Cable providers use coaxial cables to install cable services in your home for your TV or internet connection. In most cases, they install multiple outlets for your internet modem and cable boxes. But in some cases, the number of outlets installed is not enough.
In case, you have a single coax cable outlet and want to send the source signal to both your internet and cable TV, then using a cable splitter is the best solution.
Using a splitter will help you add extra ports, so the signal can run through multiple cables without an issue.
If you are eager to know how to use a cable splitter for the internet and TV, then this guide is for you.
What is a Cable Splitter?
Before diving into the details, you need to know what a cable splitter is and what it does.
A cable splitter is a device that is needed to run two separate coax cables from a single outlet. It is commonly used in offices and homes that have a single outlet, but multiple devices.
You can get different types of cable splitters depending on your requirement. This includes 3-way, 8-way, 2-way, 4-way, and 6-way cable splitters.
The most common type of cable splitter is the one that has two female ends on one end and a single male end on the other end. The end with a single connector is secured to a cable outlet.
Most wall outlets are female, and the cable splitter can be easily attached to them. By doing so, you can create two female outlets to connect two coax cables.
A cable splitter is designed to split the signal without lowering the signal quality. It distributes the signal equally to all the ports present on the splitter. If you want to connect just your internet and cable TV, then we recommend you get a 2-way splitter.
How Does a Cable Splitter Work on TV and the Internet?
A cable splitter is similar to a double adapter in terms of functioning. While the cable connected to the input port is plugged into the outlet for cable connection, the cables attached to the other end of the splitter divide the signal into multiple yields so that it can be used by multiple devices.
In the case of the internet and TV, one end of the cable is attached to the source outlet, and the other two ends are connected to your TV box and internet modem.
The purpose of a splitter is to take one signal and divide it to send that single signal to multiple devices. In simple words, it duplicates the signals and allows multiple devices to have access to that single signal across the network. While doing so, it also maintains the quality of the signal as much as possible.
Common splitters usually have two connections, but some of them might have up to six connections. These devices will have one input port and multiple output ports depending on the type you get.
The most important thing about a splitter is that it distributes the signal equally along each path. By using a reliable splitter you can run signals on multiple devices even with a single outlet. Remember that the signal strength gets diluted, the more times it is split up. Despite the cons, many people find cable splitters to be very useful.
Cable splitters are cheap and are available in most electronic stores and online shops. Before getting a new cable splitter, you must find out the splitter that your ISP recommends. Using the wrong splitter can result in a weak or poor signal.
How to Use a Cable Splitter for TV and Internet?
Now that you have a basic idea about cable splitters and how they work, let’s discuss the steps to use them for a TV and the internet.
The very first thing you need to do is determine the length of the coax cable that is needed to connect a 2-way splitter to your internet modem and TV box. When using a splitter, you should opt for shorter cable lengths. This is because shorter cables are easy to work with and they also reduce the amount of noise on the line.
After getting the right cable length, unplug the cable line from both your internet modem and TV box.
Follow these steps to install the cable splitter:
- Take one end of the coaxial cable and connect it to the wall outlet, and the other end to the input port on your splitter.
- Now connect one end of the cable to your internet modem, while the other end goes into the output port on your splitter.
- You are required to repeat the same steps, but this time with two coaxial cables. Connect one end of the cable to your TV box, and the other end to the output port on the splitter.
- After you are done, check if all the connections are tight. Handle the cable with care; otherwise, it might get damaged.
- Now reboot all the connected devices to see if they are receiving the signal. In case, there’s an issue, you should call your cable provider.
Does Using a Cable Splitter Weaken the Signal?
Whenever you split a signal, it hurts the strength and quality of the signal. This is probably the biggest concern of users who want to use a cable splitter for their internet and TV.
Several factors can affect the quality of signals, because of which they could experience dips. But it doesn’t always affect your viewing experience.
You have to deal with some amount of signal loss, whenever you decide to split a signal. But the loss of signal strength doesn’t hurt good TV or internet.
If you experience a similar issue, it could be caused by something else. You are advised to get a cable splitter from a reputable brand. A decent splitter won’t cost you a lot of money. Instead, it will spare you from the issues that poor-quality splitters create. The advantage of using a good-quality splitter is that it causes minimal signal loss.
When it comes to splitting a signal, split it only two times. Even if the splitter supports more than two paths, you shouldn’t split the cable more than two times.
If you are using only two paths, cover the remaining ports using a terminator cap. When ports are left unused, they can contribute to signal loss.
Now the question is how much signal is lost with a cable splitter. There’s no definite answer to this. The amount of signal loss depends on the type of splitter you are using. For example, if you split the signal two or more times, there will be more signal loss.
Signal strength is measured in decibels (dB). If you have a two-way cable splitter, the signal loss should be about 3.4 dB. In this case, the signal will be split into two equal paths for the two sources.
This is where the loss of signal occurs. You want to split the signal into two paths and run it to two devices. If you can do this perfectly, you will get two signals with a quality lower than the source. This means, there is signal loss, but that’s because of the splitter.
In some cases, the signal quality is lower than your expectations. This could happen due to poor connections, inferior equipment, or other things that are not exactly related to splitting.
If there’s an unusual dip in signal quality, you should check cable quality and connections. If you are unable to detect the issue by yourself, take help from a professional.
Q1. Does a cable splitter reduce the internet speed?
Ans: Cable splitters only reduce signal strength and quality. It won’t affect or slow down the internet speed.
Q2. What is the advantage of using a cable splitter?
Ans: Using a cable splitter can be a great help when you have only one source line in your office or home. Splitter devices can distribute a signal equally across multiple devices from a single source, provided that you use the right connections and equipment.
Q3. Why do you need a splitter for a cable?
Ans: A splitter is a small device that splits a signal into two or more paths and sends it to multiple devices. But this can result in signal loss, and in rare cases, service failure.
Q4. What is the difference between cable splitters?
Ans: It is recommended you use a high-quality splitter as they result in less signal loss. They might be a bit costly, but they deliver better results. For instance, a 2-way splitter causes only a -3.5 dB signal loss, while an 8-way or 4-way splitter can lead up to -11 dB signal loss.
Q5. What type of cable splitter is needed for cable TV and internet?
Ans: To connect your cable TV and internet modem a 2-way cable splitter is good enough for optimal output.
When you have multiple devices for internet services and in-home TV at home, a cable splitter can help you eliminate the cost of installing additional wall outlets. With a reliable cable splitter device, you can create an all-in-one access point for all your devices. If you are unable to install the cable splitter on your own, you can always get professional help.
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