Useful information on how to get digital TV onto other TV sets in your home
Digital TV services available in the UK
How can I get TV in a second room?
Let’s assume you have digital TV on the main telly in your house. This could be with a set-top box, or from a TV set that has Freeview built-in. If you don’t yet have digital TV on your main TV set, see our Digital TV Options page.
To get digital TV into other rooms of your home, such as a bedroom or a kitchen, you have two options:
- Connect from your existing set-top box to your second TV
- Get a separate set-top box to connect to your second TV
Next, we’ll explain both options:
Option 1: Connect your set-top box to a second TV set
This option will save you the expense of having to buy a second set-top box.
Normally, this will mean running an aerial cable from the output of your main set-top box, to the aerial input of your second TV set.
NOTE: There is one big drawback with this option – and that is that your second TV set will only be able to watch the output of the TV receiver in the main room. As an example, let’s say you have a Sky Digital box in your lounge, and it’s set to Sky One. If you connect an aerial cable to a second TV set, the second TV set will only be able to watch Sky One via that connection. Change channel on the main box, and the second TV changes channel too.
For this option to work, your set-top box must have an RF aerial output socket (to accept a plug like the one pictured). Also, the set-top box must have something called a modulated output (which means it can re-transmit a signal to a second TV set). Boxes from Sky Digital, Virgin Media and BT Vision (grey models) have these, as do some Freeview boxes.
Box not got an RF Output? You can buy an add-on “modulator” for under £30 that will convert a SCART socket into an RF out, or you can connect via an old video recorder – as many of these have modulated outputs. RF modulator advice. Otherwise, consider a wireless sender , or the second box option
Aerial Extension kits: To connect, you need to run a co-ax aerial cable from the back of your set-top box to the aerial input on your second TV set – you can get cables, connectors and extension kits from Maplin and Argos. See below for an example of an extension kit.
If you don’t want to use a kit, you’ll need a suitable length of co-ax cable, cleats to nail the cable to the skirting board and one co-ax aerial plug for each end, plus a way of splitting or boosting your existing aerial.
Pictured: TV aerial extension kits (15 or 25 metres) under £20 from Maplin.co.uk
Tuning in: Once you’ve made a connection, you need to tune the TV set into the output of the set-top box. You need to make sure that the set-top box modulator is turned on (Got Sky? See Sky FAQ).
Multiple TV sets? If you’re feeding to lots of TV sets, or have a very long cable run, you may need either a splitter or booster (from Maplin) to allow you to split and amplify the aerial co-ax output without too much quality loss.
Aerial Splitter. Handy for splitting a single aerial to feed two TV sets, or a TV and recorder. Available from www.maplin.co.uk
Aerial Booster with multiple outputs. Amplified for low signal strength areas, or if you get signal loss over a long cable run. Available from www.maplin.co.uk
Don’t want to run cables?
If you’d rather not run cables, consider a wireless video sender – these connect to a spare SCART socket on your digital TV set-top box. Again, these can only transmit whatever channel your set-top box is tuned in to.
Purchasing a second set-top box for the other room is normally the more expensive option, but it does give you the flexibility to watch a different digital TV channel in each room.
- Freeview: Just buy a second Freeview box (from £20), connect it to your telly, then connect the box to a TV aerial feed. Freeview information
- Sky Digital: If you want a second Sky box, you’ll be wanting Sky Multiroom. This gives you a box in each room, each one cabled to your satellite dish. You will need a Multiroom subscription for each additional box. Details and prices at sky.com/shop/boxes/sky-multiroom
- Virgin Media: Virgin will be happy to sell you a second V Box – Order at www.virginmedia.com.
- BT Vision: You can’t have two BT Vision boxes connected to broadband at the same time, so getting a second BT Vision box won’t do you many favours. As BT Vision gets its live TV from Freeview, a second Freeview box may be all you need.
More on Digital TV:
- For more on Freeview and free-to-air set-top boxes, see our Freeview page.
- For more on Sky, see our Satellite page.
- For help with connecting, reception problems and other TV issues, see our Freeview FAQ page
- Discuss digital TV in our TV forum
- For details of hard-disk recording solutions, see our Personal Video Recorder PVR page
- Help and Advice: BT Vision , Freesat, Freeview, Sky TV, TalkTalk TV, Top Up TV, Virgin Media