This post was most recently updated on December 21st, 2018
In this article, we shall be removing the ambiguity that exists between some satellite accessories. The satellite accessories in question are A splitter, a combiner/mixer, a diplexer, and a DiSEqC switch. In person, these look so much alike but in their uses, they are largely dissimilar. Moving forward in this article, we shall discuss the definitions of a splitter, diseqc switch, combiner and a splitter. You will learn about, DiSEqC/Diplexer/Splitter/Combiner differences & Uses. In addition, I will drop a few tips on when and where to use which.
Articles that are Especially Relevant:
- How To Setup A Diseqc Switch On Your Decoder
- Beginners Guide on how the Satellite TV Works and it’s Scope
- 4 Ways of Sharing your Decoder’s Sat Signal: This will enable you to watch channels on 2 Televisions Simultaneously
- A to Z Glossary of Satellite TV terminologies and their definition
Some of these devices promise to do more than one thing, how about that?
From experience, I will advise against using a particular device fas a splitter and combiner. Or maybe in your own case, you are trying to use a DiSEqC as a combiner or vice-versa. While this is not a particularly bad idea, it can cause you issues in the long-run. Save yourself the stress and buy a device that performs a specific purpose. E.g buy as a combiner that only combines not one that can also be used as a splitter.
Beware of inexpensive products that promise to be a combination of diplexer/splitter. The odds are, they’re not the best at either. As you get to more expensive products, it’s more likely that a single device actually has all the electronics to serve both purposes. In the case of modulators, multiswitches, and other specialized high-end devices, diplexing and splitting are part of the basic functions they need in order to operate.
DiSEqC/Diplexer/Splitter/Combiner differences & Uses
There is no gainsaying that it’s very confusing to know the difference between a splitter, a combiner, and a diplexer. Their pictures that would be posted in the course of this article would buttress this point. To make matters worse, some splitters are also combiners, and some diplexers are also combiners. Parts can be active or passive, powered, or unpowered, and without a magnifying glass (or some really good eyesight) they can all look identical.
By definition, you can call DiSEqC switch is a piece of satellite/ telecommunications gadget/accessory that can allow a satellite receiver to receive signals from multiple satellite LNBs(maximum of 4) set at different positions. The acronym DiSEqC, stands for Digital Satellite Equipment Control. DiSEqC switches can also enable a decoder to control a rotary motor which has a satellite dish mounted on it.
What are the main differences between a DiSEqC Switch and a Multi-Switch
The DiSEqC Switch
- First off, a DiSEqC switch is a device which enables you to connect multiple LNBs and combine them to be used by one decoder.
- Via the DiSEqC protocol, you can perform remote control of the DiSEqC switch from the decoder.
- Also, a DiSEqC Switches can be used for Common Interface (CI) Receivers, Conditional Access (CA) receivers and Free To Air (FTA) receivers.
- For example, The DiSEqC 4X1 Switch Diagram(as shown above) will enable the user to select one LNB signal between 4 different LNBs of any type and send it to the decoder.
By way of definition, A Multi-Switch combines a signal from more than one LNB and sends the signal to more than one receiver. DStv original sell their explora with a multi-switch before they later changed it to a smart LNB which performs as well if not better.
- A Multi-Switch is usually used with DISH Network or DirecTV systems. Although, it can also be used with a Free To Air system.
- When using a multi-switch, the first port is always controlled by 13V & the second by 18V DC (1 for each polarity).To receive both polarizations (H/V or R/L) you must have each port connected to an LNB. It means you have a cable for horizontal and a cable for vertical.
- This is one way to connect more than one decoder to a dual or Quad LNB. A single LNB will not work on both polarizations.
What is the usefulness of a DiSEqC switch and when should I use one?
- Basically, a DiSEqC switch is used to link multiple LNBs or Dishes to one decoder. The maximum numbers of LNBs that you can connect to one decoder at as the time of writing this is 4.
- If you want to watch channels from up to o4 satellite position using four LNBs and one decoder, a DiSEqC switch would be indispensable for you.
- Secondly, using a DiSEqC switch would save you from spending extra money on decoders. without a DiSEqC, you would need to connect one dish to one decoder or need to unplug one dish cable to accommodate another.
- Finally, a Diseqc sweet allows for decent space management with how you run your satellite dish cables.
What is a diplexer and how does it work?
Let’s describe a diplexer is a device designed to take two signals from two different cables and intelligently put them on the same cable. When should you use a diplexer? A diplexer is a right thing to use when trying to add an antenna signal to an existing cable. We often refer to an antenna signal as RF. If you want to output a satellite dish signal to an antenna(UHF/VHF) then you need a diplexer.
Types of Satellite Signal diplexers
There are many different kinds of diplexers. Passive diplexers offer a little more than combiners. They take two signals(one from the sat and another from the ANT) that won’t interfere with each other and put them on the same cable.
Active diplexers add power to the line to limit the amount of loss that happens when signals move through a system. Active diplexers can also shift frequencies so that they work together. When a diplexer does this, the diplexer would also be a modulator.
How to use a Diplexer
Diplexers are useful because cables are a lot more complex than they look. When we look at a cable we see a long line made of wire. In fact, that wire can carry many different frequencies. That’s why you get many channels they all exist in different places on the wire. The FCC makes sure that broadcast signals don’t interfere with each other. Also, cable satellite companies make sure their channels are on different frequencies from each other.
By and large, signals from cable or satellite are on different frequencies than over-the-air antennas. So, it’s not a problem to diplex them.
Diplexers are used for the following operations:
- First oof, a diplexer is a very useful tool for satellite tv extended view. For DStv subscribers using old HD or explora decoder, you need a diplexer and a multi switch to be able to activate Xtraview
- They save time by not having to run multiple cables.
- They combine a digital and analogue signal within one wire and turn the wire into a two-way frequency signal.
- The analog signal can either travel the same direction as the digital signal or the opposite. This call for easy back feeds for second or third TV on the same receiver.
What is a combiner?
By way of definition, a combiner is a device that takes two signals and puts them on a single cable without any “translation.” Using a combiner is like pouring two liquids into the same glass. You’re not doing anything to make sure that things don’t get all mixed up. If you know what you’re doing, a combiner can work, like mixing lemonade and iced tea. If you don’t, a combiner can create problems, like if you mix lemonade and dish soap.
Working with combiners for coaxial cables can have the same problem. A combiner just takes all the signals and mixes them together. Much of the time, the result is a mess. In some cases, signals are meant to be combined and so using a combiner will work. Summarily, a combiner is to be used with utmost caution as it can cos more harm than good.
What is a splitter?
In appearance, a splitter and a diplexer are very much alike. They both will have multiple connections on one end and one connection on the other. However, a diplexer takes two signals in and makes one out. A splitter takes one signal in and makes two out.
The most common use of a splitter is to add an additional television to an existing cable. If you have an antenna, you can use a splitter to make that antenna serve more than one television. If you have a cable or satellite system, you might be able to use a splitter to add TV to another room. Most modern systems are designed to use a splitter in this way, but older systems make you run a separate line to each TV from a central switch. Make sure you know if you have a “splittable” system.
Splitting seems like an easy way to add extra outlets, but remember that each time you split a signal you cut its strength in half. Look at this diagram. For example, you can not change channels from one decoder without it affecting the other.