The Best Splitter for Cable TVby David Lipscomb
Splitters are used in every cable television system. Although these devices seem benign and unimportant, splitters are in the signal path of every television in the house. Choosing the right splitter for cable TV services is critically important, helping to ensure that these TV signals pass through unimpeded. If you decide to add the broadband internet services that cable television services provide, this issue becomes even more important.
High bandwidth means that the splitter can pass signals that are data dense, including high definition and broadband Internet signals. Using a splitter of at least 1000 megahertz helps to ensure that these signals pass unimpeded. High-bandwidth splitters cost slightly more than cheaper versions, coming with the peace of mind that, as your cable lines carry more and more data, you will not have issues with signal loss down the road.
Splitters are lossy. This means that as more connections are made to the original connection, more of the original signal is thrown away. For example, over half of the original signal strength is lost just by using a two-way splitter. These losses are measured in decibels. Three decibels of loss constitutes a 50 percent reduction. Do not place a second splitter after the first, if at all possible. Use a larger one at the outset, amplified if necessary.
These powered devices are splitters as well. The difference is each output has compensation for the losses incurred at each split. These amplifiers have adjustable knobs, able to adjust the outgoing signal from the device. This is useful when compensating for long cable runs, or for situations where eight or more splits may occur.
Diplexers are signal combiners, also functioning as splitters if need be. These devices are invaluable when combining a cable TV signal with an over-the-air antenna. This can be a money saver if most the high-definition content you watch is from local stations. The leads from the antenna and cable feed connect to the diplexer's inputs, with a single cable leading the to television or cable box. The stations are then combined at the tuner for easy access.
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