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Confused

@comcast.net

Passive Return Amp or Active Return?

6 tvs (boxes), 1 computer modem-4 computers, 3 splitters, 1 tv tiled,pixelation of all HD channels. South shore of Massachusretts location Comcast. Do I need a bi-directional amp? How powerful? What type of amp does comcast use? Do I amp my modem also? I AM CONFUSED !!



Warzau
Premium
join:2000-10-26
Naperville, IL
kudos:1

Quick search would have helped you, but line in>2 way splitter> one leg to mode, > other leg to amp which feeds rest of house. Yes you need bidirectional if you get cable boxes to talk back. Make sure you levels are good before amping it or all you'll be doing in amp noise.



MadMANN3
Premium
join:2005-08-19
kudos:2

1 recommendation

reply to Confused

You need an amp that PASSES the return band, but not one that amplifies it. As Warzau See Profile notes, you have a chance of throwing noise back into the cable system which can get you disconnected. You likely do not need your return band amplified if you wire as Warzau See Profile recommends. If you did, there is likely an issue that a tech needs to address.



Confused

@comcast.net
reply to Confused

I have no idea what the 1st reply is saying. I am not familiar with the ">" marks etc. I also believe that he says to use a NON passive amp on the return. The last respondent states to use a passive return. I do thank you for the replies. Do I amp the internet? Any other opinions greatly appreciated.



Confused

@comcast.net
reply to Confused

Why not an eight way splitter and do away with the splitters installed by Comcast? It does not make sense to amp the signal and then send it to two splitters when a direct line is possible without splitting. I may be wrong; I put humans back together not cable components.



MadMANN3
Premium
join:2005-08-19
kudos:2

1 recommendation

said by Confused :

Why not an eight way splitter and do away with the splitters installed by Comcast? It does not make sense to amp the signal and then send it to two splitters when a direct line is possible without splitting. I may be wrong; I put humans back together not cable components.
It is obvious that you are admittedly not very inclined on this sort of thing, so let me just say this as a professional:

Do NOT amp your cable modem. If you need an amp for your TVs, then use it AFTER the modem split. Do NOT connect your modem to an eight way splitter. There are two signals the modem uses: downstream (incoming signal) and upstream (outgoing signal). Putting your modem on an eight way splitter could push your upstream signals out of working specs, which will cause problems with your internet service.

These little symbols here are just being used as arrows >. In plain English, connect your main incoming line from the cable company to a 2way. One line directly feeds your modem with no other splits in between. The other line will feed whatever size splitter you want it to feed for your Tvs. If any of your TVs uses a digital converter with OnDemand, the you need a bi-directional amplifier that only PASSES the return path. There are amplifiers that boost the signal on the return path, but you do NOT want to use them.

The above is optimal and since you do not understand why, it is better just to listen to the pros on the board. There are other resources on the internet that can explain the "why"s in detail if you have the time.

In fact, you may be better suited to just have your cable company send one of their techs out to do it. After all, I am not a surgeon, therefore I am not cutting myself open with a scalpel so I don't cause problems for myself down the road.


Warzau
Premium
join:2000-10-26
Naperville, IL
kudos:1
reply to Confused

Sorry > just means direction.



Confused

@comcast.net
reply to MadMANN3

I have it. All boxes are on demand. How about a suggestion for an amp. How many DB? The only problem I am having is with HD blocking , tiling, pix-elation. Forget the techs. you think I know nothing? They are worse.

Thanks for the help !!



MadMANN3
Premium
join:2005-08-19
kudos:2

said by Confused :

Forget the techs. you think I know nothing? They are worse.

Thanks for the help !!
If you say so. . .Just keep in mind you are getting advice from a tech, so if you don't trust techs, then you may just want to do whatever you think is right. If you have any problems later, just remember you didn't want a professional so the problem falls on you.

My suggestion for an amp is something like:

»www.dropamp.com/shop/product_inf···ts_id=28

Again, though, for the money you are spending and the time you are putting into it, you could pay for a service call and save yourself some time and money. Plus, if there is a problem, it falls on the company.


markofmayhem
Why not now?
Premium
join:2004-04-08
Pittsburgh, PA
kudos:5

Please listen to MadMANN before you waste money. If you do not have signal issues, an amp will likely worsen your situation. After all, your signal issues CAN be caused from a signal that is too strong, amplifying it will make it worse, possibly eliminating the ability to tune any signal. While it is possible, blocking is usually not caused by weak signal: video and audio drop outs, pauses, and errors are. Huge white squares on the screen are transmission errors. Blocking is almost always caused by compression errors, something not within your control to fix.



Confused

@comcast.net
reply to MadMANN3

There are a few tech that know what they are talking about.....but I have not found any in my area. Their goal is to get any problem fixed "for the moment" and leave as fast as they can.

My problem is only one TV and only on the HD channels. Audio drops, picture hangs, pix-elation all pointing to a low signal. I would think that a pristine set-up would have NO splitters. I currently have "3". Street to a two way splitter>1/2 to one bedroom where there is another splitter for TV and router. The other half of 1st splitter goes into a six way box for the other TVs. This would not be the way I would have set it up if I were the tech. How would you like me to implant a series of splitters in your chest...because it is the fastest way to get you out of the operating room. I wish my Comcast to be as clean and neat as the stitching you request when I close your wound. Thus my 8 way suggestion. All your comments are truly appreciated and considered. THANKS



MadMANN3
Premium
join:2005-08-19
kudos:2

said by Confused :

There are a few tech that know what they are talking about.....but I have not found any in my area. Their goal is to get any problem fixed "for the moment" and leave as fast as they can.

My problem is only one TV and only on the HD channels. Audio drops, picture hangs, pix-elation all pointing to a low signal. I would think that a pristine set-up would have NO splitters. I currently have "3". Street to a two way splitter>1/2 to one bedroom where there is another splitter for TV and router. The other half of 1st splitter goes into a six way box for the other TVs. This would not be the way I would have set it up if I were the tech. How would you like me to implant a series of splitters in your chest...because it is the fastest way to get you out of the operating room. I wish my Comcast to be as clean and neat as the stitching you request when I close your wound. Thus my 8 way suggestion. All your comments are truly appreciated and considered. THANKS
First of all, you can't do a multi cable outlet install with NO splitters. From your descrition, your set up is fine and very typical. The only thing that really can be done differently is to run a seperate line to the room with your modem and run the modem off of the first 2way and putting the TV line in the same room as your modem with the rest of the TVs in your home on an 8way splitter.

Again, your modem runs off of incoming and outgoing signals. Connecting everything to an 8 way could jeopardize the outgoing signal.

The tech didn't install it this way because he wanted to get out of there quicker. He did it because you would have had problems with your modem if he did it any other way. That said, you have a lot of TV outlets and it sounds like you need a signal boost to make up for the loss of that high value splitter. My suggestion would be to leave the half of the first 2way that feeds your modem and one TV alone. The other half can be connected to the amplifier and feed the 6way spitter. This will make up for the 13db of signal being lost through splitters, which, BTW, are NECESSARY if you want those remaining 6 outlets connected.

The only way to install everything you have without splitters is to hang eight lines from the pole to your house, which would end up with one complete cable drop for each TV outlet. That WILL NOT happen. Your system is likely set up for one line per house and they will not change their system design to accomodate 8 house drops.

You make analogies between cable and surgery, but we should really discuss reality: They are nowhere NEAR the same and the same priciples do not even apply. Granted, the technicians should have work ethic and do what they need to do so that you do not have issues. But nobody is dying if your HD box tiles and you are not doing 6-9 surgeries a day. In your case, all you seem to be missing is the amplifier that someone probably should have suggested to you in the beginning. I do not suspect the signal is low coming to your house. You simply have a lot of outlets connected, which requires splitters, which makes your signal lower from the inside.

I hope this helps you, but I still say you should let a tech look at it and possibly install the amplifier if needed. I am not sure if the techs in your area are lacking or if you are expecting things that can't be done or expecting them because you do not know how a HFC cable system works. I suspect the latter, but don't take that as an insult. I wouldn't know how to cut someone open, fix them, and have them wake up alive.


Confused

@comcast.net

Sorry for the late reply; I have been out of the country. I thank you for your response and will get to my amp ASAP. I am thinking of adding two more boxes. Here we go again.


jwhite4

join:2002-03-21
Philadelphia, PA
reply to Confused

Based on a post I originally saw on dslreports, I bought this 8 channel amp about a year ago. Haven't had any problems with it. The great thing with it is you can just plug everything into it, you don't need to do an initial 2-way split, making sure the cable modem if off that, then cascade other splitters off the other tap.

»www.mjsales.net/items.asp?Family···at2ID=35

You might be able to get it for a little cheaper on ebay.

Jeff



Confused

@comcast.net

So how do the techs respond to the last entry? This appears to back up my original premise.



gar187er
I do this for a living

join:2006-06-24
Dover, DE
kudos:4
reply to Confused

i still wouldnt amp a modem off it....there shouldnt be a need to amp a modem....


jwhite4

join:2002-03-21
Philadelphia, PA

said by gar187er:

....there shouldnt be a need to amp a modem....
I agree, in that I wasn't necessarily looking to boost the signal to/from the cable modem. Rather, I looked at this amp as a way to offset the losses inherent when splitting a signal ~8 ways. I previously had a 4 way passive splitter, with the cable modem and 2 shorter runs off it. The 4th run went to an older cable amplifier. It worked for a few years, but then maybe the incoming signal dropped enough that it started to cause problems inside (pixelation, on-demand sluggishness, cable modem dropping the signal) that I went with this amp.

It's specs list it as 3db gain forward, 0db reverse, so it's pretty close to neutral. I certainly think it's a better solution that running 8 outputs off passive splitters, what's that, 11db loss?

Jeff


keepnoiseoutpse

@mc.videotron.ca
reply to Confused

These new amplifiers amplify the downstream signal but also the upstream signal (cable modem and set-up box return signals from your house to the cable co head-end). A lot of cable co don't install these amplifiers cause they can amplify all kind of noises that are coming from the subscriber's home.

Most cable modems and telephony issues, like slow Internet speeds, high letancy, digitalized sounded voice or voice cut on cable phone service, or even lost of service are cause by noise on the upstream patch from the subscriber to the cable co.

Most of this noise is picked-up by bad cable installations at the subscriber's home (home made installations without using quality cable wire, splitters, bad or not installed or thighted properly connectors or even noise coming from very old or bad tv-set or vcr connected to cable!) and by bad cable drops.

A cable network is a shared network. The return signals but also all the noises that are coming from every houses are amplified by the cable co distribution signal amplifiers until they get the optical node serving the neighborhood.

All these bad home made installations affect the service quality of all the subscribers. These amplifiers are very good in a world where all the cable installations are done by professional technicians from the neighborhood's cable company, but this isn't the real world.

If you have too much 2-way devices like digital set-up box and there is need of a better return patch signal, some cable co will prefer to install a second cable drop from the pole to your house instead of installing this kind of amplifier but it's all depending of your particular installation, the signal levels, the cable system's planning, and the cable co's politics.



MadMANN3
Premium
join:2005-08-19
kudos:2
reply to Confused

said by Confused :

So how do the techs respond to the last entry? This appears to back up my original premise.
I will answer that with more questions:

How many times do your patients get medical advice from other patients? How successful are those patients in receiving the proper medicine? Are there any of your patients who have performed surgery on themselves based on the advice of another patient who had the same surgery and think they know what is best based on their individual experience? If so, how did they make out? Are they still alive?

You have already received the best tech advice that you are going to get on this board. What happens now is your call.


Confused

@comcast.net

2 edits
reply to Confused

No need for hostility. The best method of discovery is the Socratic method. I am simply acting as a conduit for further investigation. The patient must make his or her own decisions on all matters. It is best that the patient have as much information as possible prior to making a decision. I never stated who was correct or incorrect with their solutions. More later....just got paged.


Code3

join:2008-11-20
San Francisco, CA
reply to Confused

As another field tech who deals with the service calls that result from incorrect amp installs, you would do well to follow Mad's suggestion.



MadMANN3
Premium
join:2005-08-19
kudos:2

1 edit
reply to Confused

said by Confused :

No need for hostility. The best method of discovery is the Socratic method. I am simply acting as a conduit for further investigation. The patient must make his or her own decisions on all matters. It is best that the patient have as much information as possible prior to making a decision. I never stated who was correct or incorrect with their solutions. More later....just got paged.
No hostility intended. You pretty much summed it up. Good luck with the Socratic method applying to your home entertainment needs.


toconfused

@rr.com

2 edits
reply to Confused

based on your postings you should not even attempt to do any amplifications or whatever to your setup. you could cause noise to feed back into system which affects everybody on your node.