Signal Strength and Quality

Frequently Asked Questions

Signal Strength and Quality

Postby mikeb » Thu Nov 08, 2007 8:55 am

There are three percentages reported by the HDHomeRun -

Signal Strength (ss)
- raw power level as measured by the receiver

Signal Quality (snq)
- how clearly defined the digital data is

Symbol Quality (seq)
- Amount of correct or corrected data over the last second

The above definitions can be confusing, so a much simpler definition is to imagine listening to the radio:
- Signal Strength represents the volume
- Signal Quality represents how clearly you can hear the lyrics
- Symbol Quality indicates the percentage of the lyrics you could hear or guess correctly

As it turns out, Signal Strength is somewhat irrelevant; if your antenna isn't pointed properly, it doesn't matter how loud you turn up the volume, the static will prevent you from hearing the lyrics correctly. Similarly, amplifying a weak HDTV signal can result in a high signal strength but too much noise to decode the digital data correctly.

Use the Signal Strength for a rough idea of direction, but align the antenna for the highest Signal Quality, ignoring Signal Strength. When aimed correctly, Symbol Quality will show 100%, indicating no errors in the output. Splitters and amplifiers can introduce noise which will lower the Signal Quality, even if the Signal Strength increases.
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