I have coax running through my house that was installed before HDTV became the norm. Currently I have a non-HD satellite receiver in a central location in my house and am broadcasting the output from from that receiver to several rooms using a standard RF modulator.

I'm planning on upgrading my satellite receiver to a HD receiver and am wondering if I can use the same RF modulator to broadcast the signal from the HD receiver to multiple HD televisions in my house, or if I need to buy a different modulator that is specially designed for HD signals.

If I need to buy a new modulator, what should I be looking for and what should I be staying away from?

  • I wonder if this topic is a good fit for "Home Improcement"? I looked but did not see an obviously beter fit in any of the other StackExchange sites. – auujay May 5 '11 at 19:42
  • I was torn between the Electronics design and this exchange. Electronics design seemed like it was geared more to the design of controls rather than how to plug various commercial components together. Also, as more homes get structured wiring and various other audio, video, and data networks installed, especially by DIYs, like me, I thought it was the better fit. – oosterwal May 5 '11 at 20:11
  • I think AV, ethernet, and other low-voltage wiring concerns are a great fit for this site, providing the questions are more geared around the guts of the wiring and configuration rather than audiophile/videophile questions about specific equipment, etc. – richardtallent May 6 '11 at 4:53

An old modulator (which is NTSC) will not be able to modulate a high-definition signal (which would need to be ATSC). The best you'd get would be a modulated SD signal.

Rather than a modulator, I recommend an HDMI splitter, and long HDMI cables. I bought mine from monoprice.com, I highly recommend their products.

My current configuration is a DISH receiver and other equipment in a closet, which then goes to this HDMI splitter, which splits to two TVs via two 40-foot HDMI cables.

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  • This is basically what I ended up doing. I got a 1 -> 4 HDMI splitter and two 10 meter, high speed HDMI cables for a very reasonable cost from parts-express.com. I also picked up a frequency agile, 2-input RF modulator to take video, and left and right audio from two satellite receivers in the same central location and sends the outputs on two unused UHF bands on the 75 Ohm coax cable that runs to the non-digital TVs in the house. – oosterwal May 20 '11 at 14:36

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