Author Topic: Signal Breaking Up  (Read 6414 times)

Offline Tricksy

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Signal Breaking Up
« on: October 17, 2012, 12:47:28 AM »
Received a new Humax via IceTV a few weeks ago to replace our existing Strong PVR (yes I know - I can hear the groans) and must say we are very happy with the ease of use and functionality.

However, one problem we are experiencing is breaking up of the signal resulting in pixelation and losing a few seconds of recorded programs at random times during the recording, which in some cases is so bad the recorded program is virtually unwatchable.  Although we do occassionaly get some signal break up when just watching TV, this is rare and minor.  It is much worse on recorded programs, particularly if two programs are being recorded at the same time.  Have checked signal strength and quality on all channels and all is good.  Can't be precise, but would estimate we have this problem on 50 -60% of our recordings to varying degrees.

Our previous Strong PVR had it's faults, but signal break up was not one of them at any time and we have never previously had a problem with signal quality - all the cabling and antenna is less than two years old. So it seems to me that the problem is with the Humax.

Just wondering if anyone else is experiencing a similar problem or if there are any other suggestions.

Offline swamprat96

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Re: Signal Breaking Up
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2012, 06:39:29 AM »
If anything I would have said the tuners in the Humax are stronger than what's in my tv. They were certainly stronger than the htpc it replaced. But your evidence from the strong says otherwise so I think your diagnosis is correct. Still got the strong? If so put it back briefly and see if your signal is still good

Offline Doctor Whatuwant

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Re: Signal Breaking Up
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2012, 08:09:52 AM »
I had this problem on another PVR and it turned out to be a faulty internal power supply. The regulated voltage to the tuner was drifting out of spec and causing the signal breakdown you have described. The symptoms were ambient temperature dependant, as the capacitors in the power supply were effected by temperature. It was worse in cool weather.

Possibly with two tuners drawing power it is worse. Just a long shot.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2012, 12:43:04 PM by Doctor Whatuwant »

Offline Dave at IceTV

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Re: Signal Breaking Up
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2012, 03:44:03 PM »
Although we do occassionaly get some signal break up when just watching TV, this is rare and minor.
I assume you mean watching TV from the Humax. Otherwise if you meant when watching the TV's own tuner, then your antenna or cabling is not as good as it could be.

... we have never previously had a problem with signal quality - all the cabling and antenna is less than two years old.
Just moving the antenna cables (or unplugging the old Strong and plugging in the new Humax) can result in reception issues if the cables are not good quality quad-shielded RG6 cables. Cheap white coloured cables are known to do this. Cable joiners, male-to-female adaptors, splitters, old boosters, surge protector boards etc can all cause issues to gradually or suddenly occur. Daisy-chaining the antenna signal through other devices can also cause reception issues for the device(s) that get the signal after it's been through another device. Sometimes even just having a TV or another device connected to the antenna loop out from the PVR can cause signal noise or interference on the PVR's tuner(s).

It is much worse on recorded programs, particularly if two programs are being recorded at the same time.  Have checked signal strength and quality on all channels and all is good.  Can't be precise, but would estimate we have this problem on 50 -60% of our recordings to varying degrees.
Sounds like maybe a faulty HDD or power supply. Or you may have 1 faulty tuner. Try recording 2 good channels (from different TV networks) at the same time.

I would suggest calling Humax to get their diagnosis and, if needed, authorisation to have it replaced.

Humax Australia Customer Support
Phone:  1300 737 937
E-mail:  hauservice@humaxdigital.com
'Contact Us' page:  www.humaxdigital.com/au/support/contactus.asp
cheers

Dave
Customer Service

Offline Tricksy

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Re: Signal Breaking Up
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2012, 08:01:52 PM »
Thanks for your comments and suggestions - will try plugging the Strong back in over the weekend and see if there is any difference, however, is is currently hooked to another TV in a different room and there dosen't seem to be any issue with the signal there.

In response to Dave at IceTV:

I assume you mean watching TV from the Humax.

Correct.  We rarely watch TV much via the antenna loop so haven't noticed any signal problem in that case - will test it out a bit more.

Just moving the antenna cables (or unplugging the old Strong and plugging in the new Humax) can result in reception issues if the cables are not good quality quad-shielded RG6 cables.

We are using a good quality cable, but it is going through a surge protector board.  Will plug in in directly and test again.

Sometimes even just having a TV or another device connected to the antenna loop out from the PVR can cause signal noise or interference on the PVR's tuner(s).

Our TV is connected to the antenna loop. I would be dissappointed if this was the issue - what is the point of the loop if it interferes with the signal in the Humax?  Would also cause me some concern regarding the quality of the tuners.

Sounds like maybe a faulty HDD or power supply. Or you may have 1 faulty tuner. Try recording 2 good channels (from different TV networks) at the same time.

I would suggest calling Humax to get their diagnosis and, if needed, authorisation to have it replaced. .

Will see how I go over the weekend with a couple of different configurations and then if still a problem call Humax.

Offline swamprat96

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Re: Signal Breaking Up
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2012, 10:57:15 AM »
I don't have the TV on the aerial loop - because in this aspect the Humax is 100% reliable. It would be worth taking the TV out of the antenna loop as a test. Seriously the Humax has such a simple interface there's really no need to have the TV connected. Mines not even tuned in

Offline Tricksy

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Re: Signal Breaking Up
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2012, 04:44:01 PM »
I hear you swamprat96 - 99% of the time we are watching TV via the Humax, not the aerial loop.

The reason we have the TV on the aerial loop is not becasue we have any issue with the watching TV via the Humax or the Humax interface, but because very occasionally we are recording two programs on two different networks and want to watch another program on a third network, all at the same time, which we can do via the aerial loop to the TV - if there is another way to do this without using the aerial loop I would be happy to hear it.

Will unplug the aerial loop and test as suggested, but as I said before, if this is what is causing the problem then it would be disappointing.


Offline prl

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Re: Signal Breaking Up
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2012, 06:37:34 PM »
...
The reason we have the TV on the aerial loop is not becasue we have any issue with the watching TV via the Humax or the Humax interface, but because very occasionally we are recording two programs on two different networks and want to watch another program on a third network, all at the same time, which we can do via the aerial loop to the TV - if there is another way to do this without using the aerial loop I would be happy to hear it.
It's not possible to do better than that with a dual tuner PVR.

An alternative to the loop antenna would be to feed the external antenna through the PVR and then to the TV. That should give you better signal on the TV than with an internal antenna, provided there's nothing wrong with the PVR tuners that might affect the feedthrough.
Peter
Beyonwiz T4 in-use
Beyonwiz T2, T3 & T4 for testing

Offline Tricksy

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Re: Signal Breaking Up
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2012, 07:04:58 PM »
Hi prl

Apologies if there is some confusion - what you suggest is exactly what we are doing. The "loop" I am referrring to is through the PVR, which is what I understood the previous posters to be referring to.  There is no internal loop antenna involved - we don't even own one.

Cheers

Offline prl

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Re: Signal Breaking Up
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2012, 10:06:09 AM »
Hi, Tricksy. That configuration is normally called "loopthrough". But it sounds as though there's no opportunity for improvement there, though.

Offline Dave at IceTV

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Re: Signal Breaking Up
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2012, 03:59:34 PM »
If the antenna loop-through to the TV is causing the interference on the Humax it can be caused by the quality, or lack of quality, of the loop cable being used. Sometimes the TV itself can add noise to the signal and feed that back to the Humax - though normally it is the cable itself causing the problem. If a device connected to the Humax's loop out is the cause of reception issues on the Humax, or any other PVR, you can use a splitter so that the TV and the Humax each get their own (good quality) antenna cable direct from the splitter.

Offline Tricksy

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Re: Signal Breaking Up
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2012, 07:00:31 PM »
An update . . .

. . . no joy I'm afraid.  Plugged the (good quality) antenna cable directly into the Humax from the wall socket (ie not going through surge protector board any more) and disconnected the loop through cable to the TV - so only one cable directly into the Humax and no antenna cable out, which as far as I can see is the cleanest connection I can get. 

Unfortunately we still experience the signal breaking up when recording.  And just for something different, last night while recording a program on Channel 10, the live signal on Channel 7 (which is usually the channel where we have the least issues) was breaking up.

Tested the connection / signal again with the Strong PVR - no signal problems with that unit - so it seems pretty conclusive that there is a problem with the Humax.

Unless there are any other suggestions from other users, looks like a warranty claim back to Humax.  Unfortunately this is the second unit I have had to return - the first had a faulty HDMI output and was unusable from day 1.  So while the interface and functionality of the Humax seems very good, I looks like their component / build quality is suspect.

Offline Dave at IceTV

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Re: Signal Breaking Up
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2012, 01:34:25 PM »
Hi Tricksy,

It does sound like a hard drive fault. Please contact Humax, if you haven't already, as there is nothing more that you can test.

You are extremely unlucky to get 2 faulty PVRs from the same manufacturer (though it does happen occasionally, with all brands).  I have never heard of anyone getting 3 faulty PVRs in a row, so I would be confident that another replacement would work as expected.

Offline Tricksy

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Re: Signal Breaking Up
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2012, 05:14:49 PM »
An update . . .

. . . have had a replacement unit for about 10 days now and so far so good - no issues with signal breaking up using same cabling and set up we had prior to experiencing issues with the faulty unit.  The war office even thinks the picture quality is better with this new unit - not to sure about that myself , but who am I to disagree! 

Shame we had to get to our third Humax before we got one that seems to be working properly - maybe there was a bad batch somewhere along the production line (?)

Will provide another update if anything changes.

Cheers

Offline Dave at IceTV

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Re: Signal Breaking Up
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2012, 02:42:59 PM »
Good to hear that you now have a working Humax. Third time lucky.


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