PDA

View Full Version : Improving cable television signal



LordKinbote
06-19-2011, 08:55 PM
O Knowledgeable Bendis Board...

Just moved into my first house. We had the cable guy come set us up, and we immediately noticed that the signal (HD and otherwise) was really pretty crappy.

So we had another cable guy come out to see what was up. He let us know that the problem was the fact that the house's cable wiring has never been replaced (house was built in 1974). He said the cable was copper wiring, which is the worst kind to have because it picks up air signals as well as what's streaming through the cable itself. The upstairs television is getting a dropoff of 20 from box to TV...the downstairs cable outlet only had a dropoff of 4.

We moved the DVR from the upstairs to the downstairs, and instead of getting choppy, almost unwatchable picture, we now get something that we can watch, but as my wife said when she entered the room, "is that really HD?" The picture sometimes goes "mushy" if you know what I mean.

Soooo...

1. Is there anything I can do aside from getting an electrician to replace the cable wire with something more modern? Do signal boosters really work, and would they work in my case?

2. If I went the electrician route, what kind of cost am I looking at? I don't know what the variables are that would affect the cost.

dougmac
06-19-2011, 09:18 PM
The electrician route shouldn't be too expensive, they use the already existing wire to fish the new cable tthrough the walls and floors. They may try to screw you if they arent good guys, but it shouldnt be too bad if they are good. The cable guy may do it for you on the cheap if you slip him cash on the side (he can just call into the office with an imaginary trouble to explain how long it takes), I know guys that do that. The cable wire itself isnt that expensive.

My only other thought is what were you watching?I know the Killing on AMC looks like shit even in HD, and a couple of others noticed and noted it in the Killing thread. Good luck though.

LordKinbote
06-19-2011, 09:20 PM
That's actually good to know. I *was* watching The Killing. Hmm...

dougmac
06-19-2011, 09:30 PM
That's actually good to know. I *was* watching The Killing. Hmm...

you may have to dig a little in that thread, it wasn't just tonight that it looked shitty, it was for the entire run. I distinctly remember it coming up in there though.

BriRedfern
06-20-2011, 03:52 AM
you may have to dig a little in that thread, it wasn't just tonight that it looked shitty, it was for the entire run. I distinctly remember it coming up in there though.

Yeah, terrible choppy pixilation. Especially in dark scenes.

BriRedfern
06-20-2011, 04:03 AM
I agree that an electricina shouldn't be *too* expensive, but they typically get at least $50 an hour, so it won't be too cheap either. Hopefully your hous is older than your cable, because if it is not the cable is stapled to the structure behind the walls and you won't be able to chase the existing cables. If your house is older than the cable, a barrel connection between new and old cables should make a chase pretty easy. Just make sure you remove any staples/cable clamps in exposed areas like the attic or basement.

afroloq
06-20-2011, 04:23 AM
One other thing to consider...if you are using Comcast or Xfinity or whatever the hell they call themselves now, their HD signal is pretty craptastic. I had a few friends tell me the same thing that they can't tell the difference between SD and HD.

batmanbooyah
06-20-2011, 06:06 AM
is the user, "the cable guy" still around here? he's a cable guy.

BriRedfern
06-20-2011, 06:12 AM
is the user, "the cable guy" still around here? he's a cable guy.

There were several cable guys around here at one point. I want to say Ryan Elliot was a cable guy?

batmanbooyah
06-20-2011, 11:14 AM
There were several cable guys around here at one point. I want to say Ryan Elliot was a cable guy?

He went by "cableguy" though :/

JoshBrown
06-20-2011, 12:30 PM
O Knowledgeable Bendis Board...

Just moved into my first house. We had the cable guy come set us up, and we immediately noticed that the signal (HD and otherwise) was really pretty crappy.

So we had another cable guy come out to see what was up. He let us know that the problem was the fact that the house's cable wiring has never been replaced (house was built in 1974). He said the cable was copper wiring, which is the worst kind to have because it picks up air signals as well as what's streaming through the cable itself. The upstairs television is getting a dropoff of 20 from box to TV...the downstairs cable outlet only had a dropoff of 4.

We moved the DVR from the upstairs to the downstairs, and instead of getting choppy, almost unwatchable picture, we now get something that we can watch, but as my wife said when she entered the room, "is that really HD?" The picture sometimes goes "mushy" if you know what I mean.

Soooo...

1. Is there anything I can do aside from getting an electrician to replace the cable wire with something more modern? Do signal boosters really work, and would they work in my case?

2. If I went the electrician route, what kind of cost am I looking at? I don't know what the variables are that would affect the cost.

This all seems very odd. When I signed up for cable service, my house had never had cable, and the guy ran the cables/wires around the OUTSIDE of the house, not zig-zag and criss-cross around and through the walls and floors on the inside of my house. Can't your provider just treat it as if you have never had cable before, and set you up just starting fresh? New cables and such? I've never heard of a cable company telling you to hire an electrician so you can get service from them.

dougmac
06-20-2011, 01:01 PM
This all seems very odd. When I signed up for cable service, my house had never had cable, and the guy ran the cables/wires around the OUTSIDE of the house, not zig-zag and criss-cross around and through the walls and floors on the inside of my house. Can't your provider just treat it as if you have never had cable before, and set you up just starting fresh? New cables and such? I've never heard of a cable company telling you to hire an electrician so you can get service from them.

a lot of cable companies (Xfinity/Comcast for one) hire day to day contract guys that get paid per job instead being full time employees. Thise guys dont benefit from running interior lines anymore than they absolutely have to, in fact it actually hurts their ability to earn. so you can try slipping him some cash on the side to do it or hope for a real technician to come that can get away with spending some real time on the job. Or you can get a real electrician. For most situations, you don't want the usually interior wire on the outside of your home. It isnt the worst thing in the world, but it is far from ideal. Things shouldnt be crisscrossed and zigzagged either, usually they go up one wall and only across the floor or ceiling in an attic or basement (or both). It sounds more complicated than it really is.

The Cable Guy
06-21-2011, 10:19 PM
O Knowledgeable Bendis Board...

Just moved into my first house. We had the cable guy come set us up, and we immediately noticed that the signal (HD and otherwise) was really pretty crappy.

So we had another cable guy come out to see what was up. He let us know that the problem was the fact that the house's cable wiring has never been replaced (house was built in 1974). He said the cable was copper wiring, which is the worst kind to have because it picks up air signals as well as what's streaming through the cable itself. The upstairs television is getting a dropoff of 20 from box to TV...the downstairs cable outlet only had a dropoff of 4.

We moved the DVR from the upstairs to the downstairs, and instead of getting choppy, almost unwatchable picture, we now get something that we can watch, but as my wife said when she entered the room, "is that really HD?" The picture sometimes goes "mushy" if you know what I mean.

Soooo...

1. Is there anything I can do aside from getting an electrician to replace the cable wire with something more modern? Do signal boosters really work, and would they work in my case?

2. If I went the electrician route, what kind of cost am I looking at? I don't know what the variables are that would affect the cost.

I'm a quality assurance inspector for a telecommunications company. PM me the name of the cable company you had come out to install your service and how long ago. I might be able to help you.