Subject says all...
today I had my cable box lock up and when I rebooted it the picture was all shaky and jaggy, so I took it back to the service center and traded it in on a shiny new one. I found that upgrading to a HDTV box would only cost $2 plus $2/month, and apparently my cable co. (Cox) is surprisingly cool about HD, everything that I already get, I get in HD just by paying the higher box rental fee. So I came home with a shiny new cable box, hooked it up, picture fine but I found that many channels still weren't watchable - just a poor signal. So I got to troubleshooting... I determined that the cable from the splitter to the TV was causing signal loss (took some lengths of coax that I had laying around, connected them together, ran to TV, improved signal, but still not great, but I figured that was because not all of the cables were good quad shield) so I ran some new quad shield. Better, still not good. Bypassed the surge suppressor, better yet, still not getting all channels. Bypassed splitter (have a 4-port splitter screwed to a floor joist in the basement, so I can have TV and cable modem both connected) now it's good. Put surge suppressor back in circuit, still good. Dug in junk box, found an old 2-port splitter, still good. So it's the4-port splitter that is the problem, even though I just bought it a couple years ago and it was clearly labeled "HDTV" and listed for the appropriate frequency range. GRR!
given the above, what should I buy? Can someone recommend a good brand of 4 or more port splitter that isn't a pile of cheap crap?
OR... is the 3dB or whatever loss between the 2-port and 4-port splitter likely enough to be causing my problem, and I should simply get an amplified splitter? If so, I'd still like a recommend. I would like the add'l ports because future plans involve running cable up to the bedrooms - in fact, I might have been doing it today had not my cable box crapped out.
FWIW I did have the unused ports capped, although I don't know if that really makes a difference or not.
Oh, and this is making the decision as to whether to buy a new TV or not harder. Prices seem reasonable right now, but I don't like having a cable box, am wondering if I should wait until the next gen cable card is available. I know, you guys can't help me with that one (but if any of you have done your research and can recommend a good HDTV, appx. the same size as my old SD Sony projector (53", but not 16x9) or perhaps a little smaller that isn't ludicrously expensive, that would be appreciated too... I don't actually have a HDTV hooked up to the cable box, but I wanted the HD box in case I had guests and they wanted to watch TV in one of the bedrooms, I could just move the box upstairs.
On the upside, now ALL the cable in my house is quad shield save for the maybe 3' long piece between the outside connection and the splitter. I would have replaced that too but it's 90+ and sunny out, and it's working now...
thanks for any help