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Hardware Support Discussions related to using various hardware setups with SageTV products. Anything relating to capture cards, remotes, infrared receivers/transmitters, system compatibility or other hardware related problems or suggestions should be posted here.

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  #1  
Old 09-29-2008, 05:09 PM
Um_Help Um_Help is offline
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Posts: 13
Need a QAM signal boost

Hey guys just got SageTV for some QAM support. I moved away from my OTA source so now I am out of reach. I get all the same channels over the cable line but my signal is right on the edge of being strong enough to record.

I have a Hauppuage 1600 to record and all the QAM channels are coming in at ~79% signal strength according to Sage. My SNR is ~30.4ish according to the Hauppauge strength meter.

Originally I had an OLD OLD OLD Rat Shack AMP to my house and it has been working fine but now that I got a new TV and QAM cards for my HTPC I want some HD :eek. The OLD amp gave me ~79% signal strength and ~30.4 SNR.
Next, I tried connecting my TV card directly to the line to my house. Got the 79% signal strength and ~30.4 SNR. At this point I figured the OLD amp sucked and didn't amplify any of the HD signal stuff. Then I bought a Motorola Signal Booster and put my direct line to the house as input and the output directly to my TV card. Same results 79% and ~30.4 SNR. I also tried putting the output of the AMP to a splitter that split 4 ways to the rest of my house and one leg to my TV card, Same results.

I tried just about every combination of AMP to TV card and No AMP to TV card and kept getting the same results. I was thinking that maybe a better AMP might actually help my QAM signal?? I have been looking at the Electroline EDA-FT08100 but don't want to spend over $100 on something that will give me no results like the Motorola amp.

I ruled out crappy splitters by trying about 4 or 5 different ones of varying brands. Same results on all. I ruled out cable troubles by testing different cables. All same results using RG-59, RG-6, and some 2.4ghz SAT TV cable somebody gave me that is suppose to be good doesnt have any RG markings on it really thick doesnt bend to well.

Any ideas?? I can watch HD but it skips every once in a while pretty annoying. Football is absolutely unwatchable to skippy. I get the same results watching HDTV through my QAM tuner on my TV as well.
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  #2  
Old 09-29-2008, 05:16 PM
MeInMaui's Avatar
MeInMaui MeInMaui is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Um_Help View Post
Next, I tried connecting my TV card directly to the line to my house. Got the 79% signal strength and ~30.4 SNR.
Sounds like you should contact your cable company and have them test/repair your incoming line.

Aloha,
Mike
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  #3  
Old 09-30-2008, 01:07 AM
gmijackso gmijackso is offline
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I don't know if it helps or not, but QAM is quadrature modulation and generally the signal level of quadrature signals isn't anything like analog signals. The "signal" of qam actually corresponds more to a bit error rate, and the signal to noise ratio. This means where with old analog you could have a very high signal, but have too much noise to be useful (low snr), that is impossible with qam.

So, normally what I would get from your description, is that you have noise that is being amplified as well. So while you are getting what would be considered higher signal in the analog world (it's "louder") the noise is being amplified the same.

Now, the only problem I have with this, is that I also have a Motorola amp, and I did definately see an increase in qam signal when I added mine (and more channels). So, perhaps the signal meter from hauppauge is crap? Try removing the cable while viewing it, do you lose signal on the meter? Or, as was suggested, perhaps you need to call your cable company. You may have in-band noise with your qam channels that is in fact being amplified by your amp as well, and not increasing the SNR thus not increasing the "signal".
Good luck. Let us know!
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  #4  
Old 09-30-2008, 05:01 AM
Jetracers Jetracers is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Perrysburg, OH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Um_Help View Post
Hey guys just got SageTV for some QAM support. I moved away from my OTA source so now I am out of reach. I get all the same channels over the cable line but my signal is right on the edge of being strong enough to record.

I have a Hauppuage 1600 to record and all the QAM channels are coming in at ~79% signal strength according to Sage. My SNR is ~30.4ish according to the Hauppauge strength meter.

Originally I had an OLD OLD OLD Rat Shack AMP to my house and it has been working fine but now that I got a new TV and QAM cards for my HTPC I want some HD :eek. The OLD amp gave me ~79% signal strength and ~30.4 SNR.
Next, I tried connecting my TV card directly to the line to my house. Got the 79% signal strength and ~30.4 SNR. At this point I figured the OLD amp sucked and didn't amplify any of the HD signal stuff. Then I bought a Motorola Signal Booster and put my direct line to the house as input and the output directly to my TV card. Same results 79% and ~30.4 SNR. I also tried putting the output of the AMP to a splitter that split 4 ways to the rest of my house and one leg to my TV card, Same results.

I tried just about every combination of AMP to TV card and No AMP to TV card and kept getting the same results. I was thinking that maybe a better AMP might actually help my QAM signal?? I have been looking at the Electroline EDA-FT08100 but don't want to spend over $100 on something that will give me no results like the Motorola amp.

I ruled out crappy splitters by trying about 4 or 5 different ones of varying brands. Same results on all. I ruled out cable troubles by testing different cables. All same results using RG-59, RG-6, and some 2.4ghz SAT TV cable somebody gave me that is suppose to be good doesnt have any RG markings on it really thick doesnt bend to well.

Any ideas?? I can watch HD but it skips every once in a while pretty annoying. Football is absolutely unwatchable to skippy. I get the same results watching HDTV through my QAM tuner on my TV as well.
I can tell you from experience that the older 1600's on the QAM side are very sensitive to splitters and amplifiers. It looks like you already tried to minimize the number of splitters. And i can tell you that my signal monitor shows mine around 32 Snr.So take a look at this post http://forums.sagetv.com/forums/show...d+channel+scan and see what other people have said. hope this helps.
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  #5  
Old 09-30-2008, 10:16 AM
Polypro Polypro is offline
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My RatShack $40 amp works on my HDHR QAM signals...it's adjustable and dialing it up or down, changes the SS. Maybe your software is badly calibrated (Hauppauge App).

P
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  #6  
Old 10-01-2008, 09:53 AM
Um_Help Um_Help is offline
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Sorry for the delay.

Quote:
Sounds like you should contact your cable company and have them test/repair your incoming line.
What should I ask them? If I call them and they find nothing wrong I get charged.

Quote:
So, perhaps the signal meter from hauppauge is crap? Try removing the cable while viewing it, do you lose signal on the meter?
I was using SageTV's signal strength, my TV's signal strength, and the hauppauge signal strength tools, all giving the same results. When I was testing my different cables I was removing the cable to the TV Card and the signal was stable until I took the cable completely off and then it dropped to zero. Put the cable back on and it went back up.

There is some really good info on that thread. Thanks. I don't think I am over amplifying because I am getting all the same channels no matter how my setup is and they are all coming in at about the same strength. I also did QAM_FRQ_CACHE.ENABLE and 64QAM.ENABLE. All the channels I really care about are 256 QAM anyways.

Is there any home test I can do to see if my line has a lot of noise on it??
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  #7  
Old 10-01-2008, 10:25 AM
Um_Help Um_Help is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 13
Here is my Cable Modem's Signal Strength Page Output. This has a separate run directly 2-way split off the main cable line, no AMP. I get pretty good cable modem reception and I can never complain about drops, or slow speeds.

Here is a reference to see what all the numbers mean: http://www.dslreports.com/faq/16085

It looks like i am with in the specs. I don't have ComCast though.

Downstream Channel
The data shown in the table below provides information about the signal coming from the network to your cable modem.
Lock Status Locked
Modulation QAM256
Channel ID 0
Symbol rate 5360537 sym/sec
Downstream Frequency 711000000 Hz
Max Bit Rate No Limit
Downstream Power -11.44 dBmV
SNR 34 dB

Upstream Channel
The data shown in the table below provides information about the signal being transmitted to the network from your cable modem.
Lock Status Locked
Modulation 16 QAM
Channel ID 1
Symbol rate 2560 ksym/sec
Upstream Frequency 24496000 Hz
Max Bit Rate No Limit
Upstream Power 39.00 dBmV

I also ran the cable modem line directly to my TV card since they are all in the same room and got the same results as previous posts. It looks like the cable modem is getting good SNR.
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