Satellite splitter/distribution queries

dazza1272

Novice Member
I've just moved into a renovated house, the landlords have put in aerial distribution but unfortunately put in a loft aerial (we're in a valley with weak terrestrial signals). So, Freeview is a non-starter. As such, I'm getting no free to air channels, apart from going into each broadcaster's smart TV app and watching it there.

I have 2 tvs that also have a built in satellite tuner, and have decided to do a bit of research as to the best way to get TV to each room of the house.

I'm looking to move over to satellite, I had Freesat in my last house and was happy with it. So, I'm trying to find the best option to get this sorted and wondered if anybody has had a similar issue?

My options appear to be:

1) The existing TV cabling comes down from the loft, is split in a cupboard by a 4 way amplifier and runs to a TV aerial socket in each room. Is there any way to use this existing cabling, possibly replacing the amplifier with a multiswitch distribution system? Potentially I'd get the installer to put in a 8 way LNB and run all the cables to this point. Or an active splitter for each pair? Any recommendations for suitable equipment? I accept I may need another bit of kit at the TV end to split the signal back out.

2) My other option is to get multiroom installed. It looks like options for getting it installed in 1 room and streaming to others are limited so probably needs installing in all 4 rooms. Reluctant to do this as I rent - the landlord has given the ok for satellite but this might be taking advantage. What average cost would I be looking at? It's a standard semi detached house, no access issues and normal 2 storey height.

3) There has been talk about DigitalUK working with UK FTA broadcasters on a streaming app running on various smart platforms along with Fire TV and Roku. However, bearing in mind the delays and issues replacing Humax boxes with Arris boxes, and the lack of information regarding the streaming app, I don't see this being released soon. Has anybody got information on how this is going? If its only a couple of months away I can wait.

Thanks for any advice any of you can offer. And apologies if this has been answered before - I did search but couldn't find definitive answers to my distribution query.
 
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Rodders53

Distinguished Member
LOCATION?
Postcode within 100 metres of your house will allow Freeview predictions and Wolfbane guesstimation of signal levels available.

Have you checked with Landlord if Freeview reception ever worked in the house? Seems odd to install an aerial (what type/style/number of elements is it?) and a Distribution amplifier (make and model, for gain it provides) if reception wasn't possible.

Check if there's a remote-powered masthead style amplifier in the loft that's switched off?

Have you tried the aerial feed direct into a TV set?

Go over the cables and connections with a fine toothed comb; the most frequent cause of poor TV reception is a dodgy connection.

Satellite:
Most PVRs need two cables to function fully. Depending on the cable used it would be possible to re-use the cables to each room via adapter plugs or barrel ends. One cable x 4 = quad LNB is enough; octo if a further feed or two is direct cabled to another place.
Alternatives are getting sat receivers supporting dSCR as used in communal installs and a suitable multiswitch (as then only one cable to the receiver is needed but dSCR can supply multiple tuners in the receiver).
 

JonMace

Well-known Member
If you want simple installation get a


This will give you 8 tuners you will need a unicable LNB to go with it


For each additional TV you then want a firestick / android box etc you then install kodi on those boxes from there you can control the tuners and share the tuners around the house, as well as being able to set and watch recordings.

This is probably the cheapest method cabling is not an issue as it works on wifi
 

dazza1272

Novice Member
Thanks for all the replies.

I've been chasing the landlord, the house was modernised before I moved in and they asked an electrician to put the TV aerial in (he was also completely re-wiring the house). The landlord has said he'll speak to the electrician but I've still not heard back.

The amplifier is a SLX 27823BMR, 6 way booster. Has 10dB gain per port and has a noise rating of <4dB. I have tried a TV directly from the aerial cable, and up in the loft with a short cable directly to the aerial, no difference. I also tried replacing the booster with the 4 way model of the above.

I'll take a look at the loft aerial tomorrow and report back. However it didn't have a masthead amplifier. It was a brand new wideband aerial, I recall googling the model at the time but can't for the life of me remember what it was. It's late now so I'll go up there with a torch tomorrow.

I'm the first person to rent the property after a refit. Completely stripped plaster, rewired the house and installed new sockets both electrical and TV. I don't think the TV aerial was tested, or the electrician realised it didn't work but didn't want to admit it to the landlord.

A nearby postcode is BA21 3HG. Says I'm in a weak signal area. All of my neighbour's aerials are mounted on long poles (we're in a bit of a dip where I live) and the ones I've spoken to don't have an issue. In fact, the old aerial is still on the side of the house on a long pole, but disconnected. I'm guessing the electrician has a fear of heights! Clearly he didn't test it very well, I was getting some signal, the BBC multiplex was the strongest but still broke up at times, but as the weather has got worse the signal is non-existent.

I've checked the coax wiring and have tried a known working cable to bypass too. I'm also a licensed radio amateur so have used my VNA analyser with a dummy load to check - the cabling seems to be sound, no breaks or kinks in the cable seem to be apparent and impedance seems to be consistent. Seems like they used some good quality low loss cable.

Although I've contacted the landlord yet again, from what I've seen a working TV aerial isn't something a landlord is obligated to provide, but 99% of them do it anyway. So I'm planning for them ignoring my email yet again. If I've got to pay for it, then it's not the end of the world - I'm planning to be living here for at least 5 years so I'll get my money's worth, and may even take the setup with me if I do move.

I'll look into the answers provided (the PVR / Firestick combo is interesting), but my own research has also come back with getting a Quattro LNB installed with a multiswitch in place of the amplifier to provide the signal. However this has raised questions:

- I have 4 outlets. I understand that dSCR will provide me with multiple outputs on one cable. However, a number of other answers on various forums suggest that a non-dSCR multiswitch would potentially do the same, albeit with more outputs and combiners/diplexers in use. I'm unsure whether the receivers I have support dSCR - the two I have at the moment are built in DVB-S tuners in a Samsung TV from 2018 and one in a LG TV from 2019. What are my options for these if they aren't dSCR compatible, or is this not an issue as these are single tuners? I'm not planning on getting Sky Q, but may purchase a Freesat box to allow me to record etc. Do Freesat boxes support dSCR or only specific models? Can I 'split' signals from a dSCR feed if I'm using older equipment that needs 2 feeds? And finally, my understanding is that Wideband signals (as used in dSCR) may potentially interfere with terrestrial signals - not necessarily an issue as I may go satellite only.

- To save costs I'm happy to install the multiswitch, however I'm no good at working at heights to do the cable run. What average cost would I be looking at for a dish install with a Quattro LNB and a cable run to my loft? I know it's a 'how long is a piece of string' question, but a ballpark amount means I'll know if I'm looking at a couple of hundred or several hundred.

- How much is the average aerial installation these days? It's a standard 2 storey house, no access issues for where it would need to be installed (so no specialist team needed).
 

winston2010

Well-known Member
Thanks for all the replies.

I've been chasing the landlord, the house was modernised before I moved in and they asked an electrician to put the TV aerial in (he was also completely re-wiring the house). The landlord has said he'll speak to the electrician but I've still not heard back.
Well he asked the wrong tradesman then. Most electricians know nothing about TV distribution and have none of the test equipment required. Tell him to get a CAI registered aerial installer in.
 

Rodders53

Distinguished Member
Freeview predictions for that Yeovil postcode are for:
1) Stockland Hill WSW (244 degrees) 22 miles away, BBC Plymouth news, Wolfbane estimates 47dBuV/m diffracted signal.
2) Mendip N (4 degrees), 20 miles, BBC Bristol news, 46dBuV/m diffracted.
3) Wenvoe (NW) and Rowridge (ESE) also get in so may confuse some TVs into finding and storing the wrong services and better ones ignored / stored in the 800s.
(Manual tuning should fix that, based on the aerial pointing direction for the transmitter.)
Mendip has the better interference numbers and is likely the 'preferred local news'?

NB Those dBuV/m numbers are for outside at 10 metres above the ground.
Lofts lose around 10dB of signal.
Aerials at best have 10dB of gain.
TVs need between 45 and 65 dB to work reliably.

So a masthead style amplifier in the loft is probably essential, with around 18-20 dB of gain. Variable gain is often a good idea.
An external aerial will need less masthead amplification, and may need none.
It's too late to add gain after 10 metres of cable to a distribution point from that loft aerial imho, even though cable losses are relatively low noise increases.

Dishes do not often need to be mounted at height (only to clear one's own roof or trees obscuring the satellite). Nor does the multiswitch need to be in the loft. Getting four cables to the existing distribution point would be the way to go?

Call round local installers for prices (see if your Council has a Trusted Trader list) - ideally ones recommended by friends, work colleagues, relations or neighbours.
 

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