Cable TV - cable quality important?

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Denis LeM-S, Sep 12, 2003.

  1. Denis LeM-S

    Denis LeM-S Auditioning

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    Firstly, I apologise for my ignorance - I am new to HT, new to cable TV, and new to the USA (just moved from the UK)!

    I am having a dedicated HT installed with front projection onto a 103 inch screen. This will be mainly for DVDs, but I also want to use it for occasional TV viewing, particularly HDTV.

    I have digital cable installed to the house, and the cable is currently exposed, waiting to be buried after buiding work is completed. It occurred to me that this would be an opportunity to have the cable TV supplier use a better quality cable for the main run into the house, IF there is such a thing as 'better quality cable' in this respect.

    Any thoughts? I already plan to make sure that the cable to the HT area is direct from the main supply cable - no multiple splitters to pass through, etc.
     
  2. ChrisLazarko

    ChrisLazarko Supporting Actor

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    Well if you are talking about for cable TV, you shouldn't really have a problem as long as the house is fairly new. Usually cable problems won't occur on cables for about 20 years and even then can be fixed by just putting new tips on usually. So in reality yes you can get a bigger cable but spending the money on it is somewhat pointless as the signal quality won't be anywhere near noticeable.
     
  3. Darren Rowley

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    As was stated, the size of the cable won't make a difference in video quality unless you live a very long distance from the tap. They typically use RG6 from the tap to your house, but if they used RG59 I would suggest you have them switch it out for RG6. Find out what type of shielding they use in the cable, make sure they are using a quad shielded cable. This will help with interference. Ask them if they can use RG11 quad shield, but I'm sure they will say no and besides it won't give you much better video quality. However, nothing is stopping you from buying better quality cable yourself and giving it to them to install. The F-connectors used on RG11 are different than RG6, are harder to find, and require a different tool to crimp onto the cable.

    What will make the difference in quality is the level of RF signal in your house. Make sure they check the levels, preferably at your TV or cable box location, watch them do it, and then demand they make them right if the levels are off. You want the levels to be at 0db(zero decibels) +/- 3db (maybe +/- 5). The best quality cable with no splitters anywhere on the line won’t make up for a bad signal level! In fact, it doesn't matter how many splitters you have on the line as long as the levels are good. If the signal is higher or lower than zero, you could see problems like macro blocking on digital channels or snow on analog. If the levels are below 0db, and they can't get the signal level to zero, you can buy a RF amp. If you do get a RF amp, make sure it is a two-way.

    In a nut shell, use quad shielded RG6 and make sure your signal level is at zero.
     
  4. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    A better cable may make the system more future proof. If the existing cable doesn't have enough bandwidth and if more channels should be offered in the future, you might not be able to get them.

    But it is up to you to figure out what quality the existing cable is and what quality you are getting if you go out and buy an alternative cable.

    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     

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