Having multiple televisions in your home is very common these days. But how many can you run off a single TV aerial if you want to connect them all to your aerial to receive Freeview channels? Here’s what you need to know.
The Short Answer
There’s no fixed limit to the number of TVs you can run from one aerial. It depends on your signal strength and your aerial and cabling capability. You could connect over a dozen TVs from one aerial with a strong signal, amplifiers, and robust cabling. But 4-8 TVs from one aerial are more realistic for most homes.
Signal Strength is Key
The most crucial factor is the signal strength available in your area. The stronger the signal, the more TVs you can split it to without losing picture quality. You may get a near-perfect signal if you live close to the transmitter. Further away, signal strength diminishes.
Check the Freeview website for your postcode to see predicted signal strengths. If signals are “Good” or “Excellent, ” you have higher aerial capacity potential. But if some channels are marginal or “Weak”, your options are more limited.
Aerial and Cabling Quality Matters
Assuming you have a decent signal at the aerial, then the next critical factor would be your aerial and cabling setup. A high-gain aerial on an elevated mast is better than a small loft aerial. A premium cable such as WF100 or equivalent coax cable with high-quality joints enables more signal splitting with less degradation.
Amplifiers can boost the signal for more splits. But amplifiers also boost interference, so they should be used carefully. Filters can improve signal transfer through splitters. Quality distribution amplifiers like the Antifernce Pro Series provide cleaner splits than basic splitters.
How Many Splits Can I Have?
Using a splitter naturally divides the signal between its outputs. However, as long as there’s a sufficient signal entering the splitter, it’s perfectly fine to distribute it 2, 3, or even 4 times. In areas with strong signals, you can split the unamplified signal up to eight times (or even more) without any issues. The key is ensuring that each TV tuner input receives a minimum of 45dBμV of the digital signal.
With excellent signal, a dual output masthead amplifier and WF100 shielded coax, you may get away with 8 or more splits. But usually, limiting splits to 4 or 6 is more prudent. If your signal is marginal, 2 or 3 splits may be the limit. Use a meter to measure levels if unsure.
Solutions for More TVs
If you need more TVs than your current setup supports, consider the following:
- Add a distribution amplifier close to the aerial to enable more splits. Quality amplifiers like the Antifernce Pro Series cleanly boost signals.
- Use multiple aerials, each serving a group of TVs, spaced to minimise interference. Combine aerial signals using distribution gear to optimise capacity.
- Use IPTV instead. Network tuners capture Freeview and distribute it over your wired/WiFi network. Each TV needs a Freeview Play set-top box.
With quality gear and smart cabling, you can reliably run 6-12 or more TVs from one aerial. Careful planning will enable you to integrate all your TVs without costly subscriptions. Just remember your TV licence!