Last updated: August 6, 2021

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The coaxial cable transmits video and audio signals to the television or music system. It is also colloquially called satellite cable or antenna cable and can be found in almost every household today.

In our detailed product comparison, we help you find a suitable coaxial cable and answer the most important questions about the topic. To make your decision easier, we present selected cables from different manufacturers and in each price range and tell you the advantages and disadvantages.




Summary

  • Coaxial cables transmit video and audio signals to your TV or music system. They are necessary to get a complete television experience.
  • The cable itself is always the same, but the plug can vary. There are three different plugs that go with the coaxial cable.
  • A coaxial cable is suitable for SAT reception and cable reception as well as for signals in high quality HD.

The BestCoaxial Cable: Our Choices

Buying and evaluation criteria for coaxial cable

In the following, we will show you which criteria you should use to select a coaxial cable. This will make your decision easier and you will know exactly what is important when buying the cable. Our focus is on the following characteristics:

We explain in detail what you need to consider based on the following aspects.

Length

Even though you can of course choose any length of coaxial cable, there are some aspects you should consider. Basically, before buying, you should consider for what purpose and at what distance the cable is intended. Two coaxial cables can be connected together, but this construction is more susceptible to sources of interference. Therefore, the cable should always be purchased slightly too long.

It is also important that the cable is not under tension when in use and that kinks are avoided. Nevertheless, the shorter the coaxial cable, the better the signal quality. Therefore, you should pay close attention to the attenuation, especially for longer distances.

Thickness

It is better to buy coaxial cables that are too thick than too thin. Thicker cables are more robust and kinks are less likely to occur. In addition, the attenuation of the cable and thus also the signal is improved with a thick coaxial cable. The cables are available in diameters from 2 mm to 15 mm.

In some cases, a thin cable or a so-called "flat cable" is still recommended. These are particularly suitable if the coaxial cable has to be laid behind devices or under plaster.

Here, a thicker cable interferes and may be kinked, which in turn can lead to interference signals. Therefore, the coaxial cable should always be adapted to the circumstances.

Shielding

The shielding of a coaxial cable is given in dB. The higher the value, the better the shielding and thus the signal quality. For normal use, a cable with over 85dB is sufficient.

However, if there are sources of interference in the vicinity, the shielding value should be higher. Sources of interference are e.g. a DECT cordless telephone or other devices with the same wave frequency.

To have an overview as a consumer, there are three shielding classes. They indicate the degree of shielding and help with the purchase decision.

Class Degree of shielding
Class A greater than 85dB
Class A+ greater than 100dB
Class A++ greater than 110dB

There are also classes below A, but these are not suitable for TV signals and are therefore of no interest.

Attenuation

Attenuation is also given in dB. However, the lower the value, the stronger the signal. For normal use, a coaxial cable with an attenuation value of 30dB/ 100 m at 2.1 GHz and 14dB/ 100 m at 450 MHz is sufficient. The longer the coaxial cable, the stronger the attenuation and thus the susceptibility to signal interference.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about coaxial cable answered in detail

In the following, we answer frequently asked questions about coaxial cables to help you make the right purchase decision.

What is a coaxial cable?

A coaxial cable is a cable for your TV or home cinema system. It transmits video and audio signals to the TV or music system. The cable consists of several layers and has an inner and an outer conductor.

The inner conductor is made of copper and the visible outer jacket is made of plastic or rubber. The outer conductor shields possible interference signals and the space between the inner and outer conductors is called the insulator or dielectric.

Koaxialkabel

A coaxial cable can also be connected directly to the television. (Image source: Patrick Campanale/ Unsplash)

The coaxial cable is connected between the cable connection and the cable receiver or between the satellite dish and the SAT receiver.

What types of coaxial cable are there?

Basically, there are no differences - except for quality - between the individual coaxial cables. However, the plugs differ. Which plug is the right one for your own use depends on the individual connection at home.

On the one hand, there is the cinch plug. This plug consists of three individual plugs and is used in audio and video applications. Here, there is little danger of interference signals. On the other hand, there is the more common F-plug. The F-connector is fixed with a screw mechanism and is therefore very tight. It is used for satellite reception.

What does a coaxial cable cost?

A coaxial cable comes in different lengths and thicknesses and with different properties. The quality can vary greatly from one manufacturer to another. We have compiled a small overview for you below:

Price range Available products
Low-priced (5 - 10 €) simple design, inner conductor stretched with other materials - no pure copper
Medium-priced (10 - 20 €) better quality, less interference signals, sometimes pure copper inner conductors
High-priced (from 20 €) high-quality materials, high copper content of the inner conductor

Can a coaxial cable be extended?

If the coaxial cable you bought is too short, or if you bought a new device, you can extend the cable. To do this, strip the insulation from two coaxial cables and attach a connector for F-connectors. With this connection, both cables are joined and result in a long coaxial cable.

But an extended coaxial cable is more susceptible to interference signals. Therefore, it makes more sense to invest in a longer cable to guarantee good reception.

Conclusion

There are different coaxial cables in different lengths and thicknesses and with different properties. You can choose between F-connectors and RCA connectors and should pay attention to attenuation and shielding. The dB values and different shielding classes help you to get an overview and make a better decision. It always depends on your own use of the cable.

A coaxial cable is available in different price classes from different manufacturers. It is still worth investing in a more expensive model to get the best possible reception and avoid interfering signals.

The cheaper models often have a lower copper content in the inner conductor and are of poorer quality. We have summarised all the other important purchase criteria above to help you make your decision.

(Cover photo: Antonio Longueira/ Pixabay)

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