View Question
Q: Cable TV problem ( Answered ,   1 Comment )
 Question
 Subject: Cable TV problem Category: Science > Technology Asked by: jv-ga List Price: \$2.50 Posted: 24 Aug 2002 08:36 PDT Expires: 23 Sep 2002 08:36 PDT Question ID: 58090
 ```My mother has just moved into a retirement home and had her cable TV hooked up. She can not get her Game Show Network on the new cable system. The cable company says that there are too many user on the same system for her to be able to receive it above the second floor of the home. She is paying for the digital connection, and the game show is broadcast in digital. The cable company says that all of the digital signals can not be received by anyone above the first floor of the home. I know that, with sattellite tv, all signals are broadcast in digital and the receiver converts that to an analog signal able to be used by a TV set. Does this sound like a connection problem, or a Cable provider problem?```
 ```Hi jv-ga, This problem stems from the way your mother's Cable TV is wired. Basically, Cable TV works by transmitting channels on different frequencies of the cable line. The lowest channels are the lowest frequencies (for example, channels 1,2,3 etc.), and high channels (80+) are higher frequencies on the cable line. The lower frequencies can transmit farther (in terms of distance), while the higher frequencies tend to have their signal degrade quicker as it moves along the cable line. In my experience, Game Show Network is usually one the higher channels in most Cable TV setups, making it a high frequency and subject to easy loss of quality. The retirement home your mother is in probably has the cable system wired in the following way: to TV to 2nd Floor | | | _____| incoming line ___________[____________ --------------[ Floor 1 ____________ ----> ___________[____ | | | | to TV to TV This is a crude diagram, and of course isn’t specific to your mother's home, however it illustrates the concept. The cable TV signal comes in at 100% strength on the incoming line. The incoming line is split (by a splitter, a small metal box that takes one incoming line and makes it into two outgoing lines) into two lines, which are now at 96% strength. These two lines are split again, to make connections to TVs on the first floor. The signal is now 93% strength. The cable is now split again, which again reduces the strength. Finally, after going through several sets of splitters, the wire runs up into the second floor. By now, the strength is 85%. The signal has to pass through additional splitters that will provide TV outputs to the other TVs on the second floor. By the time the cable reaches your mother's room, the strength is now 70%. (NOTE: These numbers are simply rough estimates designed to show you what the problem is, they are not exact or calculated in any way). In order to solve this problem, the cable company needs to take one of the connections from the splitter on the incoming line, and run it directly to the second floor, or preferably directly to your mother's room. This will provide a high signal strength, which will allow high frequencies (in other words, high channels) to be received. Calling the cable company, or having the retirement home call the cable company is the best way to solve this problem. Company technicians will have meters which will measure the signal strength, and they will rewire the building appropriately. They may also replace some wiring on the exterior of the building, which could be causing a loss of signal. SEARCH STRATEGY: None. This information came from my local cable company (Cablevision), and specifically a technician who came to fix our cable modem several years ago. Cable modems operate on very high frequencies (1000+), and our cable modem suffered from the same problem your mother's cable connection is suffering from. I have also worked and experimented somewhat in this area myself. Hope this helps, rmn-ha```
 jv-ga rated this answer: `Thanks, at least it gives me a place to start on getting the problem fixed.`
 ```Hi there, If your mother is dealing with the cable company directly (ie. making payment to them), then it is their responsibility. However, in this type of situation the retirement home handles the bills of the occupants...in this case it is the home's problem. Perhaps she could be moved to the first floor? Either way, your mother should not have to suffer lack of availability of channels that she is paying for! Just my .02, but if this answers your question, just post a comment and I'll put it up as an answer. answerguru-ga```