Tuesday, July 16, 2013

I've been fighting our TV Antenna (and we won)

Our goal since Penny was in the Hospital 18 months ago is to get & keep our costs down. So we've been fighting a battle with our External Digital TV Antenna for the past few months (trying to keep Comcast - Direct TV - and Dish Network out of our home - specifically the excessive monthly costs). The picture would get choppy or go away all together at the strangest times (and Deans Food semi-trucks driving by constantly would affect the signal).

It mattered not if I changed the position of the Antenna, it would be fine at any given time and then get bad (and its been very bad for the past 2 weeks). It was irritating us to the point that I ordered "Basic Cable" at $25 a month this afternoon (they are supposed to be here tomorrow for the "install"). I did NOT want to do this, but the lack of TV for getting News/Weather/Sports was coming to a head due to the humid weather the past 2 days.

Since my gout has affected me for over 2 months, I haven't been able to do any physical moving of the TV cabinet/enclosure to investigate. Today, I was healthy enough to move the cabinet and disassemble the wiring to trace everything (I had a Surround Sound receiver go askew also, so I was changing it out also with a Sony STR-K502P that I've had in the Garage for a couple of years). When I was checking another Digital Antenna with TV, I noticed that the other 75 ohm cable wire actually on a signal splitter. Sure enough... "Made in China"). To explain, it most likely was a "cheap" splitter that Comcast used when they did the original install 2 years ago. I took that splitter out of the loop, and connected the cable directly into the TV.

Lo and behold, almost perfect signals (and 51 Digital Stations picked up). As a matter of fact, that splitter seemed to affect all of the TV's as all of a sudden, the picture was great on them also (they all interconnect in the basement, but a corrupted signal can affect all locations on the same line).

I will be making a call to Comcast first thing in the morning cancelling the installation service so we can continue of getting Free TV  (woohoo). :-)


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