My lights thrash the HD signal.... no kidding

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Tips and Resources' started by hoopsrgreat, Nov 21, 2007.

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  1. hoopsrgreat

    hoopsrgreat Legend

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    The other day I was watching the NFL netowork in HD in my game room on my plasma. The signal kept pikelating and having audio dropouts, so I switched over to the SD version and all was well. I didnt know what was happening but it was not doing this on my hr20 in the living room. I didnt really think about it too much.

    So tonight I am back in the gameroom and watching the nfl netowork in HD again. I am using the h10 HD receiver in the gameroom. I have the same channel on for at least 1 hour with no problems. It starts getting dark so I turn on some recessed theater lights with a dimmer switch on. Within 30 secs I start getting the audio dropouts and pixelated picture. On a whim, I just say...... hmmmm what the hell, is this a coincidence? I turn the lights off and picture stops having any problems. I turn the lights back on and immediately start having the same problem. Lights back off and no problems. I turn on a different light attached to my ceiling fan and no problems.


    With 100% certainty my damn lights in my game room are having some kind of interefernce with this HD receiver. What the hell??????? Anyone ever hear of this??
     
  2. cygnusloop

    cygnusloop Hall Of Fame

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    Two things to try.
    If you are getting RF interference from a dimmer switch, I would guess you are using component connections to the TV? Try a different set of cables.

    You may also have a funky dimmer switch. Sometimes, if they are cheap, or defective, they can put out loads of RF. Other than RF interference, I can't imagine what in your lights could be causing your problem.
     
  3. rminsk

    rminsk Legend

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    If the OP was using component to the television he would not get "audio dropouts and pixelated picture", it would just have RF hum in the picture. RF is either leaking into the satellite line or the HDMI cable. As a test I would hook up the TV with component cables. If you still get pixelated picture it will most likely be RF leaking into the satellite lines.
     
  4. armophob

    armophob Difficulty Concen........

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    cables to the receiver could be running in parallel with the light wires causing a magnetic field.
     
  5. RobertE

    RobertE Active Member

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    Have there been any delivery/service vans parked for extendend periods of time on your street? The CIA/NSA/FBI/3 letter agency could be bugging you. :sure:

    Or your dimmer could be pumping out all sorts of evil RF that is causing you greif.
     
  6. jdspencer

    jdspencer Hall Of Fame

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    It seems that the first step is to replace the dimmer switch.
     
  7. hoopsrgreat

    hoopsrgreat Legend

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    Sep 4, 2006
    I am running component from the receiver into the TV. Composite audio into a receiver. I dont know much about this stuff,so knowing my wiring, you think it is a dimmer switch?

    I guess that would be a simple fix.

    By the way, it is ONLY the HD channels being impacted.
     
  8. rminsk

    rminsk Legend

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    Is it all HD channels or just certain ones? Are the ones being effected in the b-band range?
     
  9. armophob

    armophob Difficulty Concen........

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    Where is the box located in relation to tv? Where does the cable from the dish run? Does it run up in the ceiling or down the wall next to the power for the lighting? Are the recessed lights florescent(tubes) or incandescent(bulbs)? It could be the dimmer switch. The only way to prove it is to put a different one in. Before I went out and bought a new switch, I would swap it with a non-dimmer to prove it is the source of the trouble. Non dimmer switch are less than a dollar.
     
  10. K4SMX

    K4SMX Hall Of Fame

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    This problem with light dimmers and the HR20 has been reported several times already in this forum. Another similar problem is RF interference (RFI) from nearby computers. The metal case of the HR20, unlike the H20, is not grounded to anything, but is "floating," which is fairly common in much of the less expensive CE equipment. This means that the shield side of the coax is also not grounded at the case. The H20's use a safety ground type AC cord, and the case and, therefore, the shield side of the coax connectors are definitely grounded back to the panel box. I have no idea why they designed the HR20 this way.

    Many light dimmers, particularly older ones, are not rated for RFI suppression, and put out a lot of RFI. Even the newer, rated ones are not totally "quiet" in my experience. Your best bet is to get a high quality dimmer of the appropriate wattage to replace whatever is there now. I have had good experience in this regard with the Lutron brand. They are not cheap and can be found at lighting stores.

    You could also try running your own ground wire from a screw on the case or from an antenna connector to the ground in your wall plate. This provides only a DC ground connection, however, and not an RF ground in many circumstances of long wire runs through the house to the service ground, leaving the shield of your coax still picking up RFI, which is then leaking back into your tuners. It's far better to eliminate the RFI at the source by replacing a noisy dimmer or moving a computer away from proximity to the receiver.
     
  11. hilmar2k

    hilmar2k Hall Of Fame

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  12. hoopsrgreat

    hoopsrgreat Legend

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    The line from the dish runs about 7 ft along side the outside of the house, then into the attic, and down through the roof into a recessed area ina wall where the receiver is. I dont think it comes anywhere near any power lines or lines for the lights. The lights are incandescent. The Tv is hanging on the wall about 4-5 feet from the receiver.

    I havent yet checked which channels this happens on. I was watching 212 today when this happened, and was also on 212 when I noticed it for the first time last week.

    I do like the NFL network in HD..... looks pretty dang good:)
     
  13. armophob

    armophob Difficulty Concen........

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    Has grounding the dimmer switch ever been tried?
     
  14. hoopsrgreat

    hoopsrgreat Legend

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    Sep 4, 2006
    After reading the replies, it is definitely not the computer. I ONLY have the problem when the lights that use the dimmer switch are turned on.

    I will likey just replace the dimmer switch.

    Thanks for all of your replies.
     
  15. focalboy

    focalboy Cool Member

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    Sep 3, 2007
    Are your dimmers Insteon or Switchlinc dimmers from smarthome?
     
  16. K4SMX

    K4SMX Hall Of Fame

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    I think he's already decided to replace them, whatever they are. Is there a story that goes with those two brand names?
     
  17. focalboy

    focalboy Cool Member

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    Sep 3, 2007
    Both products use an X-10 protocol over the powerline, but the Insteon switches and dimmers also use a an RF component to improve reliability of the commands. I recently replaced one of my dimmers with the new Insteon product and have noticed similar issues with HD content. Just trying to identify if it is a coincidence or caused by my new dimmer.
     
  18. K4SMX

    K4SMX Hall Of Fame

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    You may need to try wrapping your HR20's line cord multiple times around one of these ferrite bead RF chokes from DX Engineering, if you identify that use of the dimmer causes RFI to disrupt the HR20.
     
  19. rynberg

    rynberg Legend

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    Oct 6, 2006
    Lighting dimmers are the devil....never put any audio/video equipment on the same circuit as a dimmer.
     
  20. focalboy

    focalboy Cool Member

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    Sep 3, 2007
    That's a good idea. I have some in a box somewhere. I'll give it a try.
     
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