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View Full Version : Which 3-way splitter to get to use with HD?


alee
09-13-2006, 11:10 PM
I'll be dividing up the signal 3-ways... TiVo HD, TiVo Series 2 and cable modem. Have had bad luck with splitters in the past, and worry about introducing too much loss which would likely results in dropouts and pixelation esp. in HD.

megazone
09-14-2006, 05:34 AM
I'm just using a 4-way splitter (one out unused) that I picked up at Best Buy, or Radio Shack, I forget which. I have two of them - one in the livingroom feeds the S3, DVR-810H, and my TV directly. One in the bedroom feeds the RS-TX20, the S2DT, and the cable box (used by the S2DT).

cfaulkner
09-15-2006, 12:32 AM
You'll want a 2 GHz splitter.

Dan203
09-15-2006, 01:02 AM
I'm just using a 4-way splitter (one out unused) that I picked up at Best Buy, or Radio Shack, I forget which. I have two of them - one in the livingroom feeds the S3, DVR-810H, and my TV directly. One in the bedroom feeds the RS-TX20, the S2DT, and the cable box (used by the S2DT).

You should get an F terminator cap. It will increase your signal strength to the 3 active outputs, which in turn will make your analog channels look better and your digital channels less prone to breakup.

Dan

Goofball
09-15-2006, 01:54 AM
You should get an F terminator cap. It will increase your signal strength to the 3 active outputs, which in turn will make your analog channels look better and your digital channels less prone to breakup.

Dan

Or just get a 3 tap splitter with two -7.5dB taps and one -3.5dB tap. Never use a splitter with more capacity than you need, you are just throwing signal strength away. Plus with that setup you can move more sensitive equipment, like cable modems over to a lower loss connection.

The only benefit to using the 4 tap with a terminator is that you will probably spread the signal a bit more levelly, IE: Instead of two -7.5dB and a -3.5dB on a 3 tap you will probably have something like 3 -6dB taps and one unused tap with a terminator on it. I've never seen this done or measured signal off this type of setup so my numbers may be off or I could be completely wrong.

If anyone reading this doesn't know, the -X.XdB numbers are the amount of signal loss from the input of the splitter to that tap (should be labled right where the tap is). The smaller the negative number, the better.

cfaulkner
09-15-2006, 03:19 PM
So, since we're on the topic, where can you get the best splitters? Who makes a real high quality splitter?

With my new dual tunner coming I'll need 5 (TV (1), Series 3 (2), Series 2 (1), Series 1 (1)). At least I'm assuming the Series 3 will need two connection, perhaps not.

ah30k
09-15-2006, 03:37 PM
For all those who are being forced into a truck-roll for your CableCARDs, get your money's worth out the tech. They always carry the best splitters in their trucks because it helps the Cable companies maintain a clean RF plant. The techs will give them to you for free. Not that they's just hand you a bunch, but if you need them they will give them to you.

Dan203
09-15-2006, 03:40 PM
So, since we're on the topic, where can you get the best splitters? Who makes a real high quality splitter?

With my new dual tunner coming I'll need 5 (TV (1), Series 3 (2), Series 2 (1), Series 1 (1)). At least I'm assuming the Series 3 will need two connection, perhaps not.

The Series 3 splits the signal internally, so you only need one feed for it. So a simple 4 way splitter will do. As for quality... they're all about the same. Just pick up one at your local RadioShack or Wal-Mart and you'll be fine.

Dan

gconnery
09-15-2006, 11:26 PM
I saw something, maybe it was in MegaZone's posts, about the S3 being able to show you cable signal strength. As long as the signal level coming in is in the -10db to +10db range you should be fine. Above that you may also be fine. Below that you may have issues. If you need to increase your signal level, use a powered splitter. You can get one at Radio Shack.

Sixto
09-16-2006, 12:58 AM
Been playing with the Series3 and all was well until I starting watching HD.

I won't have the cablecards until Sunday but found the HD feeds over cable for the networks.

CBS HD and NBC HD are breaking up every few minutes. The signal strength varies between 76-81. The closer to 76 the more the picture breakup.

When I remove the ChannelPlus DA-8200BID Distribution Amplifier the signal goes up to 84 steady and the picture is fine.

The problem is that I need the splitter, especially when I get a few more HD boxes some day.

Thoughts?

NeedTivoHelp
09-16-2006, 01:42 AM
Hi All, I am also getting a series 3. I still have a series 2. What I want to do is to split the video coming out of the cable line (coax) to allow me to have both hooked up. What kind of splitter do i need and will there be a degradation in the signal? And here is an ignorant question perhaps but will I be able to control the channel on the series 2 if I keep the old cable box and essentially record 2 prgorams on the Series 3 9with two cabelcards) and another one on the series 2 at the same time or will the series 2 not be able to record something different. Appreicate the help and advice.

alee
09-16-2006, 01:50 AM
What kind of splitter do i need and will there be a degradation in the signal?
According to the advice I got up above, it seems like you need a 2GHz splitter. All splitters incur loss. Another common area for loss is length of cabling. The key is striking a balance.
And here is an ignorant question perhaps but will I be able to control the channel on the series 2 if I keep the old cable box and essentially record 2 prgorams on the Series 3 9with two cabelcards) and another one on the series 2 at the same time or will the series 2 not be able to record something different. Appreicate the help and advice.
Yes... set your Series 3 as DVR 1, and set the Series 2 as DVR 2. Use the switch on the remote to control which TiVo is being controlled.

keenanSR
09-17-2006, 05:46 AM
According to the advice I got up above, it seems like you need a 2GHz splitter. All splitters incur loss. Another common area for loss is length of cabling. The key is striking a balance.


A 2GHz splitter is not needed. Cable RF transmission is rarely higher than 860MHz with possibly a few brand spanking new systems reaching 1GHz. 2 GHz splitters are for satellite signals.

lasergecko
09-17-2006, 06:47 AM
Call your cable company. Cox in Las Vegas provides any splitters you need for free.

Just be sure you don't put too much attenuation between your main feed to the house and your cable modem! When we moved ours into our bedroom (after the office -> nursery conversion), I accidentally put 28db of attenuation in front of it due to (then) unknown splitters in the attic.

Look at whatever splitter you get. Some of them have one output that is better or worse than the others. (-7db, -7db, -14db, for example).

cfaulkner
09-17-2006, 01:48 PM
Thanks all for the help. I never even thought check on the spiller for the attenuation. I'm fortunate enough to have home runs for all my cable and network connections from a central point in the basement, so no hidden splitters. I do need to check the one in the basement. It's like a ten way splitter so I'll replace it with only what I need (signal to the one outlet). I hope this helps avoid any problems :)

Thanks again!

Innerloop
09-17-2006, 02:14 PM
For all those who are being forced into a truck-roll for your CableCARDs, get your money's worth out the tech. They always carry the best splitters in their trucks because it helps the Cable companies maintain a clean RF plant. The techs will give them to you for free. Not that they's just hand you a bunch, but if you need them they will give them to you.

I agree with AH30k here! I was about to post this same advice but he beat me to it!

I bought a bunch of splitters and stuff at Radio Shack (best they had) and when the cable guy came, he basically said "that's all junk" and installed a splitter with much better specifications (lower impedence loss) for nothing! So take advantage of this definitely!

megazone
09-20-2006, 01:38 AM
Or just get a 3 tap splitter with two -7.5dB taps and one -3.5dB tap.I've never seen a splitter in stores that wasn't even - 2 or 4 outs. That's why I have the 4s, I needed 2 splitters with 3 outputs, but couldn't find anything but 2 or 4.

As for the F-cap, where would I find such a thing? RatShack?

alee
09-20-2006, 10:21 AM
For what it's worth, it may not be worth getting splitters at all. When Time Warner came for my CC install, the first thing the tech did was meter my outlets, inspect the splitters, and replace all of them with some exotic looking low-loss splitters (see my post about my TWC visit (http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=4392462&&#post4392462) and also see post #14 and #16 above). My signal strength is pretty solid around 98-99 right now on the HD channels, and according to the tech, I now have the ideal signal for the cable modem, the 2 TiVo boxes in the living room, and the 1 in the bedroom.

JKay
09-20-2006, 12:08 PM
Several years ago I talked at length to a gentleman that owned a cable franchise in a small community. He was adamant that the typical splitter you buy at a local retailer is of poor quality. His recommendation was to obtain them from your local cable franchise or buy them from a major cable supply house. He was also adamant about not splitting more than absolutely necessary. In other words donít use a 4-way if a 2-way will do the job

cfaulkner
09-20-2006, 02:06 PM
Just had my S3 hooked up and they gave me a new splitter. I asked a few questions and my assumption that a 2 GHz is needed these days for the new digital signals is wrong. Comcast currently uses 1 GHz splitter in my area as their signal is in hte 800 Mhz range. Also, my assumption that Monster products were great is also wrong. The cable guy mentioned a few issues to me. The best you can do it get new splitters and cable from the cable company. They are more than happy to provide them. I mentioned that I might be hooking up another TV soon so my installer left me with a 2 and 3 way splitter. There compmonents are tested for the signal that they use, and they are not all the same.

DrEvil
09-20-2006, 02:34 PM
A website with info on video loss compensation.

http://www.swhowto.com/VideoLoss.htm

Dark Helmet
09-20-2006, 05:07 PM
I've never seen a splitter in stores that wasn't even - 2 or 4 outs. That's why I have the 4s, I needed 2 splitters with 3 outputs, but couldn't find anything but 2 or 4.

As for the F-cap, where would I find such a thing? RatShack?

I bought all my stuff for my (small) headend from Hometech.

Specifically, you can see a wide variety of splitters (including 3-way) under "Main Index->Video->RF Reception & Distribution->RF Splitters , Combiners, Taps"


I bought the Cable Vision HS-2 (to split the cable before my amp so it could go into my cable modem), a CVT-15PIA amplifier, and a HS-6 for the video in the house.

You can see the terminators under "Attenutators, Filters, DC Blocks" (they're down the page a bit).

(I have no connection with this place, other than being a customer).

jrog
09-20-2006, 06:22 PM
Home Depot has the Leviton brand of 2.3GHz splitters. They are fairly cheap, and they have anywhere from 2 to 5 outputs. I have my whole whose run with a two way splitter from comcast with the higher quality output going to my cable modem, then the rest hanging of the other output. I then go to a 1x6 splitter to the five locations in my house with cable, and my slingbox. All in all, it works very well, just need MRV.

-jrog

TiVoMonkey
09-21-2006, 02:51 PM
He was also adamant about not splitting more than absolutely necessary. In other words donít use a 4-way if a 2-way will do the job

This is good advice, because a 2-way splitter loses 3.5db on each leg, while a 4-way splitter loses 7db on each leg.

So it's best to use a 2-way splitter whenever possible.

An 8-way splitter will lose a massive 11db per leg.

There are some 8-way splitters that you can buy that have an amp built in because they introduce so much loss.

Amnesia
09-21-2006, 03:15 PM
I've never seen a splitter in stores that wasn't even - 2 or 4 outs. That's why I have the 4s, I needed 2 splitters with 3 outputs, but couldn't find anything but 2 or 4.I bought an Acoustic Research 3-way splitter from Best Buy...here's the link (http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=6821497&st=splitter&lp=4&type=product&cp=1&id=1091101518254) to the product on their Web site...

Tippy
09-22-2006, 03:45 PM
I've searched (both the forum and the S3 manual), however, I can't actually find a "Signal Strength Meter." I see on p. 46 of the S3 manual that it shows an actual meter-like screen. However, I can only find something on my signal strength by going Messages&System - Account & System Information - Diagnostics, and then looking at the "Signal Strength" listed on the screen.

I'm having some problems with one HD channel going in and out but I just got the system hooked up today so this may not happen much over time. With a cable-company provided splitter I am getting "86." Without the splitter I am getting an "89." Whoops, now it is reading "92."

The picture is fine now, but I really don't want to find out I've lost all or part of a program I've recorded due to signal strength.

So, is there an acutal "meter" in S3?

And, do you guys think my strength, if I'm reading it correctly at about 86 - 92, is going to be a problem at all?

Thanks in advance.

keenanSR
09-22-2006, 04:19 PM
I've searched (both the forum and the S3 manual), however, I can't actually find a "Signal Strength Meter." I see on p. 46 of the S3 manual that it shows an actual meter-like screen. However, I can only find something on my signal strength by going Messages&System - Account & System Information - Diagnostics, and then looking at the "Signal Strength" listed on the screen.

I'm having some problems with one HD channel going in and out but I just got the system hooked up today so this may not happen much over time. With a cable-company provided splitter I am getting "86." Without the splitter I am getting an "89." Whoops, now it is reading "92."

The picture is fine now, but I really don't want to find out I've lost all or part of a program I've recorded due to signal strength.

So, is there an acutal "meter" in S3?

And, do you guys think my strength, if I'm reading it correctly at about 86 - 92, is going to be a problem at all?

Thanks in advance.

Every cable system is different, to a degree, but a signal strength of 86-92 should be just fine, it's similar to what I'm getting and I haven't had any problems.

BTW, I think that meter depicts signal quality, a combination of SNR and db's of signal itself.

Bodshal
09-22-2006, 04:36 PM
Home Depot has the Leviton brand of 2.3GHz splitters. They are fairly cheap, and they have anywhere from 2 to 5 outputs. I have my whole whose run with a two way splitter from comcast with the higher quality output going to my cable modem, then the rest hanging of the other output. I then go to a 1x6 splitter to the five locations in my house with cable, and my slingbox. All in all, it works very well, just need MRV.

-jrog


The Leviton 47692-GSM is what I use. It's a powered 8-way job. 2GHz and bi-directional. Variable gain. Rock solid piece of technology. It's the only splitter in the house, and drives all the CATV uses I have (multiple rooms + cable modem). No losses here!

Chris.

Shawn95GT
09-22-2006, 04:47 PM
I used one of the splitters that Goofball described.

I gave the S3 the 3.5 output and the other two feed the ATSC tuner on my old S2 and the ATSC tuner on myTV.

I have 6 tuners connected to my $25 (75U) antenna, no amp - everything works great.

petew
09-22-2006, 05:04 PM
Been playing with the Series3 and all was well until I starting watching HD.

I won't have the cablecards until Sunday but found the HD feeds over cable for the networks.

CBS HD and NBC HD are breaking up every few minutes. The signal strength varies between 76-81. The closer to 76 the more the picture breakup.

When I remove the ChannelPlus DA-8200BID Distribution Amplifier the signal goes up to 84 steady and the picture is fine.

The problem is that I need the splitter, especially when I get a few more HD boxes some day.

Thoughts?

The Distribution amp may be faulty. It's specified as having 3db gain so the signal stength should be better with the the amp in place.

Since the tech is coming to install CC have them check the signal quality coming in to the premises. A poor quality signal amplified is still poor quality.

alee
09-29-2006, 09:51 PM
Had a few requests asking about what kind of splitter TWCNYC used... here it is:

http://www.leesoft.com/temp/splitter.jpg

jsshattuck
10-07-2006, 11:22 PM
I'll be dividing up the signal 3-ways... TiVo HD, TiVo Series 2 and cable modem. Have had bad luck with splitters in the past, and worry about introducing too much loss which would likely results in dropouts and pixelation esp. in HD.

I had Time Warner install three separate cables from the street rather than split the signal. I also had them install an amp on both TV (HD and Analog/Digital), but not for the cable modem.

apsarkis
10-08-2006, 01:49 AM
CBS HD and NBC HD are breaking up every few minutes. The signal strength varies between 76-81. The closer to 76 the more the picture breakup.

When I remove the ChannelPlus DA-8200BID Distribution Amplifier the signal goes up to 84 steady and the picture is fine.

The problem is that I need the splitter, especially when I get a few more HD boxes some day.
Sixto, any luck resolving your problem with the CP DA-8200? That's the same model I was planning on buying, to avoid adding any more splitters when I add my next HD set. The bandwidth spec looked like it should handle the HD channels, and I thought I could use the modulator inputs and IR repeater to at least get a std def MRV from my S3 to the other TVs in the house.

pmiranda
10-08-2006, 10:06 AM
I'm running Channel Vision and "Time Warner" splitters in my house and it's working nicely. I love my C.V. amp. I put a 15dB amp up in the attic as close to the demarc as possible. It drives a 4-way splitter (with DC pass) to distribute to the various rooms, and in the living room I put the power supply for the amp. It drive 12V DC up to the amp and it's on a UPS so I don't lose my cable boxes if the power dips for a moment. Very important when you have a cable box feeding a standalone TiVo since the cable boxes don't turn themselves on if the power goes out.