Wiring question. Help!


Original poster
Jul 23, 2004

I'm a newbie and am ready to make the jump to a satellite provider, but have some questions about wiring that I'm hoping someone can help me with because I'd like to try the install myself.

I just moved into my new house, 3 months ago, and am trying to figure out the history of the coaxial cables running throughout. The house is 7 years old and I know for a fact that the first owner had a dish installed. I also know that the second owner had Comcast digital cable installed. (We are the third owners.)

Now in all of the rooms that have coaxial hookups (on a faceplate in the wall) there are 2 hookups on each faceplate. Behind each faceplate there are 2 coaxial wires going through the walls (looks like a clean install). There is also another cable run from the closet (looks like a crap install) to one of these same rooms. When I moved in, I hooked up my 4 year old Sony (analog) tv to see if anything was coming through the (closet) wires. Lo and behold, there was a cable signal that I could see on my tv w/o any decoder box, but couldn't pick up anything on the wall hookups. After 2 weeks then the cable was shut off, so it's hard for me to determine exactly what cables and hookups are receiving anything at all.

I also have a downstairs closet that has the source of the wiring, from the outside. Some cable is black (labeled "RG6") and some is white (not labeled at all) with multiple signal splitters. I know that if I have RG6 throughout, I should be good to go.

Is there an easy way to tell (on the cable that is not labeled) if I have RG6 running throughout my house? (e.g.....Will RG6 cables use different splitters or end plugs?) Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!
You will just have to make sure that there are no splitters in between the dish and the receiver and that it is RG-6 wiring if DishPro and/or switches are to be used.
Thanks for the reply, although I'm not sure you answered my question. I'll clairify...

I'm ready to get DirecTV (standard resolution) and wanted to know if I can use my existing wiring. The only problem is that I don't know if I have RG6 of not (I'd rather not have to run new lines). I did see that all the splitters that are used are "Antronix, 2-way splitter, 5-1000MHz, #CMC2002H". Does that help at all? Would RG6 (because of the wider bandwidth) use different splitters?

It just seems odd that there would be a mix of RG59 and RG6 already installed if the previous owners had a digital tv signal.

Any thoughts?
You need a RG6 cable going straight from the dish to satellite input of each satellite receiver without any splitters in between. If you want to distribute RF outputs from your receivers to multiple TV's in your home you can wire these into your home wiring and splitters regardless of weather the cable is RG6 or not, however you will have better results with RG6 even for this but RG6 is not mandatory for distribution purposes.
Gotcha. Looks like I'll need to run new line specifically for the dish. Might need to call a pro for help though as I took a look in the attic and there are long runs going throughout the house.

Thanks for clearing that up. :)
I would wait and do a little more investigation before installing new RG6. My guess is that those twin outlets are RG6. When I use to install for satellite in new construction I would run two RG6 and one CAT3 or CAT5 (for phone), the only other reason I can think of running two cables would be for a cable system with A & B sides, and that would also use RG6.
Hmm well just make sure that all your cable is RG6 and also get rid of all the splitters. Why becasue they can cause you to take a performance hit its best to have straight through cable in the house. Good Luck on Everything!
Awesome! Thanks for all of the useful info.

I have an installer coming out to hook up a 3 room DirecTV system (non-hd) and look over everything this upcoming weekend. I'm curious as to what his take on this situation is. Can let you guys know then.
Okay, so everything was installed this weekend by a professional. I showed him all of the wiring problems and he had no problem straightening out everything.....took him 3 hours, but it's all fine now.

Seems that all of the wiring in the house is RG-6. The house was last wired for standard cable and the previous satellite setup was gone, except for some of the prewired rooms. After he got rid of all of the splitters, it was much more straightforward. The dual outlets were actually setup for an older Comcast cable system. Seems that Comcast used to carry their basic cable on one line and then the premium channels on a separate line, hence the two lines to every room. Since then, Comcast consolidated everything into one line. (My home was built in 1997, so this must have happend fairly recently.)

The installer did a "basic install" (that's all that DirecTV pays for) running new line from the dish to the previous cable box on the outside of the house. He did use a lot of the inside existing wiring...not sure if there would be a big jump in quality if those wires were new too. At least I can run new lines inside now if I want to try it.

The dish install went well also. The installer had suggestions on where to place the dish and took into consideration how it would look from the street also (I have an HOA). I checked the signal meter on the receivers and am getting 100% signal on Sat A and 96% on Sat B&C.

DirecTV had me up and running about 10 minutes after the install and I couldn't be happier. It's MUCH better than anything that Comcast offers (Bowie, MD area....NE of the Washington DC beltway).

Now I just have to save my pennies for an HD setup next year. :)

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