# Understanding the signal, strength, and quality readings reported by the HDHomeRun

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.