How to Connect Multiple TVs to your OTA Antenna

FIVE STEPS TO CONNECTING YOUR ANTENNA TO MULTIPLE TVs

Connect Multiple TVs to One Antenna
Free HDTV on Every Screen in Your Home

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.

1. Install your Antenna.

For some, an Indoor Antenna will work, but for those who need to access a far away signal, an Outdoor Antenna will be necessary.

If you are new to Antenna Installation, here is a video I put together on how to install the Mohu Leaf Outdoor Antenna:

If you are not sure what channels you will get, try using AntennaWeb’s look up tool. And if you don’t know what subchannels are yet.. take a quick read.

 
Click Below to Learn More:
Indoor AntennasOutdoor AntennasOTA DVRs
Leafrsz_sky TiVo Roamio
Mohu Antennas are the #1 Selling Antennas on Amazon for a Reason!
Sling Banner 2

2. Connect the Coaxial Cable to a RF Coaxial Splitter.

Once you have your Antenna all hooked up, the next thing you need to do is connect 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.

Worth noting here is that splitting the signal can results is a 50% drop in signal strength (3.5db). Furthermore, every additional split will continue to decrease the overall signals strength. So if you have a weak or marginal signal coming from your 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 let’s not get ahead of ourselves; you won’t even know if splitting the signal will cause problem – until you test it.
HOW TO CONNECT YOUR ANTENNA TO MULTIPLE TVs

Side Note: 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.”

To learn about a DVR for Over-the-Air TV – Read: Recording Over the Air Channels With No Subscription Fees

3. Connect Your Main TV

I dont suggest connecting more than one TV at a time because if something goes wrong you wont know where the issue is. As I eluded too above, we are trying to remove as many variables as possible from the installation. If done correctly, this method will allow us to troubleshoot any hiccups, more effectively.

4. Connect the 2nd TV

Once you got the first TV working as expected, then hook up your 2nd TV.  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. If this is not an issue, YOU ARE DONE my friend.

5. Determining if you Need a Coaxial Amplifier

I don’t suggest starting out with an amplifier because some antennas come with built in amplifiers that can easily support multiple TVs.

The reason we want to first try installing without amplifiers first is signal overload. If the signal is strong from the tower, too much amplification can overload the tuner and cause the TV tuner not to receive the channel. Amplification should always be seen as a way to improve reception, not installed by default.” Grounded Reason

When buying an amplifier you need to understand that there are two basic types:

  • PRE Amplifiers 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.
    • Amplify Adjustable Gain PreamplifierChannel Master Amplify Adjustable Gain PreAmplifier – By design, this PreAmplifier can boost signal strength on any Indoor or Outdoor Antenna on the market. Professional grade, easy to install, TV antenna amplifier.
      Buy Direct
  • DISTRIBUTION Amplifiers allows you to redistribute that signal through multiple outputs, while maintaining the same signal strength.
    • HOW TO CONNECT YOUR ANTENNA TO MULTIPLE TVs Tip: Read the Amazon reviews on the Channel Master 3414 4 Outputs Distribution Amplifier. This thing is a beast!
If you would rather not deal with an amplifier all together, 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).

Going Wireless

If you would rather go wireless, and stream your OTA signal across your entire home, to every WiFi connected device, then check out the HDHomeRun
HDHomeRun Connect diagram
If you have already connected multiple TVs to your antenna, what suggestions do you have for us. What did I miss? Cheers!

Splitters & Amplifiers

Splitters & Amplifiers
9

Over All Rating

9/10

    Pros

    • Strength Retention
    • Price
    • Amplification
    • Multiple Outputs

    Cons

    • None
    Share : Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on GooglePlusShare on PinterestShare on Linkedin

    Comments

    comments

    31 thoughts on “How to Connect Multiple TVs to your OTA Antenna”

    1. Can I use a chromecast/laptop and MUHU antenna on each TV instead of splitting the signals?

    2. Hi Katharine – Felicia provided some great info. And in short the answer to your question is YES. You should be able to use the existing coaxial cabling in your house. But testing signal strength, one TV at a time, is a great way to avoid future issues. Did this help? Do you have any other questions?

    3. Katherine- when installing your antenna, if you are wanting to use the existing cabling, I suggest testing each cable at the junction box to coinciding televisions then labeling them with a permanent marker. If you've ever had direct or fish there should be minimum splitters already. If there isa splitter with a red line running from the in side to an out port, that is for the power source or amplifier. Direct TV calls it a swim power inserter, it sends an electrical current back to the splitter and antenna to amplify the signal so it may reach even the furthest television on the relay.

    4. Is there any way to hook the outdoor antenna to where the cable comes into the house. Then use the cables already installed in my house to run the signal? I want to switch off of cable, but I will not run cords all over my house to fit all the tv's in the house.

    5. Hi Dennis – please explain more… Are you trying to hook your OTA signal into a stereo receiver? If so I would suggest just going from the TV into your audio system using audio video cables.

    6. Hi Jeffrey Martin – First of all I highly suggest reading everything Steven Cedrone has posted on this article. He is very knowledgeable and is happy to help anyone who asks. Secondly the first step is to test it out – one step at a time. 1st get the Sky hooked up to a single TV. Then try a splitter and see what the quality is like on two TVs. At this point you dont even know if you need an amplifier. If you run into signal strength problems then you can look into an amplifying the signal. The amplifier I link too in the article costs around $35.00

    7. Looking at the Sky and you mentioned that would work for multiple tvs but do you need amplifiers at each tv or do you plug it in at the attic if possible? If the former how much do the amplifiers cost?

    8. Hi Donna – Yes absolutely. But keep in mind that your number one priority is to find a spot that can reap a quality HD signal. Once you have found the right spot – then think about how best to run the coaxial cable. If there one in the same – then your job is easy.

    9. Is it possible to hook sky antenna up to the outside where your existing cable was that has the coaxial cable already in place to existing tvs?

    10. Dave Kennedy if you need help at anytime feel free to contact me. steven at cedrone dot com

    11. The best way to do this is to get an amplifier with one output and a splitter or an amplifier with multiple output ports. Whichever you choose, make sure you have a way to adjust the output strength to just strong enough to pull in the channels. Over amplifying the signal can actually create interference and cause less channels to show up in your scan. A good rule of thumb is to always try it without the amplifier and see how many channels you get and what strengths they are (if you TV gives you that information) and then add the amplifier on the lowest setting and keep increasing it until you get the most amount of channels at the lowest signal possible. You can also hook multiple antennas (aimed in different directions) into a bi-directional splitter (using it backwards) so it pulls in all the channels you want with an antenna aimed in the right direction and combines multiple sources into one cable before you amplify it. as shown in this setup here: http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/trick.gif

    Leave a Reply