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Switchable Splitter for 2 TVs?

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Old 11-23-2010, 01:04 PM   #1
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Default Switchable Splitter for 2 TVs?

Hi,

First, I'd like to thank the guys here who helped me figure out my antenna system a few months ago in a fringe area. I finally decided upon a XG-91 and a YA-1713 on a hinged roof mast (two 10 conduit pipes on a low pitch roof).

The hinged mast feature works great. I am able to raise and lower the antenna array for adjustments with no problem. I am now getting all 12 available channels from Duluth perfectly at about 45 miles thru pine forest and intervening higher terrain.

Now I would like to add a 2nd TV downstairs (7-inch DC unit). I know I will need a signal splitter. But the one I found for two TVs is not switchable. Am I right that a switchable splitter will result in lower signal loss than a non-switchable splitter? Or shouldn't I worry about that? The only switchable splitters I have found so far are for TV & Cable or TV & Game installations. Would those work for two TVs? Do they make switchable splitters for two TVs?

A second TV will add another 25 foot run and I'm already pushing the signal strength. So any loss I can avoid would be good. My installation is in a remote 12 volt powered cabin in the woods with solar-electric power and a battery bank. I don't have a pre-amp and want to avoid having to use one.

Thanks!
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Old 11-23-2010, 01:48 PM   #2
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What you call a "switchable splitter" is usually referred to as a A/B switch. It should have a lower insertion loss than a regular signal splitter. If you will only be watching one TV at a time, the switch would probably be the way to go. Just put it where it's handy, and gives the shortest cable runs to the two TVs.
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Old 11-24-2010, 12:25 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rinardman View Post
What you call a "switchable splitter" is usually referred to as a A/B switch. It should have a lower insertion loss than a regular signal splitter. If you will only be watching one TV at a time, the switch would probably be the way to go. Just put it where it's handy, and gives the shortest cable runs to the two TVs.
Thanks for the info. Yes, I'd be only watching one TV at a time and want to incur the lowest DB loss.

I'm still wondering tho about these A-B swtiches and how many different types there are. I'm seeing ones that say "TV" and "Cable" for outputs.

Will that type of A-B switch work if I'm running two TVs off the same antenna? I'm assuming it would work, but am I right?

Thanks!
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Old 11-24-2010, 12:45 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by herbwag View Post
Will that type of A-B switch work if I'm running two TVs off the same antenna? I'm assuming it would work, but am I right?
The ones that say "cable" should work just fine switching one antenna between two TVs. They probably just label them with "cable" because that is the most common use these days.
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Old 11-24-2010, 02:34 PM   #5
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A-B switches have negligible insertion loss. A "splitter" has 3.5 - 4 dB of insertion loss.

Inexpensive A-B switches were commonly used for switching between an RF-modulated video game console and a cable/antenna coax. They're still available at WalMart for less than $6.
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Old 11-24-2010, 03:25 PM   #6
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An A-B switch would have much smaller loss (maybe 0.5 dB or so), but would not allow both tv's to receive signals from the antennas at the same time (so you'd have to flip the switch every time you switched rooms, which might be okay):

http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?mc=05&p=SS4017

I use an A-B switch (to switch among multiple antennas, as opposed to feeding multiple tv's) and I find the signal loss to be negligible, even for my fringe stations.

A two-way (passive, non-amplified) splitter would typically have about 3.5 dB loss to each output, but would allow both tv's to be watched at the same time, including on different channels (in case more than one person might be watching tv in your cabin at the same time, and also for having the convenience of not having to throw the switch every time you switch rooms):

http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?mc=03&p=CM3212
http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?mc=03&p=P7002AP

Since both devices are just a few bucks, maybe just doing quick tests on both options would be best.

If it turned out that you lost too much signal with even the lower-loss A-B switch option, and absolutely could not have an amplifier, then the only other way I know to eek out a few extra dB's passively would be to upgrade to thicker RG-11 coax throughout, which is expensive, requires its own special end connectors and is somewhat difficult to work with.
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Old 11-26-2010, 01:39 PM   #7
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Guys:

Thanks for the info on the A/B splitters. Sounds like the way to go for my setup.

Only one TV will be watched at a time so no problem there. The low DB loss is the main thing and I'm glad to hear how minimal it is.

Thanks again!
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