Improving Digital Cable reception?


Alex C
I hope this is the best forum to post this...

I have a Samsung HDTV and am subscribed to digital cable. The cable reception on the pay movie channels (HBO, Cinemax, etc.) is perfectly good, but all others are fairly poor.

What all can I do to improve this? I know the TV isn't the problem!

i wish i knew...The HD channels are great, and as you say, other "pay" channels are not quite as good, but ok..the rest SU%K

That's digital cable's dirty little secret.

Switch to DirecTV. Even local channels are crystal clear.


DirecTV does the exact same thing. It is well known that there is a lot of compression, but the channels you pay more for will come in better. Ask anyone with a big dish and they will tell you how much better their picture quality is.

I never disputed DirecTVs use of compression, but everyone I know with digital cable has at least some channels that actually contain SNOW. How is that possible in a digital system? GI-GO. So far DirecTVs picture quality is more consistent than cable.

I must admit that DirecTVs implementation of HD has way too many compression atifacts. I have an RCA DTC-100 and after looking at DirecTVs version compared to local HD, I decided direcTV's version was not worth the money.

A large dish system where compression isn't used is another option

Alex C
I have a Samsung HDTV and there is nothing I'd like to do more than get the Samsung/Direct TV HDTV Box and stick it on top of my TV, but the dozen 250 Ft. tall oak trees in my backward tell me that they won't let a satellite reception in! :(


I know you didn't deny anything, I just wanted to make sure everyone was informed.


Who needs HDTV when you have talking trees?

Alex C
The talking trees are very scary - like the ones that throw apples in The Wizard of Oz! :)

Alex, you MAY be able to see through those trees. I had a similar problem when I lived in Chicago. My dish looked right through some oak trees. My signal strength meter never went above 70 and when it would rain the picture would block or go out and the sound would chirp. I replaced it with a 24 inch disk from Hot Shot (or perfect circle, I don't remember) and a Grundig duel feed block converter. They sell dishes up to a whopping 36 inches. My signal strength jumped to the low 90s and my picture never went out even with heavy rains - problem solved. I bought my dish from www, but they don't seem to be selling them anymore. See, and

What you need is a site survey. Have an installer do a survey for a small charge.

I have cable, but it only comes in clear on one TV.I have even tried to split the cable at the main entrance and ran a new cable to the other TV (NEW SONY WEGA)and still I get snow. Is there any amplifiers I can add to the line? or a good quality cable divider.

The snow is usually caused by a week signal. Radio Shack and sell tones of RF amps that should improve things but first, call the cable company. They split the signal many times before it gets to your house. If you are lucky, they will give you a nice clean line closer to the headend.

Hope this helps.
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