How to Split Set Top Box Signals

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How to Split Set Top Box Signals

There is a cable set top box in over 50 per cent of all Australian homes. Many cable companies now feature exclusively all-digital channels; this means that companies can charge extra to have a cable signal in each room. Customers should use a new set top box in order to watch different channels. However, it is possible to split the signal from one set top box to two or more televisions, but it is necessary to have some parts and good instructions.


What Type of Cable is Necessary

Cable TV uses three primary types of coaxial cables. The three main types of cable are RG-6, RG-11, and RG-59. Each one has its own general use as well as a different attenuation, which is the amount of signal lost, in decibels, per 100 feet.

The shielding type refers to how much protection there is from outside noise interference. The more shielding there is, the less likely it becomes to lose signal over longer distances. All these cables work at about 75 ohms. Only use RG-59 cables on distances shorter than a metre.


Signal Strength

It is important for installers of splitters to contact their cable company to find out the signal strength, in decibels, that comes into their home or office. Knowing how many splits you can have before an amplifier is necessary may save some math too. When split, the cable's strength divides by how many ports there are on the splitter.

There is also some signal loss when using a splitter. A single dual-splitter loses between 3 and 4 decibels of signal quality; a 4-way splitter loses about 7 decibels; and an 8-way loses about 10 to 11 decibels. If the number of decibels after a split equals 3 or less, a powered signal amplifier is necessary. Also, take into account the attenuation, which is the amount of signal lost over distance.


Cutting or Buying the Cable

When measuring the cable length, if it needs to be out of the way, measure along the floor and ceiling where it should rest. Remember that when cutting or buying measured cable, always add an extra 15 to 30 centimetres at each distance in order to stop the cables from kinking.

Applying Connectors

Using cable strippers, remove a small amount of outer coating and peel back the insulation below. Then, cut about a centimetre of shielding. Slip an "F" connector over the exposed copper cable and core until the cable comes through the other end. With a crimping tool, crimp the opening end of the connector around the cable and test that the cable does not move in the connector. Always check each end of the cable with a circuit checker, also known as a continuity checker, if there is no circuit, the connectors may require replacement.


Installing the Cable Splitters

Once the math is complete, install the cable splitters. There are a few things to keep in mind as well. Split the cable far down, leaving the original cable long, to decrease the amount of attenuation on each cable. This decreases the overall length of all of the cables combined within the building, and thus the attenuation. Always try to buy 1GHz splitters (or better), as these have, more often than not, better quality components and pass on higher-quality signals.

Plug the end of the coaxial cable to split into the input of the splitter. Connect the other cables to the outputs of the splitter. If an amplifier is necessary, it works similarly as a splitter; however, it does need a power supply too. If the work is for a small to medium-sized house, an amplifier where the cable comes into the house is the easiest place to fit it.


How to Buy Coaxial Cable and Splitters on eBay

Buying both coaxial cable and splitters from the sellers on eBay is simple. In the search bar, which you can find on any site page, type in the name of the product you are looking for, such as '10 m coaxial cable' or '2-way coaxial splitter'. The list of results includes all the related items available to buy on the site. Remember that not all cables have connectors on the end, and you may need to fit them. Overall, while the job may take time, anyone can do it with the right information at hand.

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