Dublin DBox2 - problems when its windy

jofus45

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Im guessing this is an NTL problem

Normally I have get reception like
Signal >40000
SNR >60000
BER < 200

When it gets windy the Signal and SNR stay the same but the Bit Error Rate intermittently spikes off the scale
This shows up as pixellation on the picture and more annoying a "chirp" in the sound.

Is this just a dodgy connection somewhere up the cable or is there anything I might be able to do?
 

mgb

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Do you get NTL mmds via mmds aerial or central mmds mast?
 

jofus45

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Im out of my knowledge area here.

I always thought that MMDS was different from cable
(ie people in urban areas had cable - people rural areas had MMDS)

Im in the centre of Dublin City. I always assumed that the signal came over coax cable from a large dish farm at NTL headquarters

J
 

illumin

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im pretty sure your running normal cable (not mmds) there should be an ntl box on the outside of your house/apt somewhere try and trace the cable back to it. maybe the box has somehow become loose. If you have a basic ntl connection then you can always disconnected all your dbox stuff and ring them u saying you have these problems and they will send an engineer out to fix it.
 

dublindbox

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I live in the city centre too. Don't worry about this problem as it is just due to the cables daisychaining along the street. It can cause all sorts of problems in the wind. Sometimes a full reboot allows the dbox to get over the dodgy signal; however, the only answer is for NTL to sort out there underinvested network! As the other post suggests, log the call with NTL and see if they fix it but don't hold your breath! Or pray for good weather!!!

All the best
 

jofus45

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Strange BER values

I need to do some more investigation here

Last weekend I was getting some strange things happen.

The windy spikes :) thing tends to affect all channels pretty much equally

Last weekend I was getting different 'trends' on different channels

All channels had pretty much the same signal and snr values (40K & 60K)

RTE had a BER for about 400 (constant)
Setanta was showing a BER at the top of the scale (and constant)

Reckon I'll have to get out a pencil and paper and note some of these down to see if there is a pattern.

When I lose the will to live I might call NTL :)

J
 

dublindbox

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I would put my pencil away and rest up and enjoy the free tv! My hunch is NTL broadcast at different signal strengths. I know they do this with the analogue signal so I assume the same is true for digital. I wouldn't worry about it as it will only affect you in bad weather and then not all the channels.

One thing i have noticed is Sagem boxes do not really like the Dublin signal strength and can stutter regardless of the weather. The Nokia boxes are more resistant to this but still appreciate a daily reboot.

Must go and watch some more free tv, fantastic!! All the best.
 

jofus45

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Signal Strength (I need to get out more)

This will do my head in - at least till I understand

My cable comes in through the wall
I have a splitter
A short cable goes to an NTL digital box (basic digital sub - no sports or movies)
Reception here is OK - even on BBC3 (more later)

A slightly longer cable goes into the next room and my DBox
Tonight BBC3 and Sky Sports 2 were unwatchable

Here are some numbers for BER/SNR/SIG

RTE1/RTE2/TV3/TG4/BBCworld all around 400, 60000, 45000
BBC1/BBC2/UTV/C4 all around 5000, 55000, 45000

BBC3/BBC4/SkySports2/SkySports3 262143, 55000, 45000
(note BER was exactly 262143 in each case)

I did a channel rescan with provider Bruteforce but only got about 50 channels

I did a channel rescan with provider CableUK Sym6887 and again only got about 50 channels

So I put my old services.xml file back

Would a signal booster help?

Im open to suggestions
 

Romero

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Whats your analog signal on your telly like? If on the windy days you can see the picture quality go from snowey to a bit better then it is the daisy chain affect and NTHELL will have to send an engineer out to fix it but I'd ask some of your neighbours as its impossible to get support from them for single cases.
I'm living in Lucan area and analog pictures have been snowy since the weekend. I did buy a SLX booster out of Argos and that did help me bring in Setanta Golf etc which I couldn't do without it. Well worth the 15 Euros.

Romero ;)
 

Romero

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One other thing did you try swapping out the dbox with the ntl provided box which can get bbc3 and then do a rescan to see if it picks up sly sports? If it can then a booster will deffo help.

Romero
 

dublindbox

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BER stands for Bit Error Rate and the ones you are seeing will stop the digital signal from being converted in to picture. I too have two points in my house and from experience the Sagem Dbox works on the stronger of the two signals only, with Nokia boxes working in both locations.

I have also got a spare signal booster of the same make as Romero. When I have tried this, it made no difference. Generally, the BER should be as low as possible and you will probably see levels of less than 200 normally. However, I have seen BER up to 8000 without any picture problems. Also, the BER should be steady, if it goes up and down in a step like way then the signal is poor or your box can't handle the poor signal.

Remember, these boxes were not designed for UK/EIRE cable signal and are known to dislike poor signal which doesn't really fit well with Dublin NTL (i.e. cables tangled over houses like they have been fitted by a blind man!)

all the best
 
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