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What is a Cable Splitter?
What is a Cable Splitter?

Information on cable splitters and how to use them with an antenna.

Written by Free TV Project Staff
Updated over a week ago

A cable splitter is an adapter that allows you to split one coaxial cable from an antenna to multiple TV sets. The most common splitter is an unpowered splitter pictured below.

Each time the signal from an antenna is split with a regular cable splitter there is a small amount of signal loss. Sometimes an unpowered splitter can be used with an outdoor antenna in a strong signal area. However, an amplifier is strongly recommended to keep reception as reliable as possible.

There are two ways to use an amplifier to connect one antenna to multiple TV sets. The first way is to use a preamplifier and a regular cable splitter. There should be plenty of gain from the preamplifier to prevent any signal loss you’d otherwise experience in the split. The other option is to use a powered splitter if you do not have a preamplifier on the antenna.

Another way to connect one antenna to multiple TV sets is through a wireless tuner such as Tablo. Tablo connects to your home’s WiFi network and can be accessed on your TV with a streaming device like a Roku or Amazon Fire TV stick.

Getting started

Watching free, over-the-air TV with an antenna is simpler than you may think. In many cases, you can take an antenna out of the box, connect the cable to your TV, run a channel scan and voila! You have dozens of local channels to surf.

The number of channels you can access and how clearly they come in is based on a number of factors, including your distance from the point of broadcast towers, the type of antenna you have and where it’s located in your home.

Not sure what kind of antenna you need? Take our simple quiz to help narrow down the options. You can also find a general list of recommended antennas here.

Pair your antenna with an OTA DVR device to record your favorite shows

Did you know you can use an antenna similarly to how you watch cable? Ditch the costly subscription fees, but keep the cable capabilities (record, pause, rewind and fast forward) with an OTA DVR device. Here are the products we recommend:

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