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    DIRECTV DSWM30 is (almost) here -- is it for you?

    Image found on the internet. There's a new SWM in town... and it's read on

    THROWBACK THURSDAY: Yes it has really been 5 years without Pac-12 on DIRECTV.

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

    What is an Atomic Clock (And Why Do You Need One?)

    An atomic clock is probably the most accurate way to tell time known read on

    BREAKING: DISH (finally) signs deal with Hearst

    Don't know why it took so long... but 26 communities that have been read on

    What is an anechoic chamber?

    Imagine perfect peace and quiet. A quiet day outside isn't quiet at read on

    Can you paint an antenna?

    Maybe, probably, but why would you? Personally, I would not paint an read on

    NICE AND EASY: Why do DIRECTV Receivers always say "Running Receiver Self Check" when they boot?

    You don't often reboot your DIRECTV box... but when you do you always read on

    Enjoy the TV Guidance Counselor Podcast!

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

    AT&T to release first quarter earnings today

    Looking for some ideas about AT&T's financial health?The company’s read on

    Best Deals for Cookout Kings and Queens

    If you’re planning any BBQs or cookouts this year, check out these read on

    NICE AND EASY: Can you take your antenna with you when you travel?

    Of course you can. TV antennas work the same whether they're at home read on

    Why do some antennas look like satellite dishes?

    Some of our antennas look downright confusing. One look at this read on

    Hot Deals for the Week of April 24, 2017

    Take a look... these deals can't be beat! read on

    "Most of my antenna isn't even connected to the cable." How can that actually work?

    If you look at a modern yagi antenna like our Televes DAT790 Mix, read on

    AT&T building out its fiber network

    Can't accuse them of standing still. AT&T has announced plans to read on

    Use a TV antenna for cellular? it could work...

    Technically it is possible to use a UHF antenna for a cell booster. read on
    by Published on 04-27-2017 03:32 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Satellite
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    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.

    Seriously. Back in 2012, we talked about DISH's sponsorship of Pac-12 Networks and the fact that DIRECTV still wasn't jumping on this station. Fast forward ...
    by Published on 04-27-2017 02:20 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Satellite
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    Image found on the internet.

    There's a new SWM in town... and it's beginning to filter out to larger DIRECTV installations. It's called the DSWM30, and while it's not available at Solid Signal yet, it soon will be.

    The DSWM30 is the replacement for the SWM-16 and SWM-32. Technically it could be thought of as a replacement for a ...
    by Published on 04-27-2017 01:55 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Misc. Gadgets
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    An atomic clock is probably the most accurate way to tell time known to man. Even in this day and age of cell phones, you can still use an atomic clock.

    So, what is an “atomic clock?” This question comes up here at Solid Signal, particularly when we’re doing product descriptions. Atomic clock… The name alone conjures up a variety of ...
    by Published on 04-27-2017 10:46 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Satellite



    Don't know why it took so long... but 26 communities that have been without programming from Hearst-owned TV stations on DISH finally have it back. This caps off a two-month-long blackout of Hearst stations on DISH.

    DISH tends to "go long" when it comes to channel blackouts and this is not the first time we've seen them black out a large number of stations for a long time. The strategy seems to work for them, though, since they have managed to keep customer prices lower than competitors. Unfortunately those low prices have not necessarily translated to growth, as DISH's customer base actually shrinks during most quarters.

    We'll hear more about DISH's financials in the coming days, but for today, this is great news for DISH customers, who have been suffering long enough.
    by Published on 04-26-2017 03:10 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Commercial,
    3. Cell Phones,
    4. TV Antennas
    Article Preview



    Imagine perfect peace and quiet. A quiet day outside isn't quiet at all; even in the country you can hear wind and animals and other things around you. If you're in a suburb or city you've probably never experienced true peace and quiet; in fact most people haven't.

    An anechoic chamber is a room that is designed to absorb ...
    by Published on 04-26-2017 01:42 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. TV Antennas



    Maybe, probably, but why would you?

    Personally, I would not paint an antenna. It's possible that it wouldn't do any harm, but it's very hard to know what's being used to give paint its color. Often times, a metal like chromium, iron, cobalt, or copper is used for bright, sharp colors and the flakes of metal inside the paint can make an antenna less effective. On the other hand, if synthetic or vegetable pigments are used, they're going to have very little effect on an antenna. As I said, how would you know?

    You may have noticed that some antennas like our Televes line have bright orange plastic in places, and I suspect that if you didn't like that particular part, you could paint those and you'd probably be fine. If you're really an expert on antennas and you can tell which parts are actually used for reception and which parts simply direct the signal to the receiving elements, you could probably paint the parts used there. Again though this seems like a lot of work and you would probably end up guessing wrong at some point and ruining something.

    If you have an antenna encased in a white "radome" you are best off not painting at all because the actual antenna is encased in plastic and there's no guarantee that the color you've chosen would let signals in. In the case of larger antennas that have brand names on them, the brand name is either located somewhere that it won't make a difference, or the paint or decal that's used has been extensively tested to make sure that it won't negatively affect reception.

    Here's the difference between painting a dish and painting an antenna. When people talk about painting a dish, they're usually talking about painting the reflector, which means it doesn't really matter what color is being used as long as the surface just bounces the signal to the front of the dish. With an antenna, you're talking about the signal having to make it through the paint and there's a very good chance it's not going to.

    Rather than painting an antenna, I'd almost always recommend buying a new one, or if the problem is that it has developed an unsightly black patina, you can use a metal polish to remove that. Just keep in mind that it will return and that it's not hurting your reception.
    by Published on 04-26-2017 10:53 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Satellite



    You don't often reboot your DIRECTV box... but when you do you always see a blue screen with white letters saying "Running receiver self check." It can take up to 20 seconds for that screen to go away, while you stare and fret and worry that the DVR that holds hundreds of hours of programming is going do disappear. And then the screen gives way to another one, and everything is fine.

    The first thing you need to know is that this receiver self-check is perfectly normal. By itself, it's not a sign that anything is wrong with your DIRECTV box. It's part of the regular startup process.

    Remember that a DIRECTV satellite receiver or DVR is basically just a computer. When you boot up your regular PC, or even a tablet or phone, it does some simple hardware checks to make sure everything is just where the device thinks it should be. The processor, the memory, the input and output ports are all checked. That's what's happening here. In addition, the hard drive is checked for errors (yes, if you're a Linux person, it is actually running a fsck) and if there are minor errors they're identified and dealt with. Again, this is perfectly normal and every hard drive develops these minor hiccups from time to time and these corrections help things work better.

    If there really was a hardware or hard drive problem, it would be noted on screen immediately and you would be told to call DIRECTV for service and given a code. If the hard drive is damaged, the receiver will try to recover it, a process which can take several hours and sometimes results in a loss of programming. This is very rare.

    Bottom line folks, this is a normal part of the DIRECTV experience and not something you should worry about.
    by Published on 04-26-2017 08:49 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 ...
    by Published on 04-25-2017 01:35 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Cell Phones,
    3. Data/Networks



    Right now, wireless internet is only for cell phones and home users who can't get wired internet. But, the world is changing fast and if you believe our podcaster, wireless internet will be taking over the world in the next few years. Why? Greedy cities and towns. To understand more, listen to this week's podcast and then visit 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 04-25-2017 10:41 AM
    Article Preview

    If you’re planning any BBQs or cookouts this year, check out these deals on the gear you need for easy, trouble-free grilling.

    Has BBQ season officially started? We at Solid Signal like to think so; but then again, we’re suckers for a good cookout. Because of this, we like to support the efforts of anyone who takes to the grills to feed and entertain their friends and family. To honor these courageous culinary champions, we're hosting a ...

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