TVs & Home Theaters forum


Not understanding HD issue

by df1898_00 / March 21, 2013 10:59 PM PDT

I have five flat-panel HDTVs -- all Vizios -- in my home. Two are hooked to TW cable boxes and are not an issue.

Two other small ones -- a 19-inch and a 22-inch -- are connected directly via coax and receive the full compliment of local HD channels and sub-channels offered by TW.

A larger set, a 42-inch, shows the HD channels are intact, but displays what I'll call the Blue Screen of Death -- "no audio or video" or something like that.

What possibly could be causing the inability of the 42-inch set to display HD channels via coax?

Signal strength is so diminished that the signal to that TV is not strong enough? What?

The incoming cable to the house is split among eight TVs (couple of tube sets as well as five HDTVs) and Internet with the Internet feed getting priority strength. Also, the cable company provided a booster at the point of entry into the house.

Is there such an animal as a booster for individual TVs? I'd hate to rent another darn box. What am I missing?

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Clarification Request
What happens when you...
by Pepe7 / March 22, 2013 1:57 AM PDT

...connect something locally to that 42 inch HDTV(?) Can you connect something like a small DVD player or Blu Ray player, etc.? Does that work?

It's possible that the signal at that point in your home is indeed too weak vs the others. YMMV. Question: did the technician who added the booster test all of your TVs(?) Or did it work for awhile and now it simply does not?

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by df1898_00 / March 22, 2013 2:50 AM PDT

Yes, at one time the TV received the HD channels without issue, although a smaller set in the kitchen had trouble with 3-1 and 3-2 -- spotty at times.The one in the kitchen gets all of them without issues now.

Problem with the 42-inch set seemed to arise with the finished construction of several new homes in the neighborhood, which leads me to believe that the Time Warner "pipe" into the neighborhood is no longer large enough to handle the demand, diluting the signals to individual homes.

TW, however, says my overall signal strength is fine after coming to the house to troubleshoot. Tech guy just threw his hands in the air and said there is no TW guarantee that one will get HD channels without a box. (My home is 85 miles from the nearest TV transmitter so over-the-air solution is not a credible option.)

And a scanning procedure does find the digital HD channels -- the TV knows they are there. It just can't display the picture, hence the Blue Screen of Death (apologies to Microsoft).

In answer to your initial question, I have connected my laptop via HDMI cable to the TV to play Netflix or premium channel content and that works fine, so I assume other peripherals would work fine.

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Another thing to test out
by Pepe7 / March 22, 2013 4:44 AM PDT
In reply to: Followup

Could you move one of the other TVs to the same location as the 42, then try it again? You may be able to at least partially isolate the issue to a weak cable signal at that point in your home. Worth doing IMO and E before ponying up for another signal amplifier.

You might also want to write down the make/model of the device used by the TW technician at the point of entry. Who knows, perhaps the put in the incorrect type for you particular application. YMMV.

All Answers

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by mjd420nova / March 22, 2013 4:33 AM PDT

With that many sets on coax, an amplifier is needed, maybe a couple depending on the configuration. I would start with an amplifier ahead of the first splitter and see what signal you get then. Use an amplifier with a bndwidth of 50 MHZ to 1500 MHZ. This will give the best results, any lower bandwidth on the top end will degrade the signal considerably.

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I'll give it a shot
by df1898_00 / March 24, 2013 11:45 PM PDT
In reply to: Amplifiers

Apparently a lot of people have had success utilizing Radio Shack-brand cable amplifiers. I'll try one and get back on this thread afterward.

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Amplifier made no difference, but ... a solution
by df1898_00 / March 26, 2013 10:08 PM PDT
In reply to: I'll give it a shot

I purchased an amplifier from Radio Shack and installed it at various locations, including between the wall plate and TV and then at the point of cable origin into the house. Nothing changed. I took it back.

Then I learn that TWC is offering its channel lineup to Roku, making the Roku HD device, in effect, a cable box. So I hooked the Roku up to the 42-inch set and now get all the cable channels, excepting local channels, via streaming. And it works perfectly. Picture is great. Premium channels now on a set that couldn't get them before. And I don't have to pay TWC $10 a month for a set-top box that it owns.

I continue to be impressed with Roku, which I purchased prior to Christmas 2013.Great little device. I'm done trying to troubleshoot HD problems with direct coax connections. A Roku HD box is a little more than the price of an amplifier. I'll probably get another. Maybe two more -- Golf Channel on every TV! Doesn't get much better...

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Are you measuring signal levels, or...
by Pepe7 / March 27, 2013 12:02 AM PDT

...just adding the amp at various spots, hoping it works(?)

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