Cable television uses coaxial cables to get the signal fovider to your location. The specifications of these cables describe not only how the signal gets there, but how resistant these wires are to external interference and the environment. Coaxial cables come in two major forms to get cable television and broadband Internet into your home or office.
RG-11 is a thick, relatively inflexible cable, designed to carry a cable signal hundreds of feet with negligible loss. These cables use a connector that is larger than conventional coaxial cables, incompatible with devices inside the structure, such as televisions and tuners. The cable offers up to three gigahertz of bandwidth, which is sufficient for delivering the data in bulk to your home, but overkill for delivery inside.
RG-6 is the most common type of coaxial cable found inside most homes and businesses. The cable offers near-perfect performance up to 100 feet, and is highly resistant to outside interference. RG-6, unlike RG-11, is very flexible, and compatible with televisions, cable boxes, and other equipment such as VCRs. Typically, RG-6 is used in quad-shield form, utilizing alternating foil and braided shields to prevent electromagnetic and radio frequency interference.
In each instance, these coaxial cables use a copper center conductor, with the RG-11's nearly twice as large in diameter at 1.63 millimeters. Additionally, RG-11's dielectric insulator surrounding this conductor is almost twice as large as on RG-6, coming in at over 7 millimeters. In each case, these signal-carrying components are protected by four shield layers, comprised of alternating foil and braided copper or aluminum.
Signal loss, or attenuation, is small in both cases. However, RG-11 only drops 3.3 decibels for every 100 feet. Contrast this to RG-6, which loses 5.3 decibels over the same distance. This translates to a significant improvement in performance over the long runs tasked to RG-11, industry experts say.
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