RG-6 vs RG-59 coax cables

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

All of the cabeling in our house was done with RG-59 coax cables, even
the rooftop attenna. We are starting the move to HD and have heard that
RG-6 is the cable of choice. Why is RG-6 better than RG-59 and are all
RG-6 cables the same. I've seen quite a price difference between
different makers of RG-6 labled cable. Also, do gold "F" connectors
really make a difference? A lot of the RG-6 cables I've seen appear to
not have gold connectors. Thanks.

--
Deja Moo: I've seen this bullshit before.

My address has been anti-spammed.
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11 answers Last reply
More about coax cables
  1. Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

    HDTV requires a higher bandwidth cable...

    My home was just rewired by Time Warner with new RG-6 shielded...
    (not quad shielded) all the way from HDTV to the telephone pole....

    Cable Signal strength went from a terrible -34db to +10db HDTV box
    input...

    My home RG-59 'extension' cable $ 2 gold splitters were disposed of!!

    A new 3 way non gold splitter was recommended/installed by Time
    Warner.

    A note on the 3 way splitter: +10db leg line goes to HD Cable box,
    +7db leg goes to Antenna in Pic and Pic, +7db leg line goes
    to the bedroom Analog TV. Cable line is split just inside the
    basement wall.

    Having a +10db HD Cable signal strength (by Time Warner Tech
    measurement) is 'Superb'!


    Otto Pylot wrote:
    >
    > All of the cabeling in our house was done with RG-59 coax cables, even
    > the rooftop attenna. We are starting the move to HD and have heard that
    > RG-6 is the cable of choice. Why is RG-6 better than RG-59 and are all
    > RG-6 cables the same. I've seen quite a price difference between
    > different makers of RG-6 labled cable. Also, do gold "F" connectors
    > really make a difference? A lot of the RG-6 cables I've seen appear to
    > not have gold connectors. Thanks.
    >
    > --
    > Deja Moo: I've seen this bullshit before.
    >
    > My address has been anti-spammed.
    > Please reply to: scasse@invalid.net replacing invalid with sonic.
  2. Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

    In article <250420042051398225%otto@bogus.address.invalid>,
    Otto Pylot <otto@bogus.address.invalid> writes:
    > All of the cabeling in our house was done with RG-59 coax cables, even
    > the rooftop attenna. We are starting the move to HD and have heard that
    > RG-6 is the cable of choice.
    >
    RG-6 does have less loss than RG-59. IMO, the most important
    issue is the distribution structure, not the specific kind
    of cable (assuming the cable is good and the runs aren't
    long.)

    >
    > Why is RG-6 better than RG-59 and are all
    > RG-6 cables the same.
    >
    Not all RG-6 equivalents are the same.

    >
    > I've seen quite a price difference between
    > different makers of RG-6 labled cable.
    >
    If RG-59 has worked well enough for you, then so be it. Higher
    quality/lower loss cable can be helpful, but unless the cable
    runs are very long (and unless the cable is in bad condition),
    then any good 75ohm cable will work. Usually, you should have a
    well considered distribution scheme in your house. Care in
    using distribution amplifiers, splitters and terminators will
    minimize reflections and provide perfect performance.

    When designing the distribution scheme, some care should be
    taken to provide reasonably good signal levels at each
    cable TV recepticle. Use real splitters, and recognize that
    a couple of splitters can cause enough loss that a distribution
    amplifier might be helpful. I suspect that for HDTV applications,
    where the source is from CATV, the signal will be more (not less)
    robust than NTSC. For OTA reception, reasonable care in designing
    the distribution setup will be adequate, probably realizing that
    it is very possible that the received signal levels at the
    antenna could be low enough that some signal boost (before the
    splitters) might be helpful.

    A commercial quality layout will likely be more carefully considered
    than a home brew setup, but the home built setup might work just
    as well.

    >
    > Also, do gold "F" connectors
    > really make a difference?
    >
    No. More important is the quality of the connector (for
    connectors in general.) Consumer grade gold plating tends to
    be inadequate and even superfluous. (For the serious uses,
    gold plating tends to be thick.) In cases where gold plating
    can be helpful, then the secondary issues
    of metal compatibility become important. Gold isn't a magic
    answer. Gold might look nicer or make the purchaser feel better,
    but I cannot argue with that :-).

    You'll loose much more signal power (per tap) by the proper use
    of a splitter than gold plating will EVER help (except when gold
    plating is used properly, in the situation where corrosion has
    become significant.) With gold and Aluminum (for example), there
    is a specific kind of corrosion that becomes counter productive
    (historically called the purple plague.) It is best to just good
    good cable and good connectors, and if your current cabling works
    well, then don't worry. If you are going to rewire your house
    anyway, then get good cable, and create a well designed distribution
    structure. (Perhaps even use patch panels, and also parallel
    wire a high speed ethernet.)

    John
  3. Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

    In article <408C9624.484CAA47@execpc.com>,
    Dennis Mayer <Polaris1@execpc.com> writes:
    >
    > HDTV requires a higher bandwidth cable...
    >
    > My home was just rewired by Time Warner with new RG-6 shielded...
    > (not quad shielded) all the way from HDTV to the telephone pole....
    >
    > Cable Signal strength went from a terrible -34db to +10db HDTV box
    > input...
    >
    If the only change was due to cable, and the cable length was only
    100-200ft or so, then there is a bigger change than just the cable. If
    the cable was the only change, then it was rotted out.

    >
    > A new 3 way non gold splitter was recommended/installed by Time
    > Warner.
    >
    Yes, gold thing is a way of extracting money from the consumer. My
    high end video equipment doesn't need 'gold' connectors :-).

    >
    > A note on the 3 way splitter: +10db leg line goes to HD Cable box,
    > +7db leg goes to Antenna in Pic and Pic, +7db leg line goes
    > to the bedroom Analog TV. Cable line is split just inside the
    > basement wall.
    >
    Sounds like something is providing gain (like a distribution amp),
    or the previous cable was screwed up. 44db of signal strength
    difference is extreme.

    I would have to refer to my old RF books, but it seems like a distribution
    network in a house shouldn't loose much more than about 10-15dB. (one
    or two splitters at 3.5dB each, and 5dB -- maybe a little more, perhaps
    10dB of cable loss.)

    If your network is large, then a distribution amp (with 10-15dB of gain,
    perhaps some tilt* compensation and fairly low noise -- for the individual
    weak signals) should be used. Even a small network can be helped
    by a well chosen distribution amp, but 44dB is TOO MUCH of a loss,
    so there was a failure somewhere. (* tilt compensation is an
    adjustment that helps to compensate for loss at the highest
    frequencies, and shouldn't be much of a problem for modest runs. Tilt
    isn't something that a consumer without equipment is likely to
    be able to competently adjust.)

    John
  4. Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

    If you buy bulk cable, RG-6 isn't much more expensive. It's too bad that
    electrical contractors cut corners like this.

    However, I wouldn't worry about it if your analog signal is OK you probably
    won't have problems with digital.

    --
    "Otto Pylot" <otto@bogus.address.invalid> wrote in message
    news:250420042051398225%otto@bogus.address.invalid...
    > All of the cabeling in our house was done with RG-59 coax cables, even
    > the rooftop attenna. We are starting the move to HD and have heard that
    > RG-6 is the cable of choice. Why is RG-6 better than RG-59 and are all
    > RG-6 cables the same. I've seen quite a price difference between
    > different makers of RG-6 labled cable. Also, do gold "F" connectors
    > really make a difference? A lot of the RG-6 cables I've seen appear to
    > not have gold connectors. Thanks.
    >
    > --
    > Deja Moo: I've seen this bullshit before.
    >
    > My address has been anti-spammed.
    > Please reply to: scasse@invalid.net replacing invalid with sonic.
  5. Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

    Dennis Mayer <Polaris1@execpc.com> wrote in news:408C9624.484CAA47
    @execpc.com:

    >
    > HDTV requires a higher bandwidth cable...

    Cables ALL have huge bandwidth. That is never really the issue. The
    issue is attenuation which increases with frequency. For satellite LNB
    runs, RG6 is crucial because the signals may reach frequencies as high as
    2150Mhz and cheap RG59 turns into a dummy load at that frequency! I once
    used 50 feet of cheap RG58 (the 52 ohm variant of RG59) for a 10db
    attenuator at 144mhz. Worked just fine!

    > My home was just rewired by Time Warner with new RG-6 shielded...
    > (not quad shielded) all the way from HDTV to the telephone pole....

    > Cable Signal strength went from a terrible -34db to +10db HDTV box
    > input...

    Sounds like the old cable may have been waterlogged. It happens.

    > My home RG-59 'extension' cable $ 2 gold splitters were disposed of!!

    > A new 3 way non gold splitter was recommended/installed by Time
    > Warner.
    >
    > A note on the 3 way splitter: +10db leg line goes to HD Cable box,
    > +7db leg goes to Antenna in Pic and Pic, +7db leg line goes
    > to the bedroom Analog TV. Cable line is split just inside the
    > basement wall.
    >
    > Having a +10db HD Cable signal strength (by Time Warner Tech
    > measurement) is 'Superb'!

    Yes...if your digital box was suffering from weak signal, you no doubt
    had a lot of pixelation and drop-outs and some snow or herring-bones on
    the analog. Mind you, really good receiving equipment can read fairly
    weak signals, but you still need stronger signals for digital than for
    analog usually. The trick is to deliver to the receiver's input the
    signal level that it was designed to work with. For OTA reception that
    can be a pretty wide range, but cable and satellite equipment is often
    geared up for specific levels.

    --
    Dave Oldridge
    ICQ 1800667

    Paradoxically, most real events are highly improbable.
  6. Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

    As a Time Warner cable Lead Tech, let me weigh in on this...

    RG-6 cable loses 5.5 DB per 100 feet of cable as measured on one frequency
    in the digital range. We use that frequency as a bench mark, equivalent to
    channel 116. RG-59 loses approximately 7.5 over the same distance on the
    same frequency. Most cable runs in a house are less than 100 feet to any
    given outlet, unless you have a big house. We use RG-6 mostly because of
    the fact the RG-59 won't be serviceable with the new requirements of digital
    service such as Cable Modems, Voice over IP services (digital phone), Video
    on Demand services, High Def, etc., for long. In your case, your old cable
    had to have failed to lose THAT much signal.

    So, if you have only one outlet (not a common occurance), and are only
    watching basic cable, you may be able to get away with RG-59. Otherwise
    RG-6 is the way to go. Dual sheild attenuates less than quad sheild, but is
    more prone to Off-the-air ingress than Quad.

    The biggest concern is how many outlets you have. Most cable providers set
    their signal output to drive 4 outlets. That inlcudes a splitter behind the
    set. Each time the cable is split, you lose 3.5 db per split. a 2-way
    splitter loses 3.5 per leg. a 4-way splitter loses 7 db per leg. an 8-way
    splitter loses 11 per leg. Any splitter you get should be rated to 1 Ghz.;
    those from walmart do NOT meet this standard. Cheap splitters can cause
    digital tiling, or the dreaded "One Moment Please, this channel will be
    available shortly" message. If you have more than 4 outlets, you can get an
    amplifier, but, again, it has to be rated to 1 Ghz too. The 12 dollar amps
    at walmart will not work in the long run. They may initially, but I have
    replaced enough to know they will fail. Radio Shack sells on model that I
    know of that will work. Time Warner also sells one.

    Hope this helps.
  7. Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

    "dave" <dave@now.there> wrote in
    news:Hwhlc.52576$Dn1.30880@fe2.texas.rr.com...

    > So, if you have only one outlet (not a common occurance), and are
    > only watching basic cable, you may be able to get away with RG-59.
    > Otherwise RG-6 is the way to go. Dual sheild attenuates less than
    > quad sheild, but is more prone to Off-the-air ingress than Quad.

    Q: I have a pretty new house with whole house wiring. How do I tell if I
    have RG-6 or 59? thanks.
  8. Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

    Cable ID features:

    1) Cable type may be printed on the outer black shell.

    2) RG-6 cable is stiffer to bend than RG-59.

    3) RG-6 usually carries an exterior 'tie wire'
    molded along the RG-6 wire length.




    darius wrote:
    >
    > "dave" <dave@now.there> wrote in
    > news:Hwhlc.52576$Dn1.30880@fe2.texas.rr.com...
    >
    > > So, if you have only one outlet (not a common occurance), and are
    > > only watching basic cable, you may be able to get away with RG-59.
    > > Otherwise RG-6 is the way to go. Dual sheild attenuates less than
    > > quad sheild, but is more prone to Off-the-air ingress than Quad.
    >
    > Q: I have a pretty new house with whole house wiring. How do I tell if I
    > have RG-6 or 59? thanks.
  9. Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

    ) RG-6 usually carries an exterior 'tie wire'
    > molded along the RG-6 wire length

    That would be messenger wire for aerial drops from the pole to the house.
    Interior wiring should not be messenger, unless the tech installing ran out
    of house wire.
    RG-6 is thicker than RG-59; 18 gauge for RG-6 compared to 20 gauge for
    RG-59.

    Unfortunately some contractors are still using RG-59 in new construction
    because it is cheaper.

    "Dennis Mayer" <Polaris1@execpc.com> wrote in message
    news:4096EC14.99B5D34A@execpc.com...
    >
    > Cable ID features:
    >
    > 1) Cable type may be printed on the outer black shell.
    >
    > 2) RG-6 cable is stiffer to bend than RG-59.
    >
    > 3) RG-6 usually carries an exterior 'tie wire'
    > molded along the RG-6 wire length.
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > darius wrote:
    > >
    > > "dave" <dave@now.there> wrote in
    > > news:Hwhlc.52576$Dn1.30880@fe2.texas.rr.com...
    > >
    > > > So, if you have only one outlet (not a common occurance), and are
    > > > only watching basic cable, you may be able to get away with RG-59.
    > > > Otherwise RG-6 is the way to go. Dual sheild attenuates less than
    > > > quad sheild, but is more prone to Off-the-air ingress than Quad.
    > >
    > > Q: I have a pretty new house with whole house wiring. How do I tell if
    I
    > > have RG-6 or 59? thanks.
  10. Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

    I've got a question about RG-6 vs RG-59. Our house was wired with dual RG-6
    cables througout, because 15 year ago, that's what our cable system
    required. Question: If you were to connect the dual cables to a single
    RG-6 input, would you get less signal loss?
  11. Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

    In a word, No. To connect both cables to the same sourse would require a
    splitter, which would create what we call insertion loss. Now, if you have
    two connections on each wall plate you can connect both at your spltter
    point, whether in the attic or, as in newer homes, in a panel in a closet.
    this is only handy if you have picture in picture or if you want to have
    multiple tuners in your home theater. Otherwise, just connect one. Rule of
    thumb, if you don't have a TV that needs the outlet, do not hook up the line
    at the splitter. If your splitter has an unused port, then get a smaller
    splitter. Unused ports waste signal. In other words, do not use a 4-way
    splitter for only two connections.

    "Jerry Medlin" <medlin@medlin.com> wrote in message
    news:ozSmc.45962$MR1.18482@newssvr29.news.prodigy.com...
    > I've got a question about RG-6 vs RG-59. Our house was wired with dual
    RG-6
    > cables througout, because 15 year ago, that's what our cable system
    > required. Question: If you were to connect the dual cables to a single
    > RG-6 input, would you get less signal loss?
    >
    >
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