Antenna Issues

Hey all, I moved from Locast to an OTA antenna/HDHR yesterday. The antenna I got is a Mohu Leaf 50. When I plugged it directly into the TV without the amplifier I got 78 channels. When I added the amplifier it went down to 69 channels. This includes all my NextGen Channels. Then I connected the HDHR Flex 4K without the amplifier and set it up in Channels. Everything seemed to work fine but the signal strength was right around 80% for each channel and the Signal Quality hovered right around 80% with the lowest being 70%. Then I connected the amplifier and the signal strength went up to 100% on all the channels and the signal quality jumped a bit. However, I seemed to lose some channels with the amplifier on (PBS for example), and when I watch the channels on my Apple TV 4HD or on my iPhone the OTA channels load really slow compared to Locast. It takes about 5 to 10 seconds for the channels to start. But, when they do they look amazing. I got the NextGen channels to work with a lot of buffering, I'm pretty sure that had to do with me needing to use a 4K device. My question is, would the slow loading and missing channels be corrected if I installed an outdoor antenna instead of my Mohu in the window? I have great signal strength and reception where I live it's just legging and like I said, missing some stations.

It is not recommended to use an amplifier with the HDHomeRun.


This is usually a sure sign of a too strong signal. The display stops at 100%, but in reality it is likely higher and overloading the tuners.

A signal strength of 80% is not bad, it is the signal quality that matters.

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@racameron I read that a Signal Quality over 60% is considered great. Is that correct? Would an outdoor antenna improve signal quality?

Outdoor antennas almost always improve reception. And if all the transmitters are in one general direction, a directional antenna would improve reception even more, by eliminating some multipath reception and increasing signal strength and quality overall.

I have the leaf 50. 60% is good. You can nudge it a little to see if it improves. I don't even have mine in the same room as my Hdhomerun

Here is SiliconDust's take on signal strength, signal quality, and symbol quality:

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I have a couple channels that hover around 60% signal strength but 95 to 100% quality...right on the line of becoming unwatchable. They are very touchy to any interference, and often do become so glitched out can't watch them.
These are channels whos transmitter is farest from me, over 40 miles.
All my other OTA stations towers are less than 10 miles, and several are less than 5 miles.
So, if i use an amp with my HDHR, yes, it makes the couple weak stations come in stronger and be more stable, but it causes all the other stations, that were all ready 100% or very very near to be come over amped and they breakup and have I don't use a amp, only a LTE and a low pass filter on my coax line.
I use Locast for those couple stations that the antenna can not get well.

I can not use outdoor antenna, because i live in an apartment complex, so have a Mohou Ranger flat rubber antenna mounted above my window inside that works very well.

A properly installed and positioned outdoor antenna most always will get you better signal reception, but it all depends on your immediate surrounds. Lots of large trees, or a large tall building, or any obstructions etc.

Depending on how long the coax run from antenna to end point may be needed, then that may be a use case for a pre-amp at the antenna, say like if you needed to make it more than 150ft+, i forget the length at which coax starts to loose db.

Very important an outdoor antenna is properly grounded, as it will act as a lightening rod.

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There is an app for ios that will allow you to tune to different channels simultaneously and view the signal strength. This way you can change the placement of your antenna and get a happy medium for all channels.

I used an amplifier with my setup (I used to be a cable tech back in the day so I understand rf). I had a 50ft rg6 drop with 2 3-way splitters. Doing the math on 4 legs I was down 10.5db and on 2 legs I was down 7db.then subtract a couple of dB for the 50ft rg6. So in my calculations a 15db amp would be just fine. Wrong... My signal was 100% but I had all kinds of issues, pixelation etc. Took the amp out and my signal was still 100%, I actually had to add attenuators to drop it down, probably because I can see the towers from my house.

Also add an LTE filter, that solved the rest of my pixelation issues.

@Richard_smith How do you have your antenna in a different room than your HDHR? The previous owner of my house had DirectTV so I thought about either using that coax line or replacing it with another and putting an outside antenna on my house there. But, my house is also wired for fiber and that comes in on the order side of the house. So That is where my HDHR is and I put my Mohu in the window nearest to that.

The towers for me are 21 miles to the south. I pick up several HD channels and even the ATSC 3.0 channels. All with or without the amplifier. I'll probably remove the amplifier and see if the channels load faster and if I get PBS again. I'm also thinking about getting a 4k Apple TV now so I can take advantage of the 4K channels.
Would the best recommendation be to get an outdoor antenna or stick with what I've got if it's working? This is the antenna I was looking at if I get a new one:

I picked up a $18 Ethernet repeater

@Richard_smith could you explain this more? Are you saying that you have your antenna in a different location than you're HDHR and your modem? If I could move my Mohu across the house to those windows instead of the room where my HDHR and modem are I'd get much better reception. If that isn't possible I'm thinking about replacing my Mohu with an outdoor antenna.

Hey all, so I removed the amplifier from my antenna and the missing channels came back and I can move between channels much quicker. However, now NBC, ABC, and FOX stutter when I'm watching them and that wasn't happening with the amplifier on. So, would it be better for me to swap out my Mohu for an outdoor antenna? I can't think of anything else to do but that.

First make sure your HDHomeRun firmware is up to date. Then test with your indoor mohu outside on the direct tv coax. That should help decide if an outdoor antenna would help

Try the signal app that I mentioned earlier and move your antenna around until you get the optimum signal strength

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My Hdhomerun and Antenna are in a different than my router. I run the Ethernet from the Hdhomerun to this

Amplification may be necessary when your signals are uniformly weak; however, two or more signals that are strong enough when amplified can combine in an HD HomeRun or any receiver's own tuner to form noise in other channels. The effect is nonlinear - e,g. a 1dB (25%) increase in the strong signals can produce a 3dB (200%) increase in the noise; a 2dB (60%) increase can produce 6dB (400%).. The weak signals can easily get buried in the noise because they only get the 1-2 dB of amplification whereas the noise in effect gets 3-6 dB. A signal search for your address or Zip code on will give you a rank ordered list of estimated single strengths. You'll only get so far down the list no matter how much amplification you use.

According to the FCC all tenants have the right to install their own antennas.

True but they can prevent you from damaging their property if you had to mount on the roof etc..

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