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    by Published on 09-09-2016 12:43 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. TV Antennas

    You'll get a lot of opinions when you ask someone how far apart two antennas should be when stacking. Certainly if they are too close they are going to interfere with each other.

    The most accurate number I've heard is "no closer than half the wavelength of the lowest channel either antenna will pick up." That means that for a VHF antenna they should be 6 feet from each other, and with a UHF antenna at least 2.5 feet. The distance is the distance between the actual elements and not counting reflectors (like the white plastic-rimmed ones in the image above.)

    However, these are guidelines. The most important thing is that you follow the "at least" part because what you're trying to do here is avoid interference, and while these are good guidelines, they don't always apply 100% to your situation. If you stack two antennas together and find that you're getting weird interference or poor performance, separate them. Simple as that.
    by Published on 09-09-2016 11:26 AM
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    Spoilers for Stranger Things ahead.

    One of the rare surprises in a summer filled with duds came in the form of Netflix's Stranger Things. The nearly-perfect recreation of a 1980s' kid-horror-suspense film brought Gen-Xers back to their own childhoods, and introduced Millennials to the days when a ten-year-old ...
    by Published on 09-09-2016 10:37 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Satellite
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    They went there.

    DIRECTV continues to break new ground with 4K broadcasting, announcing that they will be broadcasting every single Notre Dame home game in both 4K and HD. HD coverage will be on local NBC stations, while 4K coverage will be on channel 106. The two broadcasts will be identical except for the quality, ...
    by Published on 09-09-2016 09:28 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Satellite

    If you're bored this Sunday and you haven't decided whether or not you want a whole season worth of football, you'll want to check out the FREE preview of DIRECTV's award-winning NFL SUNDAY TICKET programming package. It's every game in the country, all for you!

    You probably don't need me to sell you on this package. You probably know that you get every game, plus the game mix channel Red Zone Channel, Fantasy tracker, and you can stream it all on your mobile device. You're just trying to figure out how you'll pay for it, or how you'll explain the charge to someone else in your household.

    NFL Sunday Ticket isn't the cheapest package, but no other package gives you this much football entertainment. This is three solid months of Sunday entertainment, and when you look at it that way, it's pretty reasonable. Not only that, it's perfect for "displaced fans." Whether you're a Green Bay fan who moved out of Wisconsin decades ago or a St. Louis resident who's recently lost his Rams, there's only one way to get your "home team" when home is somewhere far away.

    Check out the free preview this weekend on channels 701 - 719.
    by Published on 09-08-2016 12:53 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Data/Networks

    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.

    We were there when it happened... then again so were you and you probably don't remember. I point to an article from March of 2013 on this very blog, titled "Slow internet? It's not just you." It was the day of the largest cyber attack in internet history, even to this day. It was the day a group of spammers decided to fight back against European countries that had taken a stand against them. They used the time-tested "DDoS" attack method, which basically sends so much traffic through one point that no one else can get in.

    The internet itself actually performed very well that day, proving that its very design made it very resistant to attacks. Unlike some countries which have only one or two physical connections between themselves and the rest of the world, European countries are so strongly connected that the traffic just went through other portals. It slowed everyone down, but not for long.

    In three years there has not been another cyber attack this large (that we know of) but there have been cases where whole countries have been cut off because their single line to the rest of the world was cut. It's a tough lesson to learn, but we've become so connected as a planet that it's more important that internet lines stay up sometimes than phone lines, mail service, or any other forms of communication. It's just who we are in 2016.
    by Published on 09-08-2016 11:26 AM

    Yeah, I know you could go down the street and buy zip ties, and I know that other much larger, river-named vendors will sell them to you too. Look, I know our marketing department would love it if I were able to tell you these were some sort of magic DIRECTV-approved zip ties. They're not, but that's pretty much because DIRECTV doesn't approve zip ties.

    I'm talking about this pack of 300 heavy duty black zip ties. We sell them for a very competitive price and if you're buying something anyway, they're light and they may not cost any more to ship than whatever you're already buying. These are solid, industrial quality zip ties that will take up to 50 pounds of pressure, which is way more than any cable you're going to use with it can put out. These things are going to hold up.

    I use zip ties all the time in permanent installs because they give a very nice clean appearance when you nip off the unused bits at the end. I use cable wraps for things I might undo later, but not everything falls into that category. If I want a good-looking install and I'm not going to monkey around with it then I figure a zip tie is the right tool for the job.

    I'll admit that it's a little hard to get excited about zip ties but believe me it's easy to get excited when you want one and don't have one. Depending on the ones you'll find at the local discount store can leave you (and potentially your customer) pretty dissatisfied. This is why you always want to have plenty around, and believe me when you buy 300 zip ties you're going to have one when you need one.

    So, go ahead and add those zip ties to your cart when you're shopping for something else and you'll really be glad you have them.
    by Published on 09-08-2016 09:37 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Satellite,
    3. Online/MobileTV
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    DIRECTV's huge new software update for mobile devices brings big new capabilities for users of the latest DIRECTV Genie DVRs. If you have a Genie model HR44 or HR54, you can now stream programs recorded on your home DVR and offload those programs to your mobile device so you can view them without ...
    by Published on 09-08-2016 08:55 AM

    Big upgrade.

    DIRECTV's award-winning app for smartphones and tablets just got a huge upgrade and it opens up a whole new world for streaming users. With the new upgrade, you can watch nearly any channel DIRECTV offers -- including locals in most markets. The only exceptions are 4k channels, pay-per-view, that sort of thing. This means you won't lose anything even if you lose satellite service, because these streams come from central servers not from your local device.

    This move clearly paves the way for DIRECTV's triad of streaming services, still rumored for this year, and if you can live stream pretty much any channel you want, what's to stop DIRECTV from offering pretty much every channel to streaming-only customers? It's just the next logical step.

    In testing streaming looked great. Quality was at least 720p and looked good on both smartphone and tablet. Many shows have the option of being able to start from the beginning regardless of the time you actually began streaming, too.

    The app update rolled for smartphones yesterday and is rolling today for tablets. Take a few minutes to update, and... when you do check out the Mobile DVR feature and be prepared for an exclusive review from Solid Signal!
    by Published on 09-07-2016 11:16 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. TV Antennas
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    We’ve officially named September “National Cord-Cutting Month.”
    It’s the best time for you to cut the cord on cable TV!

    Apparently, we like to declare a national holidays at Solid Signal. We once called September “National Cookout Month.” Now we're calling it “National Cord-Cutting Month,” and for good reason. This holiday is a huge benefit to anyone ...
    by Published on 09-07-2016 10:48 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Misc. Gadgets
    Article Preview

    Sure, it's sunny now. Winter weather isn't far away, though, and it's going to get really cold really fast, really soon in a lot of the country. That's where a weather station comes in handy.

    Maybe you remember going to the house of an older relative and seeing some gigantic brass contraption that looked like an 18th century sailing ...
    by Published on 09-07-2016 09:23 AM
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    Note: The Ken Reid TV Guidance Counselor Podcast is rated PG-13 and may contain mild language.

    I'm Ken Reid, a stand up comedian from Boston, MA and a life long television fan. I've been twice nominated as the Best Stand up in Boston and I have been featured on Comedy Central, NPR, Nerdist, and MSN. I ...

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