Can you use cables with push-on connectors for satellite TV?

If you have some of these cables left over from your VCR-loving days… please responsibly recycle them or use them for your antenna. Don’t use them for satellite TV, because they won’t work reliably.

Most cables with push-on connectors only conform to the RG-59 cable standard and that means they won’t have enough shielding to reliably transport satellite information. Remember that a satellite signal carries a lot more information than an antenna one — up to 100x as much depending on how you look at it — and so the cable requirements are a lot more strict. In order to carry so much information, the cable connection must be practically perfect. RG-59 cables just can’t guarantee that level of perfection.

More importantly, the push-on connector itself is a problem. The little vertical slits that let it grip the connector securely can also let signal leak out and cause problems that way. There are push-on connectors designed for satellite, like those used on Sonora’s SWM-E2 device, but you’re not going to find them on a consumer-grade cables.

If you want to be safe, if you want the best possible chance of a worry-free connection, you should be using RG6 cables with a solid copper core center conductor and satellite-rated compression cables. This isn’t just a way to make you spend more money, There is actually a difference with high-quality, satellite-rated cables.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.