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    by Published on 06-21-2017 12:14 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Satellite

    Universal remotes seem like they're a dime a dozen. No matter what TV provider you choose, your box comes with one. That's great, at least at first. Most people don't want a whole slew of remotes on the coffee table.

    The only thing, though, is that all remotes aren't made alike. I've recently spent some time looking at cablesystems from friends and I'm pretty disappointed with what their remotes look like. Here's a typical one from Spectrum:

    Too many buttons. And more importantly, a lot of functions that most people don't want or need. This big clunky remote will control 6 devices, sure, but exactly who is out there with a VHS player anymore? Fact is, DVD players are going away and there's no way to control a streaming box, which is what most people actually want.

    There's another piece to the puzzle, too. Most of the time you can't do anything with all those buttons and they're not very smart. The VOL control does control the TV's volume even if you don't have TV selected, but it takes at least four button presses just to turn everything on and off. This remote may have a lot of features, but it's confusing and doesn't help people "just watch TV."

    That's why I'm a big fan of DIRECTV's Genie Remote. DIRECTV used to have a big complex remote --in fact you can still buy it -- and I'll admit the smaller, sleeker Genie Remote was a little hard to get used to at first. But now I see the wisdom. These are all the buttons you need and none of the buttons you don't. The power button turns on the TV and the satellite box. It's not overwhelming. It's simple, it fits nicely in your hand, and it puts the buttons you actually use in very logical places.

    And yeah, there are some things the Genie Remote doesn't do really well. It won't power up your A/V receiver (although it will let you route the volume through it.) It won't control your streaming box. But you know, if you're that sort of person, the sort of person with a home theater with a whole bunch of separate boxes, you probably want a custom remote solution anyway. There are plenty of them from different providers and most modern devices let you use your phone and either their app or a custom app. If you're that sort of person you might want that sort of thing. Personally I use a customized programmable remote when I'm looking at my home theater. No off-the-shelf remote would do it for me no matter what.

    But for 99% of the people who just want to watch TV, they don't want to be bamboozled by a fancy remote. They just want to sit down and do the things they want. Yes, they have a smart TV or a streaming box, but it has its own remote and it's usually pretty small and easy to use. When you want to watch satellite, you want to watch and not be bothered by a million tiny buttons.

    In the end, that's why DIRECTV made the right decision.
    by Published on 06-20-2017 12:59 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Satellite

    Get the latest news about DIRECTV's upcoming HS17 Genie 2 DVR. It's not available at Solid SIgnal yet but it's coming very soon... get ready and shop Solid Signal - Signal Solutions including HDTV Antennas, DIRECTV and DISH Network satellite equipment and home entertainment supplies and accessories for the best in consumer electronics.

    Listen to the podcast your way! Just choose one of the following:
    Option 1: Click on the image above to stream the podcast in your browser.
    Option 2 Search iTunes for "Solid Signal" (click here if you have iTunes on this device)
    Option 3: Click here to download the podcast in MP3 format.
    Option 4: Paste the following link into your favorite podcast program: forums.solidsignal.com/podcasts/solidsignal.xml
    by Published on 06-20-2017 11:54 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Misc. Gadgets
    Article Preview

    One of the more popular gadgets at Solid Signal is this P3 International Wireless Solar Animal Chaser. It's a neat little device that puts out high-frequency sound and causes lights to flash when something moves nearby. Most humans can't hear the sound but dogs, cats, moles, gophers and most small pests hate it. It's perfect ...
    by Published on 06-20-2017 11:19 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. TV Antennas
    Article Preview

    Cutting the cord, or getting rid of your traditional pay-TV subscription, has become extremely popular in recent years and it's likely to continue growing. People are tired of paying a huge amount of money for content that they don't watch, coupled with customer service that makes going to the dentist seem pleasant. (Seriously. Cable ...
    by Published on 06-20-2017 10:50 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. TV Antennas,
    3. Satellite,
    4. Online/MobileTV
    Article Preview

    This is a monitor lizard.
    There's no such thing as a television lizard. There, article's done.

    Seriously, though, you'll hear the term "TV" and the term "monitor" used almost interchangeably. What's the difference? Is there a difference, or is it just that snobby tech types like to say "monitor?"
    by Published on 06-20-2017 09:01 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. TV Antennas
    Article Preview

    This is the last article in the series of bow tie (BT) antenna tests. In this test, the angle used, or put another way, the separation distance between the two ends of the BT "V," was changed to see what effect this had on the signal levels of the various TV channels.

    The approximate separation distances and approximate angles used were:

    Each pair of elements was attached to the BT antenna mount and all tests were run for that antenna. First, a set of readings for the standard angle of approximately 22 degrees, then the angle was change to approximately ...
    by Published on 06-19-2017 12:29 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Satellite

    DIRECTV doesn't want you to do it, but you can. In response to some YouTube commenters, I produced this video showing the HS17 Genie 2 connected to a SWM-16. This video is pretty raw but that's the point; other than some work to blur out personal details I kept it pretty much the way I shot it, with every "uh" and "um" and crooked screencap. This is as real as it gets.

    The HS17 Genie 2 is expected at Solid Signal in the next few weeks and yes, I do recommend you swap out your LNB for a reverse-band one, but if you can't, here's the proof that it still works.
    by Published on 06-19-2017 10:43 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Satellite,
    3. Online/MobileTV
    Article Preview

    There's no one right answer. That's the cool thing, though -- depending on who you are you might like DIRECTV satellite service or DIRECTV NOW, the streaming service that works on your mobile devices. If you ask yourself a few questions, you can come up with an answer that works for you.

    Do you need a DVR?
    While DIRECTV NOW has gotten better ...
    by Published on 06-19-2017 10:25 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Auto/Marine

    It's finally summertime! Time to go out and enjoy that boat you've been storing all winter. As you do your yearly inspection, you're bound to find something that needs replacing or upgrading, from simple weather seals to much more complex electronic systems. Before you shop anywhere else, check out the upgraded selection of marine products at SolidSignal.com. Since you put that boat away for the winter, we've added thousands of marine parts from simple flanges to the most complex wiring harnesses.

    We can get your boat ship-shape and help you add all those new electronic parts that you're going to want, whether it's simple temperature monitoring or complex radar systems. We have all the parts you need and we're adding more every day!

    Our product staff digs deep, talking with suppliers who don't normally sell on the web to offer you parts you won't find anywhere else. The product selection just gets better and better!

    If you want that personal touch, we can provide that too. Call us at 877.312.4547 Monday through Friday during business hours and we can help advise you on parts or even help you build a killer entertainment system for those times when you get tired of staring out at that endless, glistening water or watching the sun set. Our consultants have more experience with marine satellite, cellular, and entertainment systems than anyone else and we're ready to get you hooked up!
    by Published on 06-18-2017 03:20 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Online/MobileTV
    Article Preview

    The image you see above is the cover art for Dark Star, a seminal film from the early 1970s. It was the first sci-fi stoner comedy and while that may not seem so noble, it was also an early effort from sci-fi master John Carpenter. I've seen it, and while it's not the best movie ever, it's a part of history ...

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