RFI woes

I recently moved into a new apartment and decided to set up its second bedroom as a TV room, with a good surround sound system and a recliner, stating openly that it is a room for one dude to sit and watch stuff, not two, thank you. Anyway, when selecting my apartment, I didn’t notice just how close it was to several very tall radio towers. So now everything I watch is accompanied by either sports talk or gospel music.

After some quick testing, I discovered that of my 7.1 speakers, it only comes out of the right front and left front speakers. So I went ahead and got some ferrite cores to put over the speaker wire, but that didn’t affect the sound at all. So I decided to start disconnecting and reconnecting components before eventually discovering that when I disconnect my cable box from my AV receiver, the goddam sports talk goes away. This actually makes sense, because the problem didn’t start up until I reconfigured my whole system and part of that reconfiguration involved switching out a toslink digital audio cable for a coax digital audio cable, since my receiver didn’t have enough toslink inputs for my 360, PS3 and cable.

And no, HDMI is out of the question. My HDTV is a five year old 42" LCD which doesn’t actually have any HDMI inputs. Eventually I’ll replace it, probably with a smaller 37 or 32" capable of 1080p, but until then I’d rather not drop a grand if I don’t have to.

So before I go and spend more money, what’s my best option? Should I upgrade the coax cable I got? Is it possible that the cable I bought was just too cheap and unshielded? Or should I get more ferrite cores? The ones I got were sized for speaker cables, so they won’t go around a coax cable. Is it worth even trying? Should I invest in a rocket launcher and shoot down the towers? Should I wait for the sound of sports talk to drive me crazy enough that come to them in the black of some terrible night and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder them. And you know I can do it; I saw Indians smash my dear parents’ heads on the pillow next to mine, and I have seen some reddish work done at night, and I can make them wish they had never seen the sun go down!

…anyway, is there an easy solution here? Easy means ‘I spend a bit of cash and don’t have to move my damn room around or build a farraday cage’.

If you swap back to the toslink cable does the interference go away? If so it’s a screwy cable box, since a coax digital audio cable is uh… digital it should be immune to interference causing those kinds of problem. I could see signal degradation, chopping sound, etc but overlapping audio? Don’t see that happening.