When to use a cable amplifier

If your television service provider is a Cable company such as Comcast, Mediacom, Cox Cable or if you use an Over the Air Antenna you might need a Cable Amplifier.

When a cable television signal travels down a long coaxial wire the signal strength is going to fade over the distance due to the resistance of the wire. As well, the the signal is directed to several TVs in your home via the use of a splitter the signal strength is also degraded. And lastly, if you also have high-speed cable Internet service then this too will cause a lower signal strength at any given TV.

Two different types of amplifier
The best type of cable television amplifier is called a Unity Gain Amplifier. With this amplifier, what ever signal strength is entering the amplifier is being delivered to each television location connected inside your home. This amplifier is good also in that its bi-directional, a feature important for ordering on demand programming from your cable television provider.

The other type is a straight up amplifier such as a 10db amplifier usually available at most local retailers for somewhere around twenty bucks. All this amplifier does is add some signal strength to the incoming signal but when that signal is distributed to several television locations within your house the signal weakens equal to the number of TV’s added. For example, a 5db signal split off to 5 TV leaves 1db signal strength for each TV and sometimes this is enough.

What if you also have a High Speed Internet Cable TV Provider Modem?

If you happen to also have your Internet service from your cable television company you will want to know that usually the cable company likes to take your incoming signal strength and immediately split it in half. One half goes to your Internet modem and the remaining half goes to your TVs. So for example, if you have 5db coming into your home then 2.5 will go to the modem and 2.5 will go to the TVs. An amplifier might come in handy in this situation.

How do I know what my incoming signal strength is?

The incoming signal strength to a home or business varies depending on several general factors, the most important being the distance between your house and the cable companies last powered cable distribution point on the street. Beyond that, the quality of the cable, fittings and installation will all affect the strength. If you have a cable modem and service from your Cable television provider generally a quick call to their technical support department and they can determine the strength of the signal over the phone for you.

Over the Air  – OTA – Antenna TV

Cable Amplifier