How Much Signal Do I Lose Going Through A Splitter?

Any time a TV distribution signal is split, it will encounter insertion loss that will weaken the signals distributed beyond the splitter. If you experience signal issues while using a splitter, you may need to install a distribution amplifier or antenna preamplifier

Channel Master TV splitters are designed to equally divide the signals on the input port of the splitter to each of the output ports.  Graphically, it looks like Figure 1.  As this shows, 100% of the signal level is put into the input port, and 50% of the signal is on each of the output ports.  This is typically measured in dB.  A splitter will have approximately 3.5 dB of loss on each port.

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TV signal splitters with more than two output ports are normally made up of multiple two-way splitters.  For instance, a three-way splitter will have an additional two-way splitter on one of the output ports of the first splitter, and it will look like Figure 2.  In this case, 100% of the power is split in two, providing 50% of the power to each output port.  The second splitter then divides it again so that now 25% of the power is on the two ports from the second splitter.  In terms of dB loss, the second splitter adds another 3.5 dB of signal loss, so the two ports off the second splitter will have 7 dB of loss, while the port off the original splitter will still have 3.5 dB of loss.

 3-way_splitter.jpg

A four-way splitter will be made up of three combined two-way splitters, as shown in Figure 3.  In this case, 25% of the input signals are on each of the four output ports.  In terms of dB loss, there will be approximately 7 dB of signal loss on each output port.

4-way_splitter.jpg 

An eight-way splitter will be made up of seven combined two-way splitters, as shown in Figure 4.  In this case, 12.5% of the input signals are on each of the four output ports.  In terms of dB loss, there will be approximately 10.5 dB of signal loss on each output port.

 8-way_splitter.jpg

 In addition to signal loss, there are other critical performance concerns with splitters.  With HDTV over the air service becoming all digital, and especially in cable TV networks that include high speed data, it is very important that any splitters connected to the in-house distribution network be of the highest quality so that they don’t degrade the digital signals going through them.  Channel Master TV splitters have been designed to meet all of these stringent requirements, including low insertion loss, excellent return loss, excellent port to port isolation, and excellent intermodulation/second harmonic performance.  Channel Master TV splitters are also designed to withstand high levels of electrical surges without failure, ensuring excellent long-term performance whether they are installed in an in-home distribution network using an off air antenna, or when used in a cable TV installation.  They are of the highest quality, and are designed to operate over a wide temperature range (-40° F to +140° F), and can be mounted outdoors with no concerns for moisture or corrosion due to the sealed F ports and plating materials used on the splitter housing.

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