How to Get Your Picture-in-Picture TV to Work

By Contributor

Updated September 28, 2017

Items you will need

  • Splitter

  • 2 lengths of coaxial cable

  • Audio/video cables (if needed)

Many of today's televisions come with picture-in-picture technology, but it is not always easy for owners to get it to work. Picture-in-picture works as a result of the television having two tuners. For picture-in-picture to work properly, you will have to supply your television with two cable signals. This is easy to do and only takes about five minutes.

Find where the cable feed is coming from. Start at the back side of your cable box and follow the cable that is connected to the "in" terminal. Follow that line until you see where it is coming from. Sometimes, there may already be a splitter on the line.

Disconnect the cable supplying the feed to the cable box, if no splitter is found. Connect this cable to the "input" terminal on the splitter. It is usually the side of the splitter that has only one terminal.

Take a length of cable and connect one end to one of the "output" terminals on the splitter. Connect the other end of the cable to the "input" on the back of the cable box.

Look on the back of your television and see if it has two coaxial cable inputs. This is the tricky part. If it only has one, then you will have to connect your cable box to the TV with audio/video composite cables (the red, white and yellow cables).

If your TV does have two coaxial cable inputs, then simply take another length of cable from the second "output" terminal on the splitter to the second coaxial input on the television, and you are done!

Use the A/V cables, if needed. Remove the coaxial cable going from the cable box to the TV. Connect the coaxial cable from the splitter output to the television's coaxial cable input.

Take a set of A/V cables and connect one end to the cable box. You will see that the ports on the back of the cable box are color-coded and labeled. Just make sure you plug them into the right "outputs." Red goes to to red, white goes to white and yellow goes to yellow. If you are hooking up an HD television, use the red, green and blue connections for video and the red and white ones for audio.

Take the other end of the A/V cables and connect them to one of your television's inputs. Again, they will be color-coded and labeled. Remember which input you connected them to because you will have to tune your TV to that input to see the video. For instance, if you connected your cables to "Input 1," then you will have to tune your TV to Input 1 to get the signal.

Tune your TV to the right input and you should be receiving the cable box feed. If you press the PIP button on your remote, this will pop up the screen showing the second feed, direct from the coaxial cable. Remember, only one feed will provide you with the programming from the cable box. The other feed is your cable company's basic service (usually up to channel 99). So, you won't be able to watch a movie on HBO on one tuner and a Showtime movie on the other. (Of course, unless you have two cable boxes!)


Splitters can be picked up at most stores like K-mart or Walmart, but they are of the cheaper variety. Radio Shack has better quality, but if you know a cable guy who can get you one, they have the best quality splitters.


For every splitter you add to your cable service, the quality is likely to drop a little. For some it may be unnoticeable, but if you are already having poor video quality, adding a splitter could make it worse.