Using an antenna splitter for 4 tvs

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sktrus

SatelliteGuys Pro
Original poster
Feb 4, 2020
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Ken ta kee
Hello everybody;

I am currently using a Hopper3 and 3 Joey2s. Although I have a relatively inexpensive Welcome pack my monthly bill seems to be going up every year just like other people. The wife and I don't watch a lot of different channels. I use mostly Netflix and Amazon prime, and occasionally Hulu and Peacock.
I get Hulu and Peacock on a yearly basis (rotating between my wife's and my name) to get the best yearly deal in November or December.
So, thinking about dropping satellite service and using only the existing attic antenna.

I had the antenna installed in the attic when I had my rural house built 20 years ago and the cable run all the way to the basement. It is attached to a dual ota adapter which is connected to Hopper3's usb port. I am able to get most local networks and their sub stations.

I have 4 tvs at home and all the cables feeding these tvs are hidden behind drywalls. They run from my basement to different rooms on different floors.

So, what I need to know is what kind of antenna cable splitter (amplified or not?) I need. How do I make sure that the signal quality will not degrade when 2 tvs are being used at the same time?
No need to have 3 or 4 tvs watched together in case the signal loss is inevitable. Only 2 people are living in the house. The most common scenario is the wife watches kitchen tv and I use the big screen tv in the basement at the same time.

I did some search here at Dish forum and different web sites. Different opinions under different circumstances. The cost is not that important as long as it works.

Thanks for the suggestions. I buy most of my stuff from Amazon. But, any reputable internet site is fine to purchase from.
 
I have my antenna split 4 ways also. You will definitely need a powered signal amplifier. I tried at first with a 4 way splitter but too much signal loss.


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I started off with a cheap rca amplifier that I actually got at Home Depot. It worked for years. When it finally died I bought a Antronix amplifier. Got it on Amazon.


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Amplifiers work very differently with digital signals than they do with analog signals. As long as your tv’s tuner has enough signal to overcome the noise inherent in the line, amplifying will do nothing. In fact using a cheap amplifier will make things worse by adding noise.

I would start with a cheap splitter. If you find that you are having more problems with more distant tv’s then add a distribution amplifier.

If you are having roughly the same reception at all TVs and it’s not what you want, consider a more sensitive antenna or possibly an amplified one.

People come to Solid Signal all the time asking about amplifiers. Most of the time they think more power is better, and it’s just not true.
 
Such quick responses. I appreciate all of you.

My antenna cable (the end in the basement) has an electric plug. I connected this plug into surge protector. I assume it makes the signal stronger. I read here that sometimes it makes the signal too strong and degrade the reception from some ota channels. I guess the only way to know is try both methods, plug and unplug.

Navychop, you must be using distribution amplifier. What is the main purpose? Overall signal quality or eliminating degradation with several tvs being used at the same time?

I will check those products recommended now.
 
please post your rabbitears info. This will show us what and if you are dealing with any obstructions between you and the tower and how far we're looking. That will give us some better info instead of just "oh try this. It works for me"

 
Thank you Stuart. if you don't mind answering this question......

Does the length of the cable from splitter or amplifier to tvs (the distance to different locations) and/or the age of the tvs determine the signal quality?

For instance, my bedroom tv on the second floor is almost 15 year old 720p Sony with one hdmi port. It works great and I see no reason to replace it. Both Roku and Fire stick do what they are supposed to do. Those devices and joey2 are connected to hdmi splitter. As far as I know the picture quality on a 32 inch tv is fine.
Do you think tv's built-in tuner won't be able to handle the signal coming from two floors down (because of its age)?
 
Last edited:
Bobby and FTA4PA;

Looking at that Channel master amplifier. the top has two ports. If not mistaken an antenna cable is attached to the right one that says RF Input. correct?
What is the purpose for the left port (surge suppresssion)?
If I get this device it will be in the basement. no weather exposure.
 
Last edited:
Bobby and FTA4PA;

Looking at that Channel master amplifier. the top has two ports. If not mistaken an antenna cable is attached to the right one that says RF Input. correct?
What is the purpose fort the left port (surge suppresssion)?
If I get this device it will be in the basement. no weather exposure.

Power adapter connects to that port. :)
 
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Mr. Tony; i clicked that site you mentioned.
I disabled the vpn on my browser, entered my address in the search box and clicked 'go. the list of stations shows Topeka, KS!!!
I am located in central KY. About 15 miles North of Lexington.
Will try again. I used rabbitears.info before. it was accurate, showing surrounding cities' stations.

Second attempt on a different Chromebook with the latest Chrome update:
Still Topeka. VPN off. I am confused.
 
you must be using distribution amplifier. What is the main purpose? Overall signal quality or eliminating degradation with several tvs being used at the same time?

I have four drops to different rooms. Just carried over what I had from a previous home. Did not consider digital vs analog. Rarely have 2 or more TVs using OTA simultaneously. Actually, rarely watch OTA at all anymore. But the distro amp helped back when TV was analog.

Where I’m at, a paper clip would probably suffice. Still, I have a huge rooftop antenna. Was hoping to get Hagerstown stations. Nope.
 
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Sorry should have been more clear on how to use the rabbitears site. I've used it so many times I forget there are people who haven't used it ;)
Did you put it to your address? That makes a world of difference in most cases. You'll see on the map it says to the bottom left "enter location". Did you put the blue push pin at your location or just Lexington? There will be a difference depending on terrain.
 
In real life experience this list is not accurate.
I am sitting in front of my tv and checking ota stations. These are all from Lexington.

NBC-18 and 3 subs all good.
CBS-27 and 4 subs bad. all of are pixilated. (I once rotated the Trek brand antenna just an inch. They were all good for a while . the antenna somehow must have moved back!)
ABC-36 and 6 subs all good.
KET-46 (Public) and 3 subs are the worst. Not even a picture.
FOX-56 and 3 subs good.

I also get KET and 3 subs from another location. (52) Northwest of me. they are great. My Dish guide has info on 46 but nothing on 52. Therefore, I kept 46 just to get info from the guide. 46 and 52 are identical.

I imagine there are better antennas out there. I am stuck with mine for two reasons. 1- No roof antenna for me. I don't want trying to hide the cable. 2- The antenna cable is permanently connected to the antenna in the attic.
 
Did you put it to your address
I entered the address and clicked 'go'. The pin apparently kept staying over Topeka, the original location.
I moved the pin between Lexington and where I live, the rural area in Georgetown. Then, it showed Lex stations.
I live in a heavily wooded 5 acres. My attic is above the top of the trees though.