Why can't I get digital cable?

So, a couple weeks ago our cable went out, a guy came around, replaced the inside amplifier, and told us we weren’t getting any of the high number digital channels (yes we have a digital box) and arranged for a new cable to be laid from the street to our house. They did that, cutting the phone lines, which are now fixed, but we still weren’t getting the digital stations, almost nothing over channel 100, and I am supposed to get like 250 channels. Anyway, another guy comes out, checks things over, and says it is our indoor cable that needs replacing, something about high frequencies, but that if we put the digital box downstairs, which is only a couple of feet from where the cable enters the house, it will most likely work. What is going on here? What is new about the new cable? Why does he think our old cable wires will work with a run of only a few feet but not 50 feet? Is there any other solution. I am not having the house rewired, we have 18 different inside cable lines. Is there anything else I might do, perhaps something the cable guy is not allowed to suggest?

When I got digital cable they had to replace a lot of the inside cables (at no charge to me). According to the cable guy, the digital signal isn’t carried through old (possibly cracked in some spots) cable as well as analog cable is.

After he connected the cable box and called the office to send the digital signal, he saw that the signal wasn’t great. He checked the resistance of the cable lines and had to replace both the inside and outside lines.

The difference is in the cables. Older cables are RG59, which have slightly inferior characteristics compared to the newer RG6 cables.


Also, with 18 interior cable lines, I would say that there may be too many splitters. Each split divides the signal power in half or worse.

You can amplify the signal to help offset the loss, but run the risk of distortion and/or a poor signal-to-noise ratio.

When my ma got digital cable to replace regular cable they found that all the cables were the ones the were installed in the mid-70’s when my parents first got cable T.V. installed in the house. She couldn’t receive a whole slew of digital channels because of that.

Actually, there are 18 individual cables. Only 5 are currently connected. I don’t see how they can replace them without tearing up the house. I guess I will just cancel the digital service.

I wouldn’t worry about them ripping up the house. The cables you have now already have holes drilled for them, so replacing them isn’t going to cause any damage. If only five of them are connected, you don’t need to concern yourself with the other 13 cables. Do you plan on watching digital cable on 5 TVs? You can still watch analog TV on the sets you aren’t getting a cable box for.

Are there really 18 areas in the house you’ve had a TV in? Wow!

No, but when we built the house we had cable outlets put all over the place, two or three in some rooms so we would have could decide where to put the TV’s once the furniture was in. And although I have not tried to test it, I think the cable runs from the basement to the various rooms are for the most part stapled to studs now and then so just pulling on them and using them to guide the new cable in place is probably not a viable alternative.

How long ago was the house built? If it was fairly recent, then the cables should be RG6. If you don’t have lots of splitters, then the problem may be a damaged cable somewhere.

The house is 10 years old. I am pretty sure the cable is rg-59 since that was what used to extend from the outside cable thingy to the house. I do use two splitters, but also have a comcast supplied amplifier. The cable guy who came yesterday didn’t seem to think that was the problem. Also, why did he suggest if we put the digital box in the basement where the cable run is very short, that we would probably be able to get use it? Would that be signal leakage over distance?

Why not get satellite? Most providers include installation with RG6 cable runs in the package.