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Cable Theft


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#1
Cooter285

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alright i know this doesnt really have to do with computer problems, but i cant seem to find an answer to my query anywhere. my disclaimer: i've always been interested in the real facts, the reasons why something is claimed and what data supports it. also, i hope the fact that i have a bachelor's degree in criminal justice clears my name of any suspicions lol.

i just saw a commercial for www.cabletheft.com, a site where you can anonymously report a neighbor who is suspected of stealing cable. the "facts" section on the site states, "Cable piracy affects the picture quality of the entire system by weakening the signal. Poor picture quality increases service calls and other system maintenance, raising costs and putting pressure on cable rates." does it really affect it THAT much? the whole site seems kinda made up, since there isnt any proof to support anything that is said.

my analogy to their statement:
my neighbor illegally downloading music makes my CDs sound distorted.

i mean i suppose that stealing cable could weaken the signal to the legit payers, but is it so bad as the site suggests?

and who's paying for this site anyways? is it the government? or the cable companies? it just looks like a bogus site
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#2
jaxisland

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It makes sense to me. I know that just rearranging the tvs and computers in my apartment changes the picture quality and makes my internet drop connection. They have the signal strength paired down pretty much to exactly what you need. You add 5 more people onto that line that the company doesnt know is there and yeah I can see a whole lot of problems.

I know someone who is guilty of this, and the bottom half of the cable stations have some static to them.

So for the first question is yea its really bad when you get unauthorized people taking from a line illegally.

The site looks like a private firm to me, someone who will solicit the cable companies with a list of names and addresses in exchange for payment.

Thats my guess.

Edited by jaxisland, 17 July 2007 - 10:48 AM.

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#3
Cooter285

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thanks jaxis. i kinda figured that the signal may be exactly what each paying customer needs, in order to justify the notion that stealing cable promotes poor picture quality.

as for your computers losing connection, that happened to me a lot too whenever I would try to put my computer in a new place in my room before i finally got settled on a good setup. but after a getting a nicer wireless modem, i can move this stuff around all i want and i dont ever lose signal. so what i'm saying is, are you sure it's the cable company who is limiting the signal to your place, or is it just the quality of your hardware? (no offense, but that new cable modem of mine was worth the pricey ticket)

Edited by Cooter285, 17 July 2007 - 11:04 AM.

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#4
sari

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thanks jaxis. i kinda figured that the signal may be exactly what each paying customer needs, in order to justify the notion that stealing cable promotes poor picture quality.


I don't think that the cable companies provide "exactly what each paying customer needs, in order to justify the notion that stealing cable promotes poor picture quality." That implies that the cable companies are somehow trying to provide a justification for why theft is bad, when in fact theft is bad because it's wrong. I think it's more likely that it's engineered to provide the signal strength that's needed for that customer - there are equipment costs associated with providing the signal, and providing much greater than required could potentially increase costs to the consumer, which the consumer would then complain about as well. I'd say it's quite feasible that stealing cable does impact the service of paying customers, who then make service calls because their picture quality is poor.

I had a neighbor who added internet service on his cable line, but the signal strength wasn't strong enough for him to actually make a connection because of the splitter that separated the cable signal to the upper and lower floors. I forgot what the exact solution was, but additional equipment was required in order to make it work. It would seem that stealing cable could provide the same problem.

my analogy to their statement:
my neighbor illegally downloading music makes my CDs sound distorted.


That's an extremely poor analogy. Using someone else's cable signal is using the resources intended for another customer - you're sharing it without their permission. Your neighbor's illegal downloading won't affect your CDs because they're separate entities, not shared. It could, however, affect the price you pay for those CDs.

That site was developed by the head of a marketing company. As far as I can determine, he's not in it for any financial gain. He received about 15,000 tips last year and forwarded them to the appropriate cable companies. See more here.
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#5
**Brian**

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Hello there :whistling:

It is true that the more customers that you have sharing a single connection, the more signal loss you have. When I moved back home in march (07), I had a tech come over here, and hook me back up and set up my digital cable boxes. He looked at the signal strengths, and told me my signal was "horrid" The reason was because my landlords own the cable lines in thier buildings, and they set up the cable lines with a bunch of splitters. One or 2 lines per floor, which they split off, and they have 5-10 cable jumps coming off the spliitter! the cable guy said that the landlords were dumb, because the more cables you have running into the splitter, the worse the signal - the signal is degraded, causing snow and other problems, and can affect your internet speed.

I pay for my cable service, (and I don't sanction cable theft for the record) and my landlords own the cable in thier buildings, so they can do as they wish with the setups, but if my landloards had been smart, they would have set up direct taps to each unit, rather then splitting all of them off of one main cable - Lucky for me, there are only 5 apartments on my floor, and I believe I am the only tenant with digital, so the cable guy just moved me to the end of the splitter :blink: Even the installer said "what the heck is up with this?"

Other floors have 10 apartments on each of 4 floors for a total of 5 floors

Go Figure.....

Brian

Edited by **Brian**, 17 July 2007 - 07:04 PM.

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#6
Cooter285

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ok i admit it, that was a bad analogy. i just didnt understand the problem with signal quality. every place i've lived in has had one cable for each apt/dorm room/house, so the only splitting was among me and my roommates.

plus i've had digital cable ever since it became easily available.

and yeah, your landlords ARE dumb. the amount of complaints that they must get because of poor signal quality cannot be worth the money they're saving. plus they could just start charging more for cable to cover the new costs of having separate services for each apt.

Edited by Cooter285, 17 July 2007 - 10:34 PM.

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#7
warriorscot

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It depends how its done, if you take the signal straight off a neighbours line before it gets to their home without introducing a signal booster to compensate yet it would, if you take it from their home directly at the end of their line you would get a crappy signal they wont, if you take it straight from the main line with the same equipment you wont get a difference to anyone unless there are allot of people taking it.

Where it reduces the signal strength it that every time you split a signal you half it, same thing happens in your home you can overcome signal lose to a degree by using a signal booster and splitting at the source thus stopping you splitting then splitting again and you only need one booster.

So someone who knows what they are doing could steal it, someone who doesnt couldnt. However it must be allot easier to steal it in the US its not very common here but the systems are different.
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