I have Sky to my living room as well as the other terrestial channels. I have the decoder, dvd player, vcr and of course the tv. I have TVs in several other rooms. I would like to watch sky in the other rooms. I have a distribution box in the loft. Now, can any one advise me as to how the connections are made at each of the various items of hardware or point me in the direction of a suitable diagram? You might quite rightly infer that I should call a good aerial man and stop being mean, but this is an area of installation work which is becoming increasingly important and I really would like to get to grips with some fundamentals (for my own curiosity only)!
Hmm, where to start.... There are quite a few configurations you could use depending upon what inputs and outputs you have available on your existing equipment and what you want to achieve in full.
I assume that the distribution amplifier in the attic is at present just taking the signal from the aerial and feeding it to each room, one of which happens to be the living room, correct?
If that's the case and you just want to feed the satellite signal to the other rooms (not the DVD and VCR outputs as well), then you need to reposition the distribution amp on the RF output side of the satellite box.
So, the TV aerial feed would be connected directly down to the input on the satellite receiver in the living room. You would then need to run another coax to take the RF output from the satellite receiver back up to the input of the distribution amp in the attic. That way you would have the satellite signal distributed to the rest of the house. (*)
You still need to feed the signals to your living room TV, so there are a number of choices:
1. If you're lucky, you might have one of the Sky boxes which has a second RF output on the back. If so, just loop that one on to your VCR, TV etc. as before.
2. Insert a Y-splitter at the RF output of the Sky box, one output to go back up to the distibution amp, the other to your local DVD/VCR/TV. That's normally acceptable so long as the off-air signals are fairly strong to begin, but keep in mind that a splitter introduces signal losses, so if signals are already weak it can cause problems.
3. Run a third coax drop from the attic and connect the living room DVD/VCR/TV to the spare output on the distribution amp (you should have at least one spare, as you freed it earlier by changing the aerial feed).
(*) Obviously you would need to tune the other TVs to the satellite signal. If you are already using only the A/V (SCART) output from the satellite box, the RF output might even be turned off.
On a Sky Digibox, you can check that the RF is enabled and set what channel it is on by using the "secret" installer menu. Go to Services, 4, then press 0, 1, Enter.
Re: TV distribution#142326 01/01/0502:13 PM01/01/0502:13 PM
Many thanks Paul, I set about your option 3 and all is working well. Seems straightforward enough, but I found the instructions in the various manuals associated with individual TVs vcr and dvds etc utterly mind boggling! Your recommendations were clear and concise. Perhaps you should consider a career in writing technical instruction!
Re: TV distribution#142327 01/02/0502:43 AM01/02/0502:43 AM
I agree Lyle, Great explanation Paul!. This is one area of work that I used to specialise in, with respect to connecting up all sorts of TV (Terrestrial and Satellite) also your now standard DVD and the VCR. I've been an Aerial Technician for some years now and even after the Sky fella has run-away, I still get sent to places where the system is quite simple, but if you've ever seen the standard jumble of cables behind the Main TV, it can be quite daunting. The system that Paul explained is pretty much universal as far as reticulation goes. There are systems around, with a Remote Extender, where you have all of the equipment in one place, apart from the TV's (of course) and you point your remote to a plate on the wall to select your TV channel or start a DVD or a Video Cassette. Mind you, what does complicate things, is the use of SCART leads, S-VHS leads and various other Audio things.
Re: TV distribution#142328 01/02/0502:34 PM01/02/0502:34 PM
Check out the possibility of getting a Sky+ box (i.e. one with a built-in Hardrive) as far as I know sky are currently throwing them at people for very little and, as long as you subscribe to more than the basic package, there is no extra sky+ subscription.
You can then use your exsisting sky digibox in another room. An extra subscription costs a few quid a month, but it beats having to watch the same channel in both rooms.
Also, if you've access to digital cable / MMDS see what the local cable company has on offer. Often they'll push multiroom viewing as their major selling point that distinguishes them from Sky Digital.
E.g. our local cable co. will do various deals giving you extra set top boxes and mirror subscriptions at no extra cost.
The Dublin cable network's excellent for multiroom viewing. They've a hybrid analogue-digital system with about 20 analogue channels transmitted over the system without any form of encryption (RTE1,RTE2,BBC1,BBC2,TV3, BBC3/4, Channel 4, UTV, Sky One, Sky News, Discovery, MTV etc etc)
If you hook up a digital set top box, you get hundreds of digital channels but... if you just connect the coax directly to your TV (provided it's got a hyper-band cable ready tuner) you can watch the 20 core channels with no decoder at all.
If you don't pay for the basic service they will physically come along and disconnect the cable tap at the roof / on the street! Where as in Cork, everything's always been encrypted and they'll just deactivate your decoder and cut you down to a single channel advertising their services
[This message has been edited by djk (edited 01-02-2005).]