Poor CS cop out or the other side of techno sword - Home Brew Forums
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Old 10-27-2008, 09:17 PM   #1
GilaMinumBeer
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[rant]

Had the cable guy out over the weekend to try to sort out some picture issues I am having on 2 of my sets. Both have the potential for HD feeds which means they both have a high native resolution, somewhat.

To explain;

One set is a 3 gun CRT retro set capable of 1080i. IIRC, CRT has no "Native Resolution" per se. However, the other is a 1920x1080 DLP set.

Okay, the problem is that when viewing animated source material. I get a slight ghosting or halo-ing (sp) outline in addition to some jitters and outright strobing of isolated bits. This occurs on both sets but the DLP adds another wonderful effect, artifacting with motion. Again, these issues are most notable on video sources and downright annoying from animated program material.

In my experience, both indicate a signal issue usually isolated at bad connections in the line but also are caused by some electromagnetic crosstalk (cable too close to electric), and/or poor shielding.

I pay the extra fee for the service protection so I call for service thinking that the guy will go into the attic, see the horrible spaghetti mess of cable previous installers have left, the numerous splices that other CG's have masterfully installed, and decide that my house wiring needs an overhaul.

Nope.

He spends about 2 minutes at each set pulling up the signal info screen, shows me that my base signal strength is 14dB above 0 (meaning no gain and no loss) and my S/N ratio is 32 (dB, IIRC) or 8 below the Fed set standard.

And then proceeds to tell me that the problem is with my sets and that their resolutions are too high for the crap 480i signals. Basically, he is saying that due to the lossy compression in the signal that when the TV's upconvert the signal to native they over emphasize the image thus creating junk to fill in what the 480 signal lacks. He suggests that all I can do is deal with it until more HD sources come on-line.

This makes sense to me except that, when I play the same program material through my DVD (assumably starting with the same crap 480 res) I don't get near as "pronounced" the "extremity" of picture problems. So, this tells me that what the CG is claiming is partially correct but not entirely the components technologocal fault.

[/rant]

I can re-wire the house myself. I just figured why bother if I am paying for this sort of thing. I mean by the fee it's the cable co's responsibility. However, the CG has basically copped out the problem.

The wiring above really is a major mess of crosses and loops and splices combined with cable lazy practices of running way to much cable cause it's easier to run on the outside of the house than in a hot attic.

I have the compression fittings and tools and have made thousands of such connections myself so, I know how to do it all. Additionally, I would be replacing the Dual Shield RG6 with Quad Sheild RG6 in significantly shorter runs. The only problems are in getting into the pedestal outside and determining which cables run the phones, Inet bridge, and each outlet (a fox and hound chore).

So, any signal geeks out there who know what I am talking about?

Should I just sit and deal or get my butt in gear and re-wire the house for the off chance that my signal cleans up as a result (after all, it is winter and won't be hot in the attic)?


 
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Old 10-27-2008, 09:34 PM   #2
HBHoss
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I'm no expert but the shorter the cable the better the signal, unless you use in-line signal boosters. The other aspect is the more connections you have the greater the risk for signal loss. If you can wire it so you have the most direct route, that would be best.

 
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Old 10-27-2008, 09:35 PM   #3
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Not sure if the rewiring would be worth it, but the DVD vs. cable test may not be telling you much. Sure you've got the same 480i resolution from the DVD, but the cable signal is probably much more compressed. If you have a way to tell the bitrate from both signals, you'd have more information about what's actually going on. Some DVD players can display the bitrate and the cable box might be able to as well, so that might be worth looking into.

Is it possible to run a temporary line from the first splitter inside the house to one of the TVs? Then you could test the theory without putting in all the work.

 
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Old 10-27-2008, 09:39 PM   #4
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Kind of sounds like a shielding issue to me? Is your cable rats nest up in the attic sitting on or near any junction boxes? It's usually not an issue with romex.

 
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Old 10-27-2008, 09:45 PM   #5
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I'd call dishnetwork.
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Old 10-27-2008, 10:02 PM   #6
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Hoss:

Yes, shorter is better. By the sheer nature of things I have convinced myself that. However, even with the numerous 3dB losses at each splice plus the dB losses per x foot of cable I am still +14dB above base. That is where I struggle in justifying the labor to re-wire.

Yermej:

AFAIK, my Sony DVD Recorder doesn't tell me the bit rate and with the Explorer I can never manage to notice the button press combo's used to pull up the signal screen. However, it does provide that info, IIRC.

I'll have to look into this more in-depth. Thanks for the suggestion.

As to a temporary bypass. All the lines are home run from the pedestal. A service line into the box, split and amped, then homerun to each outlet but peppered with splices (not splitters). The DLP, ironically, has the shortest line run of less that 25 foot but still has 2 splices in-line. Sadly, the installer chose the goofiest route for the lines. Along the eave for a bout 10 foot, poked into the attic, and then about 15 foot to the wall plate. Add that "splice" and another 6 or so foot (including the amps power inserter) and sadly THAT is my shortest run. As the "bird flies" done conservatively I could reduce that to about 15 foot total but cannot access the pedestals security lock (can't get the dang tool, even tho I have tried to bribe).

Blacklab:

My thoughts too. And most likely yes. In addition to parralel runs less than 6 Inches apart. I had tried to remedy bhut still have some less than 90 degree crosses that couls also causes some inductance crosstalk issue. Poor layout planning for certain.

Bobby_M:

You're not helping!

Unfortunately, my service is a package deal. Getting .50 minute international long distance (Malaysia) and wifes work requires cable internet service for remotes (effing Feds). You Lose! Insert coins to play again.

Edit: .05 minute int'l........


 
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Old 10-27-2008, 10:10 PM   #7
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lmao. what the duckity fruck are you insane people talking about. Turn on the TV, sit down and watch it. For a High Definition TV you need a HD brain to decode the picture. Weakest link in the chain. ...I have a tube tv. work that one out!
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Old 10-27-2008, 10:53 PM   #8
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you do have cable boxes right ? the deal is with digital cable, if you have that good of DB the other stuff really does not matter all that much
there may be section of frequency that have some cross talk or interfernce
but with Quadrature Amplitude Modulation it would only effect a one or two
logical channels, i dont think its the house wire.
so you have 3 tvs and 3 cable boxes , but 1 tv works ok ? move the boxes and tvs around see if you can eliminate
some stuff, do you have a friend that has cable too ? take a tv over there and see if you get the ghosting ,,,I think its just the lossy Comprestion thay are useing to squeeze more internet, channles and HD ,
and i bet you will see the same thing at your friends house if you have one with cable. cable looks crapy on 1080p TVs

However if you are really gungho about the rewire just run one test wire from the house access box to your set right on the ground and though the door if its the same you will have saved you self alot of troble

my suggestion dump cable
Direct tv has the best digatal picture

TV = Dishnet or Direct Tv they will rewire for free
INTERNET = Dry Loop DSL or Naked DSL from AT&T in OKC.
PHONE = Vonage .06 cents a min to Malaysia
I bet that it will be cheaper than the cable snake too
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Old 10-28-2008, 12:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clayton_ross View Post
you do have cable boxes right ? the deal is with digital cable, if you have that good of DB the other stuff really does not matter all that much
there may be section of frequency that have some cross talk or interfernce
but with Quadrature Amplitude Modulation it would only effect a one or two
logical channels, i dont think its the house wire.
so you have 3 tvs and 3 cable boxes , but 1 tv works ok ? move the boxes and tvs around see if you can eliminate
some stuff, do you have a friend that has cable too ? take a tv over there and see if you get the ghosting ,,,I think its just the lossy Comprestion thay are useing to squeeze more internet, channles and HD ,
and i bet you will see the same thing at your friends house if you have one with cable. cable looks crapy on 1080p TVs

However if you are really gungho about the rewire just run one test wire from the house access box to your set right on the ground and though the door if its the same you will have saved you self alot of troble

my suggestion dump cable
Direct tv has the best digatal picture

TV = Dishnet or Direct Tv they will rewire for free
INTERNET = Dry Loop DSL or Naked DSL from AT&T in OKC.
PHONE = Vonage .06 cents a min to Malaysia
I bet that it will be cheaper than the cable snake too
Your argument is in-line with my understanding of the system. Thus, based on signal strength and S:N a re-wire won't fix picture "issues".

And for the record, we had Dish? with Voom at one point. Got tired of the limited service, equipment purchases, etc... and switched over to your TV "Dark Side". I understand things have changed and gotten competitive but, I am not looking to switch again so, I guess I live with it til' cable gets their Cox outta their ............

Thanks fellas.

 
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Old 10-29-2008, 01:23 AM   #10
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My basic policy is to switch between cable and dish network every two years. Each have consistently undercut the previous provider's customer retention discounts. That's fine with me, I have the cable run in place and the dishes stay there. It's a short install/activation call and I only have to apologize to my wife for making her relearn the remotes and channel lineup.
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