RG6 aka Antenna RF aka HD TV Coaxial Cable

High-definition television (HDTV) has become vital to modern home entertainment systems, offering exceptional picture and sound quality. To enjoy the full spectrum of HDTV’s potential, it is crucial to utilize the appropriate cable to connect your devices and deliver the high-resolution signal. RG6 style coaxial cable is typically the option you will use for optimal in-home signal transmission from sources like antennas or other RF (radio frequency) devices.

The RG6 coaxial cable, also known as an antenna RF cable, is specifically designed to accommodate high-frequency signals and minimize signal loss during transmission. It features a thicker conductor, better shielding, and a more robust insulator, which translates to improved signal quality and performance for television and radio transmission. This cable type is ideal for connecting HDTV antennas, cable boxes, satellite receivers, and other devices requiring precise and clear signal transmission.

HD TV Coaxial Cable

An HD TV coaxial cable is essential for transmitting high-definition video and audio signals from an external source, such as an antenna or a cable/satellite receiver, to your HD television. Among various types of coaxial cables, the RG6 coaxial cable is a popular choice for both residential and commercial use due to its superior performance and reduced signal loss.

The RG6 cable consists of a central conductor, usually made of copper or copper-clad steel, surrounded by a dielectric insulator, a foil shield, and a flexible outer jacket. This construction provides excellent shielding against electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio-frequency interference (RFI), which can degrade the quality of HD TV signals (watch the why-you-may-need-a-preamp video here).

When selecting an HD TV coaxial cable, it’s essential to consider the following factors:

  1. Cable length: To minimize signal loss, choose the shortest cable that meets your installation requirements. Longer cables may lead to increased attenuation and a reduction in signal quality.
  2. Connector type: The most common connector type for HD TV coaxial cables is the include F-type connector.
  3. Shielding: Look for cables with multiple layers of shielding, such as foil and braided shields, to ensure optimal protection against EMI and RFI interference.
  4. Jacket: the outer material can be modified by the manufacturer for better outdoor usage. Indoor/Outdoor usage is typically displayed on the cable packaging or item description online.

An antenna RF cable is a coaxial cable specifically designed to connect an external antenna to your TV or receiver. These cables provide a reliable and stable connection, allowing the antenna to pick up over-the-air HDTV broadcasts and transmit them to your television with minimal loss in quality. These are the same type of RG6 coaxial cables referenced in the HDTV section above.

In summary, RG6 is typically the cable you will use between an antenna and television, and it is a crucial aspect of achieving the best possible signal quality for your home entertainment system. Pay attention to factors like cable length, connector type, and shielding to make an informed choice that meets your needs.

RG6 Cable

Since RG6 is typically the cable used for HD TV reception, let’s go ahead and dig into the details of that specific cable type a bit more in-depth.

As mentioned above, the construction of an RG6 cable consists of a copper-clad steel center conductor, dielectric insulation, and an aluminum foil shield, which reduces the interference caused by electromagnetic and radio frequency signals. This shielding minimizes signal loss and provides an excellent level of noise immunity, allowing the cable to maintain signal integrity over long distances.

Some important features of RG6 cable include:

  • Impedance: The standardized impedance for RG6 cable is 75 ohms, making it compatible with various devices and systems that use this common value.
  • Attenuation: RG6 cables exhibit low signal loss, which is crucial for maintaining signal strength and quality over long distances.
  • Flexibility: Thanks to their robust build and flexible materials, RG6 cables can be easily routed around corners and obstacles, allowing for easy installation.
  • Weather Resistance: The outer layer of the RG6 cable is typically made of durable materials such as PVC or PE, providing protection against harsh weather conditions and preventing potential signal degradation. Indoor/Outdoor usage is typically shown in the item description.

When choosing an RG6 cable for your needs, it is essential to consider factors such as the cable length, overall quality, and connector types. The ideal cable should have gold-plated connectors for optimum signal transmission and especially corrosion resistance. RG6 cables come in various types, including standard, quad-shielded, and tri-shielded varieties that offer varying levels of protection against interference. Selecting the best option for your specific use case will ensure optimal performance and reliability.

In summary, RG6 cables are a reliable and effective solution for transmitting HDTV and antenna RF signals. Their durable construction, high-quality shielding, and standardized impedance make them suitable for various applications and compatible with a wide range of devices. Investing in the right RG6 cable will undoubtedly contribute to a high-quality viewing experience.

Other Coaxial Cable Types

Coaxial cables are a popular choice for transmitting video and audio signals, primarily in the HDTV, antenna, and RF cable industries. There are various types of coaxial cables available, each with its own specifications and applications. In this section, we will discuss the RG59, RG11, and RG58 coaxial cable types. RG8 is somewhat similar, but we have a whole post dedicated to it here.


RG59 coaxial cable is a common choice for low-power video applications. It is often used in security camera installations and standard-definition video signals. The cable has a thinner center conductor (typically 0.81 mm) with a dielectric insulation of about 3.7mm and an outer conductor braid.

Advantages of RG59:

  • Lower cost compared to other cable types
  • Easily available
  • Suitable for short distances

Disadvantages of RG59:

  • Not ideal for high-quality or long-distance video transmission
  • Higher signal attenuation compared to other cables


RG11 coaxial cable is used for high-frequency and long-distance transmissions. It has a thick center conductor (usually 1.63 mm), a dielectric insulation of about 7.1mm, and a dense outer conductor braid, which reduces signal attenuation.

Advantages of RG11:

  • Lower signal loss compared to RG59
  • Ideal for long-distance cable installations
  • Suitable for high-frequency applications

Disadvantages of RG11:

  • Heavier and less flexible than other cables
  • Typically more expensive than RG59


RG58 is a versatile coaxial cable type used for RF and data communications. It features a center conductor with a diameter of around 0.9 mm, a dielectric insulation of about 2.9mm, and an outer conductor braid. RG58 is most commonly used for two-way radio systems and Wi-Fi antennas.

Advantages of RG58:

  • Flexible and lightweight
  • Suitable for medium distances and moderate power applications

Disadvantages of RG58:

  • Not ideal for high-power or long-distance applications
  • Signal loss is higher compared to RG11

Each coaxial cable type serves a specific purpose, and your choice will depend on factors such as signal strength, distance, and cost. Consult experts or technical specifications to determine the best coaxial cable for your requirements.

Cable Selection Factors

When selecting a coaxial cable for your HD TV, antenna, or other RF applications, various factors should be considered to ensure optimal performance. This section will discuss the key aspects to look for, including signal loss, cable length, and shielding.

Signal Loss

Signal loss, also known as attenuation, occurs as the signal travels through the cable. The amount of signal loss varies depending on the type and quality of the cable. For instance, RG6 coaxial cable has lower signal loss compared to other cables, which makes it a popular choice for HD TV applications.

Different cable materials can affect signal loss:

  • Copper: Known for its excellent conductivity, copper cables exhibit minimal signal loss. Additionally, solid copper cables have lower resistance compared to stranded ones.
  • Aluminum: Though not as conductive as copper, aluminum is lightweight and less expensive. Cables with an aluminum core and a copper cladding can achieve lower signal loss without significantly increasing the cost.

Cable Length

The length of your cable plays a crucial role in signal quality. As the cable length increases, signal attenuation increases, leading to signal degradation. Ideally, choose a coaxial cable that is just long enough to reach your devices without unnecessary slack. Furthermore, avoid using cable extenders or splitters, as they can introduce more signal loss.

In general, for RG6 cables:

  • Up to 50 feet: Minimal signal loss
  • 50 to 100 feet: Moderate signal loss
  • Over 100 feet: Significant signal loss, may require a signal amplifier


Proper shielding is essential in minimizing interference from radio frequency (RF) and electromagnetic (EM) sources. The shielding materials and construction vary between different types of coaxial cables:

  • Foil shielding: A thin layer of aluminum foil provides basic protection against interference.
  • Braided shielding: A mesh of wires, typically made of copper or aluminum, offers better flexibility and protection than foil shielding alone.
  • Quad-shield: A combination of two layers of foil and two layers of braided shielding, providing maximum protection against interference.

Selecting the right HD TV coaxial cable involves considering the factors mentioned above. Choosing an RG6 cable with low signal loss, the appropriate length, and sufficient shielding ensures a strong and clear signal for your viewing experience.

Installation Tips

When installing an HD TV coaxial cable, such as RG6, it’s essential to follow a few guidelines to ensure the best performance and longevity. Here are some installation tips to help you achieve a successful setup.

First, keep the cable away from sources of electrical interference, such as power lines, transformers, and electrical appliances. This prevents signal degradation and guarantees the best possible picture and sound quality. Additionally, avoid bending the cable too tightly, as sharp bends can cause signal loss. Instead, opt for gentle curves when routing the cable.

It’s also essential to choose the right connectors for your specific coaxial cable. RG6 cables typically use F-type connectors, which are available in various styles, such as screw-on, push-on, and crimp-on. Select the connector type that best suits your installation needs and skill level. Also, ensure that your connectors are weatherproof if you’re installing an outdoor antenna.

Here are a few important points to consider when installing your antenna RF cable:

  • Use high-quality, shielded coaxial cable specifically designed for outdoor use to reduce signal interference and degradation.
  • Keep cable connections tight but be careful not to overtighten, as this may damage your equipment.
  • Ground both the antenna and coaxial cable to protect your setup from lightning strikes and potential electrical hazards.

Lastly, proper cable management can make a significant difference in the performance and aesthetics of your installation. Use cable clamps, cable ties, or raceways to secure and organize your cabling. Ensure that the cables are neatly arranged and not causing any tripping hazards, especially if the installation is in a public or shared space.

By following these installation tips, you’ll be well on your way to a successful HD TV coaxial cable installation that delivers excellent picture and sound quality.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Poor Picture Quality

Sometimes, you might experience poor picture quality when using an HD TV antenna. Here are a few possible reasons:

  • Cable Length: Longer cables might cause signal degradation. Try using a shorter RG6 cable or a signal amplifier.
  • Cable Quality: Low-quality cables might not perform well. Ensure you are using high-quality RG6 cables.
  • Interference: Certain electronics or objects near the cables can cause interference. Relocate the cables or move potential sources of interference away from your setup.

If all else fails, you might need to adjust or reposition your antenna for better reception of specific channels.

Connection Problems

In case you’re facing issues connecting your HD TV antenna and the TV, consider the following:

  • Check Connections: Ensure all cables are firmly attached to the appropriate connectors on both ends.
  • Isolate Problem Areas: Disconnect each component one by one to find the cause of the issue.
  • Replace Faulty Parts: If you identify a faulty cable or connector, replace it with a new one to resolve the problem.

Remember to double-check your TV’s input settings and ensure it’s set to the proper input for the antenna connection.


In summary, HD TV coaxial cables such as RG6 play a vital role in ensuring optimal signal quality and performance. These cables are specifically designed to transmit high-definition digital signals over long distances. By using the appropriate cable type and taking into consideration factors like cable length and connector quality, you can drastically improve your HDTV viewing experience.

RG6 coaxial cables are the preferred choice for many homeowners and businesses due to their superior shielding and lower signal loss. These cables effectively reduce the impact of interference and noise on the digital signal. It is essential to invest in a good quality RG6 cable and connectors for your HD TV setup in order to enjoy the best possible video and audio quality.

To get the most out of your HD TV system, selecting the right cable type and quality is crucial. Whether you are connecting your HDTV to a cable or satellite box or setting up an outdoor antenna, using the correct cables will provide a more stable and reliable signal, ensuring an enjoyable viewing experience in the long run.

Remember that proper cable installation, maintenance, and periodic updates are essential aspects of maintaining a high-quality HD TV system. By following these guidelines, you’ll be able to make the most of your investment and enjoy the full benefits of current and future high-definition technologies.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of coaxial cable is best for an HDTV antenna?

For HDTV antennas, RG6 coaxial cable is the best choice. This cable has a thicker conductor and better shielding compared to older cables like RG59, which minimizes signal loss and provides a more reliable connection for HDTV signals.

How do RG6 specifications affect antenna performance?

RG6 coaxial cable specifications play a crucial role in antenna performance. A cable with a lower signal loss (measured in dB per 100 feet) enables a stronger and clearer signal reception. Additionally, RG6 cables with better shielding reduce interference from other nearby cables or electronic devices, ultimately improving the antenna’s signal quality.

Which connectors are suitable for TV antenna coaxial cables?

The most common connectors for TV antenna coaxial cables are F-type connectors. These connectors are designed for a secure connection and minimal signal loss, making them ideal for use with RG6 coaxial cables and HDTV antennas.

Yes, RG6 cable is recommended for outdoor antenna setups. RG6 coaxial cables are durable and can withstand outdoor weather conditions. Many RG6 cables are also UV-resistant, preventing damage from sunlight exposure.

How can I make a DIY coaxial cable antenna?

To create a DIY coaxial cable antenna, you will need the following materials: an RG6 coaxial cable, F-Type connectors, an antenna matching transformer, and wire cutters/strippers. Start by cutting the desired length of the coaxial cable, strip the outer shielding, and attach the F-Type connectors. Lastly, connect the antenna-matching transformer to the cable and connect it to your TV or set-top box.

Are RF and coaxial cables the same for my TV?

RF (radio frequency) and coaxial cables refer to the same type of cable used for TV signal transmission. Coaxial cables are designed to transmit RF signals, so when referring to cables for TV antennas, these terms are often used interchangeably.

Can I reuse old coax in my home for internet?

Yes, you can run ethernet over coax if the RG6 currently run through your house is unused. A great alternative wired ethernet if trying to take advantage of existing home wiring.

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