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  1. I still have an analog TV that I use with an antenna. I get enough channels (14) to make me happy, and up until recently the signal strength has been adequate to get a good signal. But lately, the picture has been breaking up sometimes, even though the signal strength indicator on my converter box indicates that the signal strength is plenty strong.

    Here's what happens: The signal strength on a certain channel will be up to 90% while the signal quality indicator is at 100%. This has always been perfectly good enough. But during a program, the picture breaks up, and then it comes back again with the sound and video out of sync. Changing the channel and then changing it back again fixes this until the next signal break up. Sometimes, the signal goes out for several seconds. The signal strength/quality suddenly goes from 90%/100% to 0%/0%, and then goes right back up again. At first, this would seem like the station stopped broadcasting for a few seconds. But it happens at random times, and on multiple channels, but not ALL the time. It doesn't even seem to happen only on bad weather days like I once suspected. Today is real nice and sunny with calm winds, but the picture break-up has been terrible today, even though signal strength appears to be strong.

    So, what I'd like to know is what is causing this to happen. It doesn't seem to be my antenna since it's bringing in strong signals. Could it be the converter box? When they fail, is this activity typical of what happens? I could pay $30 at Walmart to buy another one, but would like to avoid that until I'm convinced it's the problem.
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  2. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
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    I'd take a guess at the converter box. Digital TV transmitters are very powerful, much more than the older analog transmitters.
    I can pick up most digital local channels with just a piece of wire, signal strength isn't usually a problem.

    Or less likely, the TV is dying. If you have a DVD player or similar attached and the TV doesn't have the problem, then it again points at the converter.

    But I would also check your antenna connections.

    And Walmart 'may' be OK with returning the new converter box, if it is properly repacked, and if it doesn't cure the problem.

    Alternatively, you might pick up a used converter from Ebay or similar much cheaper, but less chance of a return.
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  3. Originally Posted by redwudz View Post
    I'd take a guess at the converter box. Digital TV transmitters are very powerful, much more than the older analog transmitters.
    I can pick up most digital local channels with just a piece of wire, signal strength isn't usually a problem.

    Or less likely, the TV is dying. If you have a DVD player or similar attached and the TV doesn't have the problem, then it again points at the converter.

    But I would also check your antenna connections.

    And Walmart 'may' be OK with returning the new converter box, if it is properly repacked, and if it doesn't cure the problem.

    Alternatively, you might pick up a used converter from Ebay or similar much cheaper, but less chance of a return.
    The antenna I'm using is an older indoor antenna, but it has a signal booster on it. I might just try using a piece of wire like you do and see what happens. It would be an interesting experiment at least. I may end up trying a new converter box, based on what you said. I got my current one about 6 months before analog broadcasts ended. That was quite a while ago, and I was told that converter boxes don't last very long for some reason. Mine has lasted this long, and I guess that's not normal.
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