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    Sign up for DIRECTV NOW, get a free AppleTV (again)

    It's seriously like getting a free streaming player. Several sources, read on

    AT&T issues statement about Barcelona

    The following statement comes from AT&T's news site: Of course we read on

    How can you get a new cell tower in your neighborhood?

    Easy answer: you pretty much can't. Let's say you were fed up with read on

    THROWBACK THURSDAY: Altair 8800 PC

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

    The strange history of the S-Video connector

    You know the S-Video connector... it was the primo way to connect read on

    Streaming TV is broken. Come back to satellite.

    That's right, I said it. I didn't just beat around the bush like read on

    Do you REALLY need the Slimline-5 dish? (2017 Edition)

    It's a fact. DIRECTV's satellite at the 119 location is going out of read on

    What is a voltage blocking coupler (DC Block) and what is it used for?

    Easy answer: It's the opposite of a power passing splitter. We told read on

    Ken Reid and THE Micky Dolenz

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

    How many 4K TVs can run off one Genie 2?

    This one's easy, but you won't like the answer. Although the Genie 2 read on

    The very first smartphone

    Of course it all depends on how you define "smart." If it's 1996, it read on

    NICE AND EASY: What is baseband video?

    No, not a band made of up bass players. Who finds these read on

    NICE AND EASY: What's an "obstruction?"

    This. If you're asked if there are "obstructions" between your read on

    Save some time wiring - use your coaxial cable!

    If you've been around DIRECTV for a while, you may have some unused read on

    Hot Deals for the Week of August 14, 2017

    Take a look... Solid Signal is your cable HQ! read on

    Will a cell booster electrify your brain?

    No. Of course we're all worried about the effect technology is having read on
    by Published on 08-17-2017 06:14 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Online/MobileTV



    It's seriously like getting a free streaming player. Several sources, including AT&T itself, have confirmed that if you prepay for three months of DIRECTV NOW, you will get a free AppleTV player, which itself is worth $149. That means even if you don't stay with the service you'll get the player for free, forever, for $35 less than if you bought it outright.

    This same offer was available to early adopters of the service but was phased out a few months ago.

    I know this is a very limited time deal and the details are still very scarce on it -- DIRECTVNOW's own web site doesn't talk about the deal and some sites are saying that it's only offered if you sign up over the phone or in person with a retailer. So, give us a call at 877.312.4547 and we'll give you the full story.
    by Published on 08-17-2017 02:41 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Cell Phones



    The following statement comes from AT&T's news site:

    AT&T to Credit Our Wireline and Wireless Customers for All Calls and Text Messages from the USA to Barcelona

    Our thoughts are with the people of Barcelona and our customers who have friends and family there.

    AT&T will waive or credit charges incurred for consumer calls placed by AT&Tís customers from the United States to Barcelona between August 17th to August 19th in the local time zone. This includes landline, texting, and mobility (Postpaid and Prepaid) calls
    .
    Of course we at Solid Signal extend our sympathies to the people of Barcelona as well as all victims of terrifying attacks all over the world. Since we aren't a news site, we don't routinely mention these things, but everyone here stands behind all the victims of recent violence.
    by Published on 08-17-2017 02:03 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Cell Phones
    Article Preview



    Easy answer: you pretty much can't. Let's say you were fed up with bad reception and your goal was to bring a new cell tower into your neighborhood so you and your neighbors could benefit. Here's one possible way it could go.

    Find a company willing to do it.
    This is probably the easiest. Cell towers make good money after their initial ...
    by Published on 08-17-2017 12:29 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Data/Networks
    Article Preview


    In Throwback Thursday, we're looking back at the articles we're most proud of from the first ten years of The Solid Signal Blog, as well as other old stuff we think is super-neato.



    If it weren't for the Altair 8800, I might be writing this blog ...
    by Published on 08-16-2017 05:17 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Satellite



    It's a fact. DIRECTV's satellite at the 119 location is going out of service within two years. This will mean that pretty much all standard definition service will go with it, since the content on the 119 satellite will take the place on standard definition content on one of the 101 satellites.

    All English-language HD programs have already moved off the 119 satellite, and what's left is basically local programming for a few markets around the country. The only thing left is SD programming, so even if you're in one of those cities where the 119 satellite is in use, you still don't need it if all you want is HD.

    Every year, we revise our list of cities that require the use of the Slimline-5 dish. The Slimline-5 dish is harder to aim and harder to keep aimed. The preferred dish for almost the entire country is the Slimline-3 dish, or if you want 4K, the Reverse Band 3 Slimline dish. Chances are you don't need the Slimline-5 dish.

    If you do have it, it won't hurt you for now but at some point it's going to stop working and you'll have to deal with that. For now, take a look at our newly-revised list of markets that still receive programming from the 119 satellite location. That way you'll be able to figure things out for yourself!
    by Published on 08-16-2017 01:10 PM



    Easy answer: It's the opposite of a power passing splitter. We told you all about power passing splitters in an earlier article. Power passing splitters make sure that your equipment gets the power it needs. DC blocks, also called voltage blocking couplers, make sure that your equipment doesn't get cooked.

    Most devices aren't designed to take DC power in from their coaxial lines. In fact, if you put a powered connection into an input that isn't designed to take it, you'll probably fry that device. (It's happened to people I know.) When you use something like the DIRECTV SWM system, the ports that carry voltage are very well labeled with red centers, and the splitters used in that system are designed not to let DC power get to those other ports. That's a good thing.

    What if you're putting together something custom? You might not be able to rely on a splitter to block that DC voltage, and the equipment you're using might be too expensive to risk. If that sounds like you, you'll like the cheap insurance offered by voltage blocking couplers. These friendly little devices don't cost a lot and they'll block DC power coming into your devices. They don't contribute to any measurable signal loss, either.

    Of course, not every installation will need these couplers. However, if you're working with power inserters in ways that the manufacturer didn't count on, you'll be glad you had a couple of these in your toolbox.
    by Published on 08-16-2017 11:47 AM
    Article Preview

    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 ...
    by Published on 08-15-2017 04:55 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. TV Antennas



    In a back-to-topic podcast, our podcaster talks about why an older antenna isn't going to work as well as a well-built, modern one. Listen, then shop for antennas at Solid Signal - Signal Solutions including HDTV Antennas, DIRECTV and DISH Network satellite equipment and home entertainment supplies and accessories!

    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 08-15-2017 04:07 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Cell Phones
    Article Preview



    Of course it all depends on how you define "smart."
    If it's 1996, it means some very basic internet (what else was there?) plus room for 200 contacts, a clock, a calendar and a fax program. (Yeah, that's right! FAX!) That's what you got with this Nokia 9000-series communicator. ...
    by Published on 08-15-2017 02:57 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Satellite,
    3. Online/MobileTV
    Article Preview



    That's right, I said it.

    I didn't just beat around the bush like SlashGear or LightReading. Those sites want to warn you about a possible future where practically every program you want will require its own streaming service. You'll be paying for Disney, CBS, ABC, whatever. You're going to pay to get the one show you ...

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