Analogue TV has a "gentle slope" approach to reduced reception. As the signal gets weaker the image slowly get worse (so 90% reception = 90% picture quality)
Digital TV has what is called the "Digital Cliff". As the signal gets weaker you still get 100% picture quality. At some point though the tuners give out and you go from 100% to 75% to 25% to 0% in the space of a few small drops in PQ. All equipment has different digital cliffs. So its possible your TV will show 100% PQ with 68% reception while your Fetch gets glitchy at the same point.
The Fetch boxes are known to have some issues with reception so its possible you are getting that. The microwave thing also points to unshielded antenna cable and its likely getting an antenna guy in to try sort it out could solve your problems.
But failing that I'd suggest a powered booster will also likely work (although no guarantees). A kingray splitter like this could resolve your issues (although not the microwave bit)
What you have is noise on the line. Your microwave must be creating more noise than normal?
There are quite a few possible solutions to the problem:
1) Try a different microwave?
2) Move the microwave so it's on a different circuit?
3) Buy a series of filters and put them on the line?
4) Boost the signal with a masthead amplifier?
5) Shield your antenna cable?
Most microwaves aren't very noisy so your chances of finding a quieter one are very good.
An EMF filter is just a 20uF motor run capacitor (motor start capacitor also works) with a 2W 27 KOhm resistor (1W works fine) across the terminals to discharge the capacitor. You can make your own for about $20 or buy one.
One filter is often sufficient to stop the noise.
Our masthead amplifier eliminated pixelation entirely and the only time it comes back is when somebody accidentally turns off the power to the masthead amplifier.
A masthead amplifier also allows you to run a cable direct to the TV as well as to the STB (splits the signal)... bypassing the STB entirely... and presumably avoiding the problem entirely?
It is unlikely that your coaxial cable is not shielded... as most antenna cable is. However if you have a very old installation it is possible. Shielding the cable might help if it isn't shielded already.
The Mighty STB also benefits from being rebooted from time to time if it's playing up. Simply turning it off and on again usually isn't sufficient. This is a bit disappointing as the processor on the Mighty is much more powerful than the previous STB's and it should be much harder to lock it up.
Overall I've enjoyed using the Mighty... although the regular reboots are a bit annoying and I wish Optus would do something about it? 🙂
Thanks for the advice (you too Peter)
I should have mentioned previously but I already do have an amplified antenna installed so I would agree that the problem likely lies with the inferior tuner in the Mighty Fetch box and until Optus address that issue I don't see any solution anytime soon. To be honest the microwave interference isn't that big an issue (perhaps just 1 minute a day). Thanks guys.
Amplified with what? Are you sure it's working? Also to much signal can be a problem too. I would suggest trying to tune with the amplifier off. I'd also see if you can runner the mighty at a friend's house. Note the microwave issue may be livable with but it suggests some underlying issue with your cabling.
But failing that, the box is least and you should be able to request a replacement at no cost which might not suffer the same problem.
I'll try bypassing the amplifier (it's a Kingray masthead amp) and see if that changes anything. Interestingly we had a the older Fetch box until 12 months ago and in the 2 years that we had that unit we didn't have a single issue with any form of pixellation or interference which would reinforce my suspicion that this is purely a fetch box issue. I'm going to look at a replacement box and see if that improves things.
1) Ask for a new Fetch box if you have an old one
2)) Fit a decent antenna (if you don't already have one)
3) Fit a masthead amplifier
The masthead amplifier solution is particularly cheap and will compensate for a poor antenna or an old Fetch box.
Asking for a new Fetch box won't fix the reception as the receiver in the box doesn't include any circuit to boost the signal... but the memory buffer on the newer boxes is a bit bigger... which makes the signal less prone to pixelation.