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RF Modulator's Created Equal?

whdvr

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12 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   wallybarthman

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 05:11 AM

I use an RF modulator to send the output from my HR-22 in my living room to the upstairs rooms in my house where we occasionally watch TV. I'm using a Philips PH61159 modulator. Now, I know this is RF Modulation and I'm watching analog SD content on a 24-inch HDTV but the quality seems especially bad - even for SD.

So are there better consumer-grade RF Modulators on the market or do they all pretty much do the same job?

Westinghouse 37'' LCD 1080p Monitor / PS3 / HR24-500 w/AM21 OTA Tuner / Mac Mini
Vizio 42'' LCD 720p TV / Panasonic Blu-ray Player / Mac Mini / HR22 w/ AM21 OTA Tuner and HR22

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#2 OFFLINE   Valve1138

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 05:51 AM

Some are better than others for sure. Smarthome.com sells quite a few of them.

Does yours have a "gain" setting on it? Adjusting that up or down may help.

Also, is the cable connecting the two a straight run or does it have any splitters somewhere along the line that could affect the signal.

#3 OFFLINE   Floyd

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 07:48 AM

Also, if the modulator is agile, try using other channels to avoid any interferrence from a local station or from leaks in the cable company wiring in your area.
Try feeding the output of the modulator to the TV next to it and see if the video is good at the source.
If there are any commercial guys in your area, they usually have old commercial modulators in the junkpile that may still work for you. The commercial modulators have more power as well.

#4 OFFLINE   CCarncross

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 08:06 AM

I think they are all created equal, they all stink...

:lol:

#5 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 08:13 AM

Most of the big box modulators aren't agile.

Modulators don't have to be bad.

What's almost always marginal is viewing an SD signal on an HDTV. Set your receiver to output SD on your HD connected TV and you'll likely see a decided degradation in picture quality. It can only go downhill from there.

Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. -- JFK


#6 OFFLINE   Carl Spock

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 09:06 AM

I've found a huge difference between RF modulators over the years.

Yes, most stink.

And sometimes cheap ones work as well as the expensive pieces.

As said above, I have found a gain adjustment pot to be a useful tool and a sign it might be a better modulator.
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#7 OFFLINE   Wisegoat

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 01:29 PM

The ChannelPlus units have always worked for me over the years. I have the 5515 modulators on the DVD-R/VCR (connected to the HR20) and security cameras. This enables me to watch TV in the backyard and the garage, from what is on in the living room. This in conjunction with a 550-HHR, modulates all of my basic cable (OTA only) and modulators on to the same signal. I have to flip to the TV's internal NTSC tuner in order to see these channels, but I still have access.

Someone please create an affordable ATSC modulator!

#8 OFFLINE   carl6

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 01:37 PM

I'm using a quantity of channel plus, they have worked well for me. My home application does not warrant spending for commercial grade equipment - consumer grade works fine.

#9 OFFLINE   wallybarthman

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 05:29 PM

Thanks for all your help. The RF Modulator has no gain control on it and the signal does run through a 4-way splitter (but the only live line is to the bedroom where we use it)

I second the motion for an affordable consumer ATSC or QAM modulator - I fear we are a long time from it.

Westinghouse 37'' LCD 1080p Monitor / PS3 / HR24-500 w/AM21 OTA Tuner / Mac Mini
Vizio 42'' LCD 720p TV / Panasonic Blu-ray Player / Mac Mini / HR22 w/ AM21 OTA Tuner and HR22

#10 OFFLINE   carl6

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 05:50 PM

Thanks for all your help. The RF Modulator has no gain control on it and the signal does run through a 4-way splitter (but the only live line is to the bedroom where we use it)


Remove the splitter. That will give you a huge gain in signal. Each split takes 1/2 the signal away (roughly). So you are getting 1/16th of the signal out of the splitter that you are putting into it.

#11 OFFLINE   Floyd

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 07:55 PM

A 4-way splitter provides, as might be expected, about 1/4 of the original signal to each output port.
A 2-way splitter cuts the signal in half, and another splt of the half results in 1/4.
In terms of db, a loss of 3db is about half of the original signal. Most 2-way splitters are rated at 3.5db loss, and 4-way splitters are rated at 7.5 db. After taking into consideration the small losses from the fittings the overall loss would be close to 4 and 8db repectively.

#12 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 12:03 AM

Someone please create an affordable ATSC modulator!

This is exceedingly unlikely to happen. The ones that are available seem to be taking advantage of the "analog hole" and those that don't will necessarily have to adhere to HDCP to include an HDMI input (functional HDCP support, even if it is simply cutting off all protected content, is a requirement for licensing HDMI).

Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. -- JFK


#13 OFFLINE   Valve1138

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 06:17 AM

Get rid of that splitter and i'd bet it will fix things right up.





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