How Do You Locate the Outside Cable Box for the TV?

By Marie Hardy

The outside cable television box is usually attached to the outside of a house or apartment. It contains the connectors linking the cable line from the street to coaxial cables that lead into your house and ultimately to your television. As a cable subscriber, you may need to check the connection of the wires within the box when having reception problems with your cable signal. In some instances, the cable company locks the outside cable box, and you may need to call your cable company for a service call.

Step 1

Walk around the perimeter of your house, and find the electric meter box attached to the outside of your home. Typically, the outside cable box is located next to other utility boxes attached to your home, including the electric meter box and telephone box. Even if your utility lines are underground, the wiring for cable television, electric and telephone services are usually installed close to each other.

Step 2

Look for a gray or black box, which may have the name of your cable provider printed on the front. You will see a black cable that runs into the box from either a utility pole or underground utility source and coaxial cables that run out of the cable box into your home. A grounding wire will hang from the bottom of the cable box. That wire will be attached to an underground grounding source or a metal fixture, such as a stake.

Step 3

Locate the main utility pole near your house if your utility wires are aboveground and your outside cable box is not next to the other utility boxes. Multiple black cables run from that utility pole to your home, including cables carrying your electricity, phone and cable television signals. The electrical cable should be easy to spot, because it is a thicker cable and is usually covered by a sheath as it runs down your house to the electric meter box. However, the telephone and cable wires may look the same.

Step 4

Follow the black cables from the utility pole to the corresponding utility boxes attached to your house. Through a process of elimination, one of those wires will lead you to your cable television box.

Step 5

Call your cable provider if you cannot locate your outside cable television box.

Tips & Warnings

  • Not every home has an outside cable box. In some cases, the black cable from the utility pole is attached directly to the outside of the home without any covering.
  • An alternative method of finding the outside cable box is to locate the exit/entry point of the coaxial cable wire to your home and then follow that wire to the outside cable box.
  • It is illegal to open the outside cable box to obtain free cable television.
  • Outside cable boxes normally have a grounding wire. However, there is always a chance of electrical shock.