Antenna Splitters

Love my new 4-tuner Tablo and RCA ANT751 antenna with a Roku 3 setup and don't miss the cable company. 

But one thing I attempted the other day was I wanted to put a splitter in the antenna line and run the raw antenna to both my Tablo and also straight into the back of my TV just so I could switch between them if the desire ever struck me.  Problem is when I put in the two way splitter and told my TV to scan for channels instead of finding the normal 16 channels with fairly high signal strength I get with out the splitter it only came back with 2 found.

My first thought was that the splitter was bad so I took another one I had on hand which was a different brand and tried it and then the TV found Zero channels.

So next I thought I would run it through the 9 way splitter/amplifier the cable company left behind and again Zero channels found.

Of the two splitters I had on hand one was rated as 40-750 MHz  and the other was 40-1000 MHz.

Could it be the splitter needs to be a 2.4 Ghz to pass the antenna signals properly and why didn't the cable companies powered splitter work?   And just to mention, yes I did hook it up with the correct Input and outputs :)

Thanks for any thoughts!

You need a distribution amplifier before the splitter to ensure you get good signal to your hdTV tuner.

If you plug the antenna directly into your hdTV do you get all the channels? If so, then get a distribution amp.

Is the TV in the cable setting or in the antenna/air mode when you scan the channels?

The TV is set to Air.  With and without the splitter I had the TV scan the digital channels so both were with the same settings on the TV side. Without the splitter 16 channels with good signal strength and with the splitter either 2 or no channels found depending on which splitter I tried.

The results were very unexpected and thought others might have had similar experiences or more insight into using splitters.

@alanhinrichs You must have a ‘marginal’ signal strength at the end of your cable run if splitting it 2 ways (reducing signal strength 50% to each of the split runs) reduces your tuneable channels to zero.  Sounds like you are just at the ‘cliff’ signal strength-wise before you split the cable, and splitting it pushes you off that cliff.  

You might want to look into a pre-amp to get a stronger signal down to the end of your cable run (which might be all you need to do), or a combination of pre-amp and distribution amp (at the point you are splitting the cable).  
If you have a weak signal at the point you are splitting the cable, I think you would be best served starting with a pre-amp to enhance the signal to that point - before putting a distribution amp into the mix (which may not be required once you have a pre-amp and your only splitting the cable once).
And BTW, a 1000MHz splitter (1GHz) is all you need for OTA…a 2.4GHz splitter won’t hurt anything, but isn’t needed for what you’re doing.
EDIT:  Having just re-read your original post - you tried the cableco’s distribution amp without success which would lead me to think that 1) you didn’t hook that up correctly (not saying you didn’t, but that is one possibility of why it didn’t work), or 2) You don’t have sufficient signal strength & quality at the point you introduced the distribution amp - which also points back to what I said earlier that you should try a Pre-Amp to get a stronger/cleaner signal to the end of your cable run:

@ChrisFix interesting, I have a splitter to my two Tablo’s and I did not see any signal loss. I had two antennas before. But maybe it was because I went to a long range HD antenna versus the mohu’s?

@ChrisFix interesting, I have a splitter to my two Tablo's and I did not see any signal loss. I had two antennas before. But maybe it was because I went to a long range HD antenna versus the mohu's?

Yes, with a strong signal strength and quality (both are important), you can split a few times and still have acceptable levels for everything to work.  But there is a ‘cliff’ that you’ll get to when one more split results in no tuneable channels - and that’s when amps come into play.  The Tablo is passively splitting your signal 2 or 4 ways (depending on model) and every split is a reduction in signal by 50% (approx -3.5db), so for a 4 tuner, each tuner gets 25% of what ever the starting level is that your attaching to the RF terminal on the Tablo.  I think Talbo uses excellent/sensitive tuners in their product, which allows it to work so well with a 4 tuner design.  BTW my older HDHomeRun tuners use two separate RF inputs for the 2 tuner design, to avoid any signal loss due to internal splitters - and I use a distribution amp to feed those and my Tablo 4 tuner.

@ChrisFix, I should have added the link to the splitter I used also

I have a splitter going from my Mohu Metro to a TiVo Roamio and my Tablo. Signal strength as measured by the TiVo was high 70's to low 80's on all but one channel, and after the splitter went in my signal strengths were exactly the same. I'm not having any reception issues at all with either and I've been using them both non-stop like this for two weeks.

In your situation you may need that amp, but I'd try it first without one, just put the splitter in and see what happens.

Antenna on roof on far west end of ranch-style house into attic and to cable going full length of house to the east end to big splitter (8-way) in the lower level ceiling at the far east end of the house

From that big splitter a cable goes up the wall to another splitter inside a wall box and to 2 connectors - and from there to ou main TV and to a DVD recorder on a shelf below the TV

Back at the first big splitter in the lower level ceiling, a cable runs to another splitter in another wall box and 2 wall connections. One of those goes to Tablo the other is currently unconnected.

Back at that big splitter again, cable run across house to the south up a wall and to the TV in the kitchen.

Back at the big splitter, cable run BACK west the full length of the house to the family room TV downstairs.

Now and then the TV in the kitchen can’t get sound for PBS - but otherwise is fine. I suppose that run is just too long and too much for that cheaper small kitchen TV. 

Different tuners can do different things, too - some are better than others. Not all tuners have the same abilities I’ve found. some will pull more distant stations than others even on the SAME cable. 
[...]  The Tablo is passively splitting your signal 2 or 4 ways (depending on model) and every split is a reduction in signal by 50% (approx -3.5db), so for a 4 tuner, each tuner gets 25% of what ever the starting level is that your attaching to the RF terminal on the Tablo. [...]

@ChrisFix I need to correct you there. Tablo has said that they use an amplified 4 way splitter in both the 2 tuner and 4 tuner models.

@arrowrand Since you’re close enough to the transmitters in your area to use a Mohu Metro, you lack the experience of those of us who don’t get such strong signals.

@ChrisFix I need to correct you there. Tablo has said that they use an amplified 4 way splitter in both the 2 tuner and 4 tuner models.

Happy to be corrected as I certainly don’t want to spread mis-information. This is the first time I’ve seen that (the link you reference was posted before my time here). Having a built in distribution amp will help lots of folks with otherwise marginal signal to the Tablo. I recognize that the tuners are very good well.  

@TabloSupport @TabloTV  Can you please confirm that the antenna input to the Tablo has an amplified splitter?

I am starting to doubt that - we were unable to record several shows yesterday and got a lot of “no receiver available” and the shows that did record were loaded with “pixels” - really bad, while live TV through the TV was perfect, flawless.

The tablo really blew up yesterday - we can’t play what did record and it says “no receiver available” for several others.

it’s to the point that if we REALLY want to be sure we get a show I’m going back to the DVD recorder. It WILL record, strong receiver/tuner and 110% reliable - plus if it dies I simply put the DVD into a PC and play it back via Chromecast or our BluRay.

Odd that while the TV shows a strong clean show the Tablo has trouble recording, constantly choking when the reception is less than perfect. It has to stop and “buffer” each time it had problems receiving while the DVD simply recorded smoothly.

So I have to doubt the amplification of the Tablo tuners - especially when the TV displayed the shows and the DVD recorder never has any troubles.
Our Tablo is the only device that has any real troubles with reception other than the kitchen TV - which will lead me to another post/topic, I’m on the edge of deciding to totally recable the house and rethink our splitter situation - just to make Tablo work.

@ChrisFix - That info is correct!

@ChrisFix - That info is correct!

Thanks…that’s great to know!

Then that means our Tablo has issues, possible some of the tuners aren’t working. It’s the only device on the chain of devices on our antenna cable system that routinely has troubles. That’s sad to know - glad in a way to find it’s amplified, but sorry to know as that means our Tablo has troubles as if it WERE amplified and all tuners were working well, we’d get reliable recording. 

@ShadowsPapa it may be amplified, but can only amplify the signal it sees.  So based on your other post, if the Tablo is at the end of the longest cable run that also has been split before its run then likely the signal Tablo is seeing is marginal to begin with.  Just a guess though without measurements in hand.

You and another member are likely onto something and I’m rethinking some things…

I have another thread asking about “how would you do this” and wondering about amps, amplified splitters (distribution whatever) and so on. I will be stopping at some home supply places after work to pick up some more good cable, terminating resistors (I know better from my early Ethernet days!!!) and so on. 
There’s a ton of good info here and knowledgeable folks on TV antennas, amps, and cables and splitters.

@ShadowsPapa We can do a relatively easy check on your tuners with a remote connection. If you’d like us to take a look, just send us a note :) 

Will do - I’ll get the MAC address, etc. and send a note.

If it’s that simple there’s no need me “wondering” if there’s a tuner issue.