Freeview/FM amplifier/splitter

RetroJim

Standard Member
Ive just bought a house (renovation project) and would like to put in a double run of coax cable to 5 rooms in the house to supply them with freeview and perhaps fm radio.

I'm looking for some sort of splitter/amplifier box that can be mounted in a server cupboard (mains powered) and be connected to an external roof tv aerial to allow me to connect up the cables I intend on laying. It might also be helpful if it had the ability to handle and split a sky signal in the future although im unsure what cable I would need to lay for that?

Any advice/recommendations would be most welcome, im definately a beginner in this area.

Thanks
 

Pollensa1946

Novice Member
You want something like this...

V5-512 12-output Line Power Multiswitch » Vision Products - Powerful Products. Easy Installation. Excellent Value

Initially it would take input from your terrestrial TV aerial. This model will handle twin feeds to 6 rooms, if you anticipate more than that then there are 16, 24, 32 output models.

If you want FM/DAB then feed the TV & FM/DAB feeds into a combiner before the Multiswitch input...

http://www.triax.com/FindProduct/ProductDetails?product={ED22D118-7FAF-4515-9C4C-8167027C4929}

Then you add a QUATRO LNB for satellite reception (note the difference between QUAD & QUATRO LNBs)...

Triax Quattro LNB: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics

At the room end you want this...

Triax 304109

One of your down cables will carry a combined TV/FM/DAB/Satellite signal which is decoded into individual signals by the wallplate electronics. The other cable carries a 2nd satellite signal.

Your cable runs should be in high quality satellite cable like this...

100m Webro Black WF100 Satellite TV Digital Coax Cable | eBay
 
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RetroJim

Standard Member
Thanks for the advice and links, very helpful!

So just to be clear, TV/FM/DAB can all be passed through a single cable simultaneously using this method? That's handy to know.
 
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Pollensa1946

Novice Member
...So just to be clear, TV/FM/DAB can all be passed through a single cable simultaneously using this method
...TV/FM/DAB and SATELLITE. The wallplate does the rest for one of the cables and your sat receiver will discriminate the signal on the other.
 

Rodders53

Distinguished Member
Planning Your TV Installation
and
SatCure UK satellite and Freeview information are both websites worth a read.

There are dozens of ways of "skinning the cat" you are planning The switch system suggested is ideal if you need sat to every room and lots of them... alternatively run multiple coax feeds to each room and utilise a patch panel to feed the appropriate sat or TV/FM/DAB signals to those cables as required. A 4-way or 8-way lnb on a dish will feed 2 or 4 satellite PVRs in one dwelling 'directly' with no need for the switcher and its attendant losses requiring a bigger dish.

Note that there are loadsa makers of kit to do the same job at varying price-points (and quality). The two websites are experts on them and only stock the types they have confidence in.

Note also that the aerial is key to good reception. Try to locate your distribution point as close to it as practical to minimise noise on the aerial cable run to the distribution amp(s). (Lofts are favoured for this - provided access isn't too difficult).

The best performance from hi-fi FM tuners is invariably when fed from a directional aerial direct. Electronic amplifiers can only add noise into the equation and reduce the RF signal to noise ratio. If not used for critical Radio 3 listening, though, then it's usually not a big issue.
 

Pollensa1946

Novice Member
...The switch system suggested is ideal if you need sat to every room and lots of them...
Fair point. If you simply want the flexibility to route signals to different rooms, but not necessarily all rooms at the same time and not necessarily every type of signal (FM/DAB/TV/SAT) to all rooms at the same time, then consider an OCTO LNB and a patch panel made up of one or more of these...

PSC050 - LABGEAR - EARTH BONDING BAR 5-WAY | CPC
EARTH BONDING BAR 8-WAY - PSC080 - LABGEAR

Run feeds from your TV aerial, FM/DAB aerial and OCTO LNB to the panel and then twin feed (or more) outputs from the panel to each room and patch between inputs & outputs as required.
 

Pollensa1946

Novice Member
It's worth adding to the above that there are limitations as to the effectiveness of the patch panel approach. For sat, using an OCTO LNB, you can of course get 8 feeds, split as appropriate... 8 single feeds, or 4 twin feeds, or anything in between. With TV and FM/DAB you are limited to one feed, unless you feed the signal thru a splitter, and for anything more than a 1 into 2 splitter you are usually looking at an amplified splitter. Which essentially takes you back to solution 1 above, a Multiswitch.
I have a Multiswitch distribution for terrestrial TV and FM/DAB, and a patch panel for SAT (8 feeds in, 13 out, variable to suit) . Simply because the TV/FM/DAB system was in place many years before the introduction of SAT. Both systems have their merits, but if I was doing the whole thing from new now I would get a Multiswitch for everything. With a good high-gain, wide-band aerial and appropriate dish and LNB losses thru a Multiswitch are pretty negligible in my experience. I have superb picture quality on HD TV thru my Multiswitch.
 

Rodders53

Distinguished Member
Quattro lnbs are slightly more expensive than a standard $ky octo lnb. The dish needed may not be a cheap $ky job also increasing cost. A 12-way multiswitch to feed 5 rooms with 2 feeds each of the combined signals (albeit one cable in each room only actually used for satellite) is £75 on satcures site (a Global unit). Using Satcure again a 8-way distribution amplifier with VHF (Dab+Fm) and UHF inputs is £25. {Both +vat and postage}. From Satcure again WF100 cable in twin 8 form (one run gives 2 cables) is £85 + vat +postage for 125 metres and single core £33 + for 100 metres. Running extra cables would add versatility at little additional cost ... ideally using trunking or conduit to facilitate extras in the future? Now I suspect Satcure's prices are competitive but one should always shop around!

In the end this all depends on precisely what the OP wants or needs and - especially - his budget!

One final thought... if the UHF / FM / DAB and SAT signal levels are not carefully matched either before combining or within the multiswitch (some have level controls and combiners built in to optimise these) the whole system performance could be compromised. This is also relevant if the SAT is taken out of the equation - but usually less so. A professional installer should perform gain / loss calculations and use measuring equipment, that most amateurs could not afford, to do this (not that all installers would understand how to ;) ).
 

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