Aerial Splitter Causing Bad Reception

anotheruser

Active Member
Hello

I have recently put up a good aerial on my house. The cable comes into the loft, through a splitter, which leads to a bedroom and living room.

Living room reception is pretty good, it's a Sony A8.

Bedroom reception, not so good, it's a 2012 Samsung F8000.

I only have a cheap supermarket fly lead from the back of the TV but when I connected this straight to the aerial, it was pretty good reception. That lead me to think it was the cable in the wall.
It's not a screened plate but took it off, reseated everything there and reconnected. Also re-did the connector of the cable in the loft.
When I connect the cable from the wall plate to the loft direct to the aerial, it works pretty well.

This has now lead me to think the splitter may be at fault here.
But what I can't work out is why I get good reception downstairs but not in the bedroom. Both use the same cheap wall plates so they possibly aren't that much of an issue.

Here's a picture of the splitter:

IMG_20210525_091546.jpg


I don't know where it came from but it's fairly old.

Should I look at getting a newer one?
 

Rodders53

Distinguished Member
All splitters lose some signal. That one will be -4dB out cf in... -3dB being half.

Passive splitters like that have nothing that can go wrong inside - just a few coils of wire to act as transformers.

BUT people do connect them up wrong, although that one is clearly marked IN (from the aerial) and OUT to the TVs... Check that first as mis-connecting makes one set work well and the other gets pretty much nothing. {Most often done with the plastic Y-shaped splitters}

That 4dB loss makes a problem indicates the aerial is not really adequate and/or in a distant from transmitter location. A lowish gain amplifier in the loft would probably help. Remote powered (masthead amp style) if necessary.

Location (nearby postcode of a shop, pub, church etc.,.) and details of the aerial you have would allow better, more accurate, advice.
 

mikej

Well-known Member
I only have a cheap supermarket fly lead from the back of the TV but when I connected this straight to the aerial, it was pretty good reception. That lead me to think it was the cable in the wall.
It's not a screened plate but took it off, reseated everything there and reconnected. Also re-did the connector of the cable in the loft.
When I connect the cable from the wall plate to the loft direct to the aerial, it works pretty well.

This has now lead me to think the splitter may be at fault here.

When you say 'pretty good reception' - are you happy that you're receiving all the channels you're expecting from your most suitable transmitter on the Sony TV in the lounge and that the signal strengths are good ? If so, then that is an indication that the aerial is suitable for your area and aligned correctly, I guess.

Trying an alternative splitter won't cost you much but, from everything you've said, I would probably ditch the passive splitter in favour of a powered masthead amplifier or distribution amplifier in the loft. Unless you live in a strong signal area (close to the transmitter) than this is fairly normal practice in houses with more than one TV outlet.

If there are no suitable 13A sockets in the loft, then distribution amps can be powered from the lighting circuit (via a 3A fused spur) if necessary and masthead amps are usually powered via the coax and a suitable PSU, which can be located behind the TV if getting power in the loft is an issue. Avoid cheap 'signal boosters' from the likes of Argos and choose one with more than 2 outlets if you think there's a chance that extra TV points could be added in the future.

what I can't work out is why I get good reception downstairs but not in the bedroom. Both use the same cheap wall plates so they possibly aren't that much of an issue.

Your Sony TV might be better at handling weak signals than the Samsung in the bedroom. What are the signal strengths on the Sony ? (check the set-up or Freeview tuning menu for options for checking signal strengths)
 

anotheruser

Active Member
Hmm.

Well have been doing some reading and research. The Samsung worked better downstairs (no blockiness / bad reception) so perhaps it isn't the splitter but the cable in the wall - I didn't actually stand watching when I tested.

Strange though as the Sony downstairs really is fine. I should trace the wire in the loft and see where it goes as in the bedroom, I would have expected the wire to point up but it points down so goes somewhere, then heads up to the loft, possibly causing a kink somewhere.

I'm thinking perhaps the lead and faceplate aren't helping so may look at replacing them for screened versions. A bit sad as I chucked some good quality Virgin Media cables from an old house as they were taking up too much space. They would have been perfect for this!

I guess 80p/m isn't bad for new cabling.

Although I have:
Virgin Media Amphenol CTFC-T10 3197
RG6U Twin coaxial cable

Could I cut off the F-plugs, attach some Bell plugs and use that as a fly lead? Would that be a lot better than the 3C-2V that I have now?

Problem is, I'd have to use a connector as one is about 1.5m, the other at least 4 so not sure if I'd be saving anything.

Can you connect cables in the wall to an F face plate?

I know a lot comes down to individual circumstances but just wondering what the general rule of thumb is.
 
Last edited:

Rodders53

Distinguished Member
First check the wiring/connection to the splitter/aerial is correct ----

Different TVs have different tuner sensitivities but it's not usually so 'extreme' as you describe and I'm hoping that
Aerial goes to out and in goes to lounge TV = good signal
Other out = nothing useful.

Correct would be
Aerial to IN (using a Belling Lee double ended barrel joiner).
OUT 1 and OUT 2 to the two TV sets.

You say direct connected to the aerial = OK (what does the TV metering show for signal level and quality)
Ditto for the main Sony set metering when direct and via the splitter (there may be little difference or not...)

Try the Samsung on the downstairs TV outlet - if it's good then and the metering vastly different then it points to a cable from loft to that room issue... Replacement of the cable may cure the problem. IF things are connected correctly to that splitter?

Use F-to TV plug adapters rather than remaking e.g. PROception Adaptors F-Female to TV (IEC) Male Especially if the cables are Virgin crimped on F-plugs, they'll be fairly good.

Swap the fly lead from one set to the other to prove the fly lead is the problem? Consider getting rid of the wallplate and just joining the cable to a fly-lead Wall plates / Surface plates - A.T.V. Poles, Brackets, Clamps & Aerials

F-plugs are increasingly being used for UHF TV signal parts... e.g. low gain amplifiers.

Wiring up plugs, aerials and wall plates - A.T.V. Poles, Brackets, Clamps & Aerials is useful reading as is Splitters, amps and diplexers - A.T.V. Poles, Brackets, Clamps & Aerials
 

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: Best Home Cinema Sources and B&W 805 D4 Speaker Review and more...
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom