Does a cable amp make a difference in PQ?

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by M_a_r_k^NE, Aug 11, 2004.

  1. M_a_r_k^NE

    M_a_r_k^NE Agent

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    A friend from work said I should do it. This is for analog tv reception coming from the cable tv line. Connect the cable tv line (coaxial) to a drop amp from Electroline and the other end to a Monster video cable which then attaches to your TV. Its ac powered with a 2 port exit. The claim is I can pick up 11db to 15 dbs of gain. Is it worth it in picture quality? I have a RPTV RCA 52 inch Widescreen.
    Legal? Any drawbacks to this? Will the cable company find out and bitch? Experiences? Thanks.
     
  2. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    The claim is I can pick up 11db to 15 dbs of gain. Yes, that's what they say.

    Is it worth it in picture quality?
    Only if you were having significant problems with your present setup. This needs more elaboration though. The strength of the incoming cable signal varies from person to person. If you've got a single run going to your TV and you find you've got problems with picture quality then you should contact your cable company and let them fix it. I'm going to generalize a bit here and say that an incoming signal should be able to be split 4 ways without any visible degradation in quality. If you were running cable modem also, I believe you'd first split two ways with one run going to the cable modem while the other to your set. If that other run was also feeding additional TV's then you'd first determine if there's a problem and if so, an amp would be added right after the 2-way split from the cable modem.

    Legal
    Sure.

    Any drawbacks to this?
    If you don't need it, don't use it. You don't hook up an amp just for the hell of it after all.

    Will the cable company find out and bitch?
    They have no reason to. Often a cable company will even provide amps to customers who need them. Electrolines, Viewsonics, etc. are common.

    Experiences?
    A long time ago I was in Tijuana and was a naughty boy. Seriously though, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
     
  3. M_a_r_k^NE

    M_a_r_k^NE Agent

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    Thanks for the info.
     
  4. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    You just have to try it for yourself to see if it helps.

    One thing you should understand: different channels are affected differently by the cable, length of run and the amplifier.

    Scan your channels to find your "worst" PQ channel and use this as a test.

    But..an amp can also ruin a otherwise good channel so be sure to check the good channels after installing the amp.

    Before investing in a amp, do a little maintance on your cable system:
    • Trace the cable from the outside of your house to find the first break. Un-screw all the connectors and examine the ends. If the "F" connector is poorly connected or is pulling off, cut the cable back and install a fresh connector. (Hint: buy a box of connectors and practice on 3-4 1ft sections. You may be suprised at how much better you get after the first few).
    • Even if the connector is attached snugly, look at the center wire. If the copper is dull-brown, consider cutting the wire back and putting on a new connector. Or scrape the center wire gently with a small knife to remove the oxide layer.
    • Very Important: When you re-attach your cables, use pliers/wrench to get a snug connection. The number-one cause of poor CATV picture quality is loose connectors.

    Now, check your picture quality before investing in an amp. You may not need one after you replace a few fittings and tighten things down.
     

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