Cable Tap Vs. Splitter

By Mona Prestenbach

Cable taps and splitters do not provide the same function.
i Hanging Television Cables image by Van Ness from

Cable service is delivered into homes and businesses through signals via cable systems. Taps and splitters are used to transport the cable signal directly to the television or through a network of locations throughout the home or business.

The Tap

A distribution cable is the main cable system seen on power lines that delivers cable services. A tap is used to 'tap' into this distribution cable creating a drop line that runs from the distribution cable to the home or business.


Once the cable signal is connected into the home or business, a splitter is used to create a distribution system to send the signal into various locations through the home or business. The splitter allows the tap to be connected into one side and one or multiple cables connected into the other.


Each time a splitter is used a small percentage of the cable signal is lost.