DirecTV Installation - OK to use Standard Cable (RG-59)?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by TarekZE, Dec 30, 2002.

  1. TarekZE

    TarekZE Auditioning

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    I'm considering switching over from AT&T Digital Cable to DirecTV, but am a bit hesitant due to some logistics concerns. I'm reluctant to have the DirecTV installers run new RG-6 cable all throughout my house to the living room, where my setup is. I can't see a clean way for them to run the cable and have it anywhere near being hidden or out of sight.

    However, the most likely location for the dish would be right above my garage, where the junction for my house's regular cable is located (RG-59, I believe). Would it be possible/advisable to have the DirecTV installers disconnect the existing cable junction from the outside line, and then run RG-6 cable from the dish to the junction with the existing cable? This way, I don't have to deal with the hassles of additional unsightly wires throughout the house, and it's easier to expand DirecTV viewing to additional rooms with just connecting another reciever to the existing cable wallplates.

    If this is possible, are there any significant tradeoffs? My understanding is that the only real difference between RG-59 and RG-6 cable is that RG-6 is shielded, and I can't imagine that making all that much of a difference under these circumstances.

    -Tarek
     
  2. Ken Custodio

    Ken Custodio Second Unit

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    I don't think RG-59 is sufficient for satelite usage, it is a lossy cable and I don't think it can handle the bandwidth required for satelite. I have RG-59 all throughout my house and I have problems with digital cable.
     
  3. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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    RG-59 may work for a short run, but it is not recommended. You WILL get signal loss due to bandwidth constraints. Even if the dish can be peaked out to a workable signal level on a clear day, heavy cloud cover and rain may cause your signal to drop below the receiver threshold, effectively shutting you off during bad weather. I doubt a reputable installer would agree to install with RG-59. It would mean a greatly increased chance of future service calls due to loss of signal.

    There are many methods to running cable in existing walls. It certainly wouldn't hurt to have an installer come and look, and tell you how they might do the job.

    -Scott
     
  4. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    No!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I spent a day trying to install my brother-in-law dish.
    Couldn't understand what was wrong
    Between the dish and the reciever it'll short out.
    It's fine afterward
     
  5. Jan Strnad

    Jan Strnad Screenwriter

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    No, you can't use RG-59 cable.

    However, the connectors are the same, so could an installer use the existing cable to feed the RG-6?

    I wouldn't expect this kind of service from the free installation, though.

    Good luck,

    Jan
     
  6. Vin

    Vin Supporting Actor

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    When I switched from cable to DirecTV 4 years ago the installers ran new cable (RG-6, apparently) from the dish into my home but used some of the existing cable (for the same reasons stated by Tarek), using couplers where necessary, that fed additional TVs in my home.

    Side note: I've found out through experience that a splitter must be designated as a satellite splitter or it won't work and have heard about the RG-59/RG-6 issues.

    With that said, I can tell you that I have no problems with the satellite signal from any of my 4 receivers.

    So, either RG-59 can be used (despite the fact that RG-6 is what's recommended) or the existing (cable TV) cable in my home is RG-6.......how do you tell the difference between the two?

    Vin
     
  7. TarekZE

    TarekZE Auditioning

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    Thanks for the input, guys.
    Does anyone know how common it is for existing cable installations to use RG-6 vs. RG-59? My house was built about 4 years ago. Although I haven't compared the cable used in my house to a known quantity (length of RG-59 or RG-6), I suspect that it's possible that I may already have RG-6. I'm currently away from home, so it'll have to wait till I get back to check.
    Vin, in answer to your question, here's a link to a pic I found comparing the 2 cable types.
    -Tarek
     
  8. NickT

    NickT Stunt Coordinator

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    New homes today tend to use RG6 more than has been used in the past, but it all comes down to the contractor who is responsible for the wiring. Unless there is some stipulation by the builder that RG6 is used, they may use RG59 since it's cheaper by the foot. If the contractor was really cheap, they may have even used daisy chained wiring to save even more cable.
     
  9. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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    RG59 is fine for feeding TVs from the RF out of your SAT receiver, but from the dish to the receiver RG6 is pretty much a necessity.

    Much of new construction prewiring is done with RG-6, since that is recommended for digital cable service. The cable jacket is generally stamped with the cable type.

    -Scott
     
  10. Travis Hedger

    Travis Hedger Supporting Actor

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    Not to add anything really, but I got 100 ft of RG6 from Home Depot today for around $16 and change, Wal-Mart wanted $25 for the exact same type and manufacturer. It also had the F connectors already tacked on, I also purchased some cable mounts for running it on the underside of my roof/attic, and a dual coax outlet for my wall.

    I just got a DirecTivo with dual tuners, gonna run the cabling this weekend.
     

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