Coaxial cable 4-way splitter: which to buy?

Hello, I have cable tv, phone, and internet service. Currently one coaxial cable enters house, splits into two, and goes to cable box and cable modem respec
tively. I want to run a coaxial cable to another two TVs and I understand that I will get very few channels on those other TVs without a cable box ea ch, but that's ok with me. What type of 4-way splitter should I buy? Ther e are many cheap ones. Some claim to be bi-directional. Some have reviews complaining about low- or high-pass filters messing with signals. Is ther e any easy way to figure this out? Advice appreciated. Thank you. Theodore
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In alt.home.repair, on Sun, 26 Jul 2020 19:44:26 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I've found they're all about the same. BUT, for every 2 consecutive splitters you use, one has to be a splitter/ampfier or an amplifer followed by a splitter. But you can do what I did, just use splitters and if/when the signal is too weak, buy an amplifier. You're not using the same input or outputs anyhow so you might not need one.
But I've had two distribution amps plugged in constantly for 36 years and they still work fine.
Any output that doesn't have a cable/tv connected to it should have a terminator, or whatever they are called. It's a little thing that screw onto the F-connector that lessens the loss you would have from it. .

I'm sure if they say they are, they are. Why would you need bi-directional?

Simple 2-way splitters are 2 or 3 dollars online last I looked and less than 10 at a local store. You can use 2 or 3 of them in sequence, but I agree that 4-way will look neater.

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That sounds right to me and they also usually have a free box for extra TVs that only gets some level of basic cable. You still need a smart box for anything they charge extra for. At least that is how Comcast sold their wares in the HOA my wife ran. They usually do charge extra if they actually show up but they will send you the parts for being a loyal sucker, I mean customer for free.
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Hi. I've tried this before and I get local channels on the TVs without a cable box. I'm fine with that for those specific TVs. I've tried putting splitt ers in series and I had signal problems where it would, for example, drop s ignal out to the cable box from time to time. That's why I was thinking ma ybe better to use just one 4-way splitter instead of two or more splitters in series. Or maybe the splitters I currently have are poor quality? Just trying to figure out a brand or criteria I should be looking for in a qual ity splitter to try to avoid signal issues, if possible.
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On Monday, July 27, 2020 at 9:10:31 AM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

e box. I'm fine with that for those specific TVs. I've tried putting spli tters in series and I had signal problems where it would, for example, drop signal out to the cable box from time to time. That's why I was thinking maybe better to use just one 4-way splitter instead of two or more splitter s in series. Or maybe the splitters I currently have are poor quality? Ju st trying to figure out a brand or criteria I should be looking for in a qu ality splitter to try to avoid signal issues, if possible.
Do the math. If you use a 4-way, each gets 25% of the signal, ignoring insertion losses. If you use two 2-way, the TV off the first splitter gets 50%, the other two get 25% and you have only three total connections. Plus there is insertion loss and I'm pretty sure the loss of the two splitters is more than the loss of one 4-way. Using two 2-way could make sense if you need 50% signal for say a cable off the first spliiter, that it works better with that. But I'd think in most cases if you're having trouble and need 50% going to that, then the other devices getting 25% may not work right either. The big issue here is what you have coming in to work with. If it's strong, no problem. If it's marginal, well you can't get 10 lbs of stuff out of a 5 lb bag.
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On 7/27/20 8:10 AM, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

A 4-way splitter is 2-way splitters in series. If just looks better since they're all in the same package. Performance MAY be slightly better because of less loss in the connectors.
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You might want to check again. My cable system carried local stations on clear QAM for a while, but they eventually encrypted everything.

Of more concern might be your cable modem. They tend to be fairly sensitive to reductions in signal strength and S/N ratio. I had fairly annoying connection problems with my modem on one leg of a 4-way splitter, even though it was a very good Channel Vision splitter. I ended up giving the modem preference with a series splitter arrangement, putting it on one leg of a 2-way splitter and everything else downstream of the other leg. I suggest you check the power levels on your modem's configuration page and compare them with the recommendations on the following DSL Reports page.
<http://www.dslreports.com/faq/3412
That site also has some recommendations regarding splitters.
<http://www.dslreports.com/faq/3332 > Just trying to figure out a brand or criteria I should be looking for in

In addition to Channel Vision, I have also had good results with Monster.
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On 7/27/20 12:45 AM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:
[snip]

The cable here used to give you about 65 channels without a box. That changed in the fall of 2016 when they encrypted everything. They had little boxes that did everything the big boxes did except no upstream channel (no PPV or interactive services). 2 were free for the first 2 years.
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A big +1. I have a drawer full of splitters that I got from a Comcast office. As you said, they want you to use good splitters because it may prevent a future complaint and service call.

I make my own cables with compression fittings, but your point is valid. Not only can you get splitters and patch cables at the office, but when a cable guy is in the neighborhood you can ambush him when he comes out of the house and have him make a custom cable of any reasonable length.
Last thing I'd mention is if you have a cable modem, you can use it anywhere in the house to check signal strength. In my case, I made a spreadsheet of each jack and its signal strength, including where the cable arrives at the house from the street. That was how I discovered a hidden splitter in the attic. Actually, that splitter turned out to be installed backwards (by the previous homeowner) in the mistaken belief that it would act as a combiner, but the result was that I saw about an 11dB loss in that run. Dead giveaway. BTW, if you need a combiner, they make such a thing. Don't try to use a splitter backwards.
Basic info: a 1:2 splitter gives you a 3.5dB loss in each output leg; a 4-way (1:4) splitter gives you about a 7dB loss in each output leg, and so on. You can do all of the math on paper so you know what to expect, then when you test (with a cable modem, for example) you can verify that everything is kosher. That way you know where you need an amp. There is such a thing as signal levels that are too high, so don't go crazy. For Internet service, you need between +15dBmV and -15dBmV at the modem, and ideally you want to tighten that to +-10dBmV. TVs and DVRs and PVRs can get by with much less than that, but map it all out so you know what you're dealing with.
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On 7/27/20 1:46 AM, Jim Joyce wrote:
[snip]

I do to, and those compression fittings are much less noisy than crimped ones.
[snip]

A splitter WILL act as a combiner as long as you don't confuse inputs and outputs, and your inputs don't interfere (you may need a filter too).

Effectively, a 1:4 splitter functions as three 1:2 splitters in the same package. The signal to any output goes through 2 splitters so loss is twice that of a 1:2 splitter.
There are 2 ways to make a 1:3 splitter. Some use 2 1:2 splitters so one output loses 3.5dB with the other 2 lose 7dB. Some use a real 1:3 splitter, with 5.5dB loss at each output.
I have a 1:8 splitter (three levels, 10.5dB).
Splinters are naturally bidirectional. Amplifiers are not.

When setting up my system, I took advantage of the signal meter in the cable modem.
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On 7/26/2020 10:58 PM, micky wrote:

What Micky said. Use an amplified splitter.
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In alt.home.repair, on Sun, 26 Jul 2020 19:58:01 -0700, Bob F

Good point. Shame on me, I didn't read the whole question. Do you want to watch different channels at the same time? You, plural.
If you want to watch only one channel at a time. the splitter should be after the cable box, unless that is a violation of the rules.
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On Sunday, July 26, 2020 at 10:44:30 PM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

e enters house, splits into two, and goes to cable box and cable modem resp ectively. I want to run a coaxial cable to another two TVs and I understan d that I will get very few channels on those other TVs without a cable box each, but that's ok with me. What type of 4-way splitter should I buy? Th ere are many cheap ones. Some claim to be bi-directional. Some have revie ws complaining about low- or high-pass filters messing with signals. Is th ere any easy way to figure this out?

You need bidirectional if you're going to use it with anything that has to send data back upstream. That would be a cable modem or intelligent cable box. One with a lower insertion loss is better. How to pick, that's harde r. I'd look for a brand, preferably a known one and then look for reviews, Amazon maybe. Buy it from a place that offers free returns, if you can find that.
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On 7/27/20 8:28 AM, trader_4 wrote:

Splitters are always bidirectional. That is not true for an amplifier.
The amplifier I use:
1 non-amplified output 12dB downstream gain for channels 2 and up 12dB upstream gain for T channels (channels below 2, used for upstream connections) 4 amplified outputs
The internal splitters mean there is a net gain of 1.5dB.
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You can lose either 3.5dB or 7dB decibels with splitters
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On 7/26/2020 10:44 PM, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I like Extreme splitters.
If you have a Menards near you, they have them in stores.
2-way - (Amazon.com product link shortened) 4-way - (Amazon.com product link shortened)
Use a 2-way splitter to split off the Modem first.
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Thank you, all, for the technical advice.
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