Cable TV, Internet and Phone Connections

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The times have changed with all the new technology. Cable TV wiring that was installed in your home 20 years ago can’t be used with the equipment needed to run a high definition television with today’s standards. Cable company converter boxes are more advanced than ever.

Buying that big screen TV and connected it to your existing old cable TV wire that was installed in your house 20 years ago is not a great match. You will be watching the TV when it freezes or you get something that is called pixelation. Pixelation is when the TV freezes and then the picture starts to come back in pieces at a time. This can happen once a day to once every 5 minutes. This is very frustrating when you spent $500.00 plus on that big flat screen TV that is supposed to give you that great high definition quality picture.

Why Won’t the Existing Cable TV Wiring Work with My New TV?

The original cable TV wires were called RG 59. This cable TV wire is much thinner than the new cable TV wires of today. They can’t hold a great signal especially for long distances. The cable TV wire ends that screw into the back of the converter boxes and TV’s were crimped on in a way were the wire really did not make a great connection between the wire and the end. The end is the part that screws onto the ports on the back of the cable TV converter and TV. Have you ever tried to screw in a cable TV wire and the end just falls off of the wire? Now what do you do?

Also back in the day we used splitters to bring in one main cable TV wire and then split the wiring to how many TV’s? I have seen installations where it was split 10 different ways to other TVs throughout the house. Half of the split wires were not in any use. Do you have your cable TV wires go to a nice looking wall plate that has a port in the middle so you can connect a short cable TV wire from this port to the TV? Well it looks like a neat job but is it the right job? The cable TV wires were also daisy changed back then which means one wire was run from the feed outside cable TV wire from the street to the first TV and from the first TV to the second TV and so on. Each time this is done the signal gets weaker and weaker and you would be lucky if the last TV on this daisy chain line even works at all.

The reality of this is that every time you use a splitter or one of those wall port jacks this is a splice point for the cable TV system. Each splice point on a cable TV system will weaken the signal bringing you a bad picture or pixilation. The same thing goes for the daisy chain type of system. As the wire goes from one TV to another there will be a splitter installed to split the wire from the TV you are at now to the next TV and so on.

The good thing about cable TV companies is that they bring us cable TV and converters which is very exciting. The bad thing about cable TV companies is that they will wrap the cable TV wire around the outside of your house until they get to the room that has a TV in it and then they will drill through the wall to come inside your home to get to the TV. Cable TV companies won’t snake wires in your home to neatly run the cable TV wires to your TV. If you ask the cable TV company to run the wires inside your home they will tell you to hire an electrician to do this work and they will come out to your home for the final connections after the electricians work is done.

Electricians will first look at where point A is which is where the outside feed cable TV wires comes from the street to your house. Then we will look at point B which is where each TV location is inside your house. We would also want to know where your modem is. We would then run what is called a home run which is one direct line from each TV to where the feed cable TV wire is outside coming from the street. A home run has no splice points at all, it is a direct line back to the source. We would do the same for your modem.

Then instead of placing that cable TV wall jack behind the TV and running a piece of cable TV wire from the wall jack to your TV we would install a plate that has a hole in the middle of it. The cable TV wire will pass through the plate and directly to your TV. Even the simple cable TV wall jack is considered a splice point to weaken to the signal.

The new standard cable TV wire that is installed today is called a RG 6 Double Quad Shielded Cable. The cable TV ends are compressed on with a special tool. They will not fall off.

With all of the home run wires ran to the point where the feed cable TV wire comes from the street to outside or just inside the basement will be labeled to which room each wire goes to. The cable TV person can then place an amplifier type splitter on all those home run wires to get you the best clear picture possible.

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How does running cable TV wiring give me an internet connection?

Let’s start with Bell Atlantic or what we used to call Good Old Ma Bell. This feels like ancient times ago. The telephone poles would carry all the phone lines and one would come off the pole to feed your house. There was that gray phone box on the side of your house. From that grey box a phone wire would run to all your phone jacks in your house. The wires could have been daisy chained or have been home runs. It really did not matter.

Now comes the cable TV guy who places a modem either by your main computer, garage or basement. From your modem a cable TV wire is ran back to the source where the cable TV wire comes from the street. This is one of those home runs we discussed earlier. Now one phone wire will go from this modem to the closet phone jack. Remember all your phone jacks are daisy chained or wired together already so no extra work needs to be done. So the modem is actually bringing you the phone as an internet connection. That’s how now all your existing phone jacks are now part of the system usually sold as a double or triple play bundle package. The cable guy has to do one more thing. Remember you still have the old feed wire from Bell Atlantic coming from the street to your home. He must disconnect that connection so you won’t be back feeding your phone from your house to the telephone pole lines.

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The modem that is next to your computer will have an Ethernet cable going form the modem to your computer. Ethernet cables can also be run from the modem to your other computers. This modem will also accept wireless devices such as a laptop or smart TV.

Verizon FiOS uses a fiber optic line from the street to your house and goes to a fiber optic box with the backup battery in it. From this Fiber optic box they would run an Ethernet cable line to the modem usually located next to your computer. They would also run a cable TV wire from the fiber optic box to the modem.

This how a basic system is set up in your home to get you cable TV, internet and phone.

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Richard Marton Electrical Contractor LLC is a full service electrical contractor serving homeowners and businesses in Bergen, Passaic, Essex and Morris County New Jersey with electrical installations and repairs. We are also a Generac Generator installer.

Richard Marton Electrical Contractor LLC works with general contractors, residential architects, interior decorators, interior designers, painters, property management and property maintenance professionals, and professional organizers. We work with these professionals to give clients top of the line electrical installations within such projects as residential remodeling, residential renovations, plus build outs of new kitchens, bathrooms, home offices, add-a-level residential project and more.