Cable reception - cannot get channel 4

I have a really strange situation that is puzzling me.
I have cable TV the coax cable comes into the house and splits into three lines and feed a TV in the living room, one in the bedroom and one in the kitchen area.
and I get excellent reception on all channels except channel 2 and 4. For the longest time I ignored that since I don't watch much network TV, but with the NCAA BB games going on now, I need to see the game on CBS - which is channel 4. All I got was a badly distorted image with choppy noise.
So ok may be the signal is too weak? But why would it be a problem for channel 4 but not channel 6 or 7 or 8?
Now let me explain how the wiring was done. I had the coax cable form the wall go to my VCR coax-in. Then from the VCR the "OUT" is another coax to the TV coax-in.
I thought may be this is the problem, is running through the VCR and if I connect directly, it would be better. So I disconnected the coax from the VCR and feed directly into the TV...no improvement.
However, I found out that if I have the VCR coax OUT go to the TV coax IN, I get a much better image. Now, this is without the cable feed connected to ANYTHING! All I have is a coax cable connecting the VCR and TV. No cable feeding into either of the devices, and I get an improved image.
Then I loosen the coax cable connection on the TV side by a couple of turns, and that made the image even better.
I am completely stumped. I am getting the network broadcast through the air wave using the VCR as an antenna? and loosening the coax cable connector a few turns makes it even better?
Puzzled.
MC
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I have no idea, but your cable company may. We had a similar situation with one channel. Called the cable company and they came out, adjusted something on the street, and it has been OK since. No charge. They charge for the service so why not use it?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Digital box? Channel 4 is one of the fussiest, frequency-wize. You need a full signal, which you will NOT get if you have any of the old (non-digital) splitters installed, or any standard (80% braid or less) cable like RG59. You NEED full sheild cable and high frquency low loss splitters.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 26 Mar 2009 21:48:50 -0400, MiamiCuse wrote:

1st, since it is Friday, your time frame is short to get the Cable guy out to look at something. Any option to use Rabbit ear antenna for over the air TV for CBS? You got a Digital Converter box? (in the case of the disconnected cable shows the strength of the over-the-air broadcasting power.)
2nd, Double check your VCR is not using channel 4 for transmitting it's video replay to your TV. This is important. Your VCR should actually be turned off and the TV-IN / -OUT should be just pass-through mode.
(I am going on the presumption that this difficulty is only with 1 (one) TV not All for the next point.)
3rd, as previously posted, gently, and mildly, twist the cable and the crimped end of the connector to see if there is any loose play. It should have a slight, ever so slight, movement and then halt. The crimp may be bad to the outer sheath weave of fine wires. Replace as needed.
In addition, on very rare occasions, get a flashlight and look inside the RF connector. There may be a loose strand of the outer sheath that may be almost touching the inner conductor. The white plastic insulator must be totally free of any loose strands of the outer sheath.
Look for any crushed, or pinched, portion of the cable. No furniture sitting on the cable. And in the basement, no staple holding the cable in place is squeezing the cable. (long story short, the plastic insulator between the outer and inner conductor must be very uniform in its dimensions. Any crushed portion acts like a water pipe crush, it lets less power through.)
(The following point is in-case All TVs have same problem.) 4th, Re-configure the cable in your house to directly feed just the TV you want to watch and see if anything improves. By-pass all other stuff. Your passive cable TV feed splitter may be at fault. Someone already mentioned an active power splitter, but be cautious not all active splitters are equally good with cable broadband Digital TV in UHF (above ch 20) range. DTV is coming to cable in a few years as older analog TVs die out.
Good luck, Games are starting soon.
Phil
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@invalid.com wrote:

I always found it interesting how sports devotees decry the ladies' fascination with soap operas. The two have much in common.
* There's good vs evil * Loyalties are forever shifting * Even at "the end of the world," things continue * It's always worse than you can imagine * Heroes die off, new players appear * One is a convenient excuse to drink beer, the other to eat chocolate * It never ends. At the worst, it's "Wait 'til next year"
There ARE differences, however.
* The ladies don't riot and burn the town when their favorite loses * The ladies don't riot and burn the town when their favorite prevails * The ladies don't go bare-chested in sub-freezing weather wearing funny headgear
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You sure this post wasn't meant for April 1? Assuming you don't have an antenna or something connected somehow to the TV, the only way this could be happening is the over the air signal is so strong that the VCR/TV are picking it up without an antenna. And if so, then maybe the combined cable signal plus that screws up the reception. But never heard of this before.
I would start with the basics. Get one TV and hook it directly to the incoming cable/cable box. No splitters, use a short cable that you know is either new or proven to work. Try it with another TV and cable box if available. If that doesn't work, you know it's 100% on the cable company. If it does work, then use process of elimination. It's also possible the signal is weaker on those 2 channels, so you can't split it as much. If it looks like that's the problem, then call the cable company, as they can check the signal levels. That's part of what you're paying for.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I had a similar problem. Called out the cable company -- told 'em it couldn't possibly be my equipment.
Sure enough, it was one of my 6ft jumper cables between a VCR and a cable box or whatever. I was suitably embarrassed but the cable guy just smiled sweetly and told me he'd seen it a hundred times before.
He went through my home and pulled out every jumper cable and told me to put 'em in the trash. He then made brand new ones and installed them.
In short, the pre-made cables that you buy at Best Buy, Wally World, the Borg et al are total crap. Have your cable guy make new ones -- it's easy when you have really good strippers and crimps. And if he does it right they'll never fail unless you abuse them horribly.
--
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~|
| Malcolm Hoar "The more I practice, the luckier I get". |
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mar 27, 12:30pm, snipped-for-privacy@malch.com (Malcolm Hoar) wrote:

right and the problem with the jumpers is not that the don't pass the signal well, the problem is that the cheap jumper let too much signal that is in the air leak into the cable... the problem the OP has is that there is interfrence from the over the air channel 2 and 4 into the cable channel 2 and 4.
So you need to go over all your cable connections and make sure they are tight...
You can verify to me that this is your problem, is there a strong over the air channel 2 and 4 in your area?
Mark
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 27 Mar 2009 16:30:45 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@malch.com (Malcolm Hoar) wrote:

My Cable guy smiled, telling me The Compnay was using new connectors, splitters, and cable. I smiled back and asked him make it right.
No cost. He made me one or two extra cables while he was there.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

This is a common oxidation issue, always happens to the lower channels first.
You need to clean all of your connectors and jacks with Cramolin [AKA DeoxIT]:
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber41-202
If that doesn't work, chop off all of the f-connectors and install new ones.
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber60-045
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber60-605
--
Kal A. Rama [who used to work on these installs in another life]



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.