Computers & Electronics

Any cable TV experts here?

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  • Oct 4th, 2004 3:33 pm
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[OP]
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Nov 19, 2002
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Any cable TV experts here?

I have a TV cap card in my computer that yields VERY different results from channel to channel...some are full of static, some show vertical tearing (as if my card can't handle the data...?) and some look perfect.

The fact that I have some perfect channels makes me believe that my computer and TV card are not at fault. There is a cable signal booster in my basement, and then several very long runs of cable in my house. As well, the cable comes into my computer room right by my UPS and several thousand pounds of electronic equipment. Do you think the signal is just being degraded at some point along the way? Can I boost the signal, or do I just wind up boosting all the interference?

Any ideas?
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Aug 2, 2004
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East Gwillimbury
Are you getting the same static and tearing on your regular Televisions on the same channels?
[OP]
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Nov 19, 2002
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It's tough to tell, as my only non-computer-based TV is a 19" Sony in my bedroom, so the picture is small enough to correct a lot of errors. I can definitely see a difference in the channels, but I can't quantify the difference like I can on a 10' projected screen.
[OP]
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I have 2 Win-TV PCIs.

When I lived in Toronto, I had better pic quality. I'm reasonably certain that the variation is all due to cable, but I don't know much about improving cable quality beyond platitudes like "use shielded cable" and "buy an amplifier".

I'd like to hear what the real experts do for their own signal. Hell, maybe it's time to buy a satellite.
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Nov 2, 2003
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Scarborough
when my coax cable touches a power cable of anything (or gets close) some channels (usually lower numbered like channel 4) gets staticky.
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Nov 30, 2003
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I've heard that some channels are pretty upset at the potential distribution possibilities of people recording to their comp, and are trying to scramble/prevent their stations from working on TV tuner cards. Not sure if there's any truth to it.

My comp w/AiW Radeon is just about fixed, I'll report if any channels give me a problem...


Also, I got 1 cable line going into my room now, but will have to split it in two (1 for cable modem, 1 for tuner card). Anyone recommend some quality splitter/amplifiers? I'd also like a big-ass one that splits 4+ ways/amplifies for my central coaxial connection in the basement, if anyone has a recommendation there. :D
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Aug 27, 2004
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Ajax
Headhunter wrote:I've heard that some channels are pretty upset at the potential distribution possibilities of people recording to their comp, and are trying to scramble/prevent their stations from working on TV tuner cards. Not sure if there's any truth to it.

My comp w/AiW Radeon is just about fixed, I'll report if any channels give me a problem...


Also, I got 1 cable line going into my room now, but will have to split it in two (1 for cable modem, 1 for tuner card). Anyone recommend some quality splitter/amplifiers? I'd also like a big-ass one that splits 4+ ways/amplifies for my central coaxial connection in the basement, if anyone has a recommendation there. :D
When splitting your cable internet line, don't go cheap. First split (at grey box) decreases signal by 3dB. Second cuts it down by 7dB, so make sure you use a good splitter. If you're lucky, splitting that cable into 2 won't affect bandwidth, but I know people for whom this didn't work.
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D-3vil wrote:When splitting your cable internet line, don't go cheap. First split (at grey box) decreases signal by 3dB. Second cuts it down by 7dB, so make sure you use a good splitter. If you're lucky, splitting that cable into 2 won't affect bandwidth, but I know people for whom this didn't work.

Any particular products you use/recommend? I've been told to get some RCA brand ones, but no one seems to carry those...

Edit: Doh, just found them on the Best Buy website...man, I was just there 4 hours ago, lol. Also found some Monster brand ones; Future Shop and Best Buy are pushing that brand really hard, but they are quite expensive.
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Nov 9, 2003
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D-3vil is right. Make sure you use a good quality splitter.

Also, especially for long cable runs make sure you use RG56 cable. RG56 is a heavier gauge than the usual cheap RG59 cable. RG56 is the only cable I use.
Sr. Member
Mar 21, 2004
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Waterloo
Buck Khaki wrote:D-3vil is right. Make sure you use a good quality splitter.

Also, especially for long cable runs make sure you use RG56 cable. RG56 is a heavier gauge than the usual cheap RG59 cable. RG56 is the only cable I use.
Do you mean RG6? I use quad-shielded RG6 for long cable runs, it does work much better than RG59
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Sep 15, 2003
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Tdot
I have the same problem also on pvr-250. Global, CFMT and CBC arent clear on the card but are ok on the TV.

i am using the RG6U cable from radioshack for the tv tuner (after the second splitt).

I was planning on getting an 4-way signal amp. Does the amp effect the internet signal? If it does then instead of a 2nd splitter a 2-way amp can be placed there which will help both tv and tv-tuner signal.
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Feb 6, 2004
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Is your cable tapped beyond what Rogers Cable is providing? If you are on a VIP bundle you should have 3 Extra outlets. If your not beyond that amount, make it Rogers Problem. They can run new cable and add an amplifier if need be. (just make sure you pull all of your own stuff first-the might take it)

The problem with regular cable vs. Digital is that the digital cable is less tolerant to poor signal, so if your digital they have to ensure the signal is up to spec for everything to work. I had to get upgrades to my cable when I went to digital. If you really want to avoid the expense, go with digital cable for a few months... :twisted:
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Jun 14, 2003
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deep wrote:I have a TV cap card in my computer that yields VERY different results from channel to channel...some are full of static, some show vertical tearing (as if my card can't handle the data...?) and some look perfect.

The fact that I have some perfect channels makes me believe that my computer and TV card are not at fault. There is a cable signal booster in my basement, and then several very long runs of cable in my house. As well, the cable comes into my computer room right by my UPS and several thousand pounds of electronic equipment. Do you think the signal is just being degraded at some point along the way? Can I boost the signal, or do I just wind up boosting all the interference?

Any ideas?
I don't know if this is related to your problem. However, I had a similiar problem last night when I installed my new PVR-250.

In the scan channel page, it asked for country. I chose Canada and let it scan. All the channels are bad. Some were watchable and some were like what you described. However, I have a real TV in my room which is much better than it. Hence, I did not think the cable is the problem.

It turned out. I outsmarted myself. If I read the manual and did exactly what it asked, I would have been okay. That is to use the default 'United States'. Choosing that, it has a 'cable' option. All the channels are good and better than what my old TV shows.

My cable has a 1 to 2 split in the basement and then 1 to 3 split in my room.
1 to the cable modem, 1 to the real tv and 1 to the pvr-250. The splitters are from Rogers.

I don't know if this information help you or not though.

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