How to Use and Install a Coaxial Cable Splitter - Long Range Signal
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How to Use and Install a Coaxial Cable Splitter – Long Range Signal

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A coaxial cable splitter is an affordable device that helps you get TV signals to more than one TV. the installation process is quite simple and anyone can do it.

Reading: How to connect a coax splitter

Today we are going to take a quick look at how to use and install a coaxial cable splitter in your home or business.

what is a coaxial cable splitter?

In simple terms, a coaxial cable splitter (such as the GE splitter with 2 ports above) is a device designed and built for the sole purpose of providing multiple outputs for a signal.

Your typical coax splitter has one main input for your coax and multiple outputs for as many ports as the specific splitter allows.

Coax splitters typically have 2, 3, 4, and 6 output ports (or even more), and the best ones maintain the proper impedance environment at both ends (in and out ports).

Unfortunately, the greater the number of output ports, the greater the cumulative signal loss that will occur. Admittedly, this isn’t a huge loss overall, but the more ports you’re using for a weaker TV signal, the more your signal will be affected.

how do coaxial cable splitters work?

Technically, your typical coaxial cable was designed to provide a signal to your devices. each cable was intended to provide a singular device with this radio frequency signal.

however, as homes grew in size and people used more than one television per household, the need arose to split an incoming signal between multiple televisions.

That’s where a coaxial cable splitter comes in!

where there is more than one television that needs to connect to the main signal provided by your television antenna, a coaxial splitter is installed at the end of the cable.

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Coaxial splitters are small connector devices that are designed to take the single signal from your original coaxial cable through the input port and split it between your TVs through multiple output ports.

You will therefore need to obtain a device with the correct number of output ports.

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tip: try not to get a splitter with unused ports (or use termination caps) as they will cause signal loss anyway.

Do coaxial cable splitters weaken the signal?

Remember that every time you split your TV’s distribution signal, you will experience some attenuation or weakening of the signal.

However, that doesn’t mean you should forget about dividers and go back to huddling around that TV in your home.

If you experience significant signal loss after using a coaxial splitter, you can install an antenna preamplifier or distribution amplifier.

tips for installing a coaxial cable splitter

If you want to connect your antenna to more than one TV, then it’s quite easy to purchase and install one.

here is a step by step guide on how to install a coaxial cable splitter in your home:

step 1: get the right cable splitter

You have to buy the splitter you need, and to do so, you need to determine how many ways you want the signal to be split.

As already mentioned, there are different types of splitters, and each one is designed to connect to a certain number of televisions. there are 2, 3, 4, 6 and even 8 way splitters.

note: Don’t forget to add an extra coaxial cable to your order for the other TVs. good rg6 cable that i recommend is the mediabridge cable.

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step 2: find the main coaxial cable

Once you’ve purchased the proper splitter, you need to locate the main coaxial cable, which will serve as the sole signal provider.

sometimes this is as easy as finding the entrance to the house from the antenna. other times, you may need to track it through your attic and behind walls.

Once you’ve found it, all you have to do is connect the end to your splitter. You’ll see a male connector, usually black or silver, on the splitter’s “in” port and on the receiver’s “out” port.

step 3: connect all the appropriate cables

Now, once you’ve connected the original cable to the splitter, it’s time to measure exactly how much additional cable you’ll need for each TV.

note: remember that long cables naturally also cause signal loss; in fact, I recommend installing an amplifier if the total length of cable from the antenna to your TV exceeds 50 feet. you can use a cable tool kit to shorten and recap cables as needed.

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Simply connect one end of the coaxial antenna to the input port of the splitter. then connect the other coaxial cables from the splitter to your TVs.

You should see a coaxial f-connector port on the rear panel of the TV. this is sometimes called “ant-in” or similar.

note: some televisions will not have a coaxial input, but will offer only hdmi or usb ports.

Remember to tighten the cables on both the splitter and the TVs by gently screwing the caps onto the connectors.

note: do not use any tightening tools here as it may damage the connector.

step 4: turn on the tv

Once you’ve connected all the necessary TVs to the splitter, turn on the TVs and use the menus to start scanning for channels, keeping an eye on the signal strength reading for each channel.

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Note: If the power is very low or you are not getting the number of channels you expected, you may consider installing a preamplifier or distribution amplifier to boost the signal.

common cable splitter problems

As you may have already noticed, as convenient as splitting is, it is not without its problems. here are some common problems with dividers:

split too many times

This is the most common. When you have more than three TVs connected to the same splitter, you may experience some signal weakness or even complete loss in the most extreme cases.

This can be fixed by reducing the number of splits or by purchasing an amplified coaxial splitter, like the one shown below.

incorrect cable division

A mistake many homeowners make is buying an 8-way splitter from the start, when really all they need is a 3-way splitter.

Often, the reasoning here is “what if I buy another TV? Will I have to go through all this again? Why not make a single purchase and keep the options in case the need arises?”

While this thinking may seem solid (and it is to some extent), the problem is that splitters are designed to distribute signals evenly across the available connection ports.

This means that even if you don’t use all eight available ports, the signal will still be as weak as if you were using all of them. that’s why you need to buy the right type of splitter for your specific needs.

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