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    Moderated By: Toli
    Agoraquest Forum Index Getting Started/Building a Home Theater
      
    OTA Video Signal Amplification Dashboard
    Replies: 14 | Views: 1,983
    Last Reply: March 9, 2006, 9:52 pm

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    Maxxwire | jttar | jehill | The-Ish316 | Toli |
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    Author OTA Video Signal Amplification
    The-Ish316

    Rank: Sony Fanatic


    Joined: Apr 09, 2003
    Posts: 333
    From: Connecticut

      Posted: 2006-03-07 12:56

    I have an OTA outdoor antenna which provides my TV video signal via a coax cable to my VCR.  Just after the cable enters the house it is grounded and then split.  I would like to amplify the signal just prior to the split. 

    I have looked into in-line, unpowered amplifiers and would prefer this if I don't have to plug into house power.  But the in-line, unpowered amplifiers seem to have a higher frequency than the powered ones I think are a standard solution.  I think they are for satellite hook-ups. 

    My cable run is not too long, probably less than 75 feet from antenna to VCR.  I've been thinking of splitting the feed to the VCR to go to the FM antenna hook-up on my DA-4ES receiver to improve FM reception, but wanted to assure that I'm not degrading my video signal too much.  So I want to amplify the antenna signal.

    The forum discussion below seemed to have some helpful information but did not directly answer my specific application for OTA signals.

    Boosting Cable Signal

    Thanks for any helpful guidance on this subject.

    -----------------
    DenMar
    Sony STR-DA4ES, BDP-S1, DVP-NC600, KDL-52XBR9 HDTV, TC-WR6655S dual tape, SLV-676UC, & Athena AS-F2 & AS-C1 speakers; CSW Surrounds; HDR-SR12 & GV-D200; Explorer 8300


          


    Maxxwire
    Moderator
    Premium Member

    Rank: Sony Adept


    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
    Posts: 26071
    From: Portland, Oregon - USA

      Posted: 2006-03-07 15:05

    I used to use a variable 0-20 dB OTA signal amplifier that I got from Radio Shack for about $20 that runs on 120v AC. I liked it because you can customize the amount of gain to your particular situation.

    I suppose you also realize that not splitting the signal would increase the signal strength by 3 dB.

    ~Maxx~



    -----------------
    A Satisfied Sony Fan Since 1974!



    The OCCC Furu-Charged Sony DB 930


         
    jehill
    Premium Member

    Rank: Sony Senior Advisor


    Joined: Mar 13, 2003
    Posts: 14281
    From: Sewell, NJ

      Posted: 2006-03-07 16:10

    Your best solution is to replace your present antenna with one that has sufficient gain to receive the stations desired without an amplifier.  If you do purchase an amplifier, be sure that it has the proper bandwidth to cover the VHF, FM and UHF bands.  Your dealer should be able to help you make that determination.  What do you mean by an unpowered amplifier?  One powered by a battery?

    -----------------
    -John

    Sony A/V System: KDL-55XBR8, BDP-S550 and AVD-LA2500PKG, consisting of AVD-C70ES Super Audio CD/DVD Receiver, 4 SS-LA500ED surround speakers, 1 SS-LAC505ED center channel speaker and 1 SA-WD200 Active Subwoofer


       
    Toli
    Moderator
    Premium Member

    Rank: Sony Master


    Joined: Oct 20, 2003
    Posts: 8509
    From: Winthrop Harbor, IL USA

      Posted: 2006-03-07 16:29














    On 2006-03-07 16:10, jehill wrote:
    What do you mean by an unpowered amplifier?  One powered by a battery?







    jehill,

    I think that it's possible that The-Ish316 may be referring an in-line signal pre-amplifier like this GPS L1 Inline Antenna Amplifier, or some type of multi-switch.

    Toli


    [ This message was edited by: Toli on 2006-03-07 16:35 ]


         
    The-Ish316

    Rank: Sony Fanatic


    Joined: Apr 09, 2003
    Posts: 333
    From: Connecticut

      Posted: 2006-03-07 16:35

    I would rather not split the signal, but we have 2 TVs on different floors and the receiver FM antenna reception is not good enough to pick up some favorite stations.

    Below are examples of powered RF amplifiers.

    RF Amplifiers: see RCA Bi-Directional (2nd entry)
    See the entries labeled
    RCA DT100M Bi-Directional RF Amplifier
    TERK BIA20 In-Line Amplifier (unpowered? I'm not sure where the power comes from)

    Thanks for the idea of getting a bigger antenna.  I've thought of adding another antenna, but am not sure how to do a bi-antenna setup.

    -----------------
    DenMar
    Sony STR-DA4ES, BDP-S1, DVP-NC600, KDL-52XBR9 HDTV, TC-WR6655S dual tape, SLV-676UC, & Athena AS-F2 & AS-C1 speakers; CSW Surrounds; HDR-SR12 & GV-D200; Explorer 8300


          
    jehill
    Premium Member

    Rank: Sony Senior Advisor


    Joined: Mar 13, 2003
    Posts: 14281
    From: Sewell, NJ

      Posted: 2006-03-07 20:01

    According to  http://www.crutchfield.com/S-C4PCzRIKz75/cgi-bin/ProdView.asp?g=102700&id=detailed_info&i=209BIA20#Tab, the TERK BIA20 is powered by a satellite receiver, so you can't use it.  Unless you plan on switching to cable in the future, the RCA DT100M is overkill because it is bi-directional, a feature only needed for cable boxes and modem.  However, it should work fine, because it covers the frequency range needed.  One work of caution.  Its not uncommon for an amp to amplify noise as well as signal, so the improvement might not be  as much as expected.  As far as the antenna goes, I would replace your existing antenna, not add to it.

    -----------------
    -John

    Sony A/V System: KDL-55XBR8, BDP-S550 and AVD-LA2500PKG, consisting of AVD-C70ES Super Audio CD/DVD Receiver, 4 SS-LA500ED surround speakers, 1 SS-LAC505ED center channel speaker and 1 SA-WD200 Active Subwoofer


       
    The-Ish316

    Rank: Sony Fanatic


    Joined: Apr 09, 2003
    Posts: 333
    From: Connecticut

      Posted: 2006-03-08 12:46

    Thank, jehill.  You provided the much needed clarification.  I thought the power of the "un-powered" amplifiers had to come from somewhere.  They just don't make some of those details very obvious for people like me to see. 

    I had also thought that I might try one of those motors to rotate the antenna for best reception.  But I've been holding off since it requires another hole in 2 very tough walls to drill through. 

    Another thought, eventually we'll have HD and I'll need to get an HD OTA antenna.  Won't that require yet another whole separate antenna run or is there a way to join it with the analog signal.  I'm thinking that this could get a little crazy with wires everywhere. 

    I also still would like some feedback on improving my FM radio reception.  If you would not suggest splitting the signal from the TV analog signal, what simple way to improve the signal strength would anyone suggest.

    -----------------
    DenMar
    Sony STR-DA4ES, BDP-S1, DVP-NC600, KDL-52XBR9 HDTV, TC-WR6655S dual tape, SLV-676UC, & Athena AS-F2 & AS-C1 speakers; CSW Surrounds; HDR-SR12 & GV-D200; Explorer 8300


          
    Maxxwire
    Moderator
    Premium Member

    Rank: Sony Adept


    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
    Posts: 26071
    From: Portland, Oregon - USA

      Posted: 2006-03-08 15:15



    • Member Quote

    On 2006-03-08 12:46, The-Ish316 wrote: Another thought, eventually we'll have HD and I'll need to get an HD OTA antenna. Won't that require yet another whole separate antenna run or is there a way to join it with the analog signal. I'm thinking that this could get a little crazy with wires everywhere.

    I also still would like some feedback on improving my FM radio reception. If you would not suggest splitting the signal from the TV analog signal, what simple way to improve the signal strength would anyone suggest.


    I connected my Dad's Grand Wega up to his existing Analog OTA signal Antenna and picked up 13 Digital signals without any adjustment whatsoever!

    FM signal boosting is tough because the more you ampify it the more it amplifies the signal noise. The ultimate solution is a huge rooftop antenna.

    ~Maxx~

    -----------------
    A Satisfied Sony Fan Since 1974!



    The OCCC Furu-Charged Sony DB 930


         
    jehill
    Premium Member

    Rank: Sony Senior Advisor


    Joined: Mar 13, 2003
    Posts: 14281
    From: Sewell, NJ

      Posted: 2006-03-08 15:31




    On 2006-03-08 12:46, The-Ish316 wrote:
    Another thought, eventually we'll have HD and I'll need to get an HD OTA antenna.  Won't that require yet another whole separate antenna run or is there a way to join it with the analog signal.  I'm thinking that this could get a little crazy with wires everywhere. 






    To the best of my knowledge, HDTV is transmitted in the normal VHF/UHF bands, so there is no need for a separate antenna.  The FM band is in the middle of the VHF band.  What you need to purchase is a single antenna that covers the entire VHF band and the UHF band.  Again, your dealer should be able to assist your in selecting the appropriate antenna.  Just be sure to tell him/her that you want to be able to receive the FM band.  I am not positive, but some VHF antenna designs may skip the FM portion of the VHF band.

    -----------------
    -John

    Sony A/V System: KDL-55XBR8, BDP-S550 and AVD-LA2500PKG, consisting of AVD-C70ES Super Audio CD/DVD Receiver, 4 SS-LA500ED surround speakers, 1 SS-LAC505ED center channel speaker and 1 SA-WD200 Active Subwoofer


       
    Maxxwire
    Moderator
    Premium Member

    Rank: Sony Adept


    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
    Posts: 26071
    From: Portland, Oregon - USA

      Posted: 2006-03-09 03:06

    The-Ish316- Are you using any FM Tuners besides the one in your DA4ES? A Tuner's ability to pull in stations clearly depends not only on the signal strength of the station, but also on the sensitivity of the Tuner itself.

    ~Maxx~

    -----------------
    A Satisfied Sony Fan Since 1974!



    The OCCC Furu-Charged Sony DB 930


         
    Toli
    Moderator
    Premium Member

    Rank: Sony Master


    Joined: Oct 20, 2003
    Posts: 8509
    From: Winthrop Harbor, IL USA

      Posted: 2006-03-09 08:06






    On 2006-03-08 12:46, The-Ish316 wrote:

    Another thought, eventually we'll have HD and I'll need to get an HD OTA antenna.  Won't that require yet another whole separate antenna run or is there a way to join it with the analog signal.  I'm thinking that this could get a little crazy with wires everywhere. 



    The-Ish316,

    You don't necessarily need to run a seperate connection antenna connection. You could replace you currect analog antenna with, for example, a Channel Master CM3018. Which is an HDTV Outdoor VHF / UHF / FM TV Antenna. Here are the signal ranges for this model, in the case that you are interested:


  • 35 mile UHF range
  • 60 mile VHF range
  • 60 mile FM range

  • Toli


    -----------------
    KDL-52XBR6 w/Salamander Archetype TV65,STR-DA7100ES,BDP-S1,DVP-NS9100ES,DIRECTV HR21,Panamax 5510-PRO ACRegenerator & M1500-UPS;Klipsch:KSF-10.5(2),KSF-C5,KSF-S5(4-2),KSW-15; glass toslinks,Pure Silver i-Link & HDMI,PS3,Harmony 880 Pro


         
    The-Ish316

    Rank: Sony Fanatic


    Joined: Apr 09, 2003
    Posts: 333
    From: Connecticut

      Posted: 2006-03-09 08:53

    Maxx, it sounds like you have found that OTA HDTV does not require a special antenna (confirming what jehill stated).  As to your question of my tuner, yes, it is the built in tuner of the DA-4ES.  I know it's not the best, but we don't listen to enough radio to warrent special attention now.  I do wish for a better AM quality.  The little loop that comes with the DA-4ES is poor.

    The valuable information and advise that jehill and Toli have added are fantastic.  One question still in my mind is how to feed all that signal from the right antenna to the right components (2 TVs on separate floors and FM antenna input on receiver adjacent to one TV/VCR) still maintaining decent signal strength.  So far as I understand, I still need to split the antenna cable 2 times.  I know I loose signal strenth of around 3 dB at each split. 

    Any advice?

    -----------------
    DenMar
    Sony STR-DA4ES, BDP-S1, DVP-NC600, KDL-52XBR9 HDTV, TC-WR6655S dual tape, SLV-676UC, & Athena AS-F2 & AS-C1 speakers; CSW Surrounds; HDR-SR12 & GV-D200; Explorer 8300


          
    jehill
    Premium Member

    Rank: Sony Senior Advisor


    Joined: Mar 13, 2003
    Posts: 14281
    From: Sewell, NJ

      Posted: 2006-03-09 12:50

    You are correct.  Each split introduces a 2-4 dB loss in each branch, depending on the design.  You would be surprised how much signal can be received over a high gain TV antenna!  Get the antenna first.  Above all, explain to the salesman exactly what your want to do.  Tell him about the two TVs and the need for the FM signal at one TV location.  Let him figure out what your need.  In the worst case scenario, you would need and in-line amp in addition to the antenna.

    -----------------
    -John

    Sony A/V System: KDL-55XBR8, BDP-S550 and AVD-LA2500PKG, consisting of AVD-C70ES Super Audio CD/DVD Receiver, 4 SS-LA500ED surround speakers, 1 SS-LAC505ED center channel speaker and 1 SA-WD200 Active Subwoofer


       
    Maxxwire
    Moderator
    Premium Member

    Rank: Sony Adept


    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
    Posts: 26071
    From: Portland, Oregon - USA

      Posted: 2006-03-09 17:20

    The-Ish316- You might be able to find more information about AM and FM Antennas HERE.

    ~Maxx~

    -----------------
    A Satisfied Sony Fan Since 1974!



    The OCCC Furu-Charged Sony DB 930


         
    jttar
    Moderator
    Premium Member

    Rank: Sony Master


    Joined: Feb 28, 2003
    Posts: 9228
    From: Chicago,IL, USA

      Posted: 2006-03-09 21:52

    The-Ish-316,

    Good advice from everyone on this thread. To simplify, I use one OTA antenna to receive my local HD broadcasts and also for the tuner in my DA7ES. Yes, I do split it but without a noticable signal loss.

    The CEA (Consumers Electronics Association) has a fantastic and easy to use web site to determine what antenna you will need. I have found the local Radio Shack to have the best prices but often the sales people will know little more than you. When you purchase an antenna there is a color code on the outside of the box (green, blue, yellow etc.). What the CEA site does is tell you what color you will need for your location. Then when you go antenna shopping it is as simple as picking out the right color of sticker on the box and you know that you will have an antenna that will do the job.

    HERE is a link to CEA AntennaWeb

    Best of luck.
    Joe (aka BeastMaster)


         
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