Where's the best place to put a cable signal amplifier?
Here's what I have:
The incoming cable is split right after the cable modem tap with a
three way splitter. One of the lines off the three way goes from the
basement to the attic of a two story colonial where it is again split
with a three way spitter. This feeds 3 TV's on the second floor.
My main question is this: Is the problem with splitters/long runs just
an signal amplitude issue that an amp can fix either before or after
the degradation, or does the signal actually lose quality that even an
amp can't fix if placed after the splitter/long run?
The answer to that question will help me determine the placement of an
amp if I want to boost the signal for the 3 TV's on the second floor.
1 - At the main cable before it is split in the basement (1 In - 1 Out
amp, then the 3 way)
2 - In place of the 3 way in the basement (1 In - 4 Out amp, no
3 - At the beginning of the long run to the attic (After the 3 way,
then 1 In - 1 Out Amp)
3 - In the attic before the 3-way splitter (1 In - 1 Out Amp, then the
4 - In place of the 3 way in the attic. (1 In - 4 Out amp, no
Did you talk to yout cable company? I neve experienced a weak cable
signal. Always it's strength is more than what I need.
Rule of thumb is you boost weak signal close at the source(at the cable
enterance to your house). An example, you always install the TV antenna
signal booster on the mast not at the bottom of tower.
Your problem is too many splits, moreso than
the long run.
In your situation, an amp placed between the
splitters should correct your problem. Unless
you're talking about a run of hundreds of metres,
you should be able to put a 1 in 1 out amp at
either end of the run to the top floor.
Either Option 3, or your other option 3. ;)
4 would work too, but I'm guessing it's $$$.
It's hard to believe that added anything, but apparently if I had had
the patience to read and process your first post, it did.
I got confused by your post (not that it was badly written. I'm just
impatient today) and I can't even tell if I'm agreeing with the
answers you got, but I'll tell you what I did. I put in splitters
everytime the signal had to split, and when the signal got too weak, I
replaced a splitter with an amp or an amp/splitter. That's probably
half way between the last amp and the farthest tv, when it is
installed. On at least some stations I get a perfect picture at the
far end of the string, and on others, I don't get a perfect picture
even at the VCR that starts things off. I have 6 splitters (counting
the ones in amps) and two amps. With tvs in 8 rooms (counting the
attic and one bathroom.)
I agree that run length doesn't much matter. When I first got cable,
I asked him to put the cable box not on the tv but in the closet 4
feet away. He said he wasnt' sure if that would work but it did.
Later when I ran a line to the basement and from the back wall of the
basement to the front, plus slack back and forth while running the
line, it was about 100 feet without an amp** and the picture on local
stations was perfect. Why he thought 4 feet might be a problem, I
**Later I had to add an amp when I split the signal for a tv in the
In the TRASH.
If you have a crappy signal, call the cable company and tell them to fix it.
You could have TOO MUCH signal and it will mess up your picture.
Most picture problems are not from the amount of signal, but are from the
amount of stray interference getting into the cable at bad crimps and
A cable amp is about the worst thing you can do if you've got a bad TV
If the signal is crappy where it enters your house. It helps to try a
portable TV there.
If you put an amp in, and the picture gets WORSE, then you know you're
better off without it.
It won't hurt to TRY it. You don't usually know the source of the
problem. However, if an amplifier is needed it needs to be inserted at
a point where the signal level is normal (BEFORE the cable run with
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