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YES, get a cable box that has audio/video outputs on the rear and go from there to one of the sets your tv set has (INPUT)----put set on that input (they are labeled) and change channels via the cable box, bypass a hundred dollar plus repair and get a better picture and sound quality to boot.
the cable fitting goes to the tuner in the set but the rear audio/video jacks bypass the tuner completely.
On most TV sets, the cable connector (also called an F-connector) is just press-fitted into the metal housing of the tuner (which selects the channels). It's not very strong mechanically and is pretty easily broken by tripping over the cable, moving the TV if the cable is too short, or often by cable technicians who overtighten the cable connection with a wrench.
The good news is that this can be fixed. There are two ways. The simple method is to replace the tuner. It's quick but costly as a new tuner may run $100. The second way is to replace the broken-off F-connector. On some sets it's possible to do this without removing the tuner, but not always. This repair may take a little more labor time, but saves the cost of the tuner.
Either way, this is a repair that's best left to a professional. Without the soldering skills and equipment needed, it's possible to do major damage to the TV and tuner circuit boards. I would recommend getting an estimate for the repair from a shop in your area. Yes, there are still places that fix TVs, but they are getting scarce.
Another possible "fix" is to forget about using the TV cable connection and use a VCR or DVR to tune the channels, and just use the TV's video and audio inputs. It doesn't repair the TV, but it gets you back onto the cable.
I hope you've found this helpful. Thanks for using Fixya!
You don't mention the model, but your symptom is common for many brands of TV. Solder connections inside the tuner go bad and cause the kind of problem you are having.
When the trouble starts, try tapping on the back of the set where the antenna or cable connection is screwed on. You may find this causes it to clear up or at least have some effect. If so, the problem most likely would be cured by repairing the tuner. This involves taking the tuner off the circuit board, opening its cover, and resoldering the connections that are usually visibly cracked.
This is probably not a repair you could make yourself, unless you have some experience with electronic soldering. But a service call would be less than the cost of a new TV. If you decide to go with a service call, make sure to tell the servicer you'd like the tuner repaired. Some techs will just give an estimate for replacing the tuner because of time, but opening and repairing the tuner does not take that much longer than just replacing it. And it saves you the cost of an expensive part.
You should take this to a service shop to have it properly repaired. They may have to order a new tuner module if the circuit board inside has been damaged.
There are safety issues with grounding and AC mains isolation with this connector.
Servicing this can have serious safety issues. Take the set to a service center if you want it repaired.
For the average TV set, the tuner module is rather expensive. It can be in the area of about $70 to $120 depending on the model. There is about 1 hour of labour involved if there are no problems to change it.
You may be lucky, and the service tech may be able to fix the connector back to the tuner case or have a way to change it.
If the set is more than about 5 years old the tuner module may no longer be available.
John, the rf connector is not replaceable, have to replace tuner, this involves removing the main board, unsoldering old tuner and replace with new tuner and solder it in. Not rocket scientry if you have the equipment and a working knowledge of how to un-solder & re-solder in the part. You didn`t give make & model number so can`t give you price or part number, if you decide you can do this repair, send me make& model number & I`ll look up part number for you, BMW Rider