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    STREAMING SATURDAY: The "real" Emmy Winners

    In Streaming Saturday, we'll look at trends in cord-cutting that read on

    Streaming Saturday: Netflix, Amazon Win Emmy Awards

    In Streaming Saturday, we'll look at trends in cord-cutting that read on

    Why is an IP address of 169.254.1.125 bad?

    Network problems are everywhere. Obviously your computer network's ok read on

    OK, let's get going with "DIRECTV Now"

    It's been over six months since DIRECTV announced that it will have read on

    When do you need a power passing splitter?

    Power passing splitter. It's another one of those terms you will hear read on

    Put that antenna up now before the snow comes

    You know it's coming. There's no sense in pretending. If you're in read on

    What happens to the 101 satellite location after SD service ends in 2019?

    They're really serious this time. DIRECTV has said unequivocally that read on

    FUN FRIDAY: McWhat?

    We all know it's not good for us. There's no disputing it, though... read on

    Is “Cable” Now a Dirty Word?

    In its efforts to reinvent itself, the cable industry’s top lobbying read on

    Do you need a preamp AND a distribution amplifier?

    There are two different kinds of antenna amplfiers. Preamplifiers are read on

    Will my DVR still record if a program's time changes?

    Probably. We've all been there. Our favorite show is on and we're read on

    THROWBACK THURSDAY: I was right about HDMI

    In Throwback Thursday, we're looking back at the articles we're most read on

    Why can't you get one amplifier that will work for everything?

    If you have a TV antenna, cell booster, satellite dish, Wi-Fi, and read on

    Can your heater or air conditioner affect your Wi-Fi?

    File this one under "plausible." If you're having Wi-Fi issues, the read on

    Ken Reid is not interviewing Ann-Margret

    Note: The Ken Reid TV Guidance Counselor Podcast is rated PG-13 and read on

    BACK TO BASICS: Grounding Block

    We're going back to basics with the tools that every antenna or read on
    by Published on 09-24-2016 11:18 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Satellite,
    3. Online/MobileTV
    Article Preview


    In Streaming Saturday, we'll look at trends in cord-cutting that include both antennas and internet-based video.

    Oh, Buckler, you just don't get it. My esteemed colleague, deskbound and cranky for having been left behind to mind the blog last week, wants you to think that streaming services won big at the Emmys. He points out some ...
    by Published on 09-24-2016 09:06 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Online/MobileTV
    Article Preview


    In Streaming Saturday, we'll look at trends in cord-cutting that include both antennas and internet-based video.

    Streaming services Netflix and Amazon won 15 and nine Emmy Awards, respectively. Could this be a sign of the supremacy of streaming in the entertainment world?

    Whether it took home the win or was honored with a nomination, the Emmy Awards showed Netflix much love this year. Netflix was nominated for ...
    by Published on 09-23-2016 03:45 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Data/Networks
    Article Preview



    Network problems are everywhere. Obviously your computer network's ok right now, or you wouldn't be reading this article. However, you might be having problems with your satellite receiver, phone, or any other device, you might have had a friendly tech say, "What's your IP address?"

    What is IP addressing anyway?

    There are literally millions of connected devices. Some are ...
    by Published on 09-23-2016 11:44 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Commercial,
    3. TV Antennas,
    4. Satellite
    Article Preview



    Power passing splitter.
    It's another one of those terms you will hear about if you spend enough time around antennas and satellite dishes. It's not a truly accurate term... what is usually meant is "all ports power-passing splitter." Some splitters only pass power on one port and some don't pass on any port. Let's dig into the controversy.

    What does power-passing mean anyway?


    There's a funny property of that center conductor inside ...
    by Published on 09-23-2016 10:11 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Satellite
    Article Preview



    It's been over six months since DIRECTV announced that it will have streaming services for customers who don't want to get satellite TV. Am I the only one who's getting antsy? Several sites have reported AT&T exec Randall Stephenson having said that the service will launch by the end of the year, but hey aren't ...
    by Published on 09-23-2016 09:24 AM



    We all know it's not good for us. There's no disputing it, though... McDonalds' fortunes may rise and fall but they're here to stay. The company has roughly 35 quadrillion locations(slight exaggeration) all over the world and it wouldn't surprise anyone, I suspect, if they were the first restaurant on Mars.

    Still, even though McDonald's trades on a consistent experience, they're not really consistent. In the USA, regional "favorites" like McLobster pop up with regularity, and once you get outside the US things get even more confusing. First off, Pulp Fiction was right... most places in the world don't call it a Quarter Pounder, although Great Britain does. But the names aren't really the weird part. McDonald's really customizes their menu all over the world.

    If you don't believe me, check out this article from First We Feast. There are some pretty crazy things on the McDonald's menu, especially in Asia. Western culture with its obsessive use of beef is less dominant there, so it makes sense that if McDonald's thrives there it will do so with local fare.

    Still, I'm not all that excited to try a Filet-o-Shrimp burger, although the McNürnburger does actually sound quite tasty.
    by Published on 09-22-2016 12:43 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. TV Antennas
    Article Preview



    There are two different kinds of antenna amplfiers. Preamplifiers are usually used fairly close to the antenna and are used to compensate for long runs between the antenna and the TV. Distribution amplifiers are traditionally used inside (or just outside) of the building to provide extra power to ...
    by Published on 09-22-2016 12:17 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Satellite
    Article Preview



    Probably.

    We've all been there. Our favorite show is on and we're out of the house. Hey, that's what a DVR is for, right? And then, you're out and about and you catch wind of a presidential address or football game or something running long. Your favorite program could start late or could get rescheduled altogether. What ...
    by Published on 09-22-2016 11:37 AM


    In Throwback Thursday, we're looking back at the articles we're most proud of from the first nine years of The Solid Signal Blog.

    Take a look for yourself. Back in 2012 I forecast that HDMI would be pretty much the only connection you'd find on TVs and other devices. Of course it wasn't too hard to guess, considering that the whole industry had been going in that direction for about six years. It's sort of like forecasting that a car will come to a stop after you've already seen the stop sign. But hey, I take my successes where I can.

    HDMI has been one of the consumer electronics industry's biggest successes. Only USB has received more of a universal adoption. Basically today, if your device puts out video it either has an HDMI port or has a port that can be adapted to HDMI (*cough*Apple*cough*), period. There have been other contenders and you could even argue that they were better, but HDMI is apparently here to stay.

    And why not? Unlike its early days, it's now an open standard. Still, it allows nearly unhackable encryption when it has to. The plug is easy to use and doesn't snag on other cables when you fish it around. It fits snugly enough that it's never in danger of falling apart and it's cheap to make. So what could be so bad about that?

    It's also small enough... especially the smaller connectors used for phones and other portable devices. I can't imagine any need for a connector smaller than my pinky nail. It's able to carry 4K content which is probably going to be good enough for the time being, until we all get wall-sized TVs. There's a lot to like about HDMI especially looking at the component and DVI connections that were common before HDMI came along.

    So folks there you have it. I told you HDMI would be the one and only standard on video devices and I was right. For my next trick, I'd like to forecast that the sun will rise tomorrow after a period of darkness lasting about, something over 11 hours. I may be putting myself out on a limb, but I think I can risk it.
    by Published on 09-22-2016 10:58 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. TV Antennas
    Article Preview



    If you have a TV antenna, cell booster, satellite dish, Wi-Fi, and home theater, you might also have a whole rack full of amplifiers of one sort or another. You see, each of these systems may need an amplifier of its own, and it's enough to make you wonder why you can't just have one amplifier that does the whole job. After all, an amplifier is essentially ...

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