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Old 08-22-2011, 11:24 AM
emotionnotion emotionnotion is offline
Sage Advanced User
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Cambridgeshire, UK
Posts: 238
SageTV Tuning susceptible to Freeview Interference. Why?

I am finding that in stormy weather, my SageTV/HD Homerun combination gets digital interference (green squares usually) whereas my TV Sony Bravia tuner does not.

Both are fed from the same amplified source.

Not sure what to conclude other than either SageTV or HD Homeruns have tuning issues.

Note: My signal strength is 86-92% on all channels.

Any ideas folks?
Server: Tranquil T7 Intel Atom D330, 2GB RAM, Windows Home Server, Sage TV 7.1.9 (Last version ever ), 2 HDHomeruns tuning 4 OTA channels, Sony 32EX490 Bravia LCD

Clients: 3 HD300s, 2 HD200s, 1 PS3
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Old 08-28-2011, 07:50 PM
matterofrecord matterofrecord is offline
Sage Advanced User
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: uk
Posts: 100
Bad distored signals why and what can be done


Firstly it's not just signal strength that matters it's also signal quality.

a great application for measuring signal quality is TSReaderLite although media portal can also do this.

With TSReaderLite you tune in to a dvb-t broadcast frequency ( it can only do one channel group at a time there are 6 in uk 1 for high def ) and then it will list channels and give you a signal strength and signal quality measure. I found that I had to change my signal splitter/amplifier when the original signal splitter/amplifier offered 100% strength but nearly no quality. Tsreaderlite will give you a percentage reading for quality as well as strength. Mediaportal also offers quality and strength output readings if you use tuning to tune indivdual frequencies.

( if you don't know your frequencies either look in your sagetv frq files or look on the net )

In a storm wind can sway your tv aerial and rain acts as a slight barrier for the signal.

(Another possible aspects could be hd home run is wireless ? IDK just looked it up. electrical interference from storms and wifi may not be so good. IDK though).

However having said that I've found the tuners in a Television are better at handling a weak signal than any of the computer based tuners.

If your are suffereing from a weak signal distorting your recordings here are some tips.

Firstly check your splitter amplifier. Don't skimp go branded anyone can make a amplifier that gives you 100% strength but good ones that don't introduce electrical noise and distortion require skill and quality components. ( Tip - use tsreader or media portal to record the signal strength and quality of the aerial before and after the splitter. tune to all 6 frequencies as they don't all have the same signal strength or quality bbc and itv c4 c5 are good strong signals - dave picktv quest etc are weaker. If there is a big difference in strength or quality before and after the splitter then replace the splitter amplifier)

Secondly check the aerial - better quality, properly aligned, setup by proffesional installer. All ariel wires should a) be good quality and b) avoid as much as possible anything electric apart from your tv. ( the aerial is possibly more important than the amplifier as a rubbish signal amplified is just a stronger rubbish signal )

Thirdly the tuner - generally I have found internal tuner cards ( pci, pci-e) are much better than usb tuners at handling weak signals. However past internal tuner being better than usb tuners there isn't that much differnce in my experience though some brands are better than others.
(The only exception I have found to this rule is a british company called nebula digitv. Their hardware really can handle a bad signal. I suspect they use the same chips that proper televisions use. However they don't have fully working dba drivers that work with sagetv for their usb tuners )

also there is a codec issue. some codecs are better at glossing over signal distortions than others. I have sagetv recordings that play fine with cyberlink powerdvd 8 or sagetv with intervideo codecs ( windvd ) but when played with neroshowtime 2 ( part of nero 6 bundle) there are all sorts of green lines, blocky pixels and other such digital distortions. My interpretation is that nero6 codec plays files honestly ( warts and all ) however the other codecs gloss over the distortion within the signal to improve the look.

Basically though a quality television will have a better tuner & codec system for dealing signal distortions. I have experienced signal problems before and it was always traceable to the hardware ( either tuner or aeriel amplifier/splitter ). Real world comparison using other recording software ( mediaportal & bundled apps) has taught me that it isn't sagetv or any other dvr software fault. With bad hardware or bad signal any dvr software is going to give you distored recordings.

Anyway that is all I know. If you can't get TSReaderLite or media portal to work reply in this forum ( don't pm me) and I will see if I can give you a few pointers although I have to say I've never used a HDhomerun before so if it doesn't work like a normal bda tuner than I can't help you sorry.

Anyway that was a longer post than I had planned but hopefully there is something useful in all that.
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:56 AM
emotionnotion emotionnotion is offline
Sage Advanced User
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Cambridgeshire, UK
Posts: 238
Thanks for that; it gives me some ideas.

The HDHomerun tuners are wired so no issues there.

I am only playing back through HD300 extenders so CODECS are not an issue.

I have used a splitter and an amplifier for the signal though; Although the TV inputs are out of the same feed but seem better equipped (as you say) to handle this.

I will try the utilities you mentioned and report back with the signal quality.
Server: Tranquil T7 Intel Atom D330, 2GB RAM, Windows Home Server, Sage TV 7.1.9 (Last version ever ), 2 HDHomeruns tuning 4 OTA channels, Sony 32EX490 Bravia LCD

Clients: 3 HD300s, 2 HD200s, 1 PS3
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