Cable installation is performed by a communications technician. This technician is responsible for making sure the home in question is wired correctly and that the homeowner has the proper equipment to decode any encrypted channels they have purchased. As part of their job duties, the technician will connect the units within the home to the cable lines outside and roll out new lines if needed. Most cable companies will also make sure their technicians set up a customer’s cable box before leaving, as it isn’t always as easy as pressing the power button. If any special remote controls come with the box, the technician may also be responsible for giving the customer an overview on using the device. The same can be said for a DVR, should it accompany the service.
When an installer comes out to your home, their first order of business will be to examine the indoor outlets and the outdoor lines to ensure that the home is cable-ready. This is essentially the case for any modern home, though some houses built earlier may not have the right equipment for today’s installations. This can be fixed, but at a higher cost. If the installer determines that your home is cable ready after all, he can begin connecting the outside lines before investigating your TV setup. By taking a look at your entertainment center (and your computer situation, if you’re purchasing cable internet along with the package), he can determine the best way to go about setting everything up in a way that makes sense. The indoor configuration can of course be changed by the customer, should they prefer.
Installing cable into an apartment is often a different proposition than installing it in a standalone house. In many cases, an apartment that has not had cable television in the past will be connected through a box outside the apartment. The FCC has rules in place that insist that the technician get permission from the apartment complex owner before connecting the wires to the external box. This is seldom an issue, of course, but it is something to be aware of if you are an apartment owner or are working as a cable TV installation technician.
The source of many a consumer complaint, the cable box is as ubiquitous these days as the television itself. Allowing the cable company a greater level of freedom when it comes to giving their customers a specific package, the box essentially becomes the customer’s control panel. Rather than changing channels on the television, the customer will usually keep the TV on a specific channel and use the box instead. The technician installing the cable should make sure that there is a strong signal to the box before wrapping up the project.
It can be frustrating to sign for your cable installation only to realize that you aren’t getting the service you just paid for. To avoid this scenario, most cable companies will insist that their technicians stay in the home and test the customer’s devices before leaving. If problems exist, the technician should have the knowledge necessary to troubleshoot a solution. If you notice problems that the technician hasn’t, have questions about how to use a particular device, or feel that he is glossing over significant issues, this is the time to speak up. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait for another appointment, which could take several days.
In addition to making sure the technician double checks his work, you may also want to inspect the cable wiring yourself. This is especially true if you’ve purchased a package that includes internet service. Make sure the company has provided you with RG-60U wiring, as this is the standard for broadband delivery. Just as an HDMI cord is essential for proper HD device viewing, the RG-60U cable will ensure that you are getting the right broadband and cable transmission quality.
Hiring a Technician
Though some would have you believe otherwise, installing cable really isn’t something you want to do on your own. Not only do you risk electrical shock and damage to your home, you could be in breach of wiring standards. Have a licensed and trained technician come out and do the job. Most companies provide for affordable installation, making the DIY process redundant and often just as costly as hiring a professional. Technicians in the industry may only require a high school diploma to get started, but they are often come with up to two years of vocational training. Make sure the company you call believes in hiring technicians who have the experience and training needed to allow for smooth installation.