Many homes do not need a cable amplifier in order to receive a strong cable signal. However, some homes do need a little extra assistance in order to experience the best possible cable quality. This is where an amplifier can be of service.
Generally speaking, cable providers transmit to each home a signal strong enough to be split between two or three televisions effectively. This splitting means that one signal is provided to each home at a frequency appropriate for viewing on one television screen. However, many homes today feature multiple televisions. When this is the case and only one signal is provided, that single signal must be split into several directions to feed into the additional televisions. By splitting one signal into multiple locations, the signal is weakened in each direction.
Weakened signals can cause grainy picture quality and even a loss of signal altogether. When these conditions become bothersome and they encumber the viewing of a television, it is time for a homeowner to consider a cable amplifier.
Amplifiers are used to boost the signal that comes over the cable from the cable provider. There are a variety of amplifiers available for purchase, each with specific uses and capabilities.
Sometimes referred to as “cheapie” amplifiers, these are the types that are generally available at department stores and local building companies. While these types of amplifiers are the most economically friendly, the problem is that they actually do very little amplifying. This inexpensive option is usually constructed using cheap materials and inexpensive parts that are not necessarily intended to be used to produce amplifiers.
The result of the shortcuts in the construction is that these types of amplifiers do not really improve the picture quality of televisions unless the screens are very small and are already receiving a pretty decent connection. That means that one of these inexpensive amplifiers is best used for a television that needs very little boost in quality.
Constructed of much higher-quality materials and parts, these amplifiers are not readily available at local electronics stores. They can be found in shops that sell televisions or through special online orders, but the quality of these amplifiers in comparison to the inexpensive versions make the difficulty of locating the cable amplifier worth it.
As the name implies, a bi-directional amplifier works in two directions. Not only does it amplify the television signal for personal viewership, it also assists the cable box in sending a signal back to the cable provider. The signal going back to the cable company, however, is not amplified. Because of these capabilities, a bi-directional amplifier works well for both standard and digital cable services. In addition, cable modems connected to interactive services, such as Netflix or Hulu, are also amplified using this type of device.
This type of cable amplifier will not boost the picture quality of a cable television. Instead, this type amplifies only the signal that returns to the cable provider and not the one running to the television. A reverse amplifier is most frequently used when the signal that returns to the cable company is the one that needs amplification in order to increase the reliability of information being sent to the provider.
This issue is one that does not affect the majority of cable subscribers. However, customers who suffer from a long cable run to their homes will notice a decrease in signal from their cable modems to their cable providers. Although a reverse amplifier cannot make the modem run any faster, it can increase the consistency and reliability. This improvement can make the service seem faster, but it is not affecting the speed in any way.
Purchasing and Installing a Cable Amplifier
Amplifiers should be purchased from a high-quality, trusted merchant that frequently deals with these types of devices. Although it can be tempting to buy a discounted or used amplifier, any customer who is serious about improving the quality of his cable television service should research and purchase a quality device. Most reliable amplifiers can be purchased from reputable online companies or television specialty stores. In addition, special care should be paid to diagnosing the source of the poor television quality prior to making an amplification purchase. This time spent deciding the appropriate type of amplifier will pay off when the correct device is properly installed.
Following purchase, most amplifiers can be installed at home by the customer without any professional assistance. A quality device should be accompanied by the manufacturer’s instructions for installation and implementation. When cable television systems are installed in homes, many times there are frequency splitters that are located in out-of-the-way garages or attics. These are places to check when installing an amplifier.
Additionally, many amplifiers can be placed in these garages and attics to keep them from becoming unnecessary household clutter. Using a television cable, the amplifier can typically be connected to the televisions and the necessary power supply. Once all wired connections are complete, any unused connection points should be covered with termination caps to prevent a loss of power or television signal. When all these parts are in place, the cable amplifier is ready to begin improving cable television signal.