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Suprising OTA Signal Results

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by ajsasr, Aug 29, 2007.

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  1. Trehutch

    Trehutch Mentor

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    Aug 8, 2007
    My HR10-250 was alot better in pulling in the OTA signal. all my channels were 90-100 percent. Now the CW breaks up about every2-3 minutes on the HR20. It never did this with the HR10-250. Frustrating!!!!!

    Trevor

    Beaverton, Oregon
     
  2. islander66

    islander66 AllStar

    97
    0
    Oct 16, 2007
    I'm using an 20 year old pair of RCA rabbit ears with a plug in splitter.

    With HR20 700, I'm getting 100% on most, then 78% on CBS, and about 68% on 36.

    I can see the strength vary a few when it's not at 100%.

    I assume I a have the latest software, as I did a force update about a week ago.

    Every now and then CBS drops the signal, but I thought that was the loose splitter connection, and so far I have been able to sort it out by jiggling the plug.
     
  3. Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

    4,567
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    Sep 3, 2004
    I can't speak to previous DVRs but my HR20-700 reads 77% on those channels that read 100% on my Panasonic plasma's ATSC tuner and in the 40-60% range on other stations that are tougher to get. I have also had excellent luck with the ATSC tuner in the HR20. My Panasonic receives everything and so does the HR20. My RCA TV that they both replaced, an early HDTV set with a back then rare built-in ATSC tuner, only seldom got the weak stations.
     
  4. donshan

    donshan Godfather

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    Jun 18, 2007
    Thanks, I found that thread later too and it helped a lot. My current theory is there may be a tuner/meter change as part of the $100 cost reduction for HD DVRs this year that D*s Mike Palkovic mentioned Sept 17 at the Merrill Lynch Conference.

    I have two HR20s connected to the same DB4 roof antenna with a splitter. The one I bought in June was manufactured April 07,2007 and the meters in it read 97-100 on all five of our OTA stations. The newer HR20 I just got was made July 21, 2007 and shows a steady 77 on all channels with both tuners. In effect 77% on the newer HR20 is the same as 100% on the older one. Both work OK, but it sure is confusing.

    This suggests to me those with the 77% max signal strength might post manufacture date ( it is on a sticker on the bottom) of their HR-20 to test if there this is a factor in this issue or not.
     
  5. islander66

    islander66 AllStar

    97
    0
    Oct 16, 2007
    donshan, I think you are on to something.

    Mine was a refurb, manufactured in 12/09/06.

    And it's getting variable strength up to 100%.
     
  6. hasan

    hasan Well-Known Member

    5,957
    54
    Sep 22, 2006
    Ogden, IA
    The HR20 OTA tuner is NOT measuring signal strength. It is measuring bit-error-rate (BER).....and it is not arbitrary

    BER is a function of several things, and some tuners handle some of these issues better than others:

    1. Carrier to Noise Ratio (in the analog world this is a "strength" measure.)
    2. Multi-path Distortion (in the analog world this manifests as "ghosting")
    3. Impedance bumps (non 75 ohm antenna, which ALL TV antennas present)
    4. Feedline length on a non-matched transmission line (see #3 above...related)
    5. Overload of the front end.
    6. Dynamic Range (the weakest to the strongest signal the receiver can handle)

    All of the above factors influence the BER on the HR20....I have measured/manipulated all of them. With the proper adjustment of the antenna, feedline length, and gain distribution, you can get the HR20 OTA tuner to do a very decent job...but it ain't easy if you have a problematic signal in the first place.

    Just don't get too caught up in "strength"...it is by far one of the least troublesome issues the HR20 faces, and one of the easiest to cure. (better antenna, antenna mounted preamp, etc.)

    ...and remember, the HR20's meter is NOT REPORTING STRENGTH, it is reporting Bit-Error-Rate which is a function of 1 through 6 above.
     
  7. Kansas Zephyr

    Kansas Zephyr Hall Of Fame

    1,489
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    Jun 29, 2007
    I just installed a third HR20-700 today, and forced a software update.

    I noticed that 3 OTA channels that read 100% SS/BER/whatever on the 2 slightly older HR20s did read 77% on the new box.

    FWIW...it replaced a HR10-250 that also had those 3 channels at 100%, using the same cable runs.

    I don't care about the number, since the PQ is rock solid. But, that's an odd bug, considering they are running the same version of software.

    I'll look at the manufacture dates, when I get home.

    Funny, huh?
     
  8. tkrandall

    tkrandall Hall Of Fame

    1,806
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    Oct 3, 2003
    my HR20-700 is a refurb unit built in (I think) February 07. I get full meter readings.
     
  9. Kansas Zephyr

    Kansas Zephyr Hall Of Fame

    1,489
    0
    Jun 29, 2007
    Today every OTA station was reporting 77% on my newest HR20.

    While the other 2 HR20s had 3 stations at 100%, one at 70ish% (within 5% between the two other HR20s), and one at 60ish% (within 5% between the other two, again).

    The PQ is fine with stable images.

    But, it's still a bit of a mystery. I'm not worried or complaining.

    I'll look at the manufacture dates when I get some extra time.
     
  10. tzphotos.com

    tzphotos.com Godfather

    410
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    Jul 12, 2006
    For the heck of it I put the HR20-100 RF Remote Antenna into the OTA jack and I received all of the local stations except 2 (3 DT). I knew I would receive the low VHF channel, but was surprised to receive the other stations with very little breakup.

    I live about 10 miles from downtown Chicago.

    Give it a try if you don't already have an antenna it may work for you.
     
  11. hasan

    hasan Well-Known Member

    5,957
    54
    Sep 22, 2006
    Ogden, IA
    Necessity is the mother of invention, and it doesn't hurt that a lot of HD is on UHF, where that remote antenna approximates a quarter wave vertical.
     
  12. K4SMX

    K4SMX Hall Of Fame

    3,433
    0
    May 19, 2007
    Yes, those having difficulty with the range of their RF remote control be amazed at how hooking a a well-aimed UHF antenna in the attic to your receiver's RF Remote antenna jack improves the coverage when in RF remote mode. (Not an HR20-700 option, and it works well with any D* receiver having an RF remote antenna jack. Some -100's have their very own set of other RF remote problems it appears, however...)
     
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