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Cable TV signal strength
Posted by: timg
Date: March 12, 2009 01:26PM
Ok, we've made the transition to Comcast's new Digital version of expanded basic.

Now, the problem is some of the TV's can't tune all of the channels - especially the ones on the higher frequencies.

After much research, I believe this is a combination of low signal level from the incoming cable and multiple splitters with older wiring in the house (most of it is RG-59).

From what I can find online, even if I replace the RG-59 cable, the signal level will still be marginal and may not work for the higher channels.

Can Comcast increase the signal level coming in easily? Or would I be better off just getting an amp and installing it myself?
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Re: Cable TV signal strength
Posted by: Article Accelerator
Date: March 12, 2009 01:55PM
- RG-6 or RG-11 has much lower loss than RG-59
- some splitters have both lower loss and wider bandwidth than others
- eliminate unnecessary splitters
- make sure you terminate ( "cap" ) unused outlets, including those on the splitters themselves.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/12/2009 01:57PM by Article Accelerator.
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Re: Cable TV signal strength
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: March 12, 2009 02:18PM
The cable company can usually control/increase the voltatage to some extent. It depends some on the age of the system in your neighborhood. There is a standard if I remember correctly, they need to provide at least 1.0 V at the drop point into your house. A nice tech will sometimes raise the signal strength to compensate for poor cable and splitters.

As mentioned, older splitters might not be designed for 80+ channels and start to roll off above cable channel 58 or so.

I have heard stories that some people had too strong a cable signal, but it is pretty rare. It can overload the tuner.



in tha 510.
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Re: Cable TV signal strength
Posted by: Gilbert
Date: March 12, 2009 02:21PM
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Can Comcast increase the signal level coming in easily? Or would I be better off just getting an amp and installing it myself?

Not sure if Comcast will do it, but I am with Cox and was having some signal issues. They came out and tested the outlets in question. The tech then installed an amplifier that were specifically for the rooms where we were having issues. Since then, no issues. And best of all, no charge.

Good luck!
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Re: Cable TV signal strength
Posted by: AlphaDog
Date: March 12, 2009 02:51PM
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Gilbert
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timg

Can Comcast increase the signal level coming in easily? Or would I be better off just getting an amp and installing it myself?

Not sure if Comcast will do it, but I am with Cox and was having some signal issues. They came out and tested the outlets in question. The tech then installed an amplifier that were specifically for the rooms where we were having issues. Since then, no issues. And best of all, no charge.

Good luck!

Ditto with Comcast a few years ago, although I think the amplifier works on my whole system. They also changed some of the cables and connections under the house, but I'm probably cuter than you are. smiling smiley At one point there were four Comcast trucks clogging my little dead end street, with Comcast guys swarming all over. Is your hair white, and do you look like everybody's favorite grama? If not, they will probably charge only for the amplifier itself.

Initially, we'd moved the TV with the digital box from one end of the house to the other, and it didn't work properly. The service call to see why it wasn't working properly was free, and that's when they decided there were other problems in the system and that an amp was needed. Call and see what they say.
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Re: Cable TV signal strength
Posted by: Dick Moore
Date: March 12, 2009 03:04PM
If you can replace the RG-59 with RG-6, do it. If you can put in wide-band, loss-loss splitters, do it. eBay has good buys on splitters. You should have a minimum of 10,000 uV at the head-end of your system, and a maximum of around 100,000 uV....



What it is, man, a low-down and funky feelin'
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Re: Cable TV signal strength
Posted by: timg
Date: March 12, 2009 03:48PM
I'm not sure that Comcast will want to replace my wiring, and if they do, they may decide to do it in a way that I won't like (I've heard and seen instances where they ran the cable around the outside of the house and drilled a hole through the wall!).

I do plan to replace the RG-59 cable with RG-6 and I have already replaced the splitters with new, high frequency versions and removed any unnecessary ports. But from what I've calculated, even with these changes, some of the ports in use will still be marginal for the higher channels.

I'll see what Comcast offers to do.
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Re: Cable TV signal strength
Posted by: AlphaDog
Date: March 12, 2009 04:06PM
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(I've heard and seen instances where they ran the cable around the outside of the house and drilled a hole through the wall!).

I think it would depend on a combination of things, the first being the existing cable set up and the second being the specific installer. A contracted installer did drill holes in the neighbor's house, and the whole job was crappy. My cable was already in place under the house, so the guys that were here making the changes worked with the existing setup in the crawlspace. Since the amplifier needed 110, they had to run power from an exterior outlet, but they did a very neat job. Of course, my house has full brick veneer exterior, so maybe they didn't want to mess with it.
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Re: Cable TV signal strength
Posted by: timg
Date: March 12, 2009 04:29PM
My house actually has the cable running through the ceiling. I know because I ran it.

I don't think they would exactly relish the idea of re-running that since the previous owners insulated the ceiling with blown in insulation.

I don't have brick all over the exterior walls, so that deterrent would not exist for me.
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