How do I split a digital cable signal?

Written by carol luther
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How do I split a digital cable signal?
Coaxial cable carries the cable signal into your home. (coaxial cable connection image by Michael Shake from

When you connect your home to digital cable service, the company will provide a line from the street to a location inside your house. Inside equipment installation policies often depend on the company. Some cable companies provide free connections to all of your televisions and electronic components. Other companies charge fees for every additional connection to your main cable line. You may pay hefty fees to have a technician visit your home to connect additional components. It is often less expensive to split your cable signal.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Signal splitter
  • Coaxial cables (75 ohm)
  • Signal amplifier (optional)

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  1. 1

    Buy a signal splitter at an electronics store. Normally, it is best to use a two-way splitter. If you have several components that need to be connected, however, you should buy four-way splitters. Most experts recommend that users avoid multiple splits on the same coaxial.

  2. 2

    Find the main digital cable line inside your home. Trace the route of your cable wiring from outside your home to any room that has a coaxial cable attached to the digital cable service line.

  3. 3

    Select the coaxial cables that you will use to connect additional devices. If you're connecting a component in the same room, get a cable that's 3 to 6 feet long. If you need to split your signal for connection in another room, get a cable that's long enough to reach the secondary location. Allow a few extra feet for installations under the floor or through walls, if necessary.

  4. 4

    Connect the end of your home's interior coaxial cable to the side of the signal splitter that has only one connecter. This connector is usually labelled "IN." Hand-tighten the connector.

  5. 5

    Attach a 75-ohm coaxial cable to each of the connectors on the opposite side of the signal splitter. These connectors are usually labelled "OUT." Tighten the screw connectors by hand.

  6. 6

    Insert one of the coaxial cables from the "OUT" side of your signal splitter into the "Cable In" connector of your first component. Then attach your second component to the other "OUT" coaxial on the signal splitter.

  7. 7

    Test your devices for proper connection and signal quality. You may need a signal booster if one of your connected components is more than six feet from your signal splitter.

Tips and warnings

  • Coaxial cables with push-on connectors do not work well with signal splitters.
  • For best results, consult your component manuals for cable input recommendations and options. Some components must be connected directly to the incoming coaxial for all of their features to work properly.
  • Do not split your digital signal at the point that your outside cable drop comes into your home (company coaxial). This can degrade your signal.
  • Check your service contract before you use a signal splitter to add an additional television to your digital cable service. Some companies require that their technicians install all additional television connections.

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