How to Connect a TV and Modem to One Cable Outlet

You can use a single coaxial cable connection, but you'll a splitter

What to Know

  • To connect a modem and TV to the same coaxial cable, you’ll need to buy a cable splitter.
  • Connect one end of the cable to the wall socket and the other to the cable splitter.
  • Next, plug in two additional coaxial cables to the splitter and connect them to your TV and modem.

This article covers how to split a cable line for TV and internet, what equipment you’ll need to share a coaxial cable connection, and what other options may be available for your TV, modem, and cable box.

Can You Split a Cable Line for TV and Internet?

If you only have one coaxial cable outlet available in your room, you can still use it for both your internet connection and TV reception. To pull this off, you’ll need to purchase a piece of hardware called a coaxial cable splitter plus two additional coaxial cables. 

NewCare coaxial cable splitter.

NewCare

A coaxial cable splitter works in much the same way as the various double adapters you likely have in use around the house for plugging multiple electronics into power sockets. One end plugs into the source while the other end splits the signal into two or more outputs that numerous devices can use.

In this case, one cable on the single side of the splitter would be plugged into the wall, while the two coaxial cables connected to the other side would plug into your TV and cable modem. 

NewCare coaxial cable splitter connecting to a computer and TV.

NewCare

Coaxial cable splitters usually retail for less than $10 and can be purchased from most electronic store chains and online marketplaces, such as Amazon. Before you buy one, though, it’s essential to check with your internet or cable provider to see which type of splitter they recommend.

Before buying a cable splitter, check with your service provider to see which brand or model they recommend. They may even be able to give you one for free or at a discount.

Your home’s connection and the type of service you’re using might require specific specs. Splitting a coaxial cable connection can weaken the signal, so your provider may recommend you buy an amplifier or a particular splitter with a built-in amplifier.

Can I Connect My Modem to Any Cable Outlet?

The type of cable outlet needed for your modem will depend on the kind of internet service you’re using. For example, some modems use your regular phone line, while others require a coaxial cable connection or a Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) port. 

If you have a 4G or 5G modem, you likely won’t need to use a cable outlet at all, as the chosen cellular network will handle all of the internet connectivity wirelessly.

The name of your internet service plan may include a reference to the type of connection it uses. The box your modem came in also likely mentions whether it requires a DSL or cable connection.

While this can sound intimidating, modems usually come with an instruction manual that breaks down exactly how to set them up. All of the required cables are typically included in the modem or router’s box, as well.

How Do I Connect My Modem and Cable Box to My TV?

The steps for setting up your home theater system will vary greatly depending on the type of TV you own and the model of your modem and cable box. Thus you need to follow your service provider's instructions from the manual or website. You may not even require a physical cable box at all, depending on which plan you’ve chosen.

If you have an older analog TV, you can still connect it to your cable box by using an RF modulator.

If you’re subscribing to an entertainment service for the first time, a growing number of media services are now online and stream wirelessly via a home Wi-Fi network. So you may not have to physically connect a cable to your TV to stream programs as you did several years ago.

Media boxes such as Apple TV and Roku just need to connect to your home Wi-Fi to work. 

Can You Hook up Two Modems to One Cable Line?

Connecting two modems to the one cable line is possible though whether you’ll be able to do it or not depends on your internet service provider and the range of services and products they offer their users. Some may allow internet access through both modems, while others may split functionality between the two.

You’ll likely need to check with your internet service provider to see if using multiple modems with the same cable line is possible.

If you want to access the internet from more areas of your home, building a wireless home network could be more accessible. However, if you already have a wireless network and are having trouble using it from all of the areas you want to, there are several ways to boost the signal to make it as broad as you need.

FAQ
  • How do I connect a TV directly to a modem?

    You'll need a smart TV with internet connection ports. Insert your Ethernet cable into one of your modem's "out" ports, then plug the other end of the Ethernet cable into your smart TV's "internet in" port. Then, power on the TV and modem. Select Input on the TV, then choose Internet. Your internet options will vary according to your TV.

  • How do I connect a TV and modem to one cable outlet if Spectrum is my service provider?

    When you're setting up your Spectrum installation, your kit will include coax cables, an HDMI cable, Spectrum receiver, and a coax splitter. First, pick the coax cable with the best length for your needs, and then attach it to the coax outlet in your home. Next, attach the coax splitter to the end of the coax cable and attach two cables to the coax splitter's ends; one goes to your Spectrum receiver and the other to your modem. Finally, plug the HDMI cable into the receiver and TV.


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