cable TV splitter question

I need to split my cable feed into 4 to serve 4 rooms. I just realized I am using a 1 to 6 splitter but only using 4 of the output and 2 were not hooked up.
I am wondering does this matter? Is one of those downstream cable getting 1/4 or 1/6 of the signal strength?
Should I get a better 1 to 4 splitter? I have a cheal AIM 11-4060 900MHz splitter now.
Thanks,
MC
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am
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As long as you have a strong incoming RF signal, unused outputs of your splitter should not affect the signal quality.
However, a 4 output splitter divides the power of the incoming signal more or less equally to 4 outputs. A 6 output splitter does the same with 6 outputs. The sensitivity of modern electronics is such that you can usually divide the power of the incoming signal several times before it will affect signal quality.
Theroretically, an unterminated output functions the same as an unterminated transmission line reflecting 100% of the power back in the other direction. If this were a long line, it could cause ghosting and other undesirable effects. In practice, the amount of reflected power is usually so small that you do not see the effects or need to worry about it. For critical applications however, they do sell 75 ohm terminating resistors with F connector threads.
Professional RF distribution systems also have taps available as an alternative to splitters. A tap looks like a spliter accept it has an RF in and RF out in additition to the RF tap outputs. The tap outputs typically take a very, very small portion of the output power from the main line. Taps are available in various power ratings. -20 dB, -14 dB, and -10 dB are typical. Taps might be used in applications like a hospital, for example, where you might have 30 or more receivers being fed off of a main line.
Beachcomber
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Optimum setup is a good 1 to 4 splitter but if you have good snow-free picture in all rooms and a dependable internet connection, why worry. The unused splitter terminals ideally should have 75 ohm terminators installed. They should NOT have unterminated cables attached.
SJF
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for basic cable from adelphia buffalo the answer would not matter much. but for cablemodem service or digital hd tv quality and cableboxes you want the cable company to do all that stuff for you. if you do it and your digital box changes channels slowly or has dropout, call them and they'll replace the bad wiring with no service charge [buffalo ny] with their technicians always busy changing out a cable end or splitter or wire or box here every year and the electronic testers they bring, it's a better job.
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Cheap 900Mhz splitter...? Get yourself a decent quality 2.4Ghz splitter (they are less than $5 in most electronic stores), it'll make a big difference in signal quality.
My Father-in-law had a cheap splitter, and some old RG59 cabling, and was splitting 4 or 5 ways also.. Had added a signal booster to try to get a better signal, and it was acceptable to him, but pathetic in my opinion. One day I bought a new 2.4Ghz splitter, instead of those cheapo ones you get from the dollar stores, and replaced his wiring with decent quad -shield RG6 cable, removed the signal booster, and the picture quality went from pathetic, to impressive for an analog cable signal. It was super clear, and no boosters needed.
So don't underestimate the difference a decent quality splitter, and some decent cables will make. I got a 6 way splitter for him, and now using only 5 outputs, and didn't terminate the open one, but doesn't seem to make a huge difference.
Good Luck...

am
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miamicuse wrote:

I have a similar question about whether there's enough breeze to turn more than one windmill...
I guess I'll just have to try it and see.
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HeyBub wrote:

The output taps are getting 1/6 the signal at the input. Best practice says you should terminate the unused taps with a 75 ohm resistor (they sell special caps for this), but in reality it usually makes no noticeable difference.
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Tim Killian ( snipped-for-privacy@notmyrealemail.com) said...

For all practical purposes, leaving unused outputs on a splitter will not cause any problems.
With transmission lines, they should be terminated with the proper impedance in order to avoid reflections that can cancel or increase the signal at various places along the line (like the interference pattern generated when two stones are dropped into water).
At one extreme, if you shorted the line, the signal would reflect back due to inductance properties of the line. If you leave the line open, you get just as much reflection due to capacitive effects. When you terminate it with the line's impedance (75 ohm for TV coax), no reflections occur.
With a splitter, the open end is so close to the signal source (in the splitter) that there is negligible relection caused. If you took one of those outlets and connected a cable to a wall plate in a room and didn't hook up something to that outlet, then you should put a terminator on it.
--
Calvin Henry-Cotnam
"Never ascribe to malice what can equally be explained by incompetence."
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