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reply to rockotman

Re: SNR on digital cable.

I said no offense because I am not including you in the generalization, since I have never been at your house. I can say with confidence that any experienced tech has a story about some customer professing to know more than the tech because they were an electrician, an EE, or used to work in the cable industry 20+ years ago.

My fav story that comes to mind is when I rolled to a house a few years ago with tiling digitals and choppy internet where the customer was hesitant to let me in the house because he was an EE, he installed it himself, and claimed that the problem had to be outside because his neighbor had the same service problems. So I go to the ground block and check for common problems, not finding anything. I politely asked him to let me verify that everything is OK in the home. He reluctantly lets me in and let me know in no uncertain terms that I was "wasting my time and his".

So, I look at the picture and confirm that the pictures are indeed tiling badly. I take readings at the set to find low SNR and error rates out the wazoo. Look behind the set and find a silver Radio Shack "hybrid" cable splitter that he was using for PIP along with some screw on connectors with the braid hanging out of them. Replace the splitter and jumpers and *poof* tiling is gone.

So, I ask to look at his internet problem. Signal is bad at the modem. Go to the basement and find the same type of splitter fed AFTER a four way splitter that he added so he could add an extra set in the basement. Replace and reconfigure with new connectors, and again, *poof* internet is cruisin.

As I have him sign the paperwork, I ask him if he happened to "help" his neighbor self-install their service as well. With the answer of "yes" I reach into my truck, give him two good 2way splitters and say "Tell him to call us if he continues to have problems."

I have many more similar to that story, but I wouldn't bore anyone with them. I think I make my point.

That said, I have also had many run ins with techs that don't know any more than my mother-in-law or they do and are too lazy to apply it. They typically do not last very long.

...Blown On The Steel Breeze
Emerging Research
I agree that there are many good techs, too. I had a problem with signal integrity when they expanded the digital package to include MusicChoice. I started having tiling problems at that time, too. Tech came out and determined that the problem was the run from the garage to the TV that was some old RG-59 (I think it was) that the previous owner had installed back in the early 80's. He told me that I needed to be using RG-6, but said he couldn't do the install since it was not originally run by Comcast (or the predecessor TCI). But then he went out to the truck and gave me about 100ft. of RG-6, and told me what type of stripper, crimper, and connectors to get at Home Depot. Problem solved thanks to knowlegable and heplful tech.
"I was the bad guy once again. I laughed at their sorrows. Ha ha ha ha ha."