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Old 04-05-2010, 10:48 PM   #1
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For Digital TV Signal, is Antenna Booster necessary?

When I scan for channels with the booster ON or OFF, I only pickup 5 channels.
When I scan for channels with the booster bypassed (cable hooked directly from antenna to the TV), I get 19 channels. Is my antenna booster faulty? Are antenna boosters really needed for digital signal?
86 Sovereign, original old timey antenna. no batwing
Thanks, Mitch
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Old 04-05-2010, 11:04 PM   #2
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Post Digital TV Signal

CM;
In order for me to get all the digital channels I have to have the booster on. Sounds like your booster is on the fritz to me, but I'm no TV repairman. You might be in the market for a new antenna and booster.
Mike
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Old 04-05-2010, 11:26 PM   #3
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Two comments: if you can get 19 channels with no booster, don't bother with a booster, you'll likely not do much (if at all) better with one.

Also, your old booster is possible defective as kmpro mentioned, but more likely it just may not have been made to pass the frequencies that your digital signal presents it.

Hope that helps...
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Old 04-05-2010, 11:45 PM   #4
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Your booster is bad. Mine took a dump. I replaced it, much better now.

Most RV parts places have them.

Replacing is a ten minute job.
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Old 04-05-2010, 11:50 PM   #5
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I get far better reception with the booster than without. I side with the others. Replace it and see if you see an improvement. On the one in the bedroom I found the outer coax shield was no longer attached on the rear of the unit. Repair to the cable end was my solution for return to complete reception.
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Old 04-05-2010, 11:50 PM   #6
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Home Depot, WalMart, Lowes, Radio Shack, and others have them too.

Most expensive would be RV places, followed by Radio Shack, then the Big-Boxes.
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Old 04-06-2010, 12:32 AM   #7
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Remember - Digital means "0's & 1's" - vice the older "Analog" signals of old so either your gonna get a signal or NOT get a signal....

I don't really understand how a "booster" can do anything to increase the digital signal unless somehow it makes the antenna "more sensitive"....
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Old 04-06-2010, 12:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JFScheck View Post
Remember - Digital means "0's & 1's" - vice the older "Analog" signals of old so either your gonna get a signal or NOT get a signal....

I don't really understand how a "booster" can do anything to increase the digital signal unless somehow it makes the antenna "more sensitive"....
It's an amplifier. A weak digital signal is seen by your TV as no signal. Amplified, the weak signal becomes a good signal for your digital TV tuner.

It does work.
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Old 04-06-2010, 07:25 AM   #9
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yeah, its still "a radio". nothing has changed, there. RF is RF, and a week signal is a week signal. The need for an amplifier is probably even greater, since the change-over to digital, because most of the broadcasters have reduced the signal strength.
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Old 04-09-2010, 11:29 AM   #10
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Update: Found faulty transformer and coax connection on antenna. The transformer is the gadget that adapts the two wires to coax cable. Purchased new transformer from Radio Shack, checked all connections along circuit, antenna booster now working. I believe the bulk of my problem was faulty connections. Now I get 5 channels booster off, 14 channels booster on. Don't know how I received 19 channels earlier, It would not do it again. We only have 5 channels in this area, with each transmitting 3 or less digital signals.
Thanks for the feedback.
Mitch
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:28 PM   #11
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Mitch,

About the booster: in my experience, if I choose to use over-air signals, the booster must be turned on. If I use the cable hookup, then the booster must be off. One must scan each time you switch from one to the other (antenna vs cable).

Pardon me if this is the way you are using yours, but I couldn't quite tell.

Pat
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Old 04-09-2010, 02:44 PM   #12
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Good point Pat,
I was specifically talking about over the air. And yes, those boosters don't work with cable signal.
I also rescanned with every change during trouble shooting.
Mitch.
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Old 04-09-2010, 02:45 PM   #13
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yes, well, some booster units are not "just" amplifiers; its also a "switch", although, it doesn't actually say that on the label. If you don't have the booster on, there is no connection to the antenna at all. so it won't work "at all". when the booster is off, the cable signal is connected; when the booster is "on", it connects the antenna, boosts the signal, and cuts off the cable connection.
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