Digital Splitter Plus Amplifier

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by drew00001, Aug 1, 2007.

  1. Aug 1, 2007 #1 of 19
    drew00001

    drew00001 New Member

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    My parents just upgraded to digital cable and are having severe pixalation problems. Their cable was recently upgraded to quad shielding, so I was thinking they probably need a new 2-way splitter or cable amplifier. There is well over 100 feet from the cable box to each of the 2 TVs. I would appreciate any suggestions, including brand names and type of equipment.
     
  2. Aug 1, 2007 #2 of 19
    SNJpage1

    SNJpage1 Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    Atlantic...
    I bought an 8 way bi directional splitter with a built in amp from smarthomes.com. Works great. be sure to cap any unused ports. They also a a 4 way.
     
  3. Aug 1, 2007 #3 of 19
    Kenji

    Kenji New Member

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    Two thoughts:

    (1) Another thread in this forum postulates that pixelation is caused by a marginal signal.

    (2) My cable company told me that my existing cable splitter/amplifier was not compatible with HD channels because these channels live in a part of the frequency spectrum that my splitter did not allow to pass through.

    For whataver that's worth...
     
  4. Aug 1, 2007 #4 of 19
    drew00001

    drew00001 New Member

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    Jan 13, 2007
    Thanks for the advice. I am looking at Smarthome.com now. If you recall the brand of the splitter/amp please let me know.

    This is my understanding. I expect my parents are having problems either because of the long cable length or because such is split twice.

    This the direction I am heading. I will likely update the 2 splitters before purchasing an amplifier. Do you recall the specifics of the splitter/amplifier your cablecompany advised?
     
  5. Aug 1, 2007 #5 of 19
    Kenji

    Kenji New Member

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    They installed a generic non-amplified splitter, so I upgraded it to a non-amplified splitter made by Monster Cable.
     
  6. Aug 1, 2007 #6 of 19
    b3ar

    b3ar New Member

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    Most cable plants do not use any signals above 900MHz, so notionally a traditional splitter is fine. However, I have found that the stuff designed out to 2.3 GHz tends to work better. For RG6 Quad Shield, the length is generally not going to be the problem. Where you find the problems originating is usually on the terminations. Make sure that these are done well (tight, no "wiggle" in the F connector) before worrying too much about length. If you have a lot of barrel joins, then these are the first things to remedy. After that, then you can start looking at amplified splitters.

    All that being said, I do have a 1x8 powered splitter that is downstream from a 1x2 split for my cable service. The unamplified section is what goes into my cable modem since these tend to be very sensitive to the signal level on the line (you can overdrive a signal as easily as underdrive it). Finally, as mentioned above, you will notice a big difference in signal quality on a good amplifier between having all of the unused taps properly terminated and having them open. Thus, you definitely want 75ohm terminators (resistors) in each unused tap.

    Bill
     
  7. Aug 1, 2007 #7 of 19
    drew00001

    drew00001 New Member

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    Jan 13, 2007
    All the connectors are installed tight. I see no problem here. There are no barrel joints, but as above there are 2 splitters, which probably have a similar if not greater effect.

    On avsforum.com, another individual advised that I use the electroline splitter, but it seems like his advice (as follows) suits your needs better than mine.

    Thanks for the good advice.
     
  8. Aug 1, 2007 #8 of 19
    drew00001

    drew00001 New Member

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    Jan 13, 2007
    Several people have advised me to get the Monster splitter. This is suprising. Monster is generally viewed as overpriced. Do they have a superior product here? Or does Monoprice (or another) make a comparable splitter for much less?
     
  9. Aug 1, 2007 #9 of 19
    b3ar

    b3ar New Member

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    Dec 1, 2005
    They are overpriced, but that does not mean they don't work at all. :) Some of their stuff is fairly run-of-the-mill, and some of it is better-than-average. The big thing Monster has is distribution. I haven't ever looked at monoprice for these things, but you may want to check some of the dedicated Satellite/OTA e-tailers if you want to buy online. Since DBS signals go out to 2.3 GHz, look for those from a respected name (Winegard, Eagle Aspen, Channel Master, etc.):
    http://search.solidsignal.com/?cate...0&i1.y=3&q=splitter&site=com&u1=q&u2=category

    btw, Electroline is pretty much what you will find the local CableCo putting in your attic if they decide you need an amp.

    Bill
     
  10. bhaas

    bhaas New Member

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    Aug 5, 2003
    MD
    There is a diagnostics screen you can pull up on the TV that tells you signal strength on different channels. I forget the sequence of keys on the STB- if you call the cableco they can tell you. Something like holding 'menu' while turning power on. Look for signal strength to be between -10 and +13dBmV, though it should be ok down to -16 or so.

    More important is carrier-to-noise ratio, which should be between 32 and 37dB.

    You can also get this information by putting your cable modem at the end you want to look at and go to IP 192.168.100.1 Although this only gives the information on the internet "channel" which is below the TV frequencies. But it gets you in the ballpark.

    If it looks good with the modem but not the STB, chances are the splitters are causing too much loss at the upper frequencies.

    Radio Shack splitters and amps are fine, and very easy to return if needed.
     
  11. MScottC

    MScottC Well-Known Member

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    Seriously. Search eBay for REGAL SPLITTERS. They are incredibly inexpensive. They came recommended to me by several cable technicians on the DSLReports forum, as the splitters that most cable companies use. Best bang for the buck. I purchased a 2-way and a 3-way splitter for two different rooms. My cablemodem which had been on a direct feed is now on a 3-way REGAL splitter and continues to function perfectly, and my Panny HDTV is on another leg of that same 3-way and also gets every HD unencrypted set just fine. My Samsung HDTV and TiVo S3 share the 2-way REGAL and also no problems. Do NOT WASTE your money on anything MONSTER. There are several eBay stores selling the REGAL stuff at great prices.
     
  12. Kenji

    Kenji New Member

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    Oakland,...
    Monster's parts are generally overpriced, but of decent quality. I was looking for a splitter with gold-plated terminals, and the Monster part cost all of $5 more than a lesser-known brand, so I went with the Monster piece.
     
  13. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

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    Is a "barrel join" a male to male adapter or something like that?
     
  14. AbMagFab

    AbMagFab What happened, TiVo?

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    Monstercable is a waste.

    Use Viewsonics. They are sold new, on eBay, at a big discount.
     
  15. SNJpage1

    SNJpage1 Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    Atlantic...
    If you have a couple of splitters feeding one another check the ports on them. We sell some splitters at Home depot that are 3 and 4 ways that have a port rated at -4db and the rest at -7 or 8. Use the -4 to feed the next splitter.
    Bsar, I am doing the same thing. I split the cable with a two way and send one port to the cable modem and the other port feeds my 8 port amp. Comcast did replace the Rg6 with RG 6 quad between the ground tap on the side of the house and the two way splitter and between the two way and the modem and left the rg 6 duel to the TV's.
     
  16. b3ar

    b3ar New Member

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    Dec 1, 2005
    Yes, a barrel adapter joins two male F-connectors.
     
  17. ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

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    if I have a short piece of cable coming out of the wall - is there something different than a barrel connector I could use there - otherwise I would have to replace the wire in the wall which is fairly unfeasible
     
  18. drew00001

    drew00001 New Member

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    Jan 13, 2007
    No, this is a barrel connector. I incorrectly wrote above that there were no barrel connectors in the system. They is one at each of the 2 wall jacks.

    I don't know of any way to fix this, but note cable companies often thread the wire through the wall outlet in older buildings. I saw this a few times in onder apartments I lived in. Doing so prevents the need for a barrel and allows the wire to run from the TV all the way to the cableco's box on the side of the house.
    If it were an option, I would do it.
     
  19. vstone

    vstone Active Member

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    Martinsville...
    The splitters that the cable tech used to replace mine were -3.5dB. Since -3dB is about half strength, -3.5 is probably about as low as you can get.
     

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