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Can you use two indoor HDTV antennas with a splitter and one cable going to the tuner

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Old 04-19-2005, 12:12 PM   #1
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Default Can you use two indoor HDTV antennas with a splitter and one cable going to the tuner

Hi,

I don't know if this is an off the wall idea or not, but I'm using a samsung amplified indoor antenna right now which is working damn good for me with almost all of the high def channels in my area. I just also picked up a Zenith silver sensor antenna and I want to try this one out over the weekend. So.....can I connect the two antennas via a splitter and have just one cable going to the tuner itself? I'm thinking of pointing the antennas in different positions so that the few channels that do pixilate might come in clearer without me having to move the one antenna around trying to bring in a better signal. So? Will this work? Some people say you need an "antenna combiner" but I've seen some splitters advertised as a "splitter/combiner". Is a splitter the same as a combiner? I'm also thinking about just using an A/B switch if the two antennas would "interfere" with each other.

So, I was thinking of just picking up a monster cable splitter to try this out....

Thanks,

Marc
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Old 04-19-2005, 12:44 PM   #2
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A splitter isn't a combiner! You can't easily mix two antennas in the same freq range, but CAN mix one UHF & one VHF (with a combiner). Signals from two of the same range will destructively interfere.
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Old 04-19-2005, 02:15 PM   #3
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They do make splitter/combiners and then they make splitters. Most units these days will be the splitter/combiner type device.

The problem you would run into is the signals from the two antennas could be out of phase with each other and end up canceling each other out. You also have a chance that the signals from the two antennas will be in phase and will add to each other. When antennas are "stacked" they are usually placed on the same mask vertically and are of identical types so they would have the same characteristics and be pretty much the same distance from the transmitters.

RF signals from the antennas are alternating current type as opposed to DC voltages. Therefore, if the signal from antenna A at the combiner input is positive and the signal from antenna B at the combiner input is negative, the two signals will cancel each other. Moving one of the antennas could theoretically bring the two in phase where both signals were positive at the input to the combiner, but it would be very difficult to get correct without some measuring equipment for that purpose.

The short version is it would be best to get an A-B antenna switch to compare the two. Be sure to have them separated at least two feet or they will interfere with each other even if not connected.

If you still want to try to combine them for increased signal, be sure to keep the at least 2 feet apart horizontally and move one of the antennas toward or away from the transmitters to tune. Equal length coax from the antennas to the combiner is also a must as the signal will travel through the wire and the air at roughly the same speed - the speed of light.

Last edited by rbinck; 04-19-2005 at 02:20 PM.
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Old 02-16-2009, 09:20 PM   #4
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For details of why this will sometimes work, search google for hdtvprimer merging feedlines.
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