Originally Posted by gsr
As others have said, you're already using the output from the splitter with the least amount of loss.
If you don't think you can handle running new coax through the walls, it would still be a good idea to check if it's RG-6 or not. Cable is usually marked indicating what type it is and you should be able to get at it somewhere to check for that. Definitely make sure there's a quality RG-6 cable running from the wall plate to the Ceton.
A couple of other things you can do:
1) Temporarily bypass the splitter entirely and connect the cable that goes to your Ceton directly to the ground block that the splitter currently connects to. This will rule out any possible issues with the splitter.
2) Get a long, good quality, RG-6 cable and just run it directly from the grounding block output to your Ceton. This will rule out any possible issues with the cabling in the wall and the splitter.
3) If test 2 goes well, put the splitter back into the mix and see what happens. If you now have a good signal, you know that the cable running through the walls is the problem and you'll need to find a way to replace it.
I'd suggest doing these tests before spending money on an amp.
Premade custom length RG-6 cables with compression connectors can be purchased from places like Solid Signal
Thanks for all the ideas, gsr.
I checked the coax lines leading from the basement splitter to the various points in the house. The one leading to the basement STB is RG-59/U, while the bedroom DVR and the family room HTPC (the problem spot) are marked RG-6/U (not sure what the "U" stands for), so we're good on that score.
For steps 1 and 2, I'll get a coupler to mate the end of the ground block to the existing/new RG-6 cable, and see what happens.
Thanks, too, for the link to the custom cables. Back-of-the envelope estimate is about 100 feet to run the coax across the basement, up the stairs, and over to the family room.
But I think I'll go ahead and also order the amp that xnappo suggested -- I'm in a race to save the HTPC before WAF drops below critical and wife banishes the machine to my cave, to be replaced by another DVR,
so I want to try all approaches as quickly as possible!