Antenna Combiner Vs Splitter – Which One Do You Need?

Combiner and Splitter look sometimes the same but have opposite attributes. It makes you more confused when you find a device that is tagged as both Combiner and Splitter, isn’t it? 

Well, there are a lot of basics you need to figure out about an antenna combiner Vs splitter. Depending on their types, attributes, structure, and application, splitters and combiners aren’t the same. 

Scroll down to get all the in-depth ideas about the two gadgets! 

What is Antenna Combiner?

Antenna CombinerAntenna Combiner

Simply put – it’s a device that combines two or more antennas into one. That means it has multiple inputs with one output.  You can’t go without a Combiner if you want to enjoy multiple TV channels of different antenna signals using one antenna. 

So, when do you need an antenna combiner?

In general, you have either UHF or VHF antennas for your television. VHF antenna typically carries TV signals that have a list of channels 2 through 13. While watching more wide range of channels, you need a UHF antenna. 

However, using two separate antennas has the chance of facing Radio interference; also it would take a bite out of your bank balance! So, what’s the solution? 

Here comes the use of an antenna combiner. It can lower the hassle of installing extra antennae and cables cost as well. 

You just need to set the two antennas in a mast and combine them in an antenna combiner using coaxial cables. The Combiner would have the in and out indicators for coaxial cables of UHF and VHF Antenna. 

   Types of Combiner

Sometimes you would see the tag “Combiner/Splitter” in the combiner. And, it makes you a little bit confused to find what you’re looking for. 

Well, to be clear, get the following little basics about the types of Combiner.

  • The Basic or Resistive Combiner (a Splitter too)

It’s a simple combiner to join two signals. It doesn’t discriminate between the signals going out or in. However, you can say it’s a splitter using upside down. 

Usually, this basic combiner doesn’t balance the separate signals. So, there is a chance to get signal interference, and even worse results if it feeds two same signals at a time. 

So while using it, make sure your input signals are different from each other. 

  • Band Separating or Impedance-matched Combiner 

This type of combiner erases the drawbacks of a resistive combiner. That means this combiner would make the same signals separate and avoid interference. 

However, if you want to combine UHF and UHF antennae, a Band Separating Combiner would do best instead of the basic combiner. 

  • Commercial Combiners

It can combine 12 inputs into a single output. Generally in commercial or industrial sectors, this combiner is used broadly. 

However, that’s not your count, Right? You just need to have ideas about the basic combiner and splitter! 

What is an Antenna splitter?

Antenna splitterAntenna splitter

It’s just a device – splits power. In reverse, it can be used as a combiner sometimes. A two-way splitter feeds a signal and splits it equally in two. 

 When do you need an Antenna splitter? 

You have more than one television at home but no separate antenna for each. So to feed all TVs with one antenna you need a device that can split the signal of the existing antenna. Undoubtedly, that’s the splitter!

Types of splitter

All splitters aren’t the same. You may find two types of it depending on the task. 

  • Powered Splitter 

A powered splitter acts like an amplifier. It generally boosts the signal from the antenna to your television. If the antenna is far away from the TV and there is a chance of having a weaker signal, you should use a powered splitter. 

  • Passive Splitter

This splitter doesn’t amplify the signals as a powered one. It just simply split one signal into multiple outputs just like a straight pass-through. 

What about the signal loss in the splitter? 

When splitting signals, a splitter divides the strength of the signals as well. That means – half of the strength goes one way and half another way. 

Also, a little loss takes place because of the electronics in the device. You know, no electrical device can run having 100% of efficiency! For example, a 2-way splitter would have an insertion loss of 3 dB.

So, here’s a fact comes – for a very low signal area, you should use two antennas instead of using a basic splitter. Because the splitter weakens the antenna signals. Or you can use a stronger splitter here that can amplify the weaker signal. 

Antenna Combiner Vs Splitter

You’ve got it already; right?

The Combiner takes two signals from different sources and combines them in one signal line. In contrast, Splitter does exactly the opposite. It would split a signal equally between the outputs. 

But, it leaves a little confusion! 

Can you use an antenna combiner as a splitter? 

Yes, you can! 

As you’ve known that a resistive combiner is a splitter in reverse, you can use it in both applications. Just flip up the combiner upside down and use it as a splitter. You can use the same circuit to split and combine the RF power. 

But, depending on the task, you should choose a combiner or splitter separately as this basic combiner/splitter doesn’t suit all the jobs. 

For example, combining UHF and VHF antennas would need a band Separating Combiner that is different from the resistive combiner/splitter.  read more use a splitter to combine two antennas.

What are Taps and Diplexer

  • Taps

Taps, usually, look like splitters and they do more or less the same. 

The difference is- the splitter splits the signal equally in each output and signal losses are the same. But the tap distributes the signal with different insertion losses. 

With a splitter, you need, exactly, the same cable for each signal. Otherwise, the device with a longer cable will get a weaker signal than the other. 

Here a tap do the icing on the cake! It can split the signal into different cable lengths even having the same signal loss. In hallways or devices with multiple distances, taps are usually used. 

  • Diplexer

Diplexers are the combiner whose ports are frequency selective. That means – it’s not like the basic combiner or passive splitter. 

It’s a fancy comber, you know! It brings more precision to the task of operating very cleanly and carefully. 

A Diplexer combines two ports into one. Here, a three-port to the one-port multiplexer is called a triplexer. 

Conclusion

Antenna Combiner and Splitter – these two devices are crucial while dealing with the TV antennas in your home. 

But Using a basic combiner or passive splitter in all relatable tasks isn’t such a wise decision. You need to select the selective combiner that would also do best as a splitter.

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