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Anywhere I should to look at for a cheap solution of cable signal booster?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
So I just moved to this townhouse (first home), which has comcast cable. But during the initial installation, the tech just hooked up the connection between the input line and a single cable going into my living room. He left the other cable that went into basement then splitted to master bedroom dangling.

Now I tested it with a belkin pureav splitter and found out that the signal was very weak in the bedroom (possibly because of the long cable length?). Tried with direct connection (without splitter), my bedroom tv picked up about 30ish channels (basic cable) compared to the 70ish channels by living room TV (same direct connection). Adding on the splitter, the signal dropped significantly, bedroom tv can only pick up one barely usable channel (all pixelation), while the living tv is still picking up all the channels.

Comcast now wants to charge me for any service call and would not provide an amplifier. What is my best bet for an inexpensive amplifier just for the TV signal amplifier? I looked around amazon, and it looks pretty expensive for those bo-directional one output amplifier, all runs from 40ish and above.

In the meantime, I think I'll need to check with a comparable long coaxial cable to see if that length really attenuates signal that much. What do you think, cabling issue or signal attenuation issue?

Thanks a lot.
Edited by Mr.Nobody - 9/16/13 at 8:11am
post #2 of 9
They should not charge you for a service call, unless it's something that's entirely your fault.
Sounds like they are not providing any where near a proper signal level.

How is the signal level in neighboring homes? It may be low coming in to the building or complex.
Comcast should send someone out to fix that.
At the least, they could let you come get an amplifier from them, which is far cheaper than their cost of a service call.

Here are some amps, from Solid Signal:
http://www.solidsignal.com/cview.asp?c=Cable%20TV%20Amplifiers&mc=05
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Their theory was that it was not their responsibility to ensure every single outlet was getting proper signal. They made sure the one in my living room was working fine, getting signal and all that. I didn't specifically ask the tech to go around the house to test everything (some of the outlets were blocked by my furniture. It's the 3rd day after I moved into this place), so now they were saying if it's not their fault, say the input line is unwired or broken, they would charge $35 for the service visit. And they are trying to sell me this service protection plan which does not cover "in-wall wiring", and for $4.99 a month compared to 0.99/mo in 2009, and they intentionally played a trick that you will have to keep it for 60 days after the service visit to avoid being charged the full service call job rate (therefore, you have to enroll it right before the tech arrives on the same day and then you can make sure it only costs you 2 month since they don't do partial rate either, if you cancel at day 61, you are getting 3 months bill).
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenglish View Post

They should not charge you for a service call, unless it's something that's entirely your fault.
Sounds like they are not providing any where near a proper signal level.

How is the signal level in neighboring homes? It may be low coming in to the building or complex.
Comcast should send someone out to fix that.
At the least, they could let you come get an amplifier from them, which is far cheaper than their cost of a service call.

Here are some amps, from Solid Signal:
http://www.solidsignal.com/cview.asp?c=Cable%20TV%20Amplifiers&mc=05

I was chatting with them for the amplifier shipped to me, but I never realize I should "come" and get one. Where should I go to?
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Nobody View Post

I was chatting with them for the amplifier shipped to me, but I never realize I should "come" and get one. Where should I go to?

They should have a cusotmer service office, where you would pick up and drop off equipment, or if you are really old fashioned, you would pay your bill there with cash, as well.

Perhaps they have an customer service desk or office location listed on their website?

My guess would be that the signal is intentionally kept low to prevent end user from connecting more TV's that paid for by the contract. Most cable companies charge per outlet, and if you have told them you are only connecting 1 TV, they will provide enough signal to operate that TV, and nothing more.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
So common sense wise, based on my description, would the cable length really be the problem?

I believe there should be another splitter in the wall to branch out the line going to my master bedroom from the basement cable. The basement outlet and master bedroom outlet are on the same side, almost same position on the wall. The input line is lying right outside the basement wall.

What I don't understand is, if as you guessed that the signal was kept low to power up one cable modem and tv, why the living room TV is still doing fine after I add a splitter after the main input line?
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Nobody View Post

So common sense wise, based on my description, would the cable length really be the problem?

I believe there should be another splitter in the wall to branch out the line going to my master bedroom from the basement cable. The basement outlet and master bedroom outlet are on the same side, almost same position on the wall. The input line is lying right outside the basement wall.

What I don't understand is, if as you guessed that the signal was kept low to power up one cable modem and tv, why the living room TV is still doing fine after I add a splitter after the main input line?
nope. Cable length is seldom the problem. My money rides on bad fittings or perhaps a splitter or two you don't know about.
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Nobody View Post

What I don't understand is, if as you guessed that the signal was kept low to power up one cable modem and tv, why the living room TV is still doing fine after I add a splitter after the main input line?

It is not perfect.

Did you tell the cable company that you wanted to connect more TV's than you originally signed up for? What did they say?

Call them and ask them why you can't connect more TV's, and that you would like for them to boost the signal. See what they say. My guess is that they will come out and set it up, but will also charge you for additional outlets.
post #9 of 9

HI,I had a similar problem with signal strength because i had to use several cables to connect them together and that was about 100ft+ in

length,finally got new cable ends used one piece of cable still at 100ft.+ and signal cleared up and this was with COMCAST cable.

Also you watch what splitters to use as some are rated higher i believe they are the gold plated ones they supposed to give better signals.

I also had signal problems with COMCAST cable and they gave me a signal booster that plugged into a AC outlet to boost the signal and did not charge me for it.

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