Let’s clear something up. A lot of people often use the terms “aerial” and “antenna” interchangeably. While we know it can be confusing, these two objects are not the same. The antenna’s job is to transmit radio waves. An aerial’s job, such as the satellite dish sitting on top of roofs, are only receptors of television signals and not transmitters.
Another example of a receptor is the aerial used for car radios. All TV sets used to have aerials on them before cable and satellite televisions were released to the market. While they used to be made of wires that are cut to a specific length, they are not made with aluminium tubing to support them on roofs.
When installing aerials in your home, whether the traditional wires or the satellite dishes, people tend to put one for each TV in the house. If you go around your neighbourhood, you will find a lot of properties sporting multiple—old and new ones—on their roofs. The good news is you can run numerous TVs off of one aerial and not need dozens. The not-so-bad news is you will need to order a TV aerial splitter.
In theory, the signals your aerial receives can be amplified and split for different TVs–and they can be split up for as much as you need. If you notice the flats in your area, they connect a multi-switch system to a single aerial, split up the signal and amplify it for their respective televisions. In some cases, you won’t even need to increase the signal with amplifiers.
How do I split my aerial?
It’s time to clear your roof of its extra aerials and keep the latest model standing. There are two ways to distribute your signal to multiple TV sets:
1. Get a TV Aerial splitter
These can range from the T- or Y-shaped TV Aerial splitter that has two outputs up to the sixteen-way splitter with metal spikes protruding from a plastic centre. One of the spokes serves as the input where the signal enters and then splits to each output port. Depending on the strength of your signal, you can connect, however, many TV sets you want to. The price of a few Aerial splitters is only a few pounds, at most, a small amount for the ability to watch TV in multiple rooms
But there is a caution to the tale: the more times the signal is split, the quality of the image and sound lessens. A lot of splitter manufacturers will print how much signal reception is expected to come out of that port. In this case, using amplifiers or aerial boosters may help. This means if you have, say, five available TV sets connected to your aerial when the signal is already weak, your device needing the strongest signal should be plugged in the port with higher output. If, however, most of your devices need strong signals, then you have more to lose than to gain. Splitters can only do so much. This brings us to the next option.
2. Use an amplified splitter or booster
Should you choose to get amplifiers for your TV, the signal that leaves, it will be more reliable than when it entered. Comparing this to passive splitters, they rely on electrical currents to function. These are usually placed in a loft or basement, where the cables run throughout the home and feed high-quality signal for every TV.
If you don’t have a power supply available in your basement, you can install a masthead or line-powered version. This involves installing a power supply at one of the TV set, allowing it to send about 12V to amplify the cord that feeds its signals.
For households, we recommend keeping to your aerial splitter. For most of the installations we’ve handled, the signals were strong enough to power two to three TV sets in the home without needing an amplifier. If your apartment houses 30 appliances, then that could be another story. Getting an amplifier will also mean an increased noise figure, causing more signal glitches and higher changes of system breakdown.
If you plan on upgrading your system entirely, we recommend getting an LNB with a higher gain so that your satellite dish can receive better signals.
Once you have a splitter for the aerial on your roof, whether amplified or not, you are not only saving money, but you are also lessening the burden on your roof (physically and metaphorically speaking, that is).
Installing and repairing TV aerials is our expertise. We can provide the best advice and assistance so your home can receive a strong Freeview signal. Give us a call here.