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    NICE AND EASY: 4K Genie Mini Client with an HDTV?

    Futureproof is good, but it's not always the way to go. You may be read on

    STREAMING SATURDAY: Amazon Video Update: Jack Ryan and More

    In Streaming Saturday, we'll look at trends in cord-cutting that read on

    How fast should your internet be for DIRECTV On Demand?

    If you live where internet speeds are slow, you spend every day just read on

    Can you have more than one DIRECTV Genie DVR? (late 2016 edition)

    I'm revisiting this topic by popular demand. It's been four years now read on

    What's the best option for recording antenna TV?

    In just a few short years, people have learned to rely on the DVR. If read on

    Cord-Cutting 101: 4K With Today’s TV Antennas?

    Can you get 4K reception with today’s TV antennas? As with most read on

    THROWBACK THURSDAY: Restoring the future

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

    Is it really important which antenna you choose?

    Here's the dirty little secret: sometimes it isn't. It's important read on

    How can you use headphones with a DIRECTV receiver?

    Late night. Sleeping spouse. What do you do if you want to watch a read on

    How important is it that you leave your installation nice and clean?

    Let's all pause for a moment while the more anal retentive members of read on

    Almost all local football is available for free over-the-air. Is that enough for you?

    Hallelujah, it's almost here. NFL football starts again in this great read on

    How is it legal to encrypt satellite television?

    You might have heard it said... that the electromagnetic spectrum, read on

    Is Ken Reid still crushing on Madonna?

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

    Is your data safe?

    How safe is your most important data? Most of us have pretty much read on

    Cord-Cutters: Know Your Football Options

    A partnership between ESPN and Campus Insiders will deliver the 2016 read on

    Hot Deals for the Week of August 22, 2016

    Take a look... these deals can't be beat! read on
    by Published on 08-27-2016 10:59 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Satellite




    Futureproof is good, but it's not always the way to go. You may be tempted to use DIRECTV's C61K 4K Genie Mini Client with a non-4K TV so that you won't need to replace it. I'll tell you, the C61K works almost as well with an HDTV as it works with a 4K TV. I have personally confirmed this. However, there are some issues that may be long-term or may simply be due to the fairly early build level of the software that runs it.

    When starting up, I got a message about 50% of the time that this was a non-4K TV and that 4K wasn't supported. Well, duh. But at any rate I had to choose "Try again" from a very sparse menu in order to get to live TV.

    Obviously, I was not able to select 2160p as a resolution and 4K content wouldn't play due to HDCP (content protection) issues. So your hopes of buying a 4K pay-per-view and having it display on other TVs in non-4K resolution are basically dashed. It does not downsample 4K programming; it just ignores it.

    Folks, I wouldn't do this. If you're going to go 4K, get the client and the TV at the same time. If you need to add a client today, add an HD Genie Mini Client instead and upgrade the system to 4K with a new client when you need it. The 4K Genie Mini is larger, uses more energy, and it's just not designed for HD use. It's just not the right way to go.
    by Published on 08-27-2016 09:36 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Online/MobileTV
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    In Streaming Saturday, we'll look at trends in cord-cutting that include both antennas and internet-based video.

    Are you a streamer
    who’s also a fan of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan character? If so, then there’s one place you want to be, and that’s Amazon Video.

    Even casual moviegoers are familiar with Clancy’s Jack Ryan. The character appeared in five films – The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger, The Sum of All Fears, and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. Amazon’s version is a modern and younger re-imagining of Clancy’s well-liked, pop-culture espionage hero.

    The new show follows a younger Jack Ryan played by John Krasinski (The Office). Ryan ...
    by Published on 08-26-2016 02:49 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Misc. Gadgets



    If you didn't catch this a while back when it made the rounds of the tech blogs, check it out because it's still pretty amazing. It may be low on plot, but this cartoon, simply produced, is so small it had to be magnified 100 million times in order to be seen.

    IBM scientists working on "atomic-level memory" moved individual carbon monoxide molecules one at a time to create each frame. Each do you see is a single molecule. How crazy is that?

    The idea is that if this technique becomes viable, computer chips will be made with pathways only a single molecule thick. Even today's smallest chips are thousands of times larger that that. We're talking about making computers 10,000 times smaller than they are, or the same size computer 10,000 times more powerful. It's insane.

    And it all started with a cartoon.
    by Published on 08-26-2016 02:19 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Satellite,
    3. Data/Networks,
    4. Online/MobileTV
    Article Preview



    If you live where internet speeds are slow, you spend every day just longing for something better. You see your friends streaming Netflix in 4K or sharing large files easily. It's a drag. But hey, you've got DIRECTV, the best quality and best selection in home entertainment, so you're still doing ok. You're aware that DIRECTV has ...
    by Published on 08-26-2016 11:36 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Satellite
    Article Preview



    I'm revisiting this topic by popular demand. It's been four years now since DIRECTV rolled out its 5-tuner Super DVR and the world has changed a lot. Many people record less than they used to, but those who do record actually want more capacity. DISH rolled out its Hopper 3 with sixteen tuners this year. That's probably the highest tuner count you'll ever see in a consumer DVR. It's left DIRECTV ...
    by Published on 08-26-2016 11:11 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. TV Antennas
    Article Preview



    In just a few short years, people have learned to rely on the DVR. If you have pay TV, there is an excellent chance you have a DVR. You may only use it to pause live TV for a phone call or for some other... physical business... but you use it. DVRs were rare just ten years ago, but today they're in the majority ...
    by Published on 08-25-2016 03:21 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. TV Antennas
    Article Preview



    Can you get 4K reception with today’s TV antennas? As with most things in life, the answer is yes and no.

    As a cord-cutter, you’ve probably already heard about 4K or Ultra HD programming. Someone told you that it offers four times the resolution and picture quality as traditional HD. It delivers this quality due to a superiority ...
    by Published on 08-25-2016 01:01 PM


    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.

    It's a 50-year-old chunk of wood that doesn't fly and can't even stand up by itself. For a while it was considered garbage. Now it's in the Smithsonian. I'm talking about the original large-scale model of the USS Enterprise from the original Star Trek. It's been lovingly preserved as it originally appeared in the late second season of the show, and the whole thing's been documented in this Vimeo video:



    They really went to town here with computer modeling, color-matching, and from what it looks like, they only used actual techniques that existed in the 1960s. The result is undeniably authentic.

    The model is in the Udvar-Hazy building in Washington along with a lot of really more significant actual flying machines, but as you see in the video it gets a lot of attention. That's because a whole generation of scientists called Star Trek their inspiration, and although I'm no scientist, I did too.
    by Published on 08-25-2016 12:36 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. TV Antennas
    Article Preview



    Here's the dirty little secret: sometimes it isn't. It's important that you choose an antenna that's powerful enough for your needs, but once you get to that point, more power isn't going to help you. That's why our professional antenna technicians sometimes recommend two different antennas for the same situation. There are actually times where ...
    by Published on 08-25-2016 09:48 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Satellite
    Article Preview



    Late night. Sleeping spouse. What do you do if you want to watch a little TV? I'll admit, DIRECTV doesn't make it easy. They've never had headphone jacks on their receivers, so in most cases your best hope is a headphone jack on your A/V receiver or television. Of course, wired headphones are a little bit of a drag, but ...

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