DTV - adding receiver

dhowell

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#1
I recently purchased an HD television and want to add it to my existing installation. I have three TVs presently set up for DTV-- two are connected to DVRs and one to a regular HD receiver. While inspecting my current setup, I noticed that I have a 4 port DTV splitter, with all four having coax attached. I don't know to which sets they run and , since I have only three sets now working, I wonder where the other coax is going. Would it work to disconnect each connection separately and see which set loses reception? Then I could use the port not connected to hook up my new tv. If, for some crazy reason, I cannot use one of the four connections, what is my next step---buy a splitter with more that 4 connections? Also, if I decide to add another DVR, do I need any special equipment to hook it up. Right now I have one SWM unit in my system. Will I need another? Thanks for any help. I know just enough about this to be dangerous.
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#2
:welcome: dhowell,

Its not clear what you meant when you wrote you have a "4-port splitter". IF ... it has one antenna input port and three outputs, that totals 4-ports, but it is a 3-way splitter. There are 4-way splitters available (cheap) which have 5 coaxial ports and again, one is dedicated to the input from your antennna.

Regarding disconnecting one coax at a time to determine which coax goes where, that is exactly what I would do.

Jim

Here are (typical) 2-way, 3-way and 4-way splitters to compare.

 
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dhowell

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#3
It is a 4 way splitter with a total of 5 ports, Jim. I just failed to count the in port. Do I need another swm if I go with another DVR. I have the whole home dvr setup.
 

n2rj

Moderator
Staff member
#5
I would absolutely NOT just free up the extra coax output unless you know for sure you had a receiver there and removed it.

The "extra port" likely connects to either a power inserter (to power the LNB and SWM) or a CCK/BB DECA unit which is used to connect your receivers to the internet for on demand services. It is very unlikely that the port would just be free because installers are instructed to terminate ports that are not in use.

Which SWM do you have anyway? If you have a SWM8 or SWM ODU (LNB with integrated SWM) you can get an 8 port DirecTV splitter and use that for your extra ports. Note that it must be a DirecTV splitter since it has DC passthrough for one port for the power inserter. When installing the new splitter be sure that the power inserter goes in the correct port as well otherwise the setup will not work.

If you have an older and very rare SWM5 you would need to upgrade to either a separate SWM8 (or SWM16) or a SWM ODU which is the new LNB with built in SWM. You'd also need that 8 port splitter.

Just remember to keep in mind how many total SWM streams you're using - each DVR uses 2 and regular receivers use one. So with 2 DVRs and a HD receiver you've used 5 already. So you now have 3 left with a SWM8. If you're adding one DVR you should be fine. BUt if you're adding more than one DVR or a genie (5 tuners) you may need to get a SWM16 instead.
 
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dhowell

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#6
I have a SWM ODU on my system. If the extra port does indeed go to power the SWM is there any way to confirm this? If I disconnect the connections one at a time and find that the only service interrupted is to individual sets, could I assume that I have an open port if that port when disconnected does not affect my service? Also, I have no internet connection other than via router, no on demand service and the SWM ODU I have is powered from a wall socket (plugged in). I also have an extra SWM ODU but it sounds like I won't need it.
 

n2rj

Moderator
Staff member
#7
The power inserter can be installed inline but in some installations it is not. The leftmost port is where the power inserter would connect to.

Do you know where the power inserter is? Is it connected inline with a receiver? If it is, you can try disconnecting individually ports 2-4 and see if your system still works. Might be a good idea to label the cables while you're at it.
 

dhowell

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#11
Eureka, Ryan. I have found it!!! Here is how it is hooked up. A coax comes from the splitter to the SWM ODU. I know which one it is. I have a coax coming out of the "SWM to HD" port to my DVR. Then to the TV from the DVR. This probably means I have a port on the splitter that is not being used, right?
 

n2rj

Moderator
Staff member
#12
Eureka, Ryan. I have found it!!! Here is how it is hooked up. A coax comes from the splitter to the SWM ODU. I know which one it is. I have a coax coming out of the "SWM to HD" port to my DVR. Then to the TV from the DVR. This probably means I have a port on the splitter that is not being used, right?
Nope, doesn't necessarily mean that.

Have you found the power inserter? Is it inline? If it is inline, then it is very likely you have a free port.

If it is all by itself with only one coax connected to it, then no, you do not have a spare port.
 

dhowell

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#13
Maybe I am wrong, but I believe the power inserter (like the picture you sent me) , occupies one port on the splitter. The coax from that port goes to the SWM ODU unit and to the TV via the DRV. Since I have two other TVs I assume two ports from the splitter go to these sets. I originally thought three of the ports went to TVs and the other to the SWM ODU, but since one port goes to the SWM ODU and thru the DVR to the third set, where does the other coax go? Is it possible I have another SWM ODU unit somewhere in the system? Will one SWM be sufficient for all receivers served by the splitter?
 

dhowell

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#14
Hey Ryan- Just discovered that my system is called the Power Passing 4 way splitter setup. You probably know what that is. The recommended SWM ODU installation calls for the SWM to be in the coax between the dish and the splitter at least 15 feet from the dish. Is there enough difference in reception to move the SWM to the recommended position rather than the Power Passing setup? It would be easy to do but I won't do it if the performance will not be improved.
 

n2rj

Moderator
Staff member
#15
Maybe I am wrong, but I believe the power inserter (like the picture you sent me) , occupies one port on the splitter. The coax from that port goes to the SWM ODU unit and to the TV via the DRV. Since I have two other TVs I assume two ports from the splitter go to these sets. I originally thought three of the ports went to TVs and the other to the SWM ODU, but since one port goes to the SWM ODU and thru the DVR to the third set, where does the other coax go? Is it possible I have another SWM ODU unit somewhere in the system? Will one SWM be sufficient for all receivers served by the splitter?
SWM ODU is on the dish itself, you'll only have one. Basically it's the LNB with SWM built in.

At this point it's getting a bit confusing. Might be better to take pics of the splitter and power inserter.

Also I'm moving this to the DirecTV subforum.
 

dhowell

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#16
Haven't made any pics. (Hate to crawl around under the house any more than I have to), but I think my terminology in my previous posts have been wrong. Let me try again.
My coax from the dish comes into a splitter with five ports, one for the inbound coax from the dish and four available to run to receivers. The power inserter, which I have referred to as the SWM ODU, is between the coax out from one of the ports on the splitter and a DVR. Two of the other ports go to receivers. One I am not sure about, although it does have a coax running out of it SOMEWHERE ????. I say this because I only have three receivers up and running. Provided I can't use the fourth port on the splitter to hook up my new TV, I will buy a larger splitter and have additional ports to use later. What brand of splitter should I buy and where can I buy it? Also, when I run the new coax, if there a splitter or multiswitch, I can buy to run a coax off the new line to another room and be able to watch different stations or will any coax run out of a splitter only work for one receiver? Thanks again for your help.
 
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