business with us.
Denny's TV Antenna Service
"Helping America Watch Free TV since 1988"