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Old 19-Sep-2019, 2:04 PM   #1
freetvplease
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Pre-Amp In-place of Dist-Amp/Splitter

My friend and I setup an Antenna system at his house this week. The signals at the antenna are very strong but because it's placed across the house from most his TV's and split 4 ways once the signal gets to the TV's the strength ranges from about 40 to 60%. Instead of him purchasing a 4 way distribution amp I have an older barely used pre-amp he can have. Would a pre-amp placed just before the splitter work to boost the signals?
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Old 19-Sep-2019, 2:25 PM   #2
rabbit73
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Originally Posted by freetvplease View Post
Would a pre-amp placed just before the splitter work to boost the signals?
Probably.

Not enough information given for an exact answer.

Try it.
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Old 19-Sep-2019, 2:37 PM   #3
freetvplease
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Originally Posted by rabbit73 View Post
Probably.

Not enough information given for an exact answer.

Try it.
Is there any other info I can provide?
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Old 19-Sep-2019, 2:42 PM   #4
freetvplease
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I haven't tried this but pre-amps and distribution amps generally work the same?
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Old 19-Sep-2019, 2:57 PM   #5
freetvplease
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I apologize but It's taking me a minute to discover what I'm really trying to ask and learn here. What I'm trying to ask is, is the only difference between a pre-amp and a dist-amp is not just the placement and the dist-amp has built in splitters but essentially they both work the same otherwise, correct? I hope this makes sense!
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Old 19-Sep-2019, 6:24 PM   #6
rabbit73
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No need to apologize; it can get complicated.

I can tell you about the differences between a preamp and a distribution amp, but I would need to know more about your friend's setup to decide if one is better than the other for him. Like:
Where is he located?
What does his signal report look like?
What antenna is he using?
Where is the antenna located?
How long is the coax from the antenna to the splitter?
How long are the coax lines from the splitter to the TVs?
What channels are most important to him?
Are all the channels he wants OK for just one TV without the splitter?
Are all channels equally poor with the splitter, or are only some worse?

A preamp is designed to be mounted near the antenna with its power supply inside the house. With the preamp near the antenna, the signals are amplified BEFORE they travel down the coax. A preamp has a power inserter inside that sends DC power up to the preamp on the same coax that sends the signals down.

A distribution amp is usually mounted inside to make the signals stronger before splitting. It's the best choice if the signals are strong enough for one TV, but too weak after splitting for more than one TV. The distribution amp contains an amp and a splitter all in one housing. It is usually near an AC outlet for power, but it can be fed DC power using a power inserter in the same manner as a preamp.

A preamp can be used inside with a splitter to do the same thing as a distribution amp, but its gain must be properly selected for that particular location to avoid overload.
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Old 20-Sep-2019, 2:28 PM   #7
freetvplease
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After thinking about it I went ahead and purchased an HDA-100 amp. Thanks for your guidance!
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Old 25-Sep-2019, 4:44 PM   #8
freetvplease
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Update on my friends system. I used my coax tester (which I should have done to begin with) and found out that the connector on his exterior box was installed incorrectly. I cut it off and replaced it correctly and then all his 4 tv's had 80+% signal strength. So, I didn't have to use the HDA-100 after all. Lesson learned is never skip any steps.
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Old 25-Sep-2019, 7:31 PM   #9
rabbit73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freetvplease View Post
Update on my friends system. I used my coax tester (which I should have done to begin with) and found out that the connector on his exterior box was installed incorrectly. I cut it off and replaced it correctly and then all his 4 tv's had 80+% signal strength. So, I didn't have to use the HDA-100 after all. Lesson learned is never skip any steps.
Thanks for the update; good detective work.
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