Cable TV / In-Line Amplifer

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by KevinRB, Jun 9, 2002.

  1. KevinRB

    KevinRB Stunt Coordinator

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    I get lousy reception from my cable TV on most channels. Some are clear, but most are fuzzy with some noise on the screen. I had the cable guy out to my place to look at it, and he replaced the cables and splitter with what he called "higher quality" ones. It improved the reception a little, but some channels are still poor.

    I've seen ads on a few different sites for something called an "In-Line Amplifier" that is supposed to boost signal and provide a clearer signal. I've mostly seen the ads assocated with satellite equipment. Would something like this work for a regular cable connection too? Any other suggestions?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Is this your house, and do you know whether or not the signal has been split (and how many times) before it has reached your TV? Where the cable comes into the house, what is the signal like? There are some splitters like the Monster one I have that do not degrade the signal. There are also boosters available. I have tried one in the past with mixed results.
     
  3. KevinRB

    KevinRB Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the tip.

    I had one two-splitter in my living room, but didn't think to check where it was coming into the house. I opened up the panel in my garage and found a four way splitter being used. (I guess my TV was only getting 1/8 of the total power.) I switched the four splitter with a a two way, and saw a noticable improvement. It's still not as clear as it could be though, so I'll probably try your monster suggestion.

    Thanks.
     
  4. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    One of cable’s “dirty little secrets” is that some channels just don’t get as good a picture as others – at least this has been my experience. Occasionally I’ll go help some people in my area set up their systems, and I’ve noticed that the channels that look crappy at my house look crappy at theirs, too.

    An in-line amplifier is only as good as the incoming signal, so I’d try this: For a test, bypass the splitter and send the full-strength signal to your main TV. If it appears that there is an improvement, then I’d say you’re a candidate for an in-line amplifier.

    Radio Shack also has something called an amplified splitter. I’ve had success with it.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  5. Jonathan Smith

    Jonathan Smith Stunt Coordinator

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    I have also used the Radio Shack amplifier splitter with some success in improving my picture. I think Wayne's suggestion is a good one -- check the signal of the main line coming into the house. At least some of Radio Shack's splitters have a variable gain, so you could get a voltmeter, take some measurements on the main line if the picture is good, and adjust the gain so that you get the same readings once the signal is split.
     
  6. Blake R

    Blake R Stunt Coordinator

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    Kevin,

    The last time I had cable I received three visits from three techs who each had their own evaluation of the problem. As it turned out they were all wrong and cable guy number four located a bad termination in the terminal post. The first three guys all overlooked the most obvious problem. At a minimum the tech should be "ringing out" the cable to check continuity and impedance, and testing the RF signal strength at the input to your converter/TV. An amplifier on your side would do no good as it sounds like your input signal-to-noise ratio(trash picture) is way to low across the board. An amplifier will ony make things worse. Your cable company needs to give you a strong, clean signal. Sometimes you have to bug the hell out of these cable-bots to get what you want.
    You might also ask them to check and make certain their grounding is installed properly.

    Good Luck
     
  7. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    I'd go for both. Yes, you do need to get another cable guy out there to check for the signal strength with his meter, but try and remove the splitter first.

    Your signal should look the same on all channels. (Ok, I know 1 or 2 of them don't). Maybe the cable going to your house is bad, or the ones to your TV's Try everything out, and even bring a TV over to where the cable comes to the house if you can.

    I have had splitters go bad on me too. They might have worked when I got them, but they just up and quit. Monster makes one that is better than the Radio Shacks, but you pay for it too.

    I hope that info helps

    Glenn
     
  8. KevinRB

    KevinRB Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow, this is more info that I was hoping for.

    Thanks everyone for your advice.
     

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