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  #1   IP: 66.235.2.198
Old March 18th, 2006, 05:46 PM
alienxg7 alienxg7 is offline
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Default rewiring cable tv in house questions

Hello,

I want to rewire the cable wires in my house that are responsible for cable television. I have many splitters that split the signal to my televisions and internet. For your reference, I have 5 televisions and 1 internet where there needs to be an outlet for a connection. (I have wireless, so I just need one internet outlet.

My cable company uses fiber optics for their wiring but of course the inside of my house uses coaxial cable.
This brings me to my question. Should I rewire the house to use 100% fiber optics? If so, what type should I use? I'm not sure where the origin is for my cables, maybe in the basement. I don't know what the ends of the fiber optic cables look like so forgive me for the following question... in the "origin" area of the house where the cables start for cable tv, are the outlets designed to plug in coaxial cable? Can fiber optics be connected?

I have no idea if indeed fiber optics are recommended or not but I've heard of all of the benefits they offer, at least for outside wiring. But I've not read very much on inner-house wiring and fiber optics.

Since I have so many required "outlets" (5 tvs and 1 internet for the cable modem and router) is it impossible to not use a splitter at all?

Thanks and forgive me for my "newbieness!"

I truly am glad I found this forum!

Thank you!

Patrick

P.S. and one quick question, can people who use satellite utilize fiber optics for in house wiring and is this recommended? (Just curious in case I ever switch; but I probably won't.)
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  #2   IP: 24.36.89.247
Old March 18th, 2006, 06:21 PM
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joed joed is offline
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Fiber is no use to you in your house. You would need a fiber to cable converter at each outlet. Leave that to the cable company.

Home run each outlet to the central point in your house where the cable comes in from the street. That way you will have only one splitter at that point.
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  #3   IP: 66.235.2.198
Old March 18th, 2006, 10:05 PM
alienxg7 alienxg7 is offline
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Hi,

Thanks for the response!

What type of coaxial cables should I focus on to get the best possible quality? Are Cat5 and Cat6 types of coaxial cables? I saw these mentioned online somewhere.

Does only one cable commonly come in from the street into the house? Is there a way to increase the number of cables so an amplifier doesn't have to be used?

So since there currently is probably only one cable coming from the outside, should I use a 6-way splitter at the center (1 for cable internet modem (which is connected to a router) and the others for televisions - some use digital set top boxes and some use analog and no box)? That seems to be what you are suggesting. Would this be better than using 2-way splitters at differing points?

Will the quality suffer greatly with the 6-way splitter?

Thanks!

The only thing I am concerned about is how to find where the cables are currently and the process of rewiring (I have 5 floors in my house and a tv on each of those!)

What amplifier is the best to use? Should I even use an amplifier? They sometimes cause quality to be worse!

Darn it, I wish I didn't have to use splitters at all!

Patrick
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  #4   IP: 66.235.2.198
Old March 18th, 2006, 11:30 PM
alienxg7 alienxg7 is offline
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Default details...

Well... I looked through the house and found some details.

There are two cables coming from the outside (from my cable company's thingy out there (I forget what it's called). Anyway, at one point this whatshacallit was replaced with a new and stronger one (because we weren't getting enough signal strength for our devices). So, there are also 2 extra cables hanging in the basement (where the cables come in) from the old whatshacallit and probably not attached to anything from outside (the cable company just left them there - easier for them ).

Then one wire from outside is connected to another wire (no splitter, I don't know what the device is called that connects them). This other wire goes into my house and is connected to 3 outlets in the house - kitchen and 2 offices (the kitchen and one office are 2 floors above the basement. The other office is 4 floors above the basement.). However, somewhere along the path, the wire is obviously split SO it can go to these 3 outlets. Also, in one of the aforementioned offices (the one two floors from the basement) is where our cable modem is as well as a television. So, the wire coming from the wall is split into two wires, one for the television and the other for the cable modem (which is connected into a router for our wireless network).

Okay, now the other wire coming from outside (by the cable company) is immediately goes into a splitter which splits into 2 cables that go into the house. One of these cables goes to the tv in the living room one floor above the basement and the other cable goes to a bedroom tv, which is 3 floors above the basement.

We don't have any amplifiers. Whenever we mention amplifiers (we used to have one I think, somewhere down the line, the cable company hates the idea of it. According to them, an amplifier only helps with channels 27 and below.

I don't believe there are any more splitters than the ones I mentioned above.

I tried looking at the "ease" of adding wires from the basement to other devices --> fortunately we have a basement with an open ceiling, however getting beyond the stairs (wires have obvious paths from the basement to the stairs which lead to the 3rd floor, the basement is right above these stairs) is a challenge.
I have no idea how to get beyond the stairs to other areas without "ripping out" the walls! This is certainly not appealing to the other members of the household who would rather everything stay intact.

But, to my understanding the ideal solution would be...
starting from the basement, the two wires from the outside would come in and each would go into a 3 way splitter. This would create 6 cables which would go to each of the devices that need cable connections.

As I mentioned before, an amplifier is discouraged by our cable company but I'm not sure I believe them. (I don't know if what they're saying is true or not). But I've heard an amplifier, if used, is best used as close to the outside as possible. So, if I would use one, should I use 2, one before each splitter? Would this be too much? (There are 2 splitters which each split into 3 wires, as I mentioned before).

Thanks and I apologize for the long message. I thought details would help.

I think the feasibility of this project is very slim unless I am willing to rip out walls and hire someone to do this for quite an expense.

Thanks again!

Last edited by alienxg7 : March 18th, 2006 at 11:53 PM.
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  #5   IP: 4.243.50.123
Old March 18th, 2006, 11:47 PM
Seal Seal is offline
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Wow, you almost wrote a book. I do know that cat5 is not tv wire. And I've heard that cat6 is just a sells pitch.

Wait for joed or someone else to respond, I'm just talking.
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  #6   IP: 24.36.89.247
Old March 19th, 2006, 07:23 AM
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joed joed is offline
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Cat5 is 8 conductor twisted pairs used for network(PC) interconnection and sometimes phone wiring. RG6, RG59 are the round wire you see used for cable TV.

It sounds like you house is already wired. Is there a problem that you are trying to correct by changing all the cables?
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  #7   IP: 71.67.106.93
Old March 19th, 2006, 07:25 AM
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Mr T Mr T is offline
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I'm not joed, but someonen else...

Quote:
What type of coaxial cables should I focus on to get the best possible quality? Are Cat5 and Cat6 types of coaxial cables? I saw these mentioned online somewhere.
RG-6 is what you want. It comes in regular and quad shield. Quad sheild has more shielding and is harder to work with. It is only 'really' needed if you are runnign along electrical wires or other places where you can pickup alot of interference. Alot of people run that in their walls. I did my whole house with 'normal' RG-6 and have not had any problems.

Get good connectors, There are some pushon ones (not the cheap twist on's...they are junk) but they are expensive (but good). Ive always used the good crimp on connectors, but you need a good crimper (THere are ones that crimp in a hex shape..good. the ones that crimp with 2 half circles on the crimper are not as good.

Quote:
Does only one cable commonly come in from the street into the house? Is there a way to increase the number of cables so an amplifier doesn't have to be used?
Normally there is just 1 coax. You can get more drops, but you are gonna pay for them....you know how cable companies are.

Quote:
So since there currently is probably only one cable coming from the outside, should I use a 6-way splitter at the center (1 for cable internet modem (which is connected to a router) and the others for televisions - some use digital set top boxes and some use analog and no box)? That seems to be what you are suggesting. Would this be better than using 2-way splitters at differing points?
Since you have cable internet, get the high bandwidth splitters. (goes up to 1Gighz). Do not amplify your internet connection branch. That is a 2 way connection, your amp only works1 way. You need a 2 way splitter first (use the one that came with your modem if you got one). From there go through a amp IF YOU NEED IT. then through a larger splitter to serve your needs. Dont hook up more lines then you are using. Its easy to change connections when you move stuff around.

Quote:
Will the quality suffer greatly with the 6-way splitter?
yes and no. If you had 2 things plugged into it you wont have much loss, if you load the thing up, you will have more loss. Get the wiring done, hook up your TV, and see then if you need a amp. A amp will not fix bad connections, just amplify the bad connection. Dont mix up static from a poor connection with snow/static/ect from a weak signal, common mistake people make.

Quote:
The only thing I am concerned about is how to find where the cables are currently and the process of rewiring (I have 5 floors in my house and a tv on each of those!)
FInd where the cable enters your house from the outside and trace from there.

Quote:
What amplifier is the best to use? Should I even use an amplifier? They sometimes cause quality to be worse!
See above...

Quote:
Darn it, I wish I didn't have to use splitters at all!
Welcome to life....
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  #8   IP: 66.81.188.64
Old March 19th, 2006, 08:10 AM
removeb4flight removeb4flight is offline
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Wink Amplifiers

Mr. T, I have a question. I think most people are unfamiliar with good signal amplifiers. I don't have cable but I do have Sat Tv, over the air Tv, and a home closed curcuit Tv. I run this all thru a distribution amplifier made by Channel Plus. This works great. A long time ago I tried to use one made by Radio Shack, which was junk. The Channel Plus was about $300, but you get what you pay for. Do you have any other recommendations on amps? Would this help for the cable Tv setup or is it overkill?
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  #9   IP: 71.67.106.93
Old March 19th, 2006, 08:47 AM
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Mr T Mr T is offline
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My rule for electronics.. Dont buy the cheapest, dont buy the absolute top of the line. I got some no name amp from walmart about 15 years or so ago. Works good for our needs (2-3 TV's...we are out in the country and they told us when we got cable that our signal is only good for 1 TV without a amp. )

I just looked at it, 28db, powered, no names on it. I recall it costing around $30. Your classic black box about 2.5x5" in size. 2 outputs.

My recomendations, get something you can take back. Make sure its powered (plug it into a outlet). Dont go overkill. Too much is worse then not enough. Check your coax first, make sure its good. Do not get anything that is 5-900Mhz anymore. Cable bandwidth is in the 1Gig range now. A 300$ amp is probably over kill for most people.

Take a TV (preferabbly not the 57 inch one in the living room) out to your cable enterance, or run a short, KNOWN GOOD cable from there to your TV and test it. If you got poor picture then, either your TV is bad, or your incoming signal is bad. At this point a amp is just a waste of money, it will not fix either of these problems. If you think its your incoming signal, call the cable company, get them to come out (check to see if they will charge BEFORE you have them come out ). Just like your phone, they usually wont charge you if the problem is not in your house or your fault. But check first, cable companies are a bit less ethecial (in my opinion) then phone companies.
Again if your signal is too strong (ghosting, bleedover from other channels, ect), a amp is the opposite of what you need.

All the above wont work for sat. TV. Different animal It works or doesnt...
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  #10   IP: 24.16.225.236
Old March 19th, 2006, 05:03 PM
suemarkp suemarkp is offline
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The ideal setup is to put a large splitter right where the cable comes in and run al the lines to the rest of your house from there. Every time you split a signal, it loses 3 dB of strength. So a 2 way splitter loses 3 dB, a 4 way loses 6 dB, and 8 way loses 9 dB and so on. You lose this signal whether a cable is connected or not. In fact, you are supposed to put a 75 ohm terminator on usused splitter ports to reduce reflections. If you have a 6 way splitter, some ports will have more loss than others. You may want to connect the longer runs (to the top floor) to the ports with less loss. How much loss you can tolerate wil depend on the strength of the signal coming to your house. You could try an unamplified splitter with at least 1 HGz of bandwidth. If the picture is too snowy, you'll need to consider a separate amplifier or an amplifier/splitter combination.

My cable company is extremely paranoid about the internet cable. They have a special tap connector outside at the grey interface box on the house and two cable come into the house. One of those is for internet and they want no splices, splitters, or anything else on that segment. I ran a cable for them and all that had to do was use a barrel connector to it. They wouldn't use it and ran a new cable right along side the one I ran for them...
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