How to Split an Over The Air Antenna Signal to Multiple TV’s

How can I share one over the air antenna to multiple TV’s? I will show you how in this article. In most cases your home may have existing coaxial cable wiring already setup in the house. If you had some type of cable or dish television previously installed, you likely have most of the wiring done for you. The great part about using an over the air antenna is, you can tap into the existing wiring to plug in your HD antenna. From there you can install a splitter to distribute the signal to several televisions. If your house does not have the existing wiring you will need to run the cabling yourself. I will show you how to do that as well.

How to Split an Over The Air Antenna Signal to Multiple TV's

How to Split an Over The Air Antenna Signal to Multiple TV’s

Splitter Placement

Once you have your antenna installed and if your house is fully wired, all of the coaxial cables will come to a central point. In most houses it is in the basement or utility room. It is a bundle of black cables. It may be helpful to first identify where each cable leads to. Once you have this figured out, label each cable with a piece of tape. For example, a label may read “Bedroom 1” or “Living Room”. They may have already been labeled by the electrician. The cables may already be plugged into some type of splitter from your cable provider. Most of the splitters that the cable companies provide are passive and are not powered splitters. You many be better off replacing it with a powered splitter if your second TV is more then 150 feet away. This will allow you to boost your antenna signal further. If your second television is far away in another bedroom, the powered splitter will boost the signal for better reception. Make sure not to use the splitter for your internet router/modem. Your antenna should be separate from this signal and not combined.

How to Split an Over The Air Antenna Signal to Multiple TV’s

Central Cables

Wall Jacks

Pictured above: My cable from the HD antenna in the attic is plugged into the closest wall jack that connects to the splitter in the basement.

Depending on where your over the air antenna is placed, you can use the closest wall jack to plug your antenna into. My antenna is in my attic, so I plugged my antenna cable into the closest wall jack in the upstairs bedroom. The cable then runs from this wall jack to the basement to the central stack of cables. Then I placed my splitter/distribution amp in this area. Next I plugged in the coaxial cable from the antenna wall jack into the input of the splitter. Then I identified which cables in the bundle lead to the wall jacks where the TV’s are located. I plugged each TV cable into the outputs of the splitter. Again, if you do not have wall jacks installed, you will have to run new coaxial cable to each television and central location. You will also need to provide power to the splitter and in some cases to your antenna. For certain setups, a passive splitter (unpowered) will work if your cable runs are short and your antenna booster is powerful enough.

 

TV Antenna Input

TV Input

 

How to Split an Over The Air Antenna Signal to Multiple TV's

Splitter/Distribution Amp

 How to Split an Over The Air Antenna Signal to Multiple TV's

Here are the splitters we recommend:

Powered Splitter

Channel Master CM3412 2-Port Distribution Amplifier

cm-3412-2t

The Channel Master CM3412 2-Port Distribution Amplifier is available from these retailers:

Channel Master:

Channel Master CM3412 2-Port Distribution Amplifier

Amazon:

Passive (unpowered) Splitter

Monoprice 110013 Premium 2-Way Coax Cable Splitter

Monoprice 110013 PREMIUM 2-Way Coax Cable Splitter F-Type Screw for Video VCR Cable TV Antenna (110013)

The Monoprice 110013 Premium 2-Way Coax Cable Splitter is available from these retailers:

Ebay:

Amazon:

Adjustable Gain Amplifier

Channel Master CM-7777HD TV Antenna Amplifier with Adjustable Gain

cm-7777hd-2t

I have been getting a few comments from people saying that a powered splitter is causing signal loss due to over modulation. Most powered splitters give you all or nothing signal amplification. You have no control over the gain of the outputs. The Channel Master CM-7777HD TV Antenna Amplifier can alleviate this problem. It allows you to adjust your output gain. This can be handy if you only need a little gain to your other TVs. This device will work well with a passive splitter. Just place the Channel Master CM-7777HD TV Antenna Amplifier between your OTA antenna and your passive splitter. Then dial in your gain. This can give you much more flexibility in your splitter setup.

The Channel Master CM-7777HD TV Antenna Amplifier is available from these retailers:

Channel Master:

Channel Master CM-7777HD TV Antenna Amplifier

Amazon:

Need help choosing an antenna. Click on our guides below:

how to choose an hd antenna guide

tv station locator tool

Running Your Own Cable

If you are not fortunate enough to have your house pre-wired, you can do it yourself. It may take sometime to snake RG6 Cablethe wiring around the house, but if you are a do it your selfer it should not be that complicated. There are several products and tools available that can make it a lot easier to string up some cabling. You just need to determine how much cabling you need by taking some measurements. Here are some tools that can be helpful when running your own cabling.

RG6 RG59 Connectors Crimping Tool

uxcell RG6 RG59 Connector Waterproof Connectors Crimping Tool

This tool will allow you to make your own cables to custom lengths. Just cut your cable to the length required. Use a striping tool to prep your cable and crimp on your RG6 compression connectors.

RG-6 Coaxial Locking Compression Connector

PCT-TRS-6 Universal RG-6 Coaxial Locking Compression Connector - 20 Pack

Compression connectors attach to the cable ends. These work with the crimping tool.

RCA Coaxial Cable Stripper

RCA Coaxial Cable Stripper for RG6, RG59/62 and RG58

This cable stripping tool will allow you to have clean and professional cuts. Allowing your compression connectors to fit perfectly.

RCA Coaxial Cable Stripper for RG6, RG59/62 and RG58

by Cables Direct Online Cables Direct Online
Amazon Price: $5.15 £30.90 CDN$ 8.78

RG6 Cabling

RG6 Standard Shield Bulk Coaxial Cable, White, 1000ft, 75 Ohm, 18AWG, Solid CCS, AL Foil and 60% AL Braid, CM & CL2 Rated

RG6 standard shield bulk coaxial cable. Just cut your cable to length.

Using Ready Made Cable

You can also use ready made cable and RG6 barrels if you do not want to make your own cables. It is a simpler process and requires fewer tools. This may work better if your cable runs are short.

Coaxial Cable (50 Feet) with F-Male Connectors

Mediabridge Coaxial Cable (50 Feet) with F-Male Connectors - Ultra Series - Tri-Shielded UL CL2 In-Wall Rated RG6 Digital Audio / Video - Includes Removable EZ Grip Caps (Part# CJ50-6BF-N1 )

Premade coaxial cable with connectors already attached.

Coaxial Barrel/Coupler

GE 23203 Cable Extension Adaptor Connects Two Coaxial Video Cables

Cable Extension adapter allows you to connect two coaxial cable together to extend length.

Wall Plate with 2-Port Keystone Jack

Cable Matters (10 Pack) Wall Plate with 2-Port Keystone Jack in White

You can cap it all off with a professional looking wall plate.

RG6 Keystone Jack Insert

Cable Matters (5-Pack) Gold-Plated RG6 Keystone Jack Insert

Just snap in your coaxial insert and you’re done.

Feature Image courtesy of kangshutters at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Conclusion

There you have it. You now know how to split an over the air antenna signal to multiple TV’s. There is nothing better than watching free TV in the living room and the bedroom. Now the whole family can watch on multiple TV’s without arguing about which program to view.

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About Johan
I started the site to educate the public on the alternative ways you can watch television besides subscribing to cable. I have been in the audio visual business for over 20 years. I also have an extensive computer networking background. I am a Microsoft Certified Professional and CompTIA Network+ Certified Technician. I hope you will find my articles and reviews helpful in conscious uncabling.

2 Comments

  1. I just sent back a channel master 3414-4. When I placed channel master 3414-4 I lost Half of my channels on both TV’s. My antenna is an Esky HG997, I pick up about 50 channels, but I would like to add one or two more TV’s. My coax is plugged in at the antenna’s signal collector box, then at the TV – coax is screwed into amplifier then amplifier is screwed on to TV.

    • That is interesting. My second television was losing signal until I put in the powered channel master splitter in line. I was using a passive splitter and it kept losing signal. But my cable runs are long throughout my house and the powered splitter help boost the signal. It could be doing the opposite for you and over powering your signal. Just checking your connections: Antenna plugged into signal collector, out of collector into splitter, out of splitter into your TV’s. Maybe the powered splitter is over modulating the signal. You could try a passive or unpowered splitter. Like this one http://amzn.to/1KboFoL Your signal collector may provide enough boost to work with this passive or unpowered splitter. Good Luck and I hope I was of some help!

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