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> Rapidly Fluctuating Signal Strength, What is this a sympton of?
PaulMo
post Mar 30 2007, 02:29 PM
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Hi All,

A week or so ago my system has been experiecing a weird issue with signal strength. It may be an aerial cabling issue, but would appreciate input on whether this symptom points to that, or something else, before I start crawling around in the roof.

Basically, system is athlon 3500, 2Gb ram, GT6800 with the older full height card, and a newer LP card. Aerial cable comes in from wall plate into the fullheight card, then cable from pass through on full height card goes into the LP card. Been working flawlessly for months with out any recent setup changes.

When I load up DNTV live, it takes a long time, like 20 secs or more for any channel to start showing (SDTV or HDTV). Then once it has started showing a channel, changing channel is a bit slower in showing the new channel, but nothing like the first 20-30sec black screen that it takes to get the something showing on boot up.

Looking at signal strength on the control panel, it is fluctuating up and down a lot, like from 80-100% in a cycle of every second or so. Signal quality remains at 95% though, and the onscreen picture doesn't show any degradation.

So, I'm thinking maybe a cable in the roof has come loose or something, since it seems to be a signal issue, but what do you guys reckon? Could one of my tuner cards be defective?

I did try plugging the aerial straight into the LP card only (as that comes up as tuner 1) and the same signal strength and fluctuation was occuring.

Might be getting off scope from here, but can only ask:
If it is cable, I have a multimeter and have already checked every connection in the lounge room. All are showing no shorts or the like, and seem to be okay. Anything else I can check, like perhaps the cable should have a particular resistance per metre or something? (Its quad shield cable from Dick Smith's).

Thanks,
Paul
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renura
post Mar 30 2007, 03:11 PM
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Anything is possible, but I would also check that no recent windows updates have taken place. You can trying going back to a prior restore point, to see if that resolves the issue.


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PaulMo
post Apr 4 2007, 04:05 PM
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Thanks Renura. Autoupdate is turned off on this computer, I try to keep it as htpc only with no updates at all except dntv live, applying the if it isn't broken don't update it theory. But will try a system restore and see what happens.

Haven't had a chance yet to fully check cabling yet either.

It is still doing it too. Last night when setting up a recording, the signal strength was at 80% and no fluctuations. Interestingly, it wouldn't show a channel at all for over 30 secs. But i then activated PiP and the pip channel showed instantly. Then double clicking pip made the main screen show its channel and either could select and change channels instantly too after that. Also recorded 2 hrs of tv no problems. So I don't know what's going on, lol!

Bit surprised no-one else on this forum hasn't come across something similar?

Cheers,
Paul
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renura
post Apr 4 2007, 04:11 PM
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That is very strange about the PIP, I suspect there may be something going on with your video decoders for graphic card drivers, try different drivers? What video decoder are you using?

This post has been edited by renura: Apr 4 2007, 04:12 PM


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MichaelPine
post Apr 5 2007, 05:42 PM
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The only thing that I can add however I think very un-related is that in the last 2 weeks I have had channel 10 signal quality go down to 30% constantly and MCE will not pick it up, all other channels are fine for me, just channel 10 has gone for me as far as I know.
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PaulMo
post Apr 12 2007, 11:31 AM
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Renura,

I was using the Intervideo decoder, but tried the cyberlink one out. Funnily enough, it did immediately pick up a station next time I restarted. But the time after that the big pause again, and the time after that it worked instantly again. Signal strengths don't seem to be oscillating anymore, but all channels are down from where they used to be. Again, it still records fine so at least I'm not losing show's!

Michael,

Are you in Adelaide by any chance? That's where I am.


Lot's of things I need to try, will firstly finish checking aerial cabling, then do a back to basics gfx / decoder / dntb live reinstall and see what happens. Does anything related to Direct X get used by DNTV Live too, to make it worthwhile reinstalling that too?

Thanks,
Paul
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MichaelPine
post Apr 12 2007, 12:58 PM
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QUOTE (PaulMo @ Apr 12 2007, 11:31 AM) *
Michael,

Are you in Adelaide by any chance? That's where I am.


Nah I am in South Melbourne, its a pain in the bum area, I ran a scan on MCE again last night and all the channels came back. I have been using the Purevideo decoder as well, however I have found it to be less than usefule when it comes to HD rendering, so am trying to revert back to another decoder when it eventually lets me. Very disappointed with the nvidia decoder in terms of efficiency.
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PaulMo
post May 3 2007, 08:07 PM
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OK, since this post I started getting this error with DNTV Live:

"Failed to get data for 'S10 activate'"

when I first go to watch DTV.

Then if I click ok it gets stuck in a loop, continuously showing this error, and each click of ok bringing the same dialog box back. Have to control-alt-delete to get out of it and end dntvlive.

" Failed to get data for 'S10 activate D' "

I then looked around Nvidia, and it seems they dont' recomend a gfx driver past version 93.71 for my GT6800, so I rolled back to this version from the version 97.92 I had installed. This didn't help anything though.

So then I installed v1.3.0 on, as it was only using v1.2.9. This seemed to fix up the activate error problem, but its still got low signal strength and is slow to see the first channel, but the pip channel shows up quickly.

So just wondering what that activate error means? may give me a further clue as to what's going on.

Thanks,
Paul
PS noticed the filename dialog box is much bigger on v1.3.0, good idea makes it a lot easier to see.
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renura
post May 3 2007, 08:43 PM
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That message is related to the date format used in the scheduler, it seems to me your registry may need some cleaning.


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wirrunna
post May 4 2007, 10:44 AM
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At my Sydney house I get fluctuating signal on a regular basis. My signal comes from the North Head (Manly) UHF repeater and when a Manly Ferry goes past there is a problem with reflected signal. Analogue will lose picture for a few seconds, digital will pixillate. Same problem with low flying aircraft. I paid for an antenna man to come down and he figured it out by sitting on the roof looking at the view and checking his signal strength meter while I watched the tele waiting for the picture to go funny.
Maybe you have a highway a few miles away and trucks or cars reflect your signal.
Just a thought.
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PaulMo
post May 4 2007, 06:02 PM
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OK, thanks Renura, will do that. Bordering on a clean format and reinstall and be done with it, would have been quicker than the time spent so far!

Wirruna, thanks for the info and experiences.

I will definitley look at getting a pro-antena installer in to double check my install if it I can eliminate all software possibilities first.

Cheers,
Paul
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black_dog
post May 5 2007, 10:05 PM
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QUOTE (PaulMo @ Mar 30 2007, 02:29 PM) *
Hi All,

Looking at signal strength on the control panel, it is fluctuating up and down a lot, like from 80-100% in a cycle of every second or so. Signal quality remains at 95% though, and the onscreen picture doesn't show any degradation.

Thanks,
Paul



I have had similar symptoms, where the strength fluctuated between 70%-75% and 100% (but not in-between, it hover around
70-75% for a bit, jumped to 100% for a bit, jumped back). When it recorded, it was perfect. When it didn't, well it wasn't just
bad quality, it was no quality...

I bought an 18db signal attenuator, (for a princely sum of $2.80) and hooked it up in-line with my receiver, and the signal strength
dropped enough that the card now reports a consistent 100%.....

The incoming signal was too strong, saturating the signal processing circuits which effectively lost the plot and had to resync, thus
the fluctuations.

Interestingly I have three tuners, and the last (a dvico dual digital 4) is the only one to need the attenuator. The others get 95-98%
signal *all the time*.... so I have the attenuator in-line between the second and third tuners.

I have read somewhere the dvico dual digital 4 has a different chip-set and does some on-board amplification... which might explain
the need for signal attenuation.


Blacky.
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