There are multiple ways to split a DirecTV Satellite signal. The main problem that viewers face is not being able to see a separate channel on each television sharing the signal. If this is not an issue for the setup, then the following options are available for those who wish to continue:
Method One – Using Optional Receiver Outputs
If the televisions are not too far apart, the simplest option is to use the available outputs on the receiver to split the connection. Most modern day DirecTV receivers have the following outputs:
HDMI – Used with HD Televisions using the HDMI cable interface.
Coaxial Cable (Output to TV) -The coaxial cables can be screw on or push on.
AV Cable – The 3 wire configuration (Red, White, Yellow).
Component Cable Output – The 5 wire configuration (Red “Video,” Blue, Green, Red “Audio,” White).
SVideo – used with SVideo capable devices.
A DirecTV receiver can process video through each and every output available on the hardware. The most common setup for optional receiver output is using the HDMI connection for the most immediate television (since HDMI cables come in short lengths), a component cable connection or AV cable connection for the next closest television, and the coaxial cable for the furthest televisions. Any combination can be used as long as the cables’ lengths are adequate for splitting the signal this way.
Of course the quality of the signal will be different for each output due to the nature of the technology being used and the quality of the signal being routed from the receiver. A large number of households can accommodate the splitting of the signal this way. Viewers should consider drilling holes in inconspicuous locations to shorten cable lengths. This is because long length cables considerably lower the quality of the signal that the television receives.
Note: Many options use the Red and White audio outputs on the receiver. Using more than one would require an additional splitter for the sound output. The HDMI and coaxial output carry their own sound while the others will more than likely compete with the Red and White outputs unless the receiver comes with multiples that are meant for additional stereo speakers to be connected to.
Method Two – Using a Coaxial Splitter
Most DirecTV owners can use a coaxial splitter to split the signal without having to purchase another receiver and adding an additional line to the system. The coaxial splitter can be used in two ways:
Splitter close to the Receiver– A short coaxial cable is connected to the receiver. This is then connected to the television (within a few feet) closest to the first split line. The second split line must run the length to reach the next television, which can be several yards away.
Note: The television that is closest will more than likely be the one to control the channels on the receiver that transmits to both televisions.
Receiver at a mid point – The receiver will be placed at a location where both televisions are more or less an equal distance from each other. The cable splitting the line goes out of the receiver to the location where a split is most effective at a mid distance. The two split lines are then passed through the length that is necessary to reach both televisions.
Note: Changing the channels for the receiver may require someone being close to the receiver to change it manually or via remote.
Remember that televisions display the same channel when using a coaxial cable. The television that is furthest away may also have a weaker signal. The fuzzy/snowy artifacts that appear from the signal is usually evidence of this.
Getting Separate Channels
It is possible to get separate channels on another television but the process is somewhat different. Firstly, the DirecTV customer needs to have a receiver for each television that he/she wants to extend the service to. Secondly, the customer needs a Multi-Switch that is designed to be used with his/her satellite equipment. Thirdly, the coaxial cable must be long enough to run from the Multi-Switch to each receiver and television.
Receivers may be purchased online or from electronics retail stores. It is recommended that viewers purchase the exact model that they use for normal access.
Note: Additional access cards will be required and are available from DirecTV. It is illegal to sell or use unauthorized, “hacked,” or modified cards/receivers that are designed to decrypt satellite signals.
A Multi-Switch can come in many designs. Using a DirecTV approved option is the best way to get the most compatibility with a single satellite dish. Multi-Switches can have two or more satellite inputs and have four or more outputs to the receivers. Depending on the brand and amount of connections needed to split the DirecTV signal throughout the household, Multi-Switch costs can be higher.
Note: A single satellite dish may only be able to support two receivers depending on the type of dish it is. If the service is designed for a DVR receiver, additional equipment and lines may be required.