cable tv options? no luck so far..

By dipgizzards ·
i live in a very wooded area.
due to that, it seems i cannot get any type of cable tv service. (right now.. i get very fuzzy reception of 2 channels at best)

i do have dsl through verizon. it's through the phone line.
the local cable company (comcast) does not service my road.
sattelite tv companys (dish,directtv) have both come out to install and both said there are to many trees for service..

is there any option for me and my family to get cable tv?
maybe through the internet connection?
we are at a loss at this point..

help is greatly appreciated.
thank you

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Answers

Collapse -

Sounds as if your best bet is to use the ADSL connection

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to cable tv options? no luck ...

But even then you would want to be on an unlimited connection with a large download max.

If the Satellite Companies can not get a decent reception I really think that you are out of luck on this one. Of course if you offer to pay the cable company to run a cable to your house they will most likely do this but the price would be horrendous to say the least. if it's an overhead service you are looking at poles every 300 Metres or so as much longer than that you get too much sag between poles. Then you always run the risk of loosing the service in extreme Weather conditions or if you have a bush fire that is likely to destroy the overhead service. If you where to go the underground route with the cable you would have to worry about Root Penetration disabling the cable as well though it would most likely be the better of the two options as it would be far less susceptible to damage from adverse weather conditions or fire.

When it comes to Satellite they are now using a small roof mounted antenna which is about 12 to 18 inches in diameter and can be mounted in a very directional manner but if that can not pick up a decent signal you can always look at the 4.5 meter dish and a High Gain Feed Horn but because of the trees this would also have to be roof mounted or higher to prevent trees getting in the line of sight transmission. Also if there are any hills in the way they will be a problem.

It really depends on where you live as to what you can get and while ADSL would be better than nothing it's not going to be much better. Depending on your local By Laws you may be able to clear a decent area around the house for Fire Prevention in the case of Bush Fires this is generally something like 200 Meters and may be of some help.

I also work on the idea of if a tree is capable of falling and hitting the house it should be removed as it poses too much of a risk to Life & Limb but many people want all the latest technology and retain their bush like setting so in your case that may not be an option.

Ideally if you could get just about every member of your street/road willing to sign up for a 5 year minimum contract with the cable company they would most likely be willing to run the cable to your street as it would then maybe worth the cost of running the trunk cable which they can then take run offs to every household in the road. But really short of doing that with an entire Group approaching the Cable Company I don't think that there is much that you are able to do, short of building a tower several hundred Meters high to mount an Satellite Antonia on which in all likely hood wouldn't be allowed by your local planning authorities.


Collapse -

Local Cable Regulators

by DMambo In reply to Sounds as if your best be ...

Col - Bush fires??? This guy's in Pennsylvania! Historically not much forest fire danger there. :) Sheesh, take a tour of the northeast US. I'll gladly be your guide.

Generally, cable service providers have local monopolies, but are regulated by local boards. You may have to wait until the current contract is up for renewal, but then ask neighbors to go along to petition the board stating that the big bad cable company is failing to provide service to your neighborhood. If you're way out in the boonies, you might not have much luck with that.

As I'm a bit of a tree-hugger, it pains me to say it, but get several trees cleared. Then, unless you're tucked in on the side of a mountain, you should have decent line-of-sight for satellite. And you get the bonus of next year's firewood!

I don't think you'll have much luck getting any type of TV service over POTS lines no matter how close you are to a repeater. If you're that far out, I'm surprised you get DSL.

Collapse -

DM I'll defer to you on this one

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Local Cable Regulators

To me trees mean Fire or Snow and sometimes both but then as I live on the driest Country in the World I've seen my fair share of Fires and they are expected here if you live in areas like this.

While I personally don't like cutting down trees either if they are a danger to the house I do remove them and advise others to do the same. It never fails to amaze me how some people will plant trees so close to the dwelling and then wonder why it fell on the house in an extreme weather condition.

It really depends on the type of tree but s we have some very solid fire prevention regulations here they do encourage you to remove trees and undergrowth within 200 meters of a building as with a fire they can jump a gap like this easily but at least you have a buffer that is capable of stopping the worst of many bush fires. You also have to keep the gutters cleaned and the roof to prevent sparks setting fire to the building and getting hold.

But here it's the people who don't do things like this who are the ones who loose their houses and sometimes their lives when the worst does happen. Remember it only has to happen once to be a major problem and when it happens you'll be unlikely to be able to get insurance again.

Even here there are some areas of Brisbane where you can not get flood Insurance for Love or Money and the last flood that we had here was in 1974 and that one wasn't that high but if you live in one of the areas that was affected you are on your own when it comes to any damage that may be caused by flood when it happens again.


Collapse -

Yeah, it's a little different here

by DMambo In reply to DM I'll defer to you on t ...

In the NE US, we average 40+ inches of precipitation, spread more or less evenly throughout the year. Not too far from my home, there's a beautiful mountain glade that is the result of a small forest fire. It happened in the early 50's, and it's still notable half a century later.

The Southwest is a different story, of course. My brother lives in San Diego, CA and has had smoke damage in his home from the raging wild fires just a few miles away in the arid hills. And that's a major metro area.

Collapse -

There are no cheap options

by jdmercha In reply to cable tv options? no luck ...

How close to your home is cable willing to go? Can you buy a right-of-way from your home to where the cable company is willing to go? Then run your own lines from there.

Can you cut down some trees? Can you errect a tower and mount the dish above the tree line?

Collapse -


by JamesRL In reply to cable tv options? no luck ...

What are the local regulations about building a tower? I have seen a TV antenna tower used for small Direct TV sized satellite in this situation.

There is some TV content on the web. I watch clips from some shows like Top Gear (BBC Car show), John Stewart, etc on YouTube. I have heard that ABC puts some content on the web for free after its aired.


Collapse -

Go Satellite

by TechExec2 In reply to cable tv options? no luck ...

I'm with the others here.

If I were you, I would definitely work on getting satellite TV. I would find some way of getting a place for the dish. A small tower would be good. Can't you get above the trees nearby? A small clearing would be good. You probably can't attach to a tree because the branch movement would be a problem for the alignent.

If you have neighbors nearby, and the cost of your tower is high, perhaps you could go in on it together and sign easements to get access to the common tower.

Once you go satellite like DirecTV with TiVo, you'll have the same great TV experience metro-dwellers have. And, it will be the best (ONLY?) such TV on the block.

Find a way to get satellite TV.

Collapse -

Trees or Terrain

by TheChas In reply to cable tv options? no luck ...

How much of the satellite issue is trees and how much is terrain?

As close as the map I am looking at shows Buckingham to Philly and Trenton, the fact that you have trouble getting even 2 TV stations suggests that you may be in a valley with tall ground to the South and East.

If so, for either off the air, or satellite, your only real option is an easement up the slope.

In fact, that is how the US cable industry got it's start. Entrepreneur's built antennas on top of hills and ran cable lines into valley communities.

As to video over DSL, that depends a lot on your actual connection speed. You can get some content, but you may see delays.


Collapse -

Sattelite not out of question

by mjd420nova In reply to cable tv options? no luck ...

Would tree trimming be possible?? There are some dishes that are available that could give you adequate reception, but if the path is blocked completely, it would be tough. A larger dish properly placed and some minor trimming could provide enough signal strength to allow good viewing. Trimming could be kept to a minimum and not even be noticable, and a truncated dish properly placed would provide the cure. I've mounted quite a few units that not only had limited signal but had to be hidden too. It is possible, contact the local company to see what they can offer.

Collapse -

Sling Box, or other TV over Internet Solution?

by jfischer712 In reply to cable tv options? no luck ...

It you are interested in sports events or foreign language tv programing, Sattelite tv has the best selection and you should pursue the suggestions above for mounting the dish.

The cable company tries to claim that they are more reliable during bad weather. However, there are a lot of trees in my area also. Several times a year, the cable tv cable is snapped by falling tree branches. I have been without service for three or four days at a time.

If you really want Cable tv, you might consider a solution such as Sling Box. Arrange with a friend or relative in an area that does have cable available to sign up for cable tv service in your name. Install a Sling Box, or other tv over the Internet sharing device and you can view your cable tv shows anywhere you have high speed Internet.

But be aware of the "500 channels, nothing on worth watching" situation. Maybe you would be happier just getting a subscription to Netflix or Blockbuster's DVD by mail rental service.

Related Discussions

Related Forums