Improving existing cable signal - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 10 Old 12-24-2010, 03:17 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
SithLord's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 103
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
We recently gave up our cable subscription and can only receive the channels that are piped in for free. Luckily, there seems to be quite a few, including a few in HD (likely non-encrypted for preview purposes). Both of our HDTV sets show the digital and HD channels in clear, pristine perfection, but there are a few analog channels with mild to heavy "snow".

A few of the analog channels look much better on our bedroom set (20" LCD) than our main downstairs set (50" plasma). Of course, the bedroom set is smaller so the picture would look a bit clearer, but there is noticeably more snow or noise on the downstairs TV when viewing the same channels.

Question - would investing in some type of signal amplifier be worth it? The overall signal seems fine (clear digital and HD) but is there a legal way to improve the "snowy" or "noisy" channels we are able to receive?

Thanks.
SithLord is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 10 Old 12-24-2010, 05:09 AM
Advanced Member
 
tveli's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: southern NH
Posts: 553
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked: 15
Sith,

I have a similar situation with my cable setup but had figured to ignore it due to the scheduled comcast digital-transition which never occurred. For my setup, the NTSC signal looks awful on all my TVs. I figure NTSC is supposed to look bad, but indeed not as snowy/bad as we both are seeing!
Previously I had figured not to care about a soon-to-be-orphaned NTSC signals since QAM/DTV over cable was working so well. But the orphaning didn't happen. Yet. So I'm caring more about NTSC until it does happen.

Yes indeed, a quality amplifier as well as attenuators ("pads") are a possible way to tune an RF signal such that better NTSC/analog picture is displayed. Before that I'd look at the cable itself andverify is all RG6 or better.
Also in your situation firstly I suspect it may be the TV size which cause the perceived crappier picture on the larger TV. A larger tv should "always" render a worse-looking picture for a NTSC TV signal, unless you back up to the distance where the picture subtends the same angle as for the small tv up close.

Sooo.... I recommend you consider to control that out of your datapoints as best you can, such as by swapping the two tvs temporarily just for a test - or at least move the small TV to the big-TV's cable to see how the picture looks. That test result should verify that there is a cabling problem to one of the rooms.
( Alternatively with the big tv maybe can you do "side-by-side picture" to shrink the picture to the exact size as the small TV, and see that the quality is just as good in that case? )
If after as much of the above as you want to consider adding a quality RF/CATV amp, searching avsforum for brands/sources would be a good next move to consider.
Also in some cases the cable company will cheerily provide you an amp, if you/they can demonstrate a low signal level entering your house.
Please let us know what you discover...
tveli is online now  
post #3 of 10 Old 12-24-2010, 12:05 PM
AVS Special Member
 
sitlet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,591
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by SithLord View Post

We recently gave up our cable subscription and can only receive the channels that are piped in for free. Luckily, there seems to be quite a few, including a few in HD (likely non-encrypted for preview purposes). Both of our HDTV sets show the digital and HD channels in clear, pristine perfection, but there are a few analog channels with mild to heavy "snow".

A few of the analog channels look much better on our bedroom set (20" LCD) than our main downstairs set (50" plasma). Of course, the bedroom set is smaller so the picture would look a bit clearer, but there is noticeably more snow or noise on the downstairs TV when viewing the same channels.

Question - would investing in some type of signal amplifier be worth it? The overall signal seems fine (clear digital and HD) but is there a legal way to improve the "snowy" or "noisy" channels we are able to receive?

Thanks.

So you're asking how to boost the quality of the cable that you aren't paying for?
sitlet is offline  
post #4 of 10 Old 12-24-2010, 12:18 PM
AVS Special Member
 
RCbridge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Limerick Pa
Posts: 1,902
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Liked: 14
I would not invest in any new hardware, you will probably turn it on some day soon and discover the signal is gone.
Enjoy it while you still have it.
RCbridge is offline  
post #5 of 10 Old 01-06-2011, 10:39 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
SithLord's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 103
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
I was able to try a 10db powered signal booster. It actually made the picture worse. So there are only two channels out of a handful or so that are fuzzy, but not unwatchable. We can live with that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sitlet View Post

So you're asking how to boost the quality of the cable that you aren't paying for?

We get phone and internet service through the same cable provider. The few channels we do get are only "leaked" through due to our subscription to the other services. Their filter does not block the entire signal because there are cable-based services we are still paying for. So pardon us for watching :-)

We manage to sleep at night.
SithLord is offline  
post #6 of 10 Old 01-06-2011, 11:16 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
Ratman's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Collingswood, N.J.
Posts: 14,546
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 210 Post(s)
Liked: 301
I'd assume the "snowy/fuzzy" channels are analog. You're correct that the "filter/trap" that they currenty have installed is probably marginal, so you're getting some "leakage".

Enjoy 'em while you can... eventually they will go away as most cableco's are going 100% digital and all but locals will be encrypted.
Ratman is online now  
post #7 of 10 Old 01-06-2011, 12:49 PM
AVS Special Member
 
HDMI Guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,208
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 49 Post(s)
Liked: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

I'd assume the "snowy/fuzzy" channels are analog. You're correct that the "filter/trap" that they currenty have installed is probably marginal, so you're getting some "leakage".

Enjoy 'em while you can... eventually they will go away as most cableco's are going 100% digital and all but locals will be encrypted.


He should not even be getting the locals since he cancelled cable.
HDMI Guy is online now  
post #8 of 10 Old 01-06-2011, 01:42 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
Ratman's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Collingswood, N.J.
Posts: 14,546
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 210 Post(s)
Liked: 301
In my area, Comcast still provides limited basic with an Internet only subscription.
Ratman is online now  
post #9 of 10 Old 01-11-2011, 09:49 PM
Advanced Member
 
mbfleming's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 851
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 34
If you split the signal too many times that can happen. Does it look good without any splitters? I use an Electroline Drop Amp and the picture quality is excellent.

http://www.dropamp.com/

mbfleming is offline  
post #10 of 10 Old 01-15-2011, 02:21 PM
Senior Member
 
Weags's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 349
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

I'd assume the "snowy/fuzzy" channels are analog. You're correct that the "filter/trap" that they currenty have installed is probably marginal, so you're getting some "leakage".

Enjoy 'em while you can... eventually they will go away as most cableco's are going 100% digital and all but locals will be encrypted.

What ratman said. What you are getting are channels not fully blocked by the trap. Addiing an amplifier would be a waste of time and money. Your signal level is reduced so much by the trap that adding an amp would only amplify the bad signal. There is no way around this. You are getting exactly the picture quality you should be getting for free from the cable company.
Weags is offline  
Reply Cable, Digital Cable - Non-HDTV

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off