E-mail
Suggest a topic
  • What's Fresh Today RSS Feed

    Back to Basics: Decibels or "dBs"

    This week we're taking a look at terms that novices might not know. read on

    FUN FRIDAY: What is, a fashion mistake?

    Not that I waste time at work, of course. And not that you do either. read on

    The history of DIRECTV DVRs, part 2: From Zero to Hero

    Click here for part one of this article series. The world of read on

    Big shakeup at DISH

    Olson out, Swain in. DISH is making changes at the top level that read on

    EXCLUSIVE Blumoo rebate expires this weekend!

    You don't want to miss out on the best price ever on the Blumoo read on

    The history of DIRECTV DVRs part 1: Prehistory

    It all began fourteen years ago. The DVR was an incredibly new read on

    THROWBACK THURSDAY: 3DTV Explained

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

    How can an antenna be made of plastic and still work?

    You could be forgiven for being skeptical of an antenna like the read on

    NICE AND EASY: Can you use crimp-on connectors for a cell booster cable?

    Quick answer: yes, but... We recommend compression connectors for read on

    What is digital signage?

    It's more than just a TV. You've probably noticed that more and more read on

    What's the most future-proof antenna?

    Let's say you've just moved to a new home. You want to go up on that read on

    Problems changing your dish type? We understand

    This is why we say, If you have SWM in your home, use SWM in your RV. read on

    Ken Reid brings you twice the guests for twice the fun!

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

    Vehicle Boosters: How they Work & Why You Might Need One

    Are you a traveling businessperson? Do you and your family take read on

    SimpleTV gets social... share programs with your friends

    The little DVR that could just keeps chugging... after adding read on

    Introducing all-new Generation 2 HD-BLADE antennas!

    The next generation is here... and it's gorgeous! If you were a fan read on
    by Published on 08-23-2014 10:31 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Cell Phones,
    3. TV Antennas,
    4. Satellite
    Article Preview


    This week we're taking a look at terms that novices might not know. It's a good time for everyone to freshen up their knowledge base.

    Everything with a signal is measured in dB's, also known as decibels. You might have thought that decibels were a unit of sound but they're not really, they're a unit of change. We talked about dB's ...
    by Published on 08-22-2014 05:04 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. TV Antennas,
    3. Satellite,
    4. Online/MobileTV
    Article Preview



    Not that I waste time at work, of course. And not that you do either. But if you happen to be on a legitimate break, you might have found Crackle.com. Unlike YouTube, Crackle is 100% owned and operated by Sony, the people behind a lot of the TV you remember... including Jeopardy. ...
    by Published on 08-22-2014 02:26 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Satellite
    Article Preview


    Click here for part one of this article series.

    The world of DIRECTV changed in the summer of 2006 when DIRECTV released its first HD DVR developed in-house. DIRECTV had used TiVo hardware and software, and for the most part people were happy, but there was a big learning curve if you were accustomed to DIRECTV's regular receivers, which had all used the same software since 2003. DIRECTV cut its teeth on the R15 standard definition DVR, and although it wasn't well ...
    by Published on 08-22-2014 10:49 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Satellite
    Article Preview



    Olson out, Swain in. DISH is making changes at the top level that could have a major impact on the company. Executive Vice President and CFO Robert Olson is leaving the company (the term "retire" is being used although Mr. Olson looks a bit young for that) and his position will be taken by senior programming VP Steve Swain. No word on who will be taking Mr. Swain's place in the critical programming slot.

    We know that DISH has great ambitions for ...
    by Published on 08-22-2014 10:15 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Misc. Gadgets



    You don't want to miss out on the best price ever on the Blumoo Universal Remote for Smartphones so now's the time to act. Our exclusive mail-in rebate gives us the best price on the internet and it's about to expire.

    You have until the end of day on Sunday, but why wait? Pick up the little device that lets you control pretty much anything in your home theater with just a smartphone or tablet!
    by Published on 08-21-2014 05:35 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Satellite


    In Throwback Thursday, we're looking back at the articles we're most proud of from the first seven years of The Solid Signal Blog, and other stuff from the past that we think is cool.

    Gosh oh golly... it can't be that long ago that 3D TV was cool, could it? 3D TV has to qualify as the biggest dud of the last five years (a fact that must be of some comfort to the folks at Blackberry) but there was a time when everyone was talking about this new technology and TV makers just couldn't wait to roll out 3D-capable TVs.

    Back in 2010, we didn't want to get left behind either, and our Solid Signal TV team put together a 3-part series on 3D TV. The internet never forgets, so let's take a look as our own "Mr. Signal" tells you all about the top tech of 2010...

    by Published on 08-21-2014 03:45 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. TV Antennas



    You could be forgiven for being skeptical of an antenna like the Antennas Directv Clearstream 2. After all, it doesn't look like any other antenna you've ever seen before. Yeah, there's a metal grid in the back, but the front is... black plastic. Everyone knows plastic can't be used for an antenna, right? And what is that black plastic "8" thing on the front anyway?

    The secret is simple. The "8" thing is the antenna, but its metal bits are encased in a sexy plastic enclosure that's completely transparent to radio waves. The back part, the grid if you will, is called a "reflector" and it makes the antenna work twice as well by bouncing the signal to the back of the antenna so both front and back surfaces work together. It doesn't have to be solid because of a special quality of radio waves... they can't pass through holes of a certain size. If you know what size that is (and specific frequencies are tied to different sizes) then you don't need to waste a lot of material. That makes antennas like the Clearstream 2 light and effective.

    A design like this, with a reflector and an x-shaped, 8-shaped, or bowtie-shaped item in front, is very effective for UHF frequencies. (Most stations broadcast on UHF, but some still use VHF. If you need to pick up VHF frequencies, you'll need a different type of antenna.) There are many different designs but the basic idea is the same.
    by Published on 08-21-2014 02:06 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Satellite
    Article Preview



    It all began fourteen years ago. The DVR was an incredibly new concept at the time and DIRECTV was one of the first pay-TV providers to offer one. While DIRECTV's DVRs are smooth, slick and powerful today, that wasn't always the case. In this three-part series we'll look at DIRECTV's DVR efforts throughout the 2000s and 2010s until the present day and we'll see the twists and turns along the way.

    Before 2003, DIRECTV did not offer their own hardware. Most DIRECTV hardware ...
    by Published on 08-21-2014 10:06 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Cell Phones,
    3. TV Antennas



    Quick answer: yes, but...

    We recommend compression connectors for all coaxial cables, but mostly because they offer superior weather resistance. A compression connector is mandatory for satellite because of the dense, high bandwidth signal that passes through it, but cell signals do quite well with crimped-on connectors on cables.

    If you're trying to use up some old cables or are just looking for an inexpensive way to extend a line, cables with crimp-on connectors are just fine for cellular, unless they will be exposed to the elements. It's very hard to get a hex crimped connector to be as waterproof as a compression connector, and even with the right weather boots, water can still get in and corrode the cable itself.

    Hex crimped connectors on cables are also just fine for antenna lines inside the house. If your home was wired for cable TV in the 20th century it probably has hex-crimped connectors throughout. These won't help you for satellite, that's for sure, but you have a built-in distribution system for your antenna if you want to go that direction.
    by Published on 08-20-2014 05:29 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Satellite



    This is why we say, If you have SWM in your home, use SWM in your RV. Changing from a SWM to a non-SWM setup should be easy, but in truth it can be a real pain. Even if you've started with the steps in our White Paper, uou may find yourself with problems. If you are changing from a SWM to a non-SWM dish and you get error 775 or 776, that's a sure sign that the change didn't take. Those codes are only used for SWM dishes.

    It may not make sense, but what usually works is to set the Multiswitch type first and then go through the whole process. Then, if you need to reset the dish type, you can go through the process again. That's the way to go if you're having problems. We're not sure why but there's something about the combination of setting both dish type and Multiswitch type at the same time that can sometimes get your receiver confused. You can also disconnect the satellite cable completely and that sometimes works.

    Here's why it's so hard... The folks at DIRECTV never really understood why someone would change from SWM to non-SWM, since in their minds it's a step backwards. So, the way the receiver looks at it, it really tries to detect a SWM signal and if it comes up with anything that even slightly resembles one, it automatically changes the multiswitch type back to SWM. It works great if you're going from non-SWM to SWM, but if you're going the other way it can be kind of frustrating.

    If all fails, you can "reset everything" by pressing {MENU} then going to Settings&Help, Settings, Reset, Reset Everything. This really does mean "Reset Everything," including wiping out all your presets, your favorites and even programming on your DVR, so be careful Sometimes, though it's the only thing you can do to get a stubborn receiver to listen.

    Page 1 of 10 1 2 3 4 5 6 7