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THIS MESSAGE before reading the information below or it may not make sense.
Some people have cable modems, but no video service.
For those of you in this situation, I wanted to point out something. Did you know that you are probably paying an extra $10 a month just because you aren't subscribing to video services? Did you know that most cable companies also have "limited" or "basic" cable for around $10 a month? Think about it. ;)
If you want to determine if your cable modem problem is an internal wiring issue or an outside problem, and you do not have video service, I hope you have a laptop or can rig something.
Instead of taking a small TV out to, why not just take your cable modem? If you have a laptop (or a really long network cable), you can hook up your cable modem at the ground block and get signal levels there using DOCDIAG, or, if your cable company doesn't mind giving you your signal levels, you can just call them and get the numbers.
If your cable modem problem or signal issue goes away at the ground block, then you know that you have an internal wiring problem.
When was this written? because (responding to the sentence in italic) in Los Angeles, the cheapest "limited" or "basic" bable TV is at least $52.99, and according to the ala carte pricing sheet, just Broadcast by itself is $20! (why someone would pay for broadcast when you can get it free over the air is beyond me) If cable was $10 a month, or even $20, I would get it immediately.
Or you can just ping "localhost" and then a random ip and see if it can get out of your own network. saves fucking around with cables :P