Do F-Pin (coax) cables make a difference?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Scott.NC, Aug 24, 2002.

  1. Scott.NC

    Scott.NC Auditioning

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    Just looking for ways to improve my video quality. Already have some bettercables.com silver S-Video cables (can not do component yet)... those seem to have improved picture a bit over the low end AR cables I was using before. Now I am wondering if perhaps a better F-Pin cable would help?? Right now I have 2 monster F-Pin cables (not the M500/1000 series) and it is passing through a surge protector (also monster) They both have the right angle connection and someone mentioned that a 'straight' F-Pin cable would be better. I have been looking at a higher quality monster cable or a videophile series cable from Ultralink... Any advice or recommendations?

    Thanks,
    S
     
  2. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Hi Scott. Welcome to HTF!

    Short Answer: probably not.

    Discussion:

    If you have old CATV coax in your house, buying fresh, name brand RG6 coax and re-wireing can make a difference.

    Even simply going to each break in the wire, cutting back corroded copper and installing new connectors can often fix problems. Hint: Use pliers to tighten each connector. The number 1 cause of most CATV problems is loose connectors.

    And even if you buy good Belden/Canare coax and put those great $2 F connectors on - think of the source material. Your CATV feed is usually your lowest-quality source compared to your VCR, DSS or DVD player.

    So while I do recommend a re-wire, it will only improve things if you have old wire now, or it may improve things if you have old, oxidized connections. Just checking/trimming/tightning is simpler and only MAY improve things.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Scott.NC

    Scott.NC Auditioning

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    Our house is only 5 years old so the cable is probably OK... We had DirecTV installed last weekend and while the picture is noticably sharper than 90% of the digital cable channels we had it just seems a little 'digitized' sometimes. Best way I can explain it is if you sectioned off your screen into tiny squares... they seem a little out of sync sometimes.... I am wondering if looking at computer screens most of the day is causing it since I am used to much higher refresh rates - than the 30fps that TV is broadcast in... I am also a little 'greedy' after seeing more and more hi-def screens recently. I think it is probably as good as it is going to get with what I have so maybe I will just stay put until the time comes to upgrade [​IMG]
    Thanks for the reply and welcome...
    Scott
     
  4. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    The DirectTV coax is RG6 and likely fresh. The signal is also DIGITAL which is usually less-sensitive to the cable.

    Yes, comparing the DirectTV channel to local cable you will see:

    - Occasional artifacts: blocking/freezing/edges
    - Dramatic reduction in snow/drop outs compared to cable.

    All in all, the DirectTV will be your prefered source.

    How do you have the DirectTV receiver connected to your TV?

    An SVideo cable can give you about a 20% improvement in picture. You will see a reduction in dot-crawl (look at grid-lines in the program guide), and bright colors will look more solid all the way to the edges.
     
  5. Scott.NC

    Scott.NC Auditioning

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    I have it connected with both coax and S-video. S-Vid is definitely a better picture... but I went ahead and used coax too for those times when you don't need your whole system turned on.... Which brings me to another question [​IMG] Is is better to have the S-Vid cable going directly to your TV or through your receiver/tuner ? I have it going through our receiver right now so we can see all the on screen menus... I guess I can just try it sometime.
    S
     
  6. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Most of the time, routing video through the receiver is fine. But it really only makes sense if you have 2 or more SVideo devices. If you pass in a Composite video signal, you must then run a Composite Video cable to the TV. Same for SVideo - the receiver will not convert the video type.
    A lot of people try and make every source provide SVideo to the receiver. (Radio Shack has a $20 converter for the VCR.) This lets the receiver to all the audio & video switching.
    And like you, I have coax going from my DSS right to the TV so we can watch without powering up the receiver.
    Sounds like you have your system setup just fine.[​IMG]
     

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