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I am renovating a new house (in the UK). The roof antenna at present is only connected directly to the main tv socket, I would like to add more tv points to most rooms in the house but am unsure of the best (and cheapest) way to split the single incoming RF signal.

Note: only two or three TVs will be in use at any one time.

Ground floor - 5 TV sockets. First floor - 6 TV sockets. Second floor - 4 TV sockets.

Do I take take the main antenna cable into the loft space and split it 15 ways with long cables leading directly to each wall socket. Or do I split each floor with a feed down to the next, ie Second floor split 4 ways + 1 to the next floor, where it is split 6 ways + 1 to the next, where it is split 5 ways.

Which is the best option to ensure good signal at each output and also in terms of cost of length of cable vs running powered amplifiers?

What type of splitters are best suited for this job?

  • Some commercials: ebay.com/itm/… – Marko Buršič Oct 5 '18 at 16:47
  • Yet another one: youtube.com/watch?v=lBo6gw_0aGY – Marko Buršič Oct 5 '18 at 16:50
  • What NOT to do, split one line to two (or more) rooms. Home runs to a single grounding and distribution point only, no splinters before or after the single distribution/grounding point. – Tyson Oct 5 '18 at 16:59
  • Consider a device like the SiliconDust HD HomeRun, which essentially puts your antenna onto your home network. You'll need a smart TV or set-top box (Roku, AppleTV, etc) to watch the feeds, but the signal can be sent to any TV (or computer, or phone, or tablet, etc). You could also get a TV tuner for your PC (USB or PCIe) with similar results. – mmathis Oct 5 '18 at 17:16
  • Do you plan on having that many TVs? Or are most of these connections just in case you want them in the future? – mrog Oct 5 '18 at 20:26
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For that many outlets, you should invest in a "TV distribution amplifier". A search using that phrase brings up many suitable products.

You'll be much happier with the results compared to a "tree" of passive splitters.

Optimizing the cable runs is a separate question that depends strongly on the physical layout of the house. Per-floor amplifiers might make sense in some cases, while per-wing amplifiers might make sense in others.

It might make sense to use one 2- or 3-way passive splitter to send the signal to multiple distribution amplifiers.

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You can't just split antenna cables like you do other wiring, because you'll ruin the 75 Ohm impedance matching. So you'll need dedicated antenna splitters. Each passive 2-way split costs -3 dB attenuation, or more like -4..-5 dB with practical spitters. With 16 outputs (= 1+2+4+8 2-way splitters) you're looking at 4 times that, i.e. -12 to -20 dB.

Add to that the attenuation of the cable, i.e. several dB per 100m (read the spec). So you are going to need amplification, between +9 and +25 dB I should think. For noise it is better to amplify first and attenuate later, at the risk of overdrive. An amplifier at the antenna source can be overdriven by a still strong signal, so you'll want a good one, read: expensive.

only two or three TVs will be in use at any one time

makes no diffference because a switched-off TV is still a 75 Ohm load for the RF cable.

While you're at it, take care of good RF shielding by using good quality 75 Ohm coax cable and real coaxial (read: round) connectors. F-type (of the correct diameter) is recommended. I disagree with Tyson: you can cascade your splitters and place them all over the house and thus save cable, unlike satellite signal distribution which is point-to point because most signals are different from the others.

You do realize that TV signal distribution over intra-/internet via ethernet or WiFi is an option, one that might give you less of a headache ? I use a 16x16 satellite switch, but the "Enigma" satellite tuners can also stream each other's signals via ethernet ("partner box"), as can PCs, laptops and tablets. Or use an app from your TV signal provider and stream directly from broadband internet, possibly via a Chromecast or to a Smart TV. So much choice..

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With that many outlets, you need to use TAPS not splitters. ...... By using taps, you can make the signal.level the same at every outlet. ....... Using splitters, you will have close tvs severely overloaded and far tvs will have too weak a signal

  • Hello again. It's impossible to passively split a single signal to many destinations without having lower signal levels. – Daniel Griscom Nov 30 '18 at 6:31

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