The first thing to do is look at your signal report. I did a sample report near Ayer's Cliff Elementary School:How can I know if my signals are within the input range requirement of -20 to 40dBmV?
Yes, that is correct. The software, called FCC TVStudy, that is used to generate the reports gives the field strength of a signal just before it touches the antenna in dBuV/m (dB microvolts per meter), so it doesn't know anything about your antenna gain or a preamp. The report also allows you to list the strength of the signals in your report using other units such as dBm, dBuV, and dBmV. All of those are units of power that would be coming out of your antenna terminals, so you are free to add the gain of your antenna and the gain of a preamp, if used.Rabbit73, thank you very much for all this great information. I assume that signal values in Rabbitears would be affected up or down by the type of antenna used or if I use a preamp. Am I correct?
Yes, that is correct. The software, called FCC TVStudy, that is used to generate the reports gives the field strength of a signal just before it touches the antenna in dBuV/m (dB microvolts per meter), so it doesn't know anything about your antenna gain or a preamp. The report also allows you to list the strength of the signals in your report using other units such as dBm, dBuV, and dBmV. All of those are units of power that would be coming out of your antenna terminals, so you are free to add the gain of your antenna and the gain of a preamp, if used.
When you select other units, the report software makes the conversion for you. However, forum member Trip, who created the rabbiters.info Signal Search Map, is the webmaster for rabbitears.info and an employee of the FCC, has added negative correction factors for the VHF channels to allow for the higher noise levels on VHF. That is why you see VHF signals ranked slightly lower than their Signal Margin would indicate.
I suggested that you start with using dBmV values in your report because Televes has indicated the effective operating range of the Avant X is between -20dBmV and +40dBmV at its input, which is a 60 dB range.
You can do a report for your actual location here (I use coordinates):
However, actual signals coming out of your antenna, allowing for antenna gain and a preamp, might be quite different than listed in your report because of other factors like trees or a building in the signal path. The report assumes that your antenna will be outside and in the clear.
If you want me to teach you some inexpensive ways to estimate the strength of an actual signal, I can do that, but it will be a long post.
I did a short version on AVS and a long version on the TVFool forumRabbit, I think that's a great information. Have you ever posted before how to estimate signal strength inexpensively? That would be a great thread all by itself.
New user limitation won't let me reply 'yes' to pm.If anyone is interested in this I have one I will sell for the $399 I paid for it, including shipping. It is brand new in box never used. I’m not going to be able to erect the multiple antennas I would need to make it worthwhile for me. This is the US version and I’m located in the US.
Major understatement! Using some 'bogus' percentage scale borders on useless.The signal meters in TVs just use a relative scale, but you need absolute values.
They seem to be taking after the Chinese, very little, if any decent manuals. Best example is this 'quick start guide which I now find out is the 'manual'.once you figure out how to use it. Instructions are in Spanish/English but leave out some details, like actually how to set it up.
some YouTube videos in Spanish that showed an Avant X automatically scanning for frequencies, but I could not figure out how to get mine to do that. Maybe only certain models do that? Anyway, I had to manually add channels in ASuite.
in ASuite is the output level. Default is 55. If you slide over to actual frequencies you can adjust each frequency up or down by 3.
The North America version of the Avant X, P/N 532180, does not have automatic channel scan. It does require to manually program the channels or clusters desired per input on A-Suite or using the Televes handheld programmer.I found some YouTube videos in Spanish that showed an Avant X automatically scanning for frequencies, but I could not figure out how to get mine to do that. Maybe only certain models do that? Anyway, I had to manually add channels in ASuite. (Chiwaukee mentioned this in post #32.)
Once the unit has been programmed and adjusted, it will establish a set of filters per input, and reject everything else, so if a new multiplex becomes available, yes, a filter will need to be programmed for that channel on the corresponding input, the unit readjusted, and any downstream tuners to be re-scanned if needed.This means, if new frequencies become available in your area, a rescan on your TV (when connected through the Avant X) will not find them! You'll need to bypass it, scan on your TV, take note of new frequencies, and reprogram the Avant X.
In a nutshell the Avant X is a filter > processor > amplifier. It allows the filtering of up to 32 individual channels or clusters coming off of four different antennas, and processing them to any frequencies desired, equalize the levels, and provide a programmed output level which is maintained over time. There are a number of applications for this feature set, for example to be able to ingest, filter, equalize and combine content from different markets/antennas in a clean fashion over a single coax feed. Since the Avant also allows to frequency-shift incoming carriers, an operator can receive same RF channels from different markets without co-channel interference.Televes calls this a "programmable multiband amplifier," in other words, like a digital equalizer for TV frequencies.
Hard to tell what TV quality indicators mean. The MER in/out degradation in a channel through the Avant is typically less than 1dB.An amplifier cannot magically make a frequency that is too weak usable. It can boost a weak but clean signal to overcome losses between your antenna and TV. Noise is still an important factor. Example, there is one VHF-HI frequency that came in sporadically at about signal quality 27-28 on my TV without the Avant X, that would not come in at all when the Avant X boosted that frequency.
Other frequencies my TV saw as signal quality 35-40-ish without the AvantX, were very watchable when boosted.
The output level in the Avant X is programmable between 30dBmV and 55dBmV, and also a slope setting is available for larger cable distributions, such an MDU for example. The higher values will likely be too strong in many residential settings, so the Avant also features a -20dB output, on which the programmed value will range between 10dBmV and 35dBmV. So in practice, the output level can be adjusted between 10dBmV and 55dBmV, enough range to cover a wide variety of distribution scenarios.On the main "page" in ASuite is the output level. Default is 55. If you slide over to actual frequencies you can adjust each frequency up or down by 3. The per-frequency adjustment is probably not that important unless you are fine-tuning a problem channel, but again, level does not equal quality.
Once programmed and connected to your TV, tune your TV to the strongest channel (the strongest without amplification.) Bring up signal quality monitor, however your TV does this.
If the strongest channel shows signal quality 100, don't believe it. It may be over-amplified. At least, on my TV, it showed 100 for my strongest channel, but it broke up a lot. Reduce the output level on the main ASuite page and send it to the Avant X until your TV shows mid-90's for signal quality on your strongest frequency. Then check the other frequencies. For me, weaker frequencies were in the 80's which is still very high.
You may be fine after this, or you might want to try adjusting weak frequencies higher. But again, strength is not quality, so adjusting individual frequency levels farther than the default balancing may or may not help.
If, after setting up the Avant X, you are going add a splitter to multiple devices, repeat the above, watching signal quality on all the connected tuners.