Lets talk about TV cables

I still have some ancient (10 year+) sony TV, which looks nice, but doesn’t stop me drooling over those LED TVs.
Anyway… In prep for maybe buying a TV one day, I will need the option to locate it elsewhere in the room. The problem is, everything I read about TV aerial cables tells me that even having a slightly sharp bend in them is a horrific no-no.
So pinning the stuff to the wall around 4 meters of skirting board + old stone fireplace + doorway is likely to result in picture quality equivilant to that of the queens coronation.
My other option is to drill a hole in the floor, run an aerial cable extension under the floor. Handily there is a cellar…

and drill another hole where I want the cable to surface again for plugging in to the TV.
My questions are:

  1. is there a simpler way?
  2. is it overkill to do this?
  3. am I wrong about it being a bad idea to have bending long runs of coax?

I’m in the UK, just in case you people in the colonies ahve different cable types?

As far as I know, bending coaxial cable has little effect on the quality of the image at the end, and certainly not over the short term. If you’re dealing with stuff that’s equivalent to our RG6, modern cable is more flexible than what I remember from my childhood. It might be that if you crimped older cable, you could potentially break it within the casing or create a short - I have not had that problem with any length of RG6 run that I have dealt with. In this case, you should have a drop (outlet) everywhere that you would intend to have a television. If you intend to move your television around your room, I would put a drop on each of the four walls, and those drops in turn would run to a splitter where your main line comes into your house. This is how my house is done, anyway - I have four separate drops that run to different rooms that are wired in my attic. Because I am only operating television in two of those rooms, I have gone up and swapped the four way splitter for a two-way job that has a lower signal loss on each of the outgoing lines to improve quality.

Of course, I’ve never heard of any of my cables referred to as “aerial lines,” so it’s entirely possible that you may be dealing with a different sort of technology.

Our cables look like this

I dont want to have a movable TV, its just I want to put the TV in a different corner of the room to where the TV cable comes through the wall from outside. It’s going to be the only TV in the house. Not that I can really decide which corner of the room to put it in. Each location has major disadvantages.
Bah. I just want this stuff sorted so I can buy a geeky new TV :(

Okay - that looks like some funny coax plugs. The first thing to work out is - where is your main line coming into the house? Mine comes into my attic, at which point it gets split to go to the individual rooms, and if you’ve got a TV jack in more than one room of your house, you’ve got that going on somewhere. If you can find the splitter, there’s a simple solution, if you’re not averse to some amateur home repair. You need to get a short length of cable that will run from the wall to the television, a long length of cable that will run from the split in your attic to where you want to put your television, and a female-to-female wall plate that will bridge the two. You go to your attic, plug your new line into your splitter (unplug the one you don’t want any more if necessary) and drop the line down the wall that you want your television to sit on. It would be a good idea if you either had a guide wire or a way to fish the thing out of the wall in a minute. Then you go downstairs and you cut a hole in the wall that you intend to put your plate on, reach in, and get the end of your cable. Plug that end into the inside of your wall plate. Screw the wall plate into the wall, and you’ve got a fresh new wall drop.

All of this is moot, however, if you’ve only got the one line coming in and you’re jacking directly into that. In that case, you’ll probably end up with a cleaner run going into your basement and then back up the wall that you intend to place your television on. If you can reach into your wall crawlspace from your basement, you can actually do the connection without having to drill a hole in your living room (you pull the cable down, come out at the ceiling of your basement, cross the basement, and go up the wall you want to sit on and set up your wall plate like above).

I can’t think of how bending a cable could effect picture quality. I guess if you bent it enough to break the shield? It’s not like the electrons aren’t going to be able to make a hard right turn.

And, even if it was an issue, you can get right-angle adapters to join different lengths of coax, right?

On another note, that’s an awesome-looking cellar. Reminds me of a pub I went to once, in Montreal. I wish I could find it again, but I can’t remember its name.

SCART looks like a funky euro thing. If you’re buying a new tellie, why don’t you just run HDMI? As far as I can tell SCART is interlaced and very old. As far as I can tell, the two cables you are showing look like composite.

I googled Areal cable, that sounds like it’s from an antenna. You need one of our fine German techies to post!

The whole not bending thing is something I read on a website today, so may be bollocks. If the cable was just like phone or ethernet stuff, I’d be tempted to run it round the fireplace and the door underneath the carpet, but it’s big and chunky, so even if sharp turns are cool, it would be pretty unsightly to have it running over doors and its probably too thick to hide under carpet anywhere.
Which leaves the under the floor route I guess, complicated by the fact that the wall where it enters the hosue doesnt align with the wall in the cellar, but c’est la vie.

In terms of coming up the wall cavity from the basement and fitting a nice wallplate, that would be great, but the house doesn’t have cavity walls (it’s built around 1750, so the fact that it’s not made out of mud is a bonus).

Cheers for all the suggestions and tips. This stuff is not my forte.

Ahahaha. Now this is the sort of thing I was wondering. Presuming I could just plug the coax aerail into some tiny adaptor that made it HDMI, and then run that cable into the back of the TV, that would rock, as I suspect that HDMI cable is more ‘under the carpet’ friendly?

Yup, this is the cable that goes direct to the roof aerial. Thats how all old british TVs connect.

I did buy some really flat HDMI cable from monoprice, it’s like maybe a 3.5" floppy’s thickness.

I found this site with SCART and whatever. it probably makes a lot more sense to you, I would suggest you wire for the new thingy cause you KNOW the government will shut off analogue as soon as you plaster and repaint the holes. No, as far as I can tell you’d use HDMI for PS3/Xbox/DVD/whatever, and whatever SCART thing for your BBC /Sky satellite stuff.

The Digital Switchover

The UK is set to turn off analogue TV services between now and 2012, so it’s important to understand your options.

Yeah. Aerial is a synonym for antenna.

You may be overreacting a bit. While you do not want to put a kink in the cable (which could possible damage the copper strands inside shoddily-constructed cables), it is certainly okay to bend it.

so far so good

into some tiny adaptor

That ‘tiny adaptor’ is called a digital converter box. It’s not tiny at all, and it’s something you need to keep near your TV because to change channels you have to point the remote control at the digital converter box.

that made it HDMI, and then run that cable into the back of the TV, that would rock


Or, you buy a TV that has a built-in digital tuner and you plug the antenna cable directly into your telly just as before. No extra remote controls.

I’ve got nothing to add other than I like your cellar!

Just make sure you have plenty of cable length and you won’t have to bend it sharply or pull it too tight. In the US cable companies sort of staple cable to the outside walls and turn it at right angles so it’s not obtrusive, and there’s no problem.

Now that there have been some serious answers am I allowed to say that I see a problem with that cellar?

There is no beer pump, party lights, pool table, server rack, cabling for LAN parties, bar, spirit rack, speakers or fridge there, all of which are bigger priorities than putting a TV wire under the floor boards imo.

The hell with all that, that cellar screams for a cask of wine and some asshole walled up behind the bricks. In pace requiescat.

Nothing wrong with a cable bend that isn’t solid core (one big wire versus stranded wires) nor fiber (obviously glass will break, no matte how small it’s diameter.) For the sake of possibly running future cables you may want to consider a conduit, either metal or plastic. This will both help with easing the bends of the run, as well as provide you a very easy way to run more cables if needed later. Pro tip: run a small cord along with your cable to use for either pulling another run along the same path later, or pulling your cables back out if that’s ever needed.

Give me time dude, I’ve only been here two weeks…
Actually our first thought was to deck out the cellar as the ultimate home cinema, as there are no windows (obviously) so its dark as hell.
However… the presence of the well, plus the fact that water runs in trenches along the floor means waterproofing the whole thing properly would cost the sort of cash indie game developers only read about :(
No wonder the last people who lived here just had it empty.

Yeah, I saw the picture first and though “Oh, what a fucking great spot for a home cinema”… but with the water issues, I think you should just keep casks of ale there and run a punp to the tv-room.

I’m pretty sure we have the same cables and have NEVER heard that bending should be a problem. Sounds like advice coming from the same sort of people who’ll by overpriced HDMI-cables and special power wires for their HiFi. Never listen to them.

Buy a tv with the right built in DVB tuner (C, T or S depending on what you’re on) and some decently shielded aerial cables and you’ll be fine. We recently went fully digital and I found out that the digital terrestial signals are messing* with my cabled digital signals, but getting better shielded wire should fix that… and we’re talking buying cable that’ll cost £1/meter instead of 50p/meter - nothing really fancy needed.
If you insist on/need a digital converter then buy one that does HDMI, run the aerial to that and use HDMI the rest of the way.

And since we’re talking digital here, by mess I mean that some channels are missing on my extra tv-set. No degradation in picture quality. It’s digital, so it’s either there or it isn’t.

You might try attaching a cheap ferrite to the cables first, if you can find some cheaper than however long your new cable run is going to cost.

So yay, today I got my long coax cable, and plugged it into the existing coak, threaded it through a hole in the floor, through the cellar of death, and back up through a new hole to the other side of the room and my lovely new samsung TV.
Pity the bastard TV has a lipsynch delay problem when connected to my hi-fi. I’ve fiddled with it in vain trying to get rid of it. Bloody technology :(