Got AT&T Digital Cable? I need some help...

in General Discussion edited January 2014
...aside from their attrocious online "help" and lack of support numbers and such, I can't get a straight answer to this question:

When you have Digital Cable, and the set top box is setup properly, does it make a difference how long the coaxial cable is? That is, if there's 10 feet of cable between the wall and the box on one TV and 30 feet on another, will the latter experience more problems with the picture quality?

I have one TV that almost always shows this annoying dither/banding effect whenevr there is a dark image on the screen (film shot at night, underwater, whatever). Daylight or otherwise brightly lit scenes appear fine. Anything that is dark or in the shadows looks like crap. Really blocky to the point where you can see bands of color like on a badly optmized JPEG.


The other issue is the standard of co-ax. The guy at Home Depot seems to think there is no difference between the generic stuff ontheir spools and the stuff AT&T uses (which definitely has more sheathing, and which has a thicker looking cable prong too). Are there different technical designations for the cable AT&T uses (RJ-something or other vs. RJ-this that and the other)'?


[ 11-25-2001: Message edited by: Moogs ? ]</p>


  • Reply 1 of 5
    I have Adelphia digital cable, and get some of the similar stuff you are talking about with the dark images. I don't get the bands of color, but it does look blocky. The best way I can describe it is that it sort of looks like QuickTime streaming video when it is first loading.

    It sounds like you have a much more severe case of this, though. The blocks I see are not bad enough to make me think something is wrong.

    Is there a telephone number you can call? Adelphia has been very helpful on their telephone support...maybe AT&T would be too.

    Good luck!
  • Reply 2 of 5
    moogsmoogs Posts: 4,296member
    Unfortunately, AT&T isn't great as far as service options go. For all but the simplest stuff, they often suggest sending someone out, which of course costs $50 or some ridiculous amount.

    The problem I have is definitely not a perceptual one on my part. A QT dither is a good description too, but in my case, it's enough to distort the picture to the point where you can't really see what's happening. All you can see is bands of color morphing around....

    I'm hope it's just the cable (since I can get them to give me another for free) but if not, may be time to switch to a dish. At least with a dish you can order pretty much whatever you like and not have certain channels be dependant upon geographic location, etc.
  • Reply 3 of 5
    moogsmoogs Posts: 4,296member
    Update: seems the cable type and length *can* have an effect on your picture quality, especially if you have mutlitple TVs hooked up to your system. I replace my generic cable with one that was about half as long and which uses the higher grade AT&T cable (the copper is actually a bit thicker it seems, and the sheathing is definitely of a higher quality than hardware-bought stuff.

    Seems the color banding within dark scene areas is gone for the moment....
  • Reply 4 of 5
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    Yes, the longer the cable, the more interference you'll get. Your cable should only be as long as necessary, so buy a crimp tool and good RG6 connectors and roll your spaghetti wire behind your TV.

    Make sure your cable has no kinks in it. The stuff they have at Radio Shack isnt very good either.

    If you have multiple TVs hooked up, you have a splitter somewhere, and splitters will up the dB interference on the other end.
  • Reply 5 of 5
    moogsmoogs Posts: 4,296member
    Yep, splitter in the attic...considered having them come out to place one of their little "amplifier" thingys on the line (that worked for my parents - they had four tv's hooked up or some ridiculous number)...but I didn't want to pay AT&T $50+ for the priviledge. Seems the shorter / better cable is working so far....

    If the dithering returns I will take your advice and shorten the existing wire, as there's probably an exrta 10' I don't need (but might find useful later on if we move the TV again).
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