Coax Cable REALLY Matters

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Kerry Hackney, Aug 15, 2001.

  1. Kerry Hackney

    Kerry Hackney Stunt Coordinator

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    As I have been working with VE to improve my TV picture quality I have also decided to solve (as best I can) my cable picture problems. My main set downstairs is closest to the main cable landing in the house. I ran the cables for it myself when we finished the basement. I used RG6 coax. The original runs for the upstairs are all run in RG59 and use a loop method of wiring not dedicated runs to each outlet. The bedroom farthest from the cable main had terrible picture above channel 13 and was unwatchable in the 50s and above. So, I decided to put a cable amplifier on the main input. I bought a cheap $30 unit from Radio Shack that can boost up to 20db. After the install I started with the gain as low as it would go. I ended up with it turned up all the way. Even at that level I don't have any banding problems with overdriven signal. All TVs are drastically improved, except for the main set downstairs, which was OK to begin with. It is clearer now but not the huge diff of the others. I wish I had made the electrician redo the cable on the original install. At the point I saw what he had done it would have been a major change. All I can say is, if you haven't considered cable amplifiers, give them a try you may be suprised. And really pay attention to the type of coax used and how it is run. RG59 is cheaper so your contractor may use it if no one catches it. I may still redo all of the cable runs in the upstairs. It just burns me that it wasn't done right to begin with.....
    [Edited last by Kerry Hackney on August 15, 2001 at 08:35 AM]
     
  2. Jay Villero

    Jay Villero Agent

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    Kerry -
    I've been debating about giving this a shot. What cable amplifier did you buy from Radio Shack? I saw a bunch of them on the website and don't know which one to try.
     
  3. Kerry Hackney

    Kerry Hackney Stunt Coordinator

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  4. MikeM

    MikeM Screenwriter

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    Actually, in terms of cable amplifiers, you should really contact your own cable company and see what cable amplifiers they have to offer. Generic ones built at radio shack are made for any cable system, where as the ones sold by your cable company will be configured to work with your system specifically. I know my cable company has some that are base models all the way up to $200+ with the ability to distribute the amplification to certain channels and not others.
    It's worth having them come out and test your signal strength as well, and tell them you're interested in some cable amplifiers and it'll all be taken care of in one shot.
    ------------------
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Richard Burzynski

    Richard Burzynski Second Unit

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    I added a RS coax cable amp to my system 2+ yrs ago. I bought 3 models @ same time, 2 from RS and 1 from a local A/V shop. Cost order:
    1) "Fancy One" ~ $80
    2) RS model ~ $50
    3) RS model ~ $30
    I tested all 3, one right after the other. The cheapest one had the cleanest picture to my eyes. The others went back. I don't remember brands or model #'s.
    Rich B.
     
  6. James Reyes

    James Reyes Stunt Coordinator

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    Why bother with all this? Just get satellite, folks. [​IMG] Go with DISH Network!
     
  7. MikeM

    MikeM Screenwriter

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  8. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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  9. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    And contrary to popular belief, a lot of the local stations are NOT available on Dish or DTV.
    Glenn
     
  10. Kerry Hackney

    Kerry Hackney Stunt Coordinator

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    For me....When dish has the capability to handle more than two TVs whatching different channels and without the hassles of remotely controlling a reciever in another room I'll be interested. (There are 4 TVs in my house) And yes there are times when each on is being watched. Till then .... No Thanks [​IMG]
    BTW... I also looked at super expensive ($300+) units from BlackBox and a couple of others. The noise spec on the BB model was 5db the $30 Radio Shack I bought is 6db. HMMMMMM A lot of money for 1 db less noise. And after all I have DVD if I really want something crystal clear to watch.
    [Edited last by Kerry Hackney on August 17, 2001 at 08:00 AM]
    [Edited last by Kerry Hackney on August 17, 2001 at 08:03 AM]
     
  11. Bill Lucas

    Bill Lucas Supporting Actor

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    Kerry,
    What makes you think that you can't watch different channels in different rooms via satellite or that you have to remotely control a receiver in another room to do so? This is completely false information. I have FOUR TVs running from one dish and they can all watch different channels at the same time. You seem to have been misinformed about satellite. RG6 is always preferred over RG59 for satellite and cable distribution. It is simply superior cable. I use Moster Quad shielded coax and it gives outstanding results. There is also absolutely no need to go to the local cable provider for an amplifier. The $30 model from Radio Shack yields as good a result as any. Regards.
     
  12. Kerry Hackney

    Kerry Hackney Stunt Coordinator

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    Bill,
    OK call me a rube [​IMG] All of the adds I see for dish products advertise a dish and one or two receivers. I was given to understand that one dish could only feed two receivers. In order to watch separate channels, each TV has to have its' own receiver. Correct? Point me to the real poop on this. Cable TV providers have also run add campaigns based on this weakness. Or maybe they are propaganda campaigns. I know someone who has one dish that currently feeds two TV/Receivers. In order to add more independent TVs he was told to buy another dish and another subscription????
    Sounds like lots of misinformation may be out there.
    EDIT :: I did some checking and you are indeed correct that there are now dishes out with two dual LNBs for about $250 that include one receiver. Add three more receivers at $200 each for a total of $850. Add $150 for programmming for the first year and I'm up to $1000. My cable cost is half that. In my house this would be a non-starter. But you are quite right that there are now single dishes that can handle more than two tv/receivers.
    Cable is way TOOOO DAMN EXPENSIVE... But, it still is cheaper than getting into direct TV. "FOR ME" I also realize that after the initial investment my costs drop way below cable. However, the cheap programming deals are for the first year only. After the two year breakeven of going to SAT what does the programming cost??? Who knows..... My next door neighbor pays for programming for a year at a time with his dish. He has lots of programming but his cost is above $75 dollars a month. Granted he has 8 Showtimes and 12 Cinemax's or whatever. I am not that into TV. Also, I know that LNBs are very subject to damage by surges from lightning and other sources... $50 every time that happens... I am just not sold on SATs .... Still
    [Edited last by Kerry Hackney on August 17, 2001 at 01:11 PM]
     
  13. Bill Lucas

    Bill Lucas Supporting Actor

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    Kerry,
    Of course I was correct. I do custom installs for a living and I have to know my...er...stuff. [​IMG]
    You pricing information is quite high. The dish with dual lnbs and output to up to 4 receivers can be had for a street price of about $200. Three additional receivers WITH a dish each can be bought at Walmart for $80 each. I have 4 receivers with basic service, local channels and no premium channels (I prefer to watch DVD or HDTV) and my monthly bill is $50. My picture quality is dramatically better than that provided by the local cable service and I don't have the frequent interruptions in service on sunny days that the cable users in the area have to deal with. Stick with cable if you want to but at least now you have facts and can make an informed decision. Good luck.
     

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