AVS Special Member
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: College Park, MD
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Cable companies strive to avoid the need for upstream amplification because excessive upstream signal strength throws their system out of whack. One way they get around this for internet modems, which have to send a lot of data upstream, is to standardize their installation architecture by always having the internet modem come off an initial two way splitter. That consistent installation architecture limits the variation in upstream signal level.
I don't know the signal strength parameters that FIOS uses for its upstream signal, but you say that the four way splitter comes of a "drop". How much more splitting is done upstream in your house? I would expect that there is a two way split for your modem, and then another multiple split, with one leg going to the garage and then to this media cabinet and the rest going to other drops in the house. You might try reconfiguring, such that the modem still comes off the first split, but then put in a second two-way splitter with this garage/media cabinet line getting one port of that second split. Or you might even put in a balanced, three way (labeled -5.5 per port) and have one leg for the modem, one for this garage/ media cabinet line and one for the rest of the house.
Do FIOS boxes allow you to access a test screen? I believe that with some modems, there is a way to access a screen that reports, among other things, the strength of the return signal making it back to the cable company. If a similar screen can somehow be accessed for a FIOS box, then if you accessed that screen while connected directly to the drop, bypassing the 4-way split, you could learn whether you had enough surplus or margin to withstand the additional 7dB of loss you incur when the splitter is in place.
You might help yourself a little by putting a -9dB tap in the gym . It will reduce the insertion loss seen by your media closet by another 2dB.
Have you called Verizon to see what they would charge to come out and professionally address this for you.