How to Use a Cable Splitter

By Nichole Liandi

If you're connecting multiple pieces of audiovisual gear to cable television or a satellite dish, you may find that you don't have enough outputs to connect all your gear. This is where a cable splitter comes into the picture. A cable splitter lets you take a single coaxial cable input, such as cable TV or satellite, and split it for connection to multiple rooms or pieces of gear. They're easy to use, since cable connections are standardized--all you need to do is decide where you want to install it.

Things You'll Need

  • Cable source
  • Cable splitter

Step 1

Locate the spot in your cable system where you want to install the cable splitter. If you're planning on routing cable to multiple locations around the house from one source, check the outside of your home. There's usually an in-line junction in the cable leading into your home, often located near the telephone interface box. This junction simply connects the outside cable to the cable that leads into your home. You may just need to install the cable splitter inside the house, by your television. In this case it's easy to identify the cable you'll be splitting, since it's the one that is connected into your existing audiovisual system or television.

Step 2

Disconnect the cable from the outside junction or your audiovisual system. Look at your cable splitter and note which of the cable connections on it is labeled "In" and which are labeled "Out."

Step 3

Connect the cable coming into your house or into your TV to the "In" connection of the splitter. Making the connection is simple--insert the bare wire on the cable into the jack, and then twist the plug's exterior to the right to screw it onto the jack. You can use a small wrench to tight the plug onto the jack if you want it tighter than "finger tight."

Step 4

Connect output cables to the splitter using the method in Step 3, and connect them to the other pieces of audiovisual gear that you want connected to the cable.

Tips & Warnings

  • Each split of the cable will weaken the signal slightly. Using a cable preamp in situations where you are making multiple splits can help preserve signal strength and picture quality.