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How to activate a Comcast cable TV outlet

Have you been told by xfinity Comcast or another cable provider that you need to “activate” a cable TV outlet? If you want to save money and activate the outlet yourself, here is how!

Last week, I showed you how we rearranged our living room. I also mentioned that we hit one snag.

What happened is that Sean swapped the placement of the TV and the couch. We are lucky enough to have a cable outlet on each of the walls in the living room.

We previously had it plugged in on the left, but now we can easily plug it in on the right side. Or, so we thought.

Sean moved everything and plugged in the tv in its new spot and…. nothing happened. Ditto internet. The cable was not working!

I called Comcast (our internet/cable provider) and after being told to wait 30 minutes (nothing happened still) we finally connected to someone that informed us that that outlet wasn’t activated and that we would have to have a technician come out and activate it.

This was annoying because:

  1. We wanted to watch TV NOW!
  2. Technician visit = $$$
  3. Technicians tend to lead to an appointment “between twelve and four” meaning I’d end up having to take a half day off work.

So, I hung up angrily and we decided to figure out how to do it ourselves!

long cable cord

But as I told you before, I really like this new layout. I want it to work. So I went to work on Monday and proceeded to try Googling it.

Google had lots of forums with people mostly complaining about Comcast/Xfinity, but little actual help.

So, I decided to run it by a Mr. Fix-it coworker. I explained to him that I wanted to activate an outlet. He asked me if I had seen a bundle of coaxial cables- probably with a splitter or two.

He said they might be near my electric box, but I knew that it must be the big random bundle of cords in my porch closet!

Apparently, a cable cord can only hold a certain number of out wires. Mine can hold two and had two that were just… dangling.

So, I randomly picked one to unscrew and screwed in the other. Then I tested the internet in the new outlet… no change.

I was starting to think that maybe Mr. Fix it was wrong. I tried the other un-attached cable, with low hopes.

how to activate an xfinity coaxial cable outlet

How to “activate” a cable TV outlet

Here’s how easy it is to activate an xfinity coax cable outlet!

STEP 1: Locate your cords

Look for a bundle of coaxial cables. It will likely be near the electrical panel or near your cable hookup. It might be behind a blank outlet cover.

Ours was in the closet of our porch. Don’t ask me why!

Here’s what it will look like >>

activate a cable outlet

STEP 2: Check the “out” plugs

Your splitter is going to have a certain number of slots marked OUT. These are limited to however many slots the splitter has.

There are then going to be “out” wires. These each basically represent a cable plug in your house.

activate a cable outlet

If the cable is not plugged into an OUT spot on the splitter, that outlet won’t work.

So, you are going to need to unplug an OUT wire and plug in one of the extra wires. Trial and error until your new outlet works.

Make sure you don’t disconnect another outlet that you are using in the process!

activate a cable outlet

What if you want to have more active outlets than you have “out” spots?

Wow, you’re TV rich! To activate more outlets, you might need to upgrade to a coaxial splitter with more OUT plugs. This is a good one with 4 spots!

activate a cable outlet

Finally, I got the internet box to light up the winning combo! By some miracle, it worked!

So, no, you don’t have to pay your cable provider to activate an outlet. Find the bundle of cords, and plug in one of the loose cords into an output plug. Boom! You should have power!

That is how to activate a cable outlet.

activate a cable outlet

Any more questions about how to activate a coaxial outlet for internet xfinity?

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Wednesday 14th of July 2021

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Thursday 7th of February 2019

Thanks so much for sharing this. Just moved into an apartment in Tulsa. I pick up my modem from Cox Internet and start deciding how I’m going to set up. lo and behold only 1 outlet is working. I call Cox. WTH. Well we’ll have to send out a tech.

I find this then go find my electrical panel. Tucked away neatly inside is that bundle of wires. What a rip off.

Thank you!


Thursday 7th of February 2019

I am so glad this worked for you! SUCH a rip off don't get me started on cable company BS :)

Wesley Garrett

Thursday 15th of November 2018

Thank you so much. Comcast wanted $160 to come out and switch one room. Your post helped me save. Thanks!

Lee H

Friday 26th of October 2018

Thank you!! This is still working for me even in October 2018! My townhome has a bundle of cables in a hidden compartment on my porch.

I located the 4 way splitter with 3 cables unplugged and 2 plugged in.

I kept the cable box upstairs plugged in while the X1 was trying to connect. I tried one cable for 3 minutes...Nothing.

I tried the second cable and within seconds it was on and working upstairs!! Literally saved me $60, taking time off of work, and getting annoyed by the technician.

Now all of my cables are activated.

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