FROM THE FRONT LINES: Backwards cable

So the other day…

A client calls and says that they are having satellite problems. They are pretty sure, they say, the cable is in backwards. Now, that’s impossible. Cables don’t have a front and a back way, so it’s not like that really makes a difference. The funny thing though, was that this customer was right and they just weren’t expressing themselves properly.

When you look at a typical DIRECTV splitter:

You can see that there is a top connection and 8 connections on the front. This customer had connected the line to the dish to one of the front connections and the receiver to the top connection. This didn’t work because the dish wasn’t getting any power.

There are cases, actually, when you can use a splitter backwards, in the case of antenna or cable TV signals. In that case it’s referred to as a “combiner” because it combines the signals from all the inputs into a single cable, or a “diplexer” if it’s smart enough to isolate out specific signals from specific inputs. This is common in some commercial situations, but it’s never used in home satellite TV.

The lesson?

The lesson here was actually to listen carefully to every customer. The customer was actually right, although he didn’t really explain himself well. At Solid Signal we take our customers seriously. Our customers are our eyes and ears and by listening actively, our techs can usually solve a problem. We’re very proud of the way our 100% US-based call centers help hundreds of people every day with their questions. Are you one of them? If you’ve never called Solid Signal, give it a try the next time you need something! Unlike some other (very big) retailers, we make it easy for you to call and get the help you need. It all starts with… 888-233-7563.

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.