Splitting the cable line from our TV to my Macbook too?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Khryz, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. Khryz macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 7, 2007
    #1
    I was wondering if this is possible:

    I live in a college dorm and there is a coaxial output in the wall that we connect the cable to from the TV. I'm getting an Elgato EyeTV 250 and was wondering if there is any way I can get one of those 2-to-1 spitters so 1 goes to the TV as usual and the other to my Macbook.

    If so, is this the best way to do it? Can I watch a different channel than what's on the TV?

    My roommate is always hogging the TV and I would love to be able to watch TV in good quality on my Macbook. I'm just not sure of the procedure.
     
  2. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #2
    The cable is carrying all possible channels at the same time. Just get a splitter and some extra lengths of cable (with connectors at each end) from Radio Shack or wherever and you're good to go.

    Smallest piece of cable into the wall with the other end connected to the input of the splitter. Two other lengths of cable connected to the outputs of the splitter to your Elgato and your TV.
     
  3. Khryz thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Thank you for your quick reply!

    One more question though, how much does the length of the cables affect the setup? Right now we have a pretty long cable since the outlet is on the other side of the room from our TV.

    I should buy a smaller one, and use that to plug into the wall, then use the bigger one we have now, and buy another big one for my computer and TV?
     
  4. kkat69 macrumors 68020

    kkat69

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    Atlanta, Ga
    #4
    My experience says it doesn't matter which length. I asked the cableguy and he said, the length for the setup your doing (which I have done with a windows box many years ago) isn't going to matter, it's the splitter that makes most of the difference. That's where most of the degration of signal will come from. The more splitters you have in your line the more degraded your signal will be.

    He basically said it boils down to how you want your cables setup. Others may disagree but I haven't seen any difference in signal with just one splitter and cable lengths on either side of the splitter.
     
  5. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #5
    You obviously don't want large amounts of unnecessary cable hanging around but the signal loss is minimal on a per foot basis in a good quality cable, as kkat69 said. The splitter is where the real losses are and you should buy a good one (not $ store). Using the shortest cable first gives you maximum flexibility in placing the TV and computer.
     
  6. kkat69 macrumors 68020

    kkat69

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    #6
    I forgot to mention that. Yes, when dealing with quality of signal (especially if your splitting cable before a cable modem etc) you want a good quality splitter. $ store and the .50c ones at Walmart are going to allow more noise to come through due to the split. I haven't priced them in a while since my setup was done 7yrs ago, but your looking to spend probably around $5-$10 for a good splitter, Walmart is a resonable place for what you need, just remember, cheap-o = bad.

    It really doesn't matter how many ports are on the splitter, you can have a 2 port and a 5 port with the same Omhage and your signal will be fine on all lines. It's when you do [Wall] - [Splitter] - [Splitter] - [Splitter] that causes the most degredation of signal. Best IMO if you plan to add more things that need cable get a 3-5 port splitter but I think in your case 2 port is plenty good.
     
  7. Khryz thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    Thanks a lot for all your help!

    I think just a 2-to-1 splitter would be okay for what I need .. I'm not sure what I would need a 3rd port for. Any specific requirements in terms of splitters, like I read somewhere not to get one with less than 1 GHz or something?
     
  8. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #8
    up to 900MHz = analog (standard) cable
    up to 1000MHz (1GHz) = analog + digital cable
    up to 2000MHz (2GHz) = analog + digital cable + satellite

    No need to buy anything more than 900MHz for standard cable.
     
  9. Khryz thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 7, 2007
    #9
    So I got all my stuff today but I need a very large, yet cheap coaxial cable. I've seen some 50-foot products online that are between $8-$20 - is there any store that I can go to where I can get a long yet cheap cable?

    Wal-Mart? Target? Best Buy?
     
  10. kkat69 macrumors 68020

    kkat69

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    #10
    I'm not sure how much it costs now but I went and bought a spool of coax from lowes a long time ago (about 100ft) and bought the ends and then I just get as much as I need.

    How long are you needing? Walmart is probably going to be the cheapest. The price you quote sounds about right anyway.
     
  11. Khryz thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    Thank you. I headed down to Home Depot and got a 50' coaxial cable for $16, not bad.
     
  12. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #12
    Well done. Make sure you don't make the bends too small when you install it as the wire inside can break or facture if stressed too much.
     
  13. kkat69 macrumors 68020

    kkat69

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    #13
    good advice. When going around corners (if your doing this cleanly) and you use the wire tacks to hold down the coax, I typically bend about the size of a coke can around corners. That's just me. I prefer to tuck under carpet but if that's not an option, tacking along the base board is good and corners are a coke cans bend I find usually is good enough without pushing the limit.
     
  14. Khryz thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 7, 2007
    #14
    Bumping this thread because I have a new problem.

    I originally set up my EyeTV 250 Plus to view TV while at college. Now that I graduated (thank you, thank you) I am back home. At school there was Analog channels, but here at home my family uses iO Digital Cable from Cablevision.

    On the TV I'm interested in setting this up with, there is a coaxial jack in the wall as normal, which then goes into my iO HDTV Box, then another coxaxial cable goes from the box to the TV.

    Where do I put my splitter? At school I would just separate it from the wall but would I still get all the Digital Channels? Don't I need to split the signal off the box?
     

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