Free HDTV on Every Screen in Your Home
Cable TV Alternatives: Splitters & Amplifiers
First of all congratulations. If you are reading this post you are ahead of the masses, and have realized OTA (Over-the-Air) TV is an amazing alternative to Cable TV. Now you are looking for a way to push your free HD TV signal to multiple TVs in your house.
The first thing you need to do is buy a coaxial splitter. This is an inexpensive device that will split your OTA signal into multiple sub-signals, allowing you to push free TV broadcasting to multiple TVs. It’s my understanding that splitting the signal in two results is a 50% drop in signal strength (3.5db). And every additional split will continue to decrease the overall signals strength. So if you have a weak or marginal signal coming into the house from the antenna, splitting it will have a negative effect. This also means that if you only need a two-way splitter, don’t use a 4-way splitter because you’re losing more signal strength with every unused output. Finally the more distance the signal has to travel, the weaker the signal becomes. So less feet in coaxial cable, means stronger signal, equating to better picture quality.
But don’t get ahead of yourself; you don’t know if splitting the signal will cause problem until you test it. Once you have your splitter installed, connect two TVs at a time. Then test the signal on both TVs. If successful go ahead and connect three TVs. And again, test the signal. If any point during these steps you notice that you have lost signal strength, it is time look into buying an amplifier.
Be careful with 3 way splitters. Signal loss can vary substantially across the three outputs. Meaning if used, two TVs could work fine, while the third would suffer from a weaker signal. I did some research and found an example of a Splitter that addresses this issue: the Monster Standard RF Splitter. Click here
to read the reviews: “If you are looking for a 3-way splitter with equal signal loss on all 3 outputs, for $12 this is a good value.”
I don’t suggest starting out with an amplifier because some antennas come with built in amplifiers that can easily support multiple TVs. The Sky from Mohu
for example, is small, powerful outdoor antenna that can provide uncompressed HD broadcast to multiple televisions in a home. (also has a rang of 60 miles by the way)
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When buying an amplifier you need to understand that there are two basic types. A PRE amplifier amplifies the signal received by the antenna into the down cable. It should not be anywhere but on the original antenna cable right at the antenna. A DISTRIBUTION amplifier allows you to redistribute that signal through multiple outputs, while maintaining the same signal strength. Click here
to read Amazon reviews on the Channel Master 3414 4 Outputs Distribution Amplifier
As always, comments are welcome and encouraged. Please let me know what questions you have. And if you have already connected multiple TVs to your antenna, what suggestions do you have for us. What did I miss? Cheers!
p.s. If you really enjoyed this post, please consider helping me out and spreading the word below! Thanks!