How to Extend Your Coaxial TV Cable

By Greg Martinez / May 19, 2020
extend your coaxial tv cable

*As an Amazon Associate we may earn from qualifying purchases when you buy through links on our site.

Picture this. You want to rearrange your living room to give it a fresh new look. The final piece of the puzzle involves moving your TV to the opposite side of the space to complete the makeover.

You then realize that the coax cable is too short, effectively rendering the last several hours you spent moving things around, a complete waste of valuable time.

There’s nothing you can do about it. It’s the end of the road for your interior décor project. Or is it?

Fortunately for you and your home improvement project, this doesn’t have to be the case. Simply install a coaxial cable extender, and you’re good to go!

This guide explores everything you need to know about how to extend your coaxial TV cable like a pro.

What You’ll Need

Here’s some parts and tools you might need to extend your coaxial cable:

  • A multimeter: To check for hot wires (optional)
  • A tape measure: For measuring the length of the proposed extension.
  • Extra coaxial cable: Mentioning this is perhaps overkill, but be aware of which type of cable you’re extending. This article is about how to extend RG6 or RG59 coaxial cable – the types commonly used for TV signals (OTA, satellite, cable). In fact, you might find the cable type, such as “RG6,” labeled somewhere on the sheath. Coaxial cable also typically terminates in a male F-connector (metallic), which you’ll connect to the extension adapter (below).
  • Coaxial cable threaded F-type extension adapter: Also known as a “barrel adapter,” this is the piece needed to easily (i.e., without impedance issues) connect two coax cables together. A typical extender is the GE RG6 Coaxial Cable Extension Adapter.
  • Coaxial cable compression fittings (optional): These are metal fittings that “cap” a coaxial cable, allowing you to plug it in to device connectors. If you need to buy a set of fittings, I recommend the GoodQbuy Coax Compression Connector, which is an all-in-one kit that also comes with wire stripping and crimping tools.

Step 1: Take the Necessary Safety Precautions

Before you embark on your DIY project, ensure that the coaxial cable you want to extend is disconnected from all electrical devices. You can also use a multimeter to check if there are any hot wires around before you start working.

An electrical mishap is the last thing you want to deal with when it could have been avoided altogether.

Once all potential safety hazards have been dealt with, proceed to step 2.

Step 2: Measure the Distance

Next, you’ll need to measure the length of the area you intend to extend your coaxial TV cable to. Your measurements need to be as accurate as possible. Just to be on the safe side, shoot for a slightly higher number.

It’s always better to have a longer cable than a shorter one since you can always cut it to the desired length.

measurement tape image

If it ends up being too short, you might have to get yet another cable and extender to get it to the required length.

While this shouldn’t be a problem per se, having too many extenders along the same cable line may cause signal loss and be a factor affecting the quality of the signal transmitted.

So it’s always better to keep them to an absolute minimum.

Step 3: Get Your Cables Ready

The next phase involves preparing your cables for the extension process. To begin, check that the F-connectors of the cables are firmly in place. You can use your fingers or a pair of pliers to twist the connectors to secure them.

You’ll need to do this for both the existing cable as well as the one to be used in the extension.

ready cable image

The extension cable you purchase should be fitted with a male F-type connector at the TV (or set-top box) end and be somewhat longer than the distance you measured above in Step 2.

Step 4: The Extension Process

Now that you’ve prepped your cables, you’re now ready to begin the extension process.

Connect the extension adapter to the end of the TV cable that you’re planning on extending. Make sure that you have a tight connection (especially if it’s outdoors – you certainly don’t want moisture leaking into the end of the cable).

coax cable extension process

Next, attach the second coaxial cable connector to the other end of the extender. Ideally, two cables are enough for the extension process.

But, you could always get additional cables, extenders, and connectors if you need to extend the original cable to multiple rooms.

Keep in mind that the male F-connector on the free end of the extension cable connects to the female F-connector of the TV and vice-versa.

Step 5: Connect the Destination

Attach the extension cable to the TV and attach the other end of the original cable’s connector to the signal source like your antenna (if you had disconnected it before).

Ensure that all connections are firm and secure. Power-up your TV, run a channel scan, and check to see that you can view all the channels with the expected audio and video quality.

If you can’t, troubleshoot the connections to identify any possible mismatches in the connectors and their respective ports.

Choosing the Best Coaxial Cable Extender

Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing an adapter for your coaxial TV cable.

Affordability

A good coaxial cable extension adapter shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg. A pack of two to five pieces will typically set you back $5 to $6 on average.

Compatibility

Ensure that you get an extender that is compatible with most (if not all) brands of RG59 and RG6 coaxial cables.

That way, you can use it to extend TV, cable box, satellite receiver, off-air HDTV antenna, or any other digital A/V component cable.

Connectors

For the signal to be transmitted at a maximum frequency, it is always better to get extenders that have gold- or nickel-plated brass connectors.

This protects them against corrosion, effectively preventing oxidation of the cable’s center conductor.

Weatherproofing

If you intend to use the extender outdoors, ensure that it comes with a rubber sheath protector to guard against the weather.

Also, make sure that the fittings are tight enough to prevent moisture from getting into the cable.

Ease of Installation

You want a coaxial cable extender that is easy to install and disassemble. Pick one that allows you to screw it on or off both sides of your coax cable.

A Money-Saving Life Hack

Can you picture living in a world that didn’t have a single coaxial cable extender? Imagine having to buy a brand new cable every time you wanted to extend your existing one by a few feet.

That would be such an inconvenience. Not to mention how costly it would be.

Thankfully, this doesn’t have to be your reality. Use the steps outlined in this guide to extend your coaxial cable by any length and to any other rooms in your home without having to buy a new one each time.

Talk about a money-saver! If you feel like you’re way out of your depth, get a professional to help you do it.

Click here to add a comment

Leave a comment: