Preparing for the DTV Switch

No, I’m not so worried about the switch to DTV for my set up since we’ve had cable TV through Comcast for several years now. But my mom, on the other side of town, still gets her signal via an old rooftop arial that’s tucked precariously in her townhouse attic.<br />n<br />nI went a couple weeks over there with the new converter box to check out her configuration, the config that my dad had hacked together decades before. What I found was the lead from the antenna, a 300 ohm VHF flat cable spliced to a cut-wide-open coax cable that’s plumbed through the house. Couldn’t believe that hack. I mean, it was literally the conductors from one were twisted around the coax conductors without tape or a converter to 75 ohm, or anything. Surprised that the signal still found its way past this junction, but not surprised to learn this is why the signal’s been so bad all these years.<br />n<br />nThere’s a lot more to this story, but in the end, after experimenting with a lot of different things, we finally decided to get mom onto a basic cable deal with Comcast. Fifteen dollars (US) a month is worth it and she can afford that.<br />n<br />nThe antenna in the attic will be abandoned, a testimonial to my parents’ thrift ways during my childhood, and my dad’s stubborn resistance to paying money for a signal that he can presumably get for free over the air.


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