OTA/cable antenna reception to both TVs?


Original poster
Apr 22, 2004
New user here. Actually having E* installed tomorrow, so I have a lot of questions. But the main question, since a Fox affiliate is not part of locals offered over satellite, and have a local OTA Fox with decent strenght, I was wondering if the 522 'distributes' OTA/cable to TV2 as well as TV1. The picture of the 522 shows the "TV antenna/cable In" in the area labeled 'TV1'.

Just wondering since my wife is a big "American Idol" fan.

Also, can the DVR record OTA signal? Doubt it, but if anyone knows.


I don't believe that it has an OTA tuner. Therefore it can't record or transmit OTA signals. That jack in the back is basically a pass through. Does that help at all?
I think that the OTA/cable signal is only available on the TV1 output. If you want to be able to watch OTA on both TVs, you can combine both coax outputs from the receiver and send the combined signal to the second TV.
As a practical matter I think you would have problems with combining the two coax outputs. Has anyone tried this?
Geronimo said:
As a practical matter I think you would have problems with combining the two coax outputs. Has anyone tried this?
No, it should not be a problem. The TV2 output is normal UHF. Just pick a channel that does NOT exist OTA locally.

Of course, you need to use the right splitters and combiners.
Of course you need to know what channels are active including the DIGITAL channels. Recommendations are to have 1 clean channel either side of the modulated channel. If you are using channel 20 both channel 19 and 21 should be unused, by both analog and digital broadcasts. In Dallas UHF channels 14,18,19,21,23,24,25,27,29,30,31,32,33,35,36,39,40,41,42,43,44,45,46,48,49,51,52,54,55,57,58,60,65,&68 are used so there aren't many 3 channel groups available. The distance from broadcast towers will eliminate some interference and when the broadcasters have to surrender their analog channels it will free up some channels.
Simon, I'm new, so maybe that's why I don't understand what you mean by "UHF". I understand that the output of the 522 to "TV2" is on UHF channel 60 (or whatever). But what I don't understand is, if you look at the back of the unit, where the input for the "TV antenna/cable" is located is under the "TV1" area. That is why I wonder if the "TV2" output carries the "OTA" signal as well.

BTW, thanks all for the info. As a newbie, it's helpful.
If the unit has no OTA tuner why does it matter? Whether the output from tuner 2 is on VHF or uHF it is till the output of a satellite channel. It can't pass the raw OTA antenna signal out over Ch.60. Not can it tune to OTA channel x and pass it through.

Or am I missing something basic here? It would not be the first time.
No maybe I'm confused how the whole thing works. I saw the input for the antenna (cable or OTA) on the back of the 522, but its under "TV1". I just wanted to know if the additional signal (i.e. non-satellite) is transmitted to the TV2 as well. If so, or if not, how to accomplish this with switches/combiners/splitters. I apologize in advance for my ignorance.

Maybe I am making too many assumptions, but I thought the 522 would accept an additonal signal (cable or OTA). Where does that signal "go"?

Again, I'm new, so please forgive my ignorance.
I am no expert in this field so please take my explaination with a grain of salt.

The tuners in the 522 are seperate with their own respective outputs. Only the first tuner has a modulator built in for the OTA/cable signal and only the first tuner will be able to display that signal.

Unfortunately, I don't know much about combining the signal but I think that you can use any RF splitter hooked up backwards for combining the signal. As pointed out by boba, this will only work if you have groups of 3 adjacent channels available. Tuner 1 of the 522 can only output on channel 3 or 4 and Tuner 2 can output on channels 21-69 in air mode and channels 73-125 in cable mode.

Before making it more complicated than necessary, is it possible to connect both the OTA and satellite receiver to TV2? Then you wouldn't have to worry about the TV2 output of the receiver not having the OTA signal. Also, if all you want is one OTA program on one OTA channel each week, I would just use TV1 for that and you don't have to worry about trying to figure out how to get TV2 to show OTA programs. Just something to think about.
OK guys (ahlemann, Joe6pak). A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. The danger here is if you hook things up wrong, you end up transmitting your receiver signal back up to the OTA antenna, and around the neighborhood. The FCC frowns upon this, and so will your neighbors (unless they like what you watch - hmmm?).

That being said, here's a few tidbits. First, OTA broadcasting occurs in 2 bands - VHF (2-13) and UHF (14-83 in the old days - the ends have been chopped off for other uses now). Second, there is no OTA modulator in the box - it just switches OTA vs. it's own output. Third, the Antenna In jack is only for TV1 (known in the manual as the 'nearby' TV). Fourth, it would be very hard to explain the proper hookups and equipment to combine the OTA & TV2 output without pictures, and I don't have any. Sorry, but I think a trip to see the local TV expert is needed to move forward on that. Finally, I think a review of the 522 user's manual, especially pages 18-20 & 33, is in order.
Simon (et al),

Thanks for the input. Like I said, "I apologize for my ignorance." I did read the manual before getting the system installed, but had a misunderstanding of how things actually worked. Sorry to be so slooooooowwwwwwwwwww. ;-)

I have the TV2 'split' to 2 TVs but am still trying to 'add' the OTA signal to that output. Is one simple diplexer with sat. and OTA input "ok" to connect directly to the RF? jack on the TV (or another splitter to 2 TVs)? I must be missing something, right? OF COURSE NOTHING IS THAT SIMPLE!

I'm really impressed, btw, with the PQ of E* (over TWC) AND I love the 522 PVR so far. This rocks. Thanks again everyone.
Your concept is correct. You just have to make sure that whatever device you use has a block so that the satellite RF output can NOT travel back up towards the antenna. I have always used the term 'combiner' for that, but various people use different terms. I use diplexers to combine the incoming feed from the satellite and OTA antennas, then separate them back out aat the back of the receiver.

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