Satellite TV wiring

Distributed Satellite TV

When it comes to satellite wiring, the wires must be run without other extensions piggy-backing off the original wire. Thus, no splitters should be used throughout the entire length of the single cable, and should not exceed 100’ from the satellite dish or attic distribution point to the wall plate.

All cables must be “home-run” (all terminate at one location) from the wall plate all the way to where the satellite dish or distribution center (attic or computer room) will be located.

Bring at least five (yes, 5) cables from a central location in the attic out through the sidewall. Up to four are for the new type satellite, and the fifth is for an outside antenna. This will work for cable TV and cable internet systems as well.

An accessible, central distribution point in the attic allows easy changes in the future, often saving wiring dollars.

Be sure to add a 110v outlet where the wires come together in the attic as many of today’s multi-switches and amplified outside antennas need AC power inside and must be protected from the weather. Attic heat usually won’t affect these devices.

In most cases, bring these wires to the south or southwest side of the dwelling. This is where most satellite dishes are located.

For each wall plate, at least one RG-6 cable must be run, however, many high-definition (HDTV) and/or dual-tuner systems (such as TIVO) will require a second RG-6 cable for full functionality. It is therefore recommended you pull at least two RG-6 cables to the location where you may someday use such equipment, such as a living or family room.

Telephone lines – You may have heard that the only purpose for running a telephone line to each location you have a satellite wall jack is to order Pay-Per-View movies. However, a continuous connection to a telephone line may be required for certain products (like TIVO) or functions (like Caller ID and system diagnostics) to properly operate. The number one issue installers face is that phone lines are most often located near the couch and the TV is across the room. The best course then is to place a phone line in every cable wall outlet so it is available when you move the furniture later. It sure beats having a cord lying across or under the carpet, too!

All of these low-voltage wires (satellite, telephone, alarm, etc.) may share a single wall box AND should be placed next to electrical outlet boxes. Do not locate these low-voltage wires in the same wall box as higher-voltage household electrical wires or near or across fluorescent lights or motors.

Pre-installation of a solid-copper ground wire between the home’s primary ground to the distribution point where all the wires come together is also recommended.

Over-The-Air (‘OTA’ or ‘off-air’) antenna signals can often be combined on the same cable as the satellite signal with diplexers. Diplexers are often mistaken for splitters, as they look identical and cost about the same. However, a diplexer (sometimes called a combiner) splits the frequencies on the cable for satellite vs. antenna signals whereas a splitter does not. A splitter merely divides one cable into two and thus will not work at all for satellite and for some off-air systems.

Use only the properly sized cable staples when securing wiring to rafters or studs. It is easy and common to accidentally puncture coax wires shielding.

A clear view to the Southern Sky is a prerequisite for satellite. In Central Louisiana, this is 167-230 degrees azimuth, 36-53 deg. elevation, for most satellite TV and internet products.

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Aurum Cables Aurum Cables High Quality 3 Pack F-Type 90 Degree Angled Male to Female Adapter
Speakers (Aurum Cables)
  • Convenient and cost-effective 3-pack F-Type Right Angled Mono Male to Female Plug Adapter
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Arlington Industries Arlington TVBU507-1 TV Box Recessed Outlet Wall Plate Kit, 3-Gang, White, 1-Pack
Home Improvement (Arlington Industries)
  • Adjusts to fit 1/4-Inch to 1-1/2-Inch thick wall board, paneling or drywall
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Leviton Leviton 47690-8 1x8 Passive TV/CATV Splitter Module
Home Improvement (Leviton)
  • Split video signals with outputs for 4, 6 or 8 televisions depending on unit
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Fosmon (6 FT) 2RCA Male to 2RCA Male Stereo Audio Cable, Composite Audio [Right/Left] 2 RCA Plug M/M Connector Red & White for A/V Reciever, Amplifier, Projector, Home Theater and More
Speakers (Fosmon Technology)
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Leviton Leviton 47605-42N SMC 42-Inch Series, Structured Media Enclosure only, White
Home Improvement (Leviton)
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