Cable television is a huge improvement over the old analogue broadcast system but it is not completely immune to reception problems. When the signal is not strong enough, the picture fails to appear and all you are left with is a blank screen. This can happen when one signal is split between several televisions. Reception problems are even worse on analogue televisions, which suffer all sorts of defects such as ghosting and scrolling. The only way to fix these annoying problems is to boost the strength of the signal before it reaches the television. A CATV amplifier is a proved way of improving reception when the signal is too weak.
A common cause of reception problems in apartment buildings is the use of one signal for many televisions. The signal loses some of its strength each time it passes through a splitter. While a signal can be split a couple of times, doing it more than five times will lead to problems. A CATV amplifier is essential in apartment buildings that have just one cable or antenna. It boosts the strength of the signal so that all of the residents can watch television without any problems. A CATV amplifier is also required to counteract the signal loss caused by resistance in a long cable, but that only matters in special cases where the cable is more than a mile long. The cable used in an average residence is not nearly long enough for this problem to occur.
The best solution to both of these reception problems is to install a CATV amplifier. It costs less than fifty dollars and takes very little time to install. The waterproof housing is practically indestructible and allows the CATV amplifier to be installed in the roof or under the floor. However, an active amplifier such as this requires electrical power to operate, so there needs to be mains power socket nearby for the plug or power adapter. Using a CATV amplifier adds a small amount to your electricity bill but it should not amount to more than twenty dollars each year. Best of all, it takes up very little space and makes no noise at all.
The first thing to look for on a CATV amplifier is the number of output ports. There should be one output port for each television connected to the antenna or cable. To avoid compatibility problems, the ports should be the standard connector that is commonly used for television cabling. The frequency range, or bandwidth as some people prefer to call it, must include all of the frequencies used by the television channels. Consumers need not worry about this feature too much because practically every model has a wide frequency range. The amplifier gain is also important as well as the range over which it can be adjusted. A surge protector helps prevent damage from lightning strikes to both the amplifier and the televisions connected to it.
A CATV amplifier is a simple device that only takes a few minutes to install, provided that no cables need to be cut and fitted with plugs. The first task is to choose a spot where it will be installed. Since it requires electrical power to operate, the spot should be within reach of a mains power socket. Some models can be plugged straight into a socket but other models use a power adapter. The input port is connected to either an antenna, converter box, or signal splitter. The output ports are connected to each of the televisions that use the signal. Once it is up and running, you may need to adjust the gain to get a steady picture. After that, a CATV amplifier should provide many years of service without needing any further adjustment.