Cable reception Quality

andrelaplume2December 27, 2006

We just bought a 20 year old home. Cable is underground. We are serviced by a single cable system....unless we go to a sattelite system. The cable company bundles phone and cable. We had the company at our prior residence and were very happy with our service and picture quality. FYI: we currently have a 32" tube tv in our family room and a few smaller tubies in the bedrooms. The cable company came out and replaced all the wire in the home with RG6 shielded stuff. They also ran wrie to the 4 upstairs berooms. The cable enters the home in the basement and is split in two. One line runs to an upstairs 4 way splitter behind the wall of our bedroom. The other half runs to our 32" family room tv. Actually the cable is split there as well with one line of RG6 going to a vcr and a second to our cable box. This is the set up we had at our old home. At our new one though the picture is noticably different. The smaller tvs are not so bad but the larger one shows some grain. Even if I remove the split at this location. It is not crisp and clear, especially on the lower channels. The cable dudes tightened everything and it appears the connections are fine. They said it was not too bad but they only fish the line. We need to call out the 'testers' to evaluate picture quality. Service is free for grainy pictures but I sense there is a charge if they come out and feel the picture quality is ok. I do know the technology 'under ground' has not yet been upgraded--whatever that means. They say it is scheduled to be done this year but I have my doubts.

Would a booster do me any good? Is it the old stuff under ground causing the problem? Its not a horrible picture but I would not invest in a plasma or something with this quality signal. Suggestions?

PS: Things will likely only get worse since I need to replace the two way splitter described above with a 3 way---we want a tv in the kitchen! That will mean one split to the attic where it will be again split into 4, one to the family room and one to the kitchen. Can the cable company control the amount of signal I get or am I doomed? Ideas?

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Over the years we had Comcast out to check the signal at our house because of the poor quality picture. They put a test unit on the cable where it comes into the house and checked the signal level for channel 2. Both times they said the signal level met their specs. They did not charge for this.
We gave up and went to satellite. With all the TV's you have there may be a problem with satellite. You would need a dedicated run to each TV. No splitters in the lines.
A multiplexer between the dish and house would be used with at least one cable running from the multiplexer to each TV.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 8:02AM
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My brother-in-law has 8 tvs and the same cable co but in a different area. All pictures are sharp...something must be going on with the signal.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 11:36AM
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It could be that the cable underground is RG-59 cable, not RG-6. The RG-59 is a little thinner, and has less "shielding", which could allow other types of interference to come "into the line", thus weaking the true signal. A common symptom of this is "ghosting" on the same channels that your local area broadcasts on. For instance, if there is a broadcast station in your area that broadcasts on 4, and you tune your TV to 4 to get the signal from the cable box, you're TV is actually getting two different signals. What made me think this is that you mentioned "lower channels", in other words: 2-13, which is the VHF band.

RG-59 is good enough for a TV antenna and early cable, but as the cable signal is getting more sophisticated, RG-59 can't handle it.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2006 at 11:33AM
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