View Full Version : Can I split indoor HD antenna feed?
05-17-2007, 02:43 PM
I use an indoor Terk HDTVa antenna. And please understand that it works - I like it - I do not want a rooftop antenna, I don't need a rooftop antenna, I get 98% accuracy with my indoor.
My question is: can the feed from the Terk be split? IOW, I want to feed the OTA to both my HR10 and directly into the TV.
And in case you're dying to know why I would do something so silly as to watch live TV, I currently don't have dual satellite feeds to my HR10 and for lots of reasons am not planning to do it in the near future. This is a short term hack. Just want to be able to watch some live TV while my HR10 is recording. (I hate that 24 and Heros are on at the same time). I'm just looking to add one more option that I only need a couple of times a week.
I currently have a second indoor antenna hooked up but the prime indoor antenna location is taken up by the Terk and I can't find a good out of the way location for my other one and cables are not long enough. So wondered about splitting.
I fear the answer is no, or that it would degrade signal. Only want to know if I can do it without degrading signal and if yes, what kind of equipment do I need?
05-17-2007, 02:55 PM
You can split the feed coming from your antenna. Just like any splitter you will have a 20dB loss in signal. Try it and if you can not get a good signal on the TV or HR10 see about getting a inline amplifier to put in the line before the splitter.
05-17-2007, 03:42 PM
Thanks rminsk. I'm not sure what 20dB means... But I'll give it a try. I'll try Radio Shack.
Another question for the group... Does the length of the antenna cable make a difference? IOW, my other option is to move my second antenna farther away but will need longer cable. That shouldn't make a difference right? I mean, I hear of guys putting antennas in their attic.
05-17-2007, 04:43 PM
If you use a cheap ($5) splitter from ratshack you will see a 3.5 dB loss. That just means you've lost half of your power by splitting it. Cable loss has less effect but long runs can certainly add up to large amounts of losses. The actual loss depends on the cable you use, it will have a loss/foot specification. Splitting it would be your first option and if you lose to much signal stregth then you will have to try something different.
I used an indoor antenna up until I added a second HDTV then I had to upgrade to an antenna with higher gain.
05-17-2007, 04:44 PM
Yes the longer the cable the more possibility of signal loss just like what rminsk mentioned about the splitter. You can buy a pre-amp if you plan on running something greater than 100 feet. But if its only 10 or 20 feet, I wouldn't worry too much about it.
05-18-2007, 09:31 PM
...I fear the answer is no, or that it would degrade signal. Only want to know if I can do it without degrading signal and if yes, what kind of equipment do I need?
Any 2-way splitter rated to at least 600 MHz (virtually all of them) will work. I would go to an electronics parts house and get one for $2, or if you have money to burn, go to RatShack and pay them $15 (the gold-plating is pretty, but otherwise useless).
Ignore the advice about 20 dB of loss. The only way a working 2-way hybrid splitter has a loss of 20 dB is if you hook it up backwards (input into one of the outputs with the real input terminated).
As far as "degradation" goes, there will be a 3.5 dB lowering of the carrier level, but this will not affect quality or reception at all, unless you are operating on the borderline. You might be able to check first using a signal-to-noise measurement available in some HDTVs such as Sonys, and as long as you have a s/n ratio of 30 or so, a 2-way split should not affect reception (the SQM metering in the HR10 is a different type of measurement, but it might also give you and indication that will tell you if reamplification is necessary). Check the level before, and if under 30, you might need an amp. if well over 30, you definitely can get away with just the splitter.
A relatively painless way to ensure success (if the above advice is intimidating at all) is to buy a RatShack amp with more than one output, but then you must beware too much signal, too. But it never hurts to experiment.
05-18-2007, 10:09 PM
[QUOTE=TyroneShoesIgnore the advice about 20 dB of loss. The only way a working 2-way hybrid splitter has a loss of 20 dB is if you hook it up backwards (input into one of the outputs with the real input terminated).
As far as "degradation" goes, there will be a 3.5 dB lowering of the carrier level,[/QUOTE]Brian fart... I do not know why I said 20 dB. I was thinking about a 20 dB amp. You are correct with 3.5 dB
05-19-2007, 11:56 AM
Thx for the input - will try this weekend and report back to this thread in case anyone else wants to see if it works.
05-19-2007, 12:27 PM
FWIW, I have an indoor antenna (simple RCA UHF loop, unamplified) that is split three ways (HR10, TV, HR20) with no problems. If you are getting a solid 98% on your signal now, you should be fine. No special splitter needed as OTA is all standard VHF/UHF.
If you can split, it is a good thing to do. (Better than multiple antennae.) Often with indoor antennae, it can be difficult to get a location that works consistently. Finding two or more is even harder.
05-19-2007, 03:19 PM
All, Thanks again. I got the gold splitter/combiner at Radio Shack and it is working like a champ. The live feed is stronger than the HR10 (as I suspected) and I saw no significant signal loss (just checking using the HR10 signal strength meter). We don't plan to use it a lot, but it's nice to have another option.
And yes, the splitter was a good choice for me b/c there really was only good indoor antenna location in my house. My husband was not too pleased to have to stand in the middle of the LR holding the second antenna so i could watch Heros live while 24 was recording.
05-20-2007, 02:06 AM
Brian fart... I do not know why I said 20 dB. I was thinking about a 20 dB amp. You are correct with 3.5 dB
Thanks for the clarification. I was pretty sure you knew that anyway, I was just trying to keep the OP out of trouble. We all have lapses, so no blood, no foul. Not everyone owns up around here, so that's refreshing to see. :)
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