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?
In alt.home.repair, on Sun, 26 Jul 2020 19:44:26 -0700 (PDT),
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
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.
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.
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.
On Monday, July 27, 2020 at 9:10:31 AM UTC-4, firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
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
On 7/27/20 12:45 AM, email@example.com wrote:
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.
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
I do to, and those compression fittings are much less noisy than crimped
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
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.
On Sunday, July 26, 2020 at 10:44:30 PM UTC-4, firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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
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
4 amplified outputs
The internal splitters mean there is a net gain of 1.5dB.
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