Coax Cable

Posted on Posted in Home Improvement

Until my recent installation of FiOS, I didn’t really care much about coaxial cable.  However, having now discovered how much importance it plays in the high speed traffic and bandwith of both my Tv and internet, I have done a bit of research.

To explain: the fiber line runs from the curb to the box on the outside of my house (known as the Optical Network Terminal unit or ONT).  From the ONT, a digital coax runs into my house and then splits, distributing to each room, offering either a signal which I can use for TV (with a digital set top box) or the Internet (with the help of the fios modem).

In a nutshell, my wiring sucks.  Alot of it was do it yourself or shoddy.  So, I began my research into the world of coaxial cable.

What I’ve learned: coax cable runs in 2 speed flavors: 0-1 Gigahertz, and 1+ Gigahertz.  After talking with the FiOS installation technician, I learned that for FiOS, the digital tv signal (even the HD signals) all run just below the 1 GHz range.  The internet however, runs around 1-2 GHz, so high quality cable with low signal loss is crucial.

For this situation, you want to go with RG6 coax cable, triple or quad-shielded.  Blue Jeans cable has a excellent summary on cable shielding:

http://www.bluejeanscable.com/articles/shielding.htm

Myself, I have found that Belden cable 7915A looks to be the best value/performance out there. It is triple shielded, but has better shield qualities than quad. It also has a solid copper core, which is better than a copper coated steel core.

And FYI, use the weatherproof compression connectors – they shield and work the best (will require a compression tool to put them on).

Broadband utopia has a good price for all the cable/equipment you might need:

http://www.broadbandutopia.com/belden7915a.html

Update:

I did finally order the 7915A, but I got it from Tri-State Electronic:

https://www.tselectronic.com/belden/7915a.html

Apparently the tri-shield cable can use regular connectors, so I also got a 50 pack of the RG6 Thomas and Betts Snap-n-Seal connectors.

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