The function of a TV signal amplifier is mainly to raise the level of a transmitted RF signal to the required amplitude. The characteristic of a weak video signal would appear as snowy picture on your television set. Snow is an electrical term that's used to describe inherent noise generated by various electronic components within the TV's circuit boards.
The objective of installing a TV or radio aerial is to allow it to capture and deliver a signal to its RF tuner for onward amplification. If the signal-to-noise ratio is very low, the amplified signal would largely constitute RF noise that's displayed on your TV screen as raster or snow. The strength of the transmitted signal varies depending on your location. If you have your TV receiver mounted on your car, you would realize that the signal strength keeps changing as you drive along different terrains. This is because several features such as trees, mountains and tall buildings act as signal barriers.
Another factor that would adversely diminish the signal strength of a TV signal is the miss match of antenna-TV impedance. Standard impedance matching between TV and aerial input terminal is usually 75 Ohms. Improper impedance matching would result in attenuated signal levels. Signal loss can also be encountered with poor antenna gains.It suffices to note that TV signal amplifier is capable of increasing the amplitude of both signal and the accompanying noise. This would require a signal amplifier that's capable of filtering the unwanted spurious signals and deliver only the desired signal intelligence at the output.
TV signal amplifiers are usually powered independently away from the TV set. The antenna connects directly to the amplifier input and the boosted signal is outputted and fed to the TV aerial input in tandem. Most aerial designs have the amplifier mounted close to the aerial and are usually visible on rooftops. Use of multiple connectors and splitters along the signal path greatly help to impair the quality of Television signal intelligence. Worse still, poor dry joints along the power supply chord to the amplifier would spark off intermittent spikes and hum, all of which would be amplified and be visible on the screen.
• Installation: It would be beneficial to install your signal amplifier immediately between the aerial and your TV set. As outlined above, components such as splitters cause significant loss of signal. Regardless of whether you have your signal booster installed within or out on the rooftop, TV signal amplifier work effectively when fixed prior to any signal splitters.
• Measurements: If you have the technical know-how, you can calculate the amount of signal loss before and after using the signal booster. Losses, usually measured in Decibels (dBs) allow you to determine the amount of signal attenuation when using various lengths of coaxial cables. It is only then that you can choose the right amplifier to give you the necessary signal gain.
A TV signal amplifier may not solve your problems if there is complete lack of signal line-of-sight between your location and the transmitting station. Satellite Television broadcasts would require strong decoder amplifier to be able to raise the signal level significantly.