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To install cable services in your home for your internet and/or television, cable providers run signals through coaxial cables. Your provider may install several outlets for your cable boxes and internet modem/gateway, but in some cases, you could end up with not enough cable outlets to satiate your needs.

If you have both cable TV and internet at home but just one coaxial cable outlet in your room, and you want to send that source signal to both, a cable splitter is the solution. A splitter will introduce additional ports to the setup, and duplicate the signal sending it out through multiple cables without any hassle.

So if you’re interested in learning more about cable splitters, this article will give you the answers you are seeking, including a step-by-step guide on how you can split a cable line for TV and internet using a cable splitter. So, let’s get started!

What is a Cable Splitter?

A cable splitter divides the signal between multiple devices at the same time. Depending upon the number of devices you need to connect, you can get a 2-way, 3-way, 4-way, 6-way, or 8-way cable splitter. Of course, a cable splitter is designed to split the signal without compromising the signal’s quality, but the signal does get equally distributed among all output ports on the splitter. So if you need to connect your cable TV and internet only, we would recommend you use a 2-way splitter for optimal output.

How Does a Cable Splitter Work?

A cable splitter works pretty much the same way as double adapters you probably have in use around your house for plugging more than one electronic device into a power socket. On one side, the cable plugged into the single input port goes into the wall outlet for your cable connection. While cables connected to the other side of the splitter, via output ports, divide the signal into two or more yields of the signal that multiple devices can use.

In the case of TV and internet, one end would thus be plugged into the source outlet, while cables from the two other ends would plug into your internet modem/gateway and TV box.

You can get a cable splitter for less than $10 from most online shops, electronic store chains, and home improvement stores. Before you purchase one, it’s essential to check with your ISP to see which type of cable splitter they recommend. If you purchase the wrong type of cable splitter, you could come to a head with an unbalanced, weak, or lost signal.

Basic Types of a Cable Splitter

So, before you dive in headfirst in a DIY cable-splitting project, you should know about these 4 basic types of cable splitters available in the market, so you don’t end up with the wrong one.

Balanced Cable Splitter

This splitter type comes with an even number of outputs, which is designed to maintain a balance in signal strength among all output ports. As a result, each output port experiences the same amount of attenuation or signal loss, so output from all ports is a signal of equal strength.

Unbalanced Cable Splitter

Unbalanced splitter, on the other hand, has an odd number of output ports, making the signal strength weaker for some ports. It is advisable to use an unbalanced splitter if you are distributing the signal between on modem/gateway and more than one TV. TVs will not require as much bandwidth.

Resistor Cable Splitter

This type of splitter is comparatively cheaper than the rest, because it is able to only split half of your cable signal between the output ports. Sadly the other half is just lost right at the base. So, it is always a better option to invest in a different type of cable splitter, even if it costs you a little more. Because losing 50% of your signal strength definitely ruins the appeal of an affordable price tag.

Transformer Cable Splitter

The transformer splitter divides the signal equally between all output ports. These splitters are available at a relatively higher price than others, but the high-quality signal output makes them well worth the cost.

What is the Right Bandwidth for My Splitter?

Well, you will need to invest in a high-frequency splitter for your cable TV because there’s a lot packed into your cable system. On average, digital cable signals require a 5-1000 MHz band compared to the 2-2300 MHz band that satellite TV signals require. However, each cable system is different. The lower frequency range is normally used for the internet while the higher ones let you enjoy more channels than you can get off broadcast TV.

Now that you have a basic idea about cable splitters, let’s not waste any more time and get straight to the point!

How to Use a Cable Splitter for TV and Internet?

Of course, you will want to install the cable splitter where the cable line enters the area. First of all, determine the length of coaxial cable you will need to connect a 2-way cable splitter to your TV box and internet modem/gateway. It is always better to have shorter cables in a cable splitting project as they carry less noise on the line and are easier to work with too. Next, disconnect the cable line from both your cable TV box and the internet modem/gateway.

Now, you are ready to install the cable splitter! Here is how you can set up a splitter to distribute the cable signal between your cable TV and internet equipment:

  1. Plug one end of the coax cable into the wall outlet in your room and connect the other end to the IN port on your cable splitter.
  2. Then, connect one end of a coaxial cable to your internet modem/gateway and the other end to one of the OUT ports on your cable splitter.
  3. Next, repeat step 2 with another coaxial cable. This time connect one of its ends to your cable TV box and the other to the OUT port on the 2-way splitter.

Make sure to tighten all connections by hand but don’t get too rough, or else, you’ll cause damage. Finally, reboot all connected devices to check if each is receiving the signal properly. In case, you find yourself stuck anywhere, you can always reach out to your cable service provider for help, and troubleshoot the issue.

There You Are!

When you have whole-home consumption of in-home TV and internet services, a cable splitter helps you avoid the fee you may incur for additional wall outlets. It gives you an all-in-one access point for multiple devices that you may want to connect via a single source point.    

If by any chance you are not satisfied with your existing cable service provider, and looking for a new one, call 1-855-349-9328 to find out the best cable TV and internet deals near you. Our experts can guide you better according to your needs and also tell you about any promotional specials on offer in your area.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you split a cable line for TV and internet?

Yes, you’ll need a 2-way cable splitter and some additional coaxial cables. Here is how you can set up a splitter to distribute the cable signal between your cable TV and internet equipment:

  1. First, disconnect the cable line from both your cable TV box and the internet modem/gateway.
  2. Plug one end of the coax cable into the wall outlet in your room and connect the other end to the IN port on your cable splitter.
  3. Then, connect one end of a coaxial cable to your internet modem/gateway and the other end to one of the OUT ports on your cable splitter.
  4. Next, repeat step 2 with another coaxial cable. This time connect one of its ends to your cable TV box and the other to the OUT port on the 2-way splitter.
  5. Make sure to tighten all connections by hand but don’t get too rough, or else, you’ll cause damage.

How do I choose a cable splitter?

Depending on your needs, you may need to make use of a cable splitter to run the signal to the TV set-top box and internet modem/gateway in your house. When choosing the right splitter, you must consider the number of output ports, bandwidth spectrum, and aim for a high performance splitter to minimize attenuation (or dB loss).

Are all cable splitters the same?

No, all cable splitters are not created equal. Low-quality splitters can adversely affect your video signal, causing excessive signal loss and numerous reflections which may cause shadows on the picture.