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 What causes a snowy or grainy picture?


Anything that comes between your cable entry point and the TV will cause the signal to deteriorate, and that's what leads to a snowy, grainy picture.
This is referred to as ‘insertion loss'.

Splitters are the single biggest source of loss (see chart below), but all cable runs, unnecessary connectors, cable wall jacks, VCRs, cable and digital set-top boxes - anything between the cable entry point and the TV - will degrade the signal. 

 

The exception is, of course, the DROPAmp™ products that actually amplify the signal to help overcome the losses caused by the other devices noted above.


How much insertion loss do I get from a typical splitter?

Splitter Loss

Number of Ports

Typical Loss Per Port

2

-3.5  dB per port

3

-5.0 dB per port

4

-7.5 dB per port

6

-9.0 dB per port

8

-10.5 dB per port

  

Where is the cable entry point to my home?

 

Usually it is located near your electrical panel, and /or near your telephone entry point.

  This location is frequently referred to as the ‘demarcation point or line'.

 The entry point usually has a single wire coming from the exterior of the home, often called the ‘Cable Drop' - hence the name ‘DROPAmp™'. Inside, there are likely one or more splitters that allow multiple units to be connected to the cable.

 

What is a ‘Cable Run'?

  The ‘run' describes the wire that goes from the cable entry point to the cable wall jack in a room in your home.

 Generally, a run that is greater than 100 feet is referred to as a ‘long run' and can be a cause of signal deterioration.

 Please note that any cable run will cause deterioration. It just becomes more noticeable on a longer run.

  

What is ‘Active Return'?

If you notice a persistent problem with your Internet cable service dropping out, it may be related to return path loss.

 

Your cable modem generates a signal that it sends back through the network, but it may not be strong enough due to similar issues that cause TV signal deterioration.  

 

The ‘Active Return' feature - available only on the FT08100 model - actually amplifies the signal going back to the cable network to compensate for the loss of the 8-way splitter. This can dramatically reduce or eliminate the occurrence of drop-outs and ensure the reliable 2-way operation of your Internet & digital services - all the while improving the TV picture to all the TVs in your home.



How do I know that I am getting a quality signal from the cable provider?

 

A simple test at the cable input can tell you if the service to your home is adequate.

 

Connect one of your TVs directly to the cable at the cable entry point inside your home, before any splitters or other connections.

 

 This is the very strongest signal as there is no degradation from inserted devices, and you will see the very best TV picture possible in your home.

 

If the TV picture is not acceptable at that point, you should call your cable provider and arrange a service call.

 

If the picture is crisp and clear, and much better than what you normally see on your TV, then your wiring configuration is the source of degradation. This problem can be addressed with an Electroline DROPAmp™. 

 

What are the ‘Forward Path' and ‘Reverse Path'?


These refer to the direction of signals on the cable network.

 

Forward refers to the incoming path from the cable transmission station, through to your neighbourhood, into your home and to the TV set. The transmission frequency range is typically 54-1000 MHz.

  Reverse is basically the opposite: signals are sent from your cable modem or a digital TV set-top box back to the cable provider. The ‘reverse path' supports these interactive services where it's necessary to send information back to a computer or Internet server. The transmission frequency range is typically 5-42 MHz.

 Will a DROPAmp amplify my Satellite signal?

 No. The satellite system works on a different transmission band (1000 - 2000 MHz), so the device is not compatible.


Are the Electroline DROPAmps compatible with  VHF/UHF and the newer HD antenna systems?

 

No. The frequencies for these systems are within the  54-1000 MHz band, so the signal will pass through and be amplified by the unit. However - the Electroline amplifiers are specifically designed for a cable TV signal - which generally arrives at the home at the same level across the spectrum.  

In comparison - Antenna signals will have a high degree of variation - as the transmission points and original signal strength will be very different for each channel. Channels in close proximity to your home will have a very strong signal, channels far away will have a weak signal. As a result - our amplifier will can over-amplify an already strong signal. This will not improve the viewing experience. You are better off seeking an amplifier that is specifically built for an antenna application.

 

 

What is Noise? What is a ‘Noise Figure'?

 

 

Any electrical device creates its own noise, which is an inherent characteristic of all amplifiers. In televisions, excessive noise may cause snow on the video. Noise figure is a measurement of the amount of noise being generated by the device.

Electroline DROPAmps have an industry-leading low noise figure of 3 dB, which essentially means there is no noticeable impact on the cable signal.

 


What is Flatness?

Flatness refers to the ability of a device to minimize the distortion of a signal across the signal range (for example 54-1000 MHz). Low flatness results in a stable signal quality across all channels.
At typically better than +/- 1dB, Electroline DROPAmps are noted for having an exceptionally good flatness rating.

 

 

What is 'Surge Protection'?

Electrical storms and surges through the power lines can cause damage to electrical devices in a home.

 

 

The Electroline DROPAmp can protect your cable infrastructure up to 6000 volts - and will continue to operate after a hit. This is a very high level of protection.

 

My reception on some channels is worse than others. Why?

 

This phenomenon arises more from the nature of cable TV transmission, and the evolution of TV itself, than your cabling.

Generally, you get the best reception on the original VHF channels (2-13).

Next are the UHF channels (14-69), which are at a higher frequency so it is harder to get good reception. This is particularly noticeable when longer cable runs are present which weaken the signal.

The channel bands where you may find noticeable differences are:

Mid band 14-22

Super band 23-36

Hyper band 37-94 & 100-125

Mid-low band: 95-99

The higher the channel band, the worse it can get!


I've got the snow, but I also have shadows (double images) and ghosting (a different channel showing in the background). What causes that?

These
types of problems can be partially addressed by the use of a DROPAmpTM product, but they are more likely to be related to other common installation problems:

 

Bent cable:

Coaxial cable is flexible, but you should never have a sharp bend or kink in a cable. A kink anywhere in the run causes a mini reflection to occur, creating a second signal. This is the cause of the echo or ghosting effect and shadow.

Check all the coaxial cable leading to the TVs. Replace any sections where there is a kink.

 

Connectors:

Ghosting can occur as a result of problems with the metal connectors at the end of the cable.

If these connectors are improperly installed, or of poor quality, they can cause impairments to the signal.

Consider getting a qualified technician to check your connectors, or use pre-made cable lengths, which you can buy from us!!

 

 

Why have I never heard of this product before?

This is a somewhat unknown product,but it is sometimes refered to as a cable booster, CATV amplifier, or a signal booster.

What is CATV?

This abbreviation has two interpretations. The first is Community Antenna TeleVision, and generally refers to the origination of cable TV - when the cable network operators had large antenna's that received the broadcast signal, which they would in turn re-distribute to the subscriber.
A more recent usage is Community Access TeleVision - which refers to the content that is typically available from the local cable operator on their in-house station.

What do RG59 and RG6 refer to?

These terms refer to two types of coaxial cable that are commonly used in residential settings. RG6 is a heavier, thicker wire, and is generally considered to be a superior option to RG59.

What does 'RF' refer to?

RF stands for Radio Frequency. In the early days of television broadcasting, and later when cable TV was developed, the abbreviation became synonymous with signals that were transmitted via coaxial cable, and through coaxial compatible devices, such as a DROPAmpTM.

 














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