A cable splitter refers to an electronic device used to turn one outlet connection into two or more. That allows you to connect more than one TV set to your home entertainment system. However, dividing the signal using a splitter weakens it, limiting the number of TV sets that can be connected from one line without using a signal amplifier.
The splitting process is relatively simple, but it requires some skills to know the type of splitter that will work best with your existing set-up. Here are various types of cable TV splitters available on the market:
Types Of Cable Splitters
Transformer Cable Splitters
This type of splitter divides the signal equally to all the output ports to limit the loss while passing through the splitter itself.
The LightHub 5-way transformer splitter is one of the best in this class. Choose these if you are looking for a coax cable splitter for tv and the internet.
Resistor Cable Splitters
Compared to transformers, resistors are cheaper and cost-effective components.
However, this type of splitter involves a significant amount of signal degradation, with about 50% of the signal lost in the splitter, while the other 50% is divided among the outputs.
Balanced and Unbalanced Splitters
As earlier mentioned, all types of splitters involve a certain amount of signal degradation, normally measured in decibels (dB).
The loss normally ranges from 3.5dB while using a two-way splitter to 14.5dB with a 16-way model.
When your splitter has an even number of output ports, the signal loss will be evenly balanced in all output ports to deliver a signal with identical strength in all the TV sets.
However, unbalanced splitters come with an odd number of ports, with some outputs having a stronger signal than others. Nonetheless, they are still useful for splitting the TV signal with a coaxial cable since televisions don’t require much bandwidth.
Low & High-Frequency Splitters
Coaxial cable splitters (used for TV signals) are created to work with 5-1000 MHz bands commonly used in modern digital cable signals or 5-2300 MHz bands common in satellite TVs.
As such, you can use a high-frequency splitter like the BAMF 4-Way Coax Cable Splitter (5-2300MHz) for low-frequency cable signals as they cover the entire low frequency.
You can use these splitters if you have been asking how to connect the TV and modem to one cable outlet or how to get internet from a cable TV line or anything related to coax cable splitter for tv and internet. However, low-frequency splitters are not useful for satellite signals.
Splitting Your Cable TV Line
To add another TV receiver in your home or office, you need a 75-ohm coaxial line splitter with two, three, or more output ports and additional cable to get started. Keep in mind that the signal may not work if the output demand exceeds the strength of the input signal (See Warning).
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to split your cable TV line:
Items You’ll Need
- Cable Splitters
- Coaxial TV cable
- Cable cutter/Clipper
- “F” connectors
- Continuity/circuit checker
- Cable tacks
Step 1: Determine, Measure and Cut Your Wire
To start the splitting process, you need to measure and cut the length of the wires you need to fix from the splitter to your TV sets.
Keep in mind that the cable needs to be inconspicuous and attached to the wall, ceiling, or floor. You’ll also want to add 6-12 inches at the end of the wire to avoid kinking in the coax.
Step 2: Affix The “F” Connectors
With the type of “F” connectors that attach to your 75 ohm TV and cable box inputs, affix them on each end of the coax wires.
To do that, strip off about half an inch of the outer coating by peeling off the insulation and cut about a quarter-inch of the inner shielding to reveal the copper solid at the center.
To complete this step, slip the connectors over at the end of the wire and push it down until the copper center conductor has reached the end of the center tube.
Step 3: Crimp The Connectors At The End Of the Wire
Using the crimping tool on your wire ring towards the end of the coax cable, crimp the “F” connectors to make them firm.
You can check for their firmness by attempting to turn the connectors gently. However, you should remove the connector and begin again with a new installation it turns.
To check the cables, use a circuit or continuity checker by touching both ends of the probes.
That should be done for both the inner copper center wire and the outer ground. You should consider removing the connectors from both ends and install new connectors if the checker doesn’t light up to indicate a closed circuit.
Step 4: Screw The Main Coax Cable To The Splitter Input
Connect your main coax line to the splitter input by screwing it on the tip to secure it using a pair of pliers. After that, connect the other lines that you’ve created on the splitter’s output.
The output connections will generally have a label indicating “-3dB” or something similar to signify the amount of signal loss that will result from splitting the signal.
To complete the installation, connect the other ends of the coax cable to your Televisions’ input ports and tack down the wire using cable tacks. For an amplified splitter, you need to connect the power plug to a standard electrical outlet or consider installing a power inserter connected to the outlet.
Pro Tip: Get A Pre Cut Ligh Duty Cables For Short Distances
If you’re planning to install two wires over a short distance (less than four feet), consider purchasing pre-cut RG-59 wires (light-duty indoor coaxial cables).
However, it’s cheaper to make your wires than to buy pre-made wires if the connections involve long distances.
You can also consider using RG-11 (medium-duty indoor-outdoor) cables for lengths over three feet inside or outside the house. So, if you’ve been asking how to split cable to another room, there you go.
Do Cable Splitters Weaken TV Signal?
Whenever a TV signal is split, it usually encounters insertion loss that will weaken the signals distributed beyond the splitter.
If you experience signal issues while using a splitter, installing a distribution amplifier or a preamplifier is recommended.
Can I Use A Distribution Amplifier And A Preamplifier In My Antenna System?
You can certainly use the two together in the same antenna system. However, they must be so that they both receive power.
Suppose the distribution amplifier is installed between the preamplifier and the preamplifier’s power source. In that case, the distribution amplifier usually blocks the voltage that needs to get the preamplifier, resulting in no signal.
Moreover, some distribution amplifiers have a power inserter option, which you can connect to one of the distribution amplifier output ports, also labeled as power in.
To ensure your connection works out as required, don’t split the signal if it’s less than 3dBs. You can ask your cable company to tell you the signal strength coming to your home or office and the number of splits allowed before being required to install a line amplifier.
Norvan Martin is the founder of BoomSpeaker.com. He is a professional Electronics Engineer and is passionate about home theater systems and AV electronics. BoomSpeaker was created as an online hub to share his knowledge and experiences as it relates to home theaters and home audio electronics.