Can a Satellite TV Signal Be Split?

By Aaron Wardell

Satellite TV is an excellent way to gain access to hundreds of channels of movies, sports, and HD content in your home. When installing satellite cable in your house or apartment, you may have multiple rooms with cable access. Although the cable signal itself can be easily split to accommodate these extra rooms, this solution is not always as simple as it seems.

Satellite TV

Satellite TV operates by receiving a signal from the air through a small satellite attached to the side of a house or apartment. This satellite sends the signal through the house via coaxial cables and is "translated" into a watchable picture by a satellite receiver (very similar to a cable box). The two most common satellite services, DirecTV and Dish Network, charge a monthly fee for the satellite, receivers and the specific cable service you've ordered.

Receivers

During satellite installation, the cable signal is often split into two or more signals for multiple rooms using a cable splitter. A separate receiver is needed for each room or TV using one of these split signals. You can split the signal yourself by installing cable splitters anywhere along the line, but hooking the bare coaxial cable to your TV from your satellite is not enough to get full access to satellite channels--you need a receiver to properly decode the satellite signal into watchable television.

Properly Splitting the Signal

A satellite signal that runs through a coaxial cable can easily be split and shared by using a standard, readily-available cable splitter. Most splitters split the signal into two or more weaker signals. It's not advisable to split the signal too many times, as it may weaken and degrade the quality of the picture and sound. A signal amplifier can be installed if the cable must be split for many rooms and TVs. A signal can be split as many times as desired as long as it stays strong enough and a receiver is used to decode each signal before being connected to a TV.

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