Ant tips to improve cable reception on a 16:9 TV

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Tony Cicirello, Dec 5, 2001.

  1. Tony Cicirello

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    I'm using a Channel Plus amplifier before splitting it three ways. The main feed I'm running into a Monster Cable 2500 surge protector before it goes into my VCR, from my vcr to the TV. I tried it on a new 51" 16:9 Sony, & the reception was lousy, not that it was much better before.

    Any suggestions to improve the quality? I cannot watch that size screen with that poor quality.

    Thanks,

    Tony
     
  2. PaulKH

    PaulKH Second Unit

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    Cable is cable - it's crap, even supposedly 'digital cable' which is compressed to death.

    Satelite is a bit better, but not much.

    Amazingly, over the air broadcasts are better for some analog channels, and MILES better for digital ones. I have a Samsung SIR-T150 digital HDTV tuner, and the picture on even standard definition digital channels puts any cable or satelite picture to shame (except HD off satelite).

    Best of all, it's free.
     
  3. Barry_R

    Barry_R Stunt Coordinator

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    Tony, An amplifier will only amplify the quality of the original signal, if it's poor quality to begin with then that's what you'll get. Start with the main cable feed and connect it directly to your TV, no splitters or amplifiers in between. Check the signal on the TV, theoretically that should be the best possible signal quality. Then work from there. Beware of some splitters, especially three-way splitters. And make sure your splitters can handle 1000mghz (a tip from the cable company). Also make sure all your connections are tight to minimize signal leaks.

    I have my main line coming to one splitter, one side goes to the big TV and the other side goes to the rest of the house via an amplifier. That way I get the purest signal, without amplifier interference. I also don't go through the VCR to the TV, I split the signal with one line going to each. That way the primary cable signal isn't being degraded by a VCR tuner and connections, which often aren't very good. I am splitting the signal an extra time, but I find I don't have as much signal degredation as going through the VCR. Hope this helps.

    Barry.
     
  4. Tony Cicirello

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    Barry, thanks for the suggestions. Logically, they make absolute sense. I will try them tonight. By the way, what type of amplifier & splitters are you using? RG6 cable?

    Thanks again,

    Tony
     
  5. Mark Rich

    Mark Rich Second Unit

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    Tony ,

    Try replacing your cable from the wall to the tv with something like Belden 1964a. This is the firststep I made before replacing the entire house with it. Big improvement in catv performance. Its rated to 3 GHZ so it will handle current and future bandwidth requirements. There is a Gepco cable thats similar but I have no experience with it (Avcable.com). Rhinocables.com sells 1694a with 'F' connections in any length desired. FYI they are located in Vancouver, Canada.
     
  6. Len Cheong

    Len Cheong Second Unit

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    Tony,

    Monster sells an F-type cable which goes from your wall into the antenna inputs of your vcr/tv. I've found that this is a great cable. I don't even patch it through the vcr and just plug it straight to the tv. Obviously I don't record tv programs. I also sometimes use an iscan pro which allows you to watch 4:3. Of course, I have to use the vcr since the iscan takes the composite feed from it. I have a pioneer 700hd.
     
  7. Lee Bailey

    Lee Bailey Second Unit

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    Tony,

    First thing, call your cable company and have them come out and make sure your getting a good signal into the house. Normally, there is is no need for an amplifier. I have a total of 5 TVs in my house, all being fed through a splitter, and have no problems at all. It's worth the trouble to have them come out.
     
  8. Mark Rich

    Mark Rich Second Unit

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    the monster 'F' cable will offer little or no improvement in picture quality. I tried it and IMO its a waste of money as its barely better than regular cable. The Belden cables are solid 18 awg and have superior shielding as well as true 75 Ohm canare connectors. I think the price is similar to that monster cable too.
     
  9. Barry_R

    Barry_R Stunt Coordinator

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    Tony, To answer your questions, I have an old Radio Shack signal amp that I use to boost the cable signal for the remainder of the house. I don't use it for the home theater TV because it does cause just a touch of interference. Also, it doesn't amplify the digital signals. It works fine for the other cable lines of the house, about ten in all. My house is wired with RG6. The house is about a year old and I had the electrician wire it to our specs. When he was done the cable company came out and cut off all his connectors and put on new ones. Seems that for all his expertise he used pretty poor connections.
    Other ideas that I thought of: Check all your connections to make sure they are tight with no stray strands sticking out. Replace any cheap crimp-on connections with better ones. They do make a difference and cut down on signal leakage (often the cable company will do this for you if you tell them you're having problems). Also check connections at the rear of the wall plates. Start with one two-way splitter and use a single dedicated line to your main TV, if possible, not one that is split off or into others. Don't have any open connections on splitters, and keep the cable runs as short as possible.
    When I got my new TV I had problems with a pretty lousy cable signal also, (it's no wonder since it was split about 12 times). I had the cable company out a few times and they could never find a problem with the signal strength coming into the house. It was only after I started re-doing things following these rules that things got better. The signal still isn't as good as OTA, but it's pretty good.
    Hope this helps. Barry.
     

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