HD-BLADE vs. 20-year-old splitter… who wins?

It’s fun to beat on our new HD-BLADE antenna, because it always impresses me. One of our members wanted to know what would happen if the HD-BLADE was used to feed more than one TV. I thought it would be a good challenge.

I dug through an old bucket of “shtuff” and found this splitter. I want to say I bought it about 20 years ago, when I used to cruise thrift stores for VCRs I could use to build the ultimate multi-channel recording setup. I got it at Radio Shack, which was a pretty solid source for that kind of thing back then.

Just for fun I went to this site: Radio Shack Catalogs and looked up the part in the 1992 Radio Shack catalog. Turns out I paid seven bucks for that bad boy. That was a lot of money when a good job paid you $24k a year. Apple stock was about $10 a share that year. If I hadn’t bought that splitter I could have invested the money and had enough money to buy three iPhones today. Oh well. Enough nostalgia.

I hooked up the antenna pretty much like any novice would. I didn’t terminate any unused connections. It actually didn’t matter that I didn’t run another antenna line… once you split a signal it’s lost. It’s not like it makes a difference whether I had one device or four hooked up to it.

I put the HD-BLADE on the “magic spot” on my desk where I’d gotten 83 channels, in the same position and everything.

I still got 66 channels, which isn’t bad. It seems I lost about 1/4 of the signal strength by using that splitter. If I were closer to the towers, I could probably get away with splitting it.

Seriously, though… indoor antennas aren’t meant to be split. What you do with your own antenna install is your business. It’s not going to be unsafe, but we can’t guarantee any real, measurable results in your home if you do split an indoor antenna. This is really a “what if” scenario, not something to take as a promise or guarantee. (Yeah, as a representative of Solid Signal, it seemed like I had to say that.)

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.