Why can’t you use existing wiring when installing DIRECTV in your business?

Actually, it’s not necessarily the wires. Many a business owner has been disappointed to find out that an upgrade to satellite television brings with it a cost for wiring. It’s a real frustration for people who thought they had all the bases covered, especially if the installation requires drilling through floors and ceilings. This is a challenge that owners of historic buildings in city centers have dealt with for years.

Don’t blame AT&T

That’s right, it’s not their fault. It may not be anyone’s fault. You might be able to blame the contractors who did the last install and the satellite TV installer for being safe not sorry. Most building contractors don’t understand that it’s necessary to use cable that’s been sweep tested to 3GHz and also use those blue-centered high-frequency barrels like the one you see above. It’s actually those barrels that are most often the problem, because a contractor will bury one deep in the wall when he runs out of a spool of cable. There it will sit causing havoc with your satellite system at the most inopportune time. Using the wrong barrel or cable that’s not rated right can be very frustrating because everything will work right when the installer leaves.

Buildings more than 10 years old

If the building is even older, then it’s possible it’s wired with RG59 cable with crimped ends. This can be a real problem for satellite systems because RG59 cable does not allow for the same long runs as RG6 when used with high-frequency systems. The crimped ends aren’t a problem if they’re done properly but a poorly made crimp can damage the dielectric foam inside the cable and cause problems as well.

DIRECTV installers undergo special training. That training says not to use built-in cable. Certifying that older cable will work consistently takes a very expensive piece of equipment. It also takes hours of cable tracing, followed by the steps to fix any problems that the tests find. It is kind of annoying that DIRECTV structures their installations so that they can be done quickly as opposed to thoroughly but really, using new cable is the number one dependable way to get things done right.

DIYers might be willing to “take the chance”

If you’re doing the install yourself, of course, you have the choice. You can try to use the cable you have. If you want to go that way, try to find one of the barrel connectors that’s visible and see if it has that blue center. If it doesn’t, at least replace every barrel connector you find with one of these. This is the right connector and it’s also available in large bags if you need that. You can also read the inkjetting on the side of the cable. Then, do a Google search to get its specs. That will at least give you some clue as to whether the cable will work for satellite TV use.

I know people who use 25-year-old RG59 for their satellite installs and it works fine. On the other hand I recently saw a 5-year-old home where silverfish ate big holes in the cables. Sadly, it made them useless. The one thing I’ve yet to see in all my travels, though, is a general contractor who does it right. None of them prewire their buildings properly for satellite TV use. Don’t believe them when they tell you it’s all prewired, because you’re just setting yourself up for disappointment.

Satellite TV helps your business make money

If you’re ready to upgrade your commercial building to DIRECTV Satellite, call the experts! Signal Connect has helped thousands of people get a great return on investment by choosing satellite television. It all starts with a phone call to 866-726-4182. If it’s after East Coast business hours, fill out the form below. We’ll get back to you, usually within one business day.

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 6,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.