I don't doubt that some stores like that exist, but I don't think they
are practical for most people to go to as was suggested.
Around here, NJ, we have several electronics distributors too. But
they are located over an hour away, handle industrial accounts, don't
have a retail store, have order minimums larger than a splitter and a
couple lengths of coax, and don't have people standing around to give
advice to walk-in customers.
You could order the stuff via the web, but it doesn't seem that
critical to me when all you're hooking up is a cable modem and a TV.
Obviously millions of people have done it and got it working.
On Oct 14, 9:27 am, email@example.com wrote:
You how many people lament the absence of the Mom and Pop hardware
stores, with the wooden floors, the drawers full of individual nuts
and bolts and an owner that actually knows how to fix things?
Not only do we still have a few of those in my neck of the woods there
are also 2 electronic stores of the same ilk. One's in an old house
with a couple of apartments upstairs, the other's around the back of
old brick warehouse type building.
I've seen Radio Shacks come and go in various locations in our area,
but the "real electronics stores" somehow manage to hang in there.
Maybe it's because they sell quality stuff at decent prices.
I've bought stuff at these stores that the staff at Radio Shack have
never even heard off. I needed a thermal fuse for a toaster oven once
and the guys at RS got all crossed eyed when I showed them what I
needed. The guys at the electronics store looked up some numbers in a
book, sold me an equivalent and I was on my way.
A TWC tech was over a few years ago. When he saw the first splitter
that I installed to split the TV cable to their set-top box and to my
amplifier - a splitter I bought at HD - he replaced it with a splitter
with a Time Warner cable label, stating the HD stuff is crap.
I've had an HD splitters cause crappy reception on long runs. Tried
more than one with no luck. Bought one at the electronics store and
the picture cleared right up.
Signals coming down the cable are not like a water pipe - if you drain from
one area there's less in another.
TV and internet signals are different frequencies; properly employing one
has no effect on the other.
That's not exacty true. The digital signal to his interner modem
either works or doesn't. But he's probably using the analog signal
for tv and that can be effected by splitters.
The good news is that the number of tv's won't affect the internet
speed. That's a digital signal and as long as it's working then the
speed capability will be unchanged. And as long as you get a decent
picture on all the tvs then the analog signal loss from the splitters
is not a problem.
I'd say that's not exactly true too. What does "as long as it's
working" mean?. If you do enough splitting, poor cabling practices
etc, it would seem you could reduce the signal quality at the cable
modem to the point that it is borderline. Meaning it still has
connectivity but will be dropping a significant number of packets,
with those packets having to then be resent under the direction of the
software stack, significantly reducing performance.
As some others have pointed out, the preferred practice is the
following. The cable company provides a single cable run into the
building. You then use one two way splitter to break that into one
cable run to the modem, another to serve the TV or TVs. If you have
more than one TV, then you use another splitter or splitters to divide
the TV line into however many cables you need. That gives the cable
modem the max signal strength possible.
However, that cabling is not an absolute. As someone pointed out, in
some cases, because of physical limitations, people have the line
that's split out once for the cable modem split again and shared with
a TV in the same room and it works fine. It depends on the signal
strength provided by the cable company at the house, the cable type,
length, splitters, etc. The good news is you can try it and find out
if it works. It's also possible to read the signal strengths in both
directions directly from the modem. Many, maybe all modems have an
IP address that you can access that pulls up a webpage of internal
info. The cable companies use it to remotely diagnose problems.
On 10/13/10 08:57 am, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
This probably also means that the cable company could check the signal
level that the cable modem is receiving and start wondering why it is
only half (or less) the expected level -- as it would be if you put a
splitter or two ahead of it.
Yes, they could. But if you're suggesting they could use it as a
means to see if you have things connected that you shouldn't, I think
it's impractical and they have far bigger things to spend time on.
The signal level is going to vary widely for a variety of reasons.
And even if they did suspect it, what could they do? Almost all of
these splits are inside the house and they can't come in to check
without telling you first. In which case you just undo it.
Also, as someone else pointed out, the vast majority of cable
customers can't get much for free anymore by just making more cable
splits. Most systems are already digital and the rest are moving
that way quickly, with the unencoded channels being very limited.
On Oct 13, 10:10 am, email@example.com wrote:
re: "Also, as someone else pointed out, the vast majority of cable
customers can't get much for free anymore by just making more cable
With TWC cable, I get what you might call "free Basic cable" and they
know all about it - or at least a few techs do.
The installation: My cable goes to a TWC-provided splitter, with one
run to the cable modem for Internet/phone and the other to a 3-way
Off of the three-way, one output goes to the Digital Cable Box for my
flat screen and the other 2 go to cable amplifiers to feed the 6 other
TV's/TV-enabled computers in my house. There's also a couple of spare
runs for those times when I want to take a portable TV out on the deck
or into the backyard.
I've had problems with my cable box in the past and have had techs
over the house. Obviously the first thing they do is bypass my 3-way
to eliminate the variables. Once that doesn't solve the problem (and
it never does) they hook it all back up again the way I had it.
They've even complimented me on the layout of the splitters, the neat
cable runs, etc.
Yes, I'm paying for digital cable, which I know the OP isn't, but I'm
still getting basic cable to 6 other TV's "free of charge", with their
As far as checking for other devices on their cable, I had a situation
a while back that tells me that it's not that easy for them to do - or
that they don't want to.
I went to a local TWC store and traded in a suspected bad cable box
for a new one. They screwed up and never gave me credit for the old
one, charging me for 2 boxes for 3 months until I finally realized it.
When I called them, and they accused me of still having the second box
in my house, I pointed out to them that all boxes have addresses so
why don't they check and see when the last time my old box had
communicated with them. "Um...err...we can't really do that...we'll
just credit your account for the 3 months rental fee."
The only thing they really care about is that you don't compromise their
system with leaky connections (use good cable, leave the toy twist on
connectors on the shelf etc). We haven't had an "outlet charge" since
the third owner back of the system we are on.
It is trivial for them to map out cabling with a TDR. The main thing
they care about is leakage because they need to comply with FCC rules
since your cabling becomes part of their system.
It is trivial for them to find the MACs of the devices connected to
I had a similar case where they tried to charge us for a returned box.
They dug in their heels even after I mentioned I had the receipt (I did)
from when I returned it. They said they would need to see the receipt.
They backed down after I told them since they had a fee for everything I
would need them to authorize a processing fee for me to produce the
receipt. She put my on hold and then came back and told me she would
cancel the charge "this time".
It is "trivial" for the network engineers who have access to the
network administration side of the computer system to poll
and check MAC addresses and serial numbers on the hardware
At the customer service store the "representatives" only have
access to the customer database and a POS terminal which
activates any boxes sold/deactivates any returns based on
the scanning of an encoded bar code on back of the set top
box they are selling or accepting back as a return...
When you call the customer service hot-line number and
get put on hold the voice talking to you is checking with
representatives and supervisors of a higher level who have
access to additional information and technical capabilities
that the basic level-ones who first answer the calls do not...
Always keep your receipts... Always send a copy, as if
you continue to assert your dispute you will need your
original if you want to bring a civil lawsuit to resolve the
issue in court...
re: "It is "trivial" for the network engineers who have access to the
network administration side of the computer system to poll and check
MAC addresses and serial numbers on the hardware "live"... "
Yep, I knew that when I talked to the CSR and asked her to see when
the last time the old box had "checked in". It didn't matter to me if
she escalated it to someone who could actually check it or just told
me that she couldn't, because I knew the box wasn't in the house, so
either way I was going to get the credit.
Her answer of "Um...err...we can't really do that..." just got me my
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