You can hook up as many TVs to a single outdoor antenna as you want, but you might need to consider a few factors, including your location, the splitter you have bought, and the attenuation rate in your region. On average, three to four TVs can be connected to an antenna. But of course, you’d want to connect it with as many TVs in your home as you can, possibly all. This can be done.
You may want to read the article here first for the best TV outdoor antenna that is for rural areas.
Hooking up Multiple TVs to an Outdoor Antenna
Splitters are the devices that are used to connect several televisions to one antenna. It essentially splits the signals of coaxial cables. But it might affect the picture and sound quality and even cause signal loss. This can especially happen when too many TVs are hooked up to one antenna. To that end, various factors influence the number of TVs you can connect to an antenna. (1)
1. Location of your House
The location of your house and the approximate distance of it from the signal transmitter plays an immense role in how well or efficiently your antenna receives the signals. If you’re close to the epicenter, you’re much more likely to get a good signal and have better chances of hooking up more TVs to the antenna. You also need to consider the hindrances between the transmitter and the receiver, such as buildings, trees, etc. While buying the splitter, check the frequency of the device.
This will inform you what range of frequencies the splitter will allow passing through. Depending on that, you can compute how many TVs you can connect to it without compromising on the signal quality.
2. Signal Loss
Signal loss, or attenuation, refers to the loss of signal strength across a medium. This can make the signals a little distorted, which would reflect on the poor reception of your TV. Typically, these are caused by no signals from the transmitter, or incorrect configuration, a failure in the cable, or as in our context, due to the splitter. The general rule of thumb dictates that the more the outputs, the more the degree of signal loss. A two-way splitter will have a marginal loss of signal, as opposed to a four-way splitter or an eight-way one.
But then again, it also depends upon the kind of splitter you have gone for and the range of its frequency and bandwidth. The more the frequency, the more TVs you can connect with one splitter, all the while keeping the signal loss in check, or at least, low.
Although, the problem of signal loss can be fixed by installing a distribution amplifier or antenna preamplifier if you must hook several TVs to one outdoor antenna.
3. Splitter Model
The brand and model of the splitter you have gone for is also crucial. Specifications like frequency range, attenuation, and the number of coaxial ports play a key role in determining how many TVs you can hook up to an outdoor antenna. If the range of a splitter is wide, the attenuation less, and the number of ports more, you can easily connect four TVs, provided that it is a 4-way one. However, if the frequency is narrow, the most you can connect is two TVs without compromising on the signals and the quality.
The number of TVs you can hook up to an outdoor TV antenna depends upon the three prime factors discussed above. But under the ideal circumstances, you can easily pull off four TVs, with optimum signal quality, provided that the splitter you have bought is indeed a four-way one. You can also work something up with a distribution amplifier if need be.
(1) coaxial cables - https://www.britannica.com/technology/coaxial-cable