The Best Coaxial Cables for Your TV

Coaxial Feature

Whether you’ve kicked cable to the curb or you’ve simply supplemented it with an over-the-air antenna, you’re going to need a good, quality cable to connect your antenna to your TV. Coaxial cables are a dime a dozen, but they’re not all made equally. Here are some of the best coaxial cables you should check out.

What Are Coaxial Cables?

Coaxial Breakdown

Coaxial cables are used to transmit video signals. Therefore, if you have an over-the-air antenna, you’ll need a coaxial cable to deliver the signal to your TV. Coaxial cables have a copper conductor surrounded by non-conductive insulation. This is enclosed by shielding that protects the signal against any potential electromagnetic interference emitted by other devices. Finally, the cable is wrapped in a durable plastic jacket.

Types of Coaxial Cables

There are three different types of coaxial cables that are most often used to transmit video signals: RG59, RG6 and RG11. The difference between these cables is the width, or gauge, of the copper conductor. Generally speaking, the larger the gauge of the copper conductor, the less degradation there is in signal quality over long distances.

retro-moderntv-coaxial

RG59 has the thinnest copper conductor. This means that it is best suited for low bandwidth applications such as CCTV analog video feeds. Since high definition television broadcasts require significantly more bandwidth, you should opt for RG6 or RG11 coaxial cables. The most common coaxial cable used for home television setups is RG6. That being said, you could also go with RG11 coaxial cables, however they tend to be more expensive compared to RG6. The only real difference between the two is the distance the cable can carry a signal without a degradation in the transmission. RG6 is rated up to 600 meters, whereas RG11 is rated up to 1,100 meters. That being said, most homeowners wouldn’t need a coaxial cable that could transmit a signal over 1,100 meters.

1. AmazonBasics CL2-Rated Coaxial TV Cable

Part of Jeff Bezos’s plan for world domination is to sell virtually everything under the sun under the AmazonBasics label. So it should come as no surprise that coaxial cables are one of the many products sporting the AmazonBasics branding. The AmazonBasics coaxial cable has all the features one would expect from a quality coaxial cable, including RG6 gauge conductors and three layers of shielding.

Coaxial Amazon

However, what makes the AmazonBasics coaxial cable stand out is its CL2 rating. A CL2 rating means that the AmazonBasics coaxial cables can be installed indoors and outdoors. This makes the AmazonBasics cable ideal for folks who opt for a roof-mounted antenna. Additionally, the AmazonBasics coaxial cable features “grip caps” that make it super-easy to screw the coaxial connector into your antenna or TV.

2. Mediabridge Coaxial Cable

Like the AmazonBasics cables, the coaxial cables from Mediabridge feature an “EZ Grip” connector. Anyone who has had the unfortunate experience of trying to connect a coaxial cable in a tight spot knows how hard it can be to thread one with only one hand. Fortunately, the EZ Grips make this headache a thing of the past. Furthermore, the EZ Grip caps can be removed, so you can chuck them in your toolbox and use them with other non-Mediabridge coaxial cables.

Coaxial Mediabridge

Additionally, Mediabridge coaxial cables boast a UL rating. This means that the cables are safe for in-wall use. Say goodbye to ugly black cables snaking all over your floor!

3. Cable Matters Quad Shielded Coaxial Cable

The coaxial cables by Cable Matters may not look like anything special, but it’s what’s on the inside that counts. All coaxial cables consist of a conductor wrapped in insulation and shielding. Data travels down the conductor from the source of the signal, in this case your antenna, to your TV. The shielding protects that signal from electromagnetic interference. Electromagnetic interference can be natural, like a solar flare, or man-made, like a mobile telecommunications network.

Coaxial Cablematters

Many of the coaxial cables on the market are triple-shielded to protect against interference. However, the coaxial cables from Cable Matters are quad-shielded. This offers an additional layer of protection against electromagnetic interference to maintain the fidelity and integrity of the broadcast being received by your TV. This is beneficial to those who live in high-density areas such as cities, where there is a greater chance a signal could be interrupted by various electronic devices due to their close proximity to one another.

4. The Cimple Co Coaxial Cable

Coaxial cables from The Cimple Co are also CL2-rated, meaning they can be used both indoors and outdoors. However, the connectors on these coaxial cables feature a double seal. This can prevent water, dirt, oil and other results of harsh weather from interfering with the signal.

Coaxial Cimpleco

Thanks to their durability and weather resistance, the coaxial cables from The Cimple Co are backed with an impressive 10-year warranty. Furthermore, The Cimple Co coaxial cables are made in the USA.

If you don’t have an over-the-air HD TV antenna, you’re missing out on a ton of free high-definition entertainment. Take a look at our guide on how to pick the best antenna for your home and how to set it up. Which coaxial cable do you use in your home? Let us know in the comments!

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2 comments

  1. “Coaxial cables are used to transmit video signals.” Er…..no they’re not. They don’t “transmit” anything and the signals they connect are RF, NOT video.

  2. The conductors are actually copper plated steel so long lengths can be pulled without breaking and insertion into the female connector is possible without undue care to avoid buckling. Much cheaper, too.

    CL2 refers to fire rating based on max voltage spike a cable can carry, 150V for CL2. Has nothing to do with outdoor/indoor. Mediabridge’s easy grip cap is not shown, it’s not the knurling on the connector; along with all the others, may as well copy the blue cap image from Amazon, too.

    Comparing RG6 to RG11 is a bit misleading. Most consumers should probably use RG6; look into the different shielding and burial options if you’re installing your own connectors. RG11 has less signal loss, significant over long distances but is about twice the diameter of RG6, stiff, heavy, its min bend radius is large, connectors are twice as big. It’s considerably more expensive, especially the connectors. Difficult to use in typical indoor AV applications.

    BTW, connectors poorly assembled to cables or degraded over time are probably the no.1 source of signal issues. Kinking or otherwise changing the diameter or shape of the cable dielectric (the white core) can also degrade signals, so be nice to rf cables.

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