How should I hook up digital cable connection?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Howard_S, Jan 29, 2002.

  1. Howard_S

    Howard_S Supporting Actor

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    I haven't really touched this part of my system. I got digital cable but I hook it up just like regular cable. I currently run a cable from the outlet to a 4 way splitter but I'm not sure if I'm connecting things right or if I should use the splitter.

    My VCR does not have an S-Video connection.

    What would be best for me. I would like to still have use of my VCR for recording of course but that degrades my picture quality?

    I'm wondering if this is the best way to go:

    1)Cable from outlet to cable box (instead of to 4way

    splitter as it is now)

    2)From cable box to 4 way splitter

    3)From splitter: One goes to tv, the other one goes to VCR.

    There's actually a lot of connections going on. I would like to connect audio to my receiver as well. But what would be the best way to do this?
     
  2. Mark Austin

    Mark Austin Supporting Actor

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    I would avoid the splitter at all costs. My cable box has an additional out to the VCR, yours may as well. If you can't avoid the splitter, Radio Shack has some cable amplifiers that run about $29 if I'm not mistaken.
     
  3. Howard_S

    Howard_S Supporting Actor

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    I thought splitters are actually better? Hmm... okay. So I should just follow the instructions then.

    Outlet to cable box to receiver to vcr to tv. or something like that?
     
  4. Mark Austin

    Mark Austin Supporting Actor

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    My hookup goes from the wall, to the cable box, to the receiver, to the TV. Then from the additional out on the cable box to the VCR.
     
  5. Howard_S

    Howard_S Supporting Actor

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    Okay let me get this right.

    First of all, only the audio connections need to go to the receiver right? So...

    Coaxial from outlet to digital box.

    I don't have an extra coaxial out so coaxial to VCR then Coaxial to TV.

    Then can I connect S-Video from cable box to TV and audio cables to receiver? There will be no extra video connections to the VCR and will effect recording but that will give me better TV picture quality right? Then audio connections to VCR as well and from my VCR composite out to TV.

    Would having composite cables from cable box to VCR improve picture quality much over just having the normal coaxial cable.
     
  6. Mark Rich

    Mark Rich Second Unit

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    Howard,

    Are you using your reciever for sound or the built in amp/speakers in the TV?

    This is the way I have my Shaw digital cable set up:

    Coax from wall to cable box (I use Belden 1694a)

    S-video from cable box to AVR (or direct to TV)

    S-video from AVR to TV

    Analog audio cable from cable box to AVR(or direct to tv if using its speakers)

    Does you VCR have an S-video in/out?

    If yes, then connect those through the receiver as well. If not use composite cables.
     
  7. Mark Austin

    Mark Austin Supporting Actor

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    I connect audio interconnects from the cable box to the receiver, as well as a s-video cable to the receiver directly from the cable box. I then run a coaxial to the VCR, and audio interconnects to and from the receiver to the VCR.

     
  8. Howard_S

    Howard_S Supporting Actor

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    Thanks your replies Mark and Mark. [​IMG] (How many times have you got that?)
    I obviously want to avoid any unnecessary connections so nothing will be degraded. I do use a receiver but I don't want to use it all the time. So in any of my connections, I don't want to lose the ability to just watch something through my TV speakers whether its tv or a vhs tape. So with that in mind how can I go about it?
    Mark Rich. Where can I find Belden 1694a w/ F connectors? Will it make a difference?
    Anyhow so Coaxial F from outlet to cable box
    S-Video from cable box directly to TV (If I run it through the receiver I would need to turn my receiver on in order to benefit from the S-Video right?)
    Audio from box to receiver
    Audio from box to VCR
    If I run video or audio from VCR to receiver do I have to turn my receiver on everytime in order to get anything?
    That's my problem. I want the best quality and convenience. I would like to hook my VCR and TV up to my receiver for times when I'm watching a movie but I don't want to have to turn on my receiver for those times when I'm just watching some tv shows. Can this be done? Or do I need to make some sacrifices?
     
  9. Mark Rich

    Mark Rich Second Unit

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  10. Howard_S

    Howard_S Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the help Mark but you still haven't told me where I can get the 1694a w/ F connectors. Did you build your own cables? Know where I can just buy them? Did you rewire the whole house yourself? Can I get someone to do it?
     
  11. Mark Rich

    Mark Rich Second Unit

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    I purchased raw cable, Canare tools and connectors. Expensive way of doing it but I've made a lot of my own cables. These days I buy my cables pre-made when needed.

    Raw belden cable can be purchased from anixter.com (by the foot)

    Tools and connectors are purchased from the USA (markerTek.com etc..)

    Try RhinoCables.com for pre-made 1694a with F-type connectors. Markertek ( or?)may sell as well.

    I re-wired the house myslef. Starting at the outisde cable box. Ran Parralel cables for TV and cable modem. In my house I was lucky as the existing run was accesable so it was not too hard to do.
     
  12. Howard_S

    Howard_S Supporting Actor

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    I was actually planning to buy some ultralinks. They can't be too far off from the Belden if any right since I was told it doesn't make too much of a difference to be worth the money.
     
  13. Mark Rich

    Mark Rich Second Unit

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    I doubt the Ultralinks 'F' connector/cables are in the same league as the Belden 1694a/Canare connectors. Looking at their 'F' cables I'd say the 1694a cable would surpass the performance by a wide margin! Unless you are looking at the Platinum series cables which use Teflon etc..
    Problem with Ultralinks and other retail cables is they usually do not give any specs so you can compare for yourself. All you get is the marketing mumbo jumbo. But I'm sure others will disagree[​IMG]
    Go with what ever you feel comfortable with spending money on and enjoy.
     
  14. Howard_S

    Howard_S Supporting Actor

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    Well I have heard good things about that cable but I don't know how to make them or make them well myself and buying them is not cheap. I don't really know how Ultralinks and AR compare though. It's probably just as good but who knows different opinions all the time.

    Where do you get your raw cables and connectors Mark? Know where I can get them here for good prices?
     
  15. Mark Rich

    Mark Rich Second Unit

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    Howard,

    Dont blame you. If you do not wish to make the investment in the tooling then I'd let someone else make them. They are not that hard to make but the investment in tooling, construction time (learning) and sourcing is hard to justify.

    I used to buy the connectors south of the border. The cable can be sourced locally ( Anixter etc..)
     
  16. Howard_S

    Howard_S Supporting Actor

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    So how long does it take to make something that is pretty good?
     
  17. Mark Rich

    Mark Rich Second Unit

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    Howard,

    If you are using canare tools like I was then theprocess is fast and painless. It gets more complicated when you are using generic tools.

    I think the time and effort of sourcing is the biggest time consumer. I used to import my connectors, tech flex, heat shrink etc.. When I last ordered cable I purchased a 500 ft roll. It was used up in my home and by other family members so it was not wasted.
     
  18. John_E

    John_E Stunt Coordinator

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    Good thread...I'd like to jump in and ask about amplifying for a Digital Cable Box. I am experiencing drop outs on a few digital channels. I have the cable split to the bedroom here. It worked fine without the splitter. Would an upgrade to the RG-6 over the regualar cable company cable help? Or should I get an amplifier from Radio Shack?

    If it's an amp, which one. I just want to amplify the Digital Cable Box.

    Thanks!!
     
  19. Howard_S

    Howard_S Supporting Actor

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    I've heard that an amp for these purposes don't work too well but it's best that you let someone else chime in.
     
  20. Jason_A

    Jason_A Stunt Coordinator

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