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DandyDear711's avatar

"Can you explain to me why this is happening? We had our cable TV service disconnected (to save $)..."?

Asked by DandyDear711 (1512points) November 16th, 2008

I assumed then that there would be no more cable TV signal in the house. I was wrong. The upstairs TV gets about 7 channels – local ones – very well. Much better than we would get using a terk indoor amplified digital antenna. In the living room, we get one local channel and a few cable channels like National Geographic, Oxygen and a couple others. In the family room, we get snow. That is where we had the digital box that got hundreds of channels. The terk indoor amplified digital antenna doesn’t work well in there either… too bad cuz that is where we have the big, new TV (from around 2001).

So why am I getting different channels on different TVs?

Is there a little handy dandy little device out there that can improve the cable “reception” on the family room TV?

Thanks for any informed explanations you can give!

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13 Answers

fireside's avatar

Well, the simplest explanation that I can think of is directional.

Do you have the antenna pointing in the same direction every time you hook it up?
If your main room is downstairs or in a room that is opposite the side of the house where the signal is coming in, then the reception could be effected.

Do you know where the broadcast tower is in relation to your house? You might try pointing the antenna directly at the tower (and out a window if you have thick walls in your house).

DandyDear711's avatar

I know which way to point the directional antenna – I found a website to help me with that. My question is why am I getting the different stations on the different TVs when they are hooked up to CABLE even though the cable was disconnected.

fireside's avatar

Probably bleed through on the wires, maybe a bad connection at the switcher.
It’s not like they physically disconnected you from the network, they just sent a cut off signal to the switcher box near your house.

Are the stations clear or staticy?
I used to be able to watch Showtime through the fuzz when I was a young pubescent lad.

DandyDear711's avatar

They came out and climbed the pole outside our house to disconnect – they had to be sure they did not cut the internet! Can’t live without that! Would it bleed some channels to one tv and others to another?

fireside's avatar

Does your internet come through a cable modem?
If so, then the signal maybe coming off of there somehow.
Not really sure though, we need a Fluther cable technician to weigh in on this one.

DandyDear711's avatar

Yes – internet comes through a cable modem… I appreciate your input so far!! :-)


asmonet's avatar

When mine got cut off I still got cable limited though it was for about five weeks. Then they figured it out. :)

boxing's avatar

I am not a technician, but this is what I think is the most likely senario.

Cable internet service requires much cleaner signal than TV signal, so when one subscribe to cable internet service, the cable company might run a seperate cable into the residence, just to make sure the signal is good enough.

So you may have 2 lines running into your place. One is to your cable modem, the other one goes to your family room. When you disconnected TV service, that line was trapped outside the residence so you would not have any signal.

However, the other line is not trapped, and the cable running to your TV upstairs must be branched right before your cable modem. And we all know that your cable internet signal carries TV signal too, and because of that, cable companies sometimes do put traps on that line too, and they charge extra for cable internet service without a TV package.

In order to get tv signal for your other tv, you need to re-wire, to have a 3 way split before the cable modem.

But, this will downgrade the signal strength by quite a bit, and your internet connection might suffer.

If your indoor antenna signal is acceptable for your tv upstairs, use that, so your family room tv can be re-wired to use that cable instead.

Okay, at last, this is called Passive Theft, you are on your own buddy…;-)

skord's avatar

I am a cable engineer and I CAN answer this question. TADA! Every signal from the cable company comes over the same wire. If you’re still using cable internet, you’ve probably been “trapped”. Putting a trap on the line allows some signals to pass, but not others, usually these are high or low pass filters—letting all signals under or over a threshold through. The return path for your cable modem signal is a lower frequency, the downstream path is a higher one. For many reasons, the trap is probably a high pass above the frequency where the cable modem downstream resides, letting everything lower in frequency than its rating right on through. It’s difficult to just let the modem signal pass and not let SOMETHING else bleed or degrade. Notch filters, or filter that only let specific signals through, have logical and other problems that make their use prohibitive.

You might check your bill and check with your cable company, you might be getting a “basic” tier, which many people confuse with the “standard” tier. From my dealings with different companies, usually cable modem only services includes this “basic” offering of 10–20 channels or it costs the same to have basic + cable modem or just cable modem service. Why? see the reasons above.

DandyDear711's avatar

ooooOOOOooooooooOOOOOOoooooooooo! Makes sense… I still don’t understand why the quality and quantity varies by TV. But that is not important…

So you are saying that I might be entitled to basic service – a perfect compromise for us! Do you know anything about Time Warner Cable and Road Runner? I know – it is a long shot!

Many thanks!

boxing's avatar

Case in study:

Cablevision Optimum online:

Without TV plan, cable internet only: 49.95/moth
With TV service but only basic channels: 49.95/month
With TV serive and at least family cable package: $44.95/month.

Time Warner Road Runner:

With or without TV plan same price: 1.5M downstream 256k up 29.95/month, 10M/512K 45.95/month.

You are not entitled to basic tv service, but it is there because there is no way to trap out those channels while preserving your internet connection.

lknup's avatar

I have time warner cable.I have high speed broad band internet. I have a basic cable for the tv. It is avaiable with or without internet. It is called basic It is about $8.00 a month and you get local channels2–14 also the halmark,lifetime,style,qvc, government channels trutv,i hope this helps. thats what i I pay for beside the internetwhich is approx 40 per mo

DandyDear711's avatar

I have since have learned… we pay $50 for cable and would have to pay $12 more for basic cable. I suppose it depends how new a customer you are on how much you pay, We are gonna stay cable tv free for now… no one seems to miss it! but we can’t go without internet!!

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