How To Connect Your Roof Antenna to your Cable TV Wires and Keep Internet

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    A lot of people are Cutting The Cord and moving away from Cable and Dish Television subscriptions and installing their own antenna however doing this can be complicated if you also get your internet service from your Cable Company.

    The first thing you should understand is unless you are special and you’re probably not.. the wires in your home are yours to do with as you want. If something goes wrong with your internal wiring the cable company isn’t going to come out and fix it for free because its your equipment. They will charge you either a flat fee to put in a new line or they will charge you by the hour if they are working on the wires in your walls.

    If you had the cable company install your lines in the past 15 years and your area was built out for Cable Modem Service then the install of the line to your Cable Modem should be what is called a Home Run line. A home run line is when one wire comes from the cable companies box outside or inside your house and runs directly to the cable modem. This provides the best signal for the modem which is more finicky than a set top box thats only used for TV reception.

    If you are even luckier and you had your house wired after the point where your cable provider turned digital and started offering on demand movies and programming you might actually have home run lines to each of your TV outlets. This is optimal for signal whether you are getting it from cable, Dish or your antenna.

    If you live in an older home that had cable installed 20-30 years ago then the installers may have been the home owner or the cable company. Often back then the cable company would come out and wire one outlet in the house and you were happy to have cable on your living room TV. After a while though people would want to branch off lines to other rooms in the house and they would chop into the main wire in the house and install splitters. This worked fine for Analog Cable TV because it was very forgiving on signal. Additionally you could go to any radioshack and buy your own generic cable box and hook your additional TVs to it with no additional cost per month. Also back then people were using garbage Coax Cable to wire their homes RG59 instead of the now accepted RG6 which is often triple shielded and thicker.

    So this is the point most people are at. If they are very lucky they have RG6 Cable to every room. If they are less lucky they may have RG6 Coax to the Cable Modem and the rest of the house on RG6 that has been installed by the home owner but serves all the TVs with complex and random splitters in attics and basements… The worst situation is you have RG59 throught the house and a single RG6 to your cable modem. Older Coax just won’t cut it for cable modems.

     

    In this case the home owner has no idea but they want to keep their internet and attach a roof antenna to the wires that are already in the wall.

    If the cable modem is in a bedroom and the wire at the wall is split to provide TV and Cable Modem Service then they will need to run a new wire directly to the cable modem.

    You should not mix Antenna Signals over your Cable TV Lines for many reasons. The first is signal conflicts and that is bad enough to stop there but the other reason is that if your antenna gets hit by lightning and voltage is sent back through the line to the cable company’s equipment you could end up frying a $15,000 repeater/amplifier and you don’t even want to think about that because they will probably cancel your internet subscription even if you fork out the whole price.

    What you must do is separate the two services from each other completely.

    If you have an outside roof antenna and the cable companies box is on the outside of your home what you can do is purchase a plastic utility box that is similar to their box then put it near the cable box and transfer all the wires from the cable box to your box with the exception of the line in from the street and the cable modem line.

    You can then connect all the wires that connect to TV outlets to your antenna by using either a splitter or a distribution amplifier.

    Remember your house wires are your property so they are yours all the way to the cable company’s splitter. You can use them for your antenna.

    However I strongly suggest that your service box for your antenna look substantially different from either your cable company or telephone providers box and you should mark it plainly as saying HOME OWNER’S BOX DO NOT TOUCH or something of that sort.

    Even with that you have the high likelihood that a cable service person will ignore the notice and cut your wires. But at least if you do this and maybe take a picture you will have proof and you can charge the cable company for costs of repair.

    Final Note

    The process of keeping your Internet but using your internal wiring for your antenna isn’t very difficult. You can probably complete it in a afternoon if you plan and buy what you need before you begin.

    Always use high quality cable and splitters when installing your antenna and although you don’t need two way high frequency equipment for Antenna service like you might for a Gigabit Cable Internet connection you should still use quality products because they are readily available, don’t cost that much more than the garbage equipment and cable and they will actually improve your reception a great deal.

    Finally DO NOT USE THE CABLE COMPANY’S BOX OR SPLITTER FOR YOUR ANTENNA CONNECTION and don’t go on an auction site and buy one with your cable companies name on it .. yes people do that. but you can get one that are different looking but similar from a number of places. Look for : Outdoor Enclosure Utility Box… and you should find them for $10-15

    And when installing your outdoor antenna make sure you install a grounding block that the coax cable passes through and a heavy ground wire into the ground or where other ground wires are attaching for your electrical or cable service.

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