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Cables sometimes do matter

I've spent hundreds of dollars to improve the TV signals we receive here.  Two antennas, 2 ground rods, 2 amplifiers, hundreds of feet of ground wires, ground blocks and assorted accessories.

While it helped somewhat, there were still stations that just would not come in.  It didn't make any sense that I had a dedicated VHF antenna, aimed directly at a VHF station, with a powerful amplifier, but I could barely get any signal at all.

Worse, my SO's television was coming in terribly.  Even channels that should have been clear weren't coming in at all and he was becoming frustrated.  I tried diagnosing the problem by plugging my portable digital TV into the cable just before where it entered his room and the signal was fine.  So obviously the problem was the cable connecting into his TV.  I replaced that, and low and behold, his TV started working perfectly again.

I examined the cable but couldn't find anything wrong with it.  Then I noticed it was marked RG-59.  This was the old standard for analog television, but cable and satellite systems require RG-6.  The replacement cable I gave him was marked RG-6 and the rest of the cable run was marked CATV, so it was probably RG-6 as well.

I checked the cables in my room and everything was RG-6, except for one short segment between the amplifier power injector and the computer.  That was RG-59.  I replaced it with an RG-6 cable, and bingo, every station starts coming in perfectly, even KLNK, the weakest.

All this trouble because of a simple piece of cable costing about $2.

Now I can get 8.2, an RTN (Retro Television Network) affiliate that runs all kinds of classic TV shows like I Spy, Adam 12, Dragnet, Emergency, Ironside, Kojak and Quincy.  I should


tl;dr, check your TV cables and replace any marked RG-59.

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pepemapache
Dec. 14th, 2010 12:27 am (UTC)
Wow, thanks for the tip! I have a brand spankin' new air antenna and am using old cable.
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